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Tacos: Recipes and Provocations Hardcover – Oct 20 2015

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (Oct. 20 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553447297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553447293
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 998 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Alex Stupak earned recognition as one of the world's most innovative pastry chefs while leading teams at progressive cuisine icons Clio, Alinea, and wd-50. But innovation only counts, he figured, if you push yourself out of your comfort zone, and so he left that world to cook Mexican food, a cuisine that captured his head and his heart. His restaurant Empellón Cocina earned him a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant in the country, and Food & Wine magazine named him a Best New Chef in 2013. 

Jordana Rothman is a veteran of Time Out New York, where she held the reins as the magazine's Food & Drink editor for six years. She's a respected member of the national food writing community and a frequent contributor to print and digital publications such as Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, New York Magazine, Cherry Bombe, MadFeed, Grub Street and Conde Nast Traveler.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book and its offering of both standard and non-standard Taco options. Seems Mr. Stupak was really trying to push things forward and not just do the same-old.

Get ready to be itching to buy a tortilla press and making your own (Corn or Wheat) based tortillas.
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Format: Hardcover
Dear Howard (previous reviewer). Just because you wouldn't make the recipes, doesn't mean that no one else would, which hardly makes this book only worth one star. It also means you're probably not much of a cook, nor a book reviewer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The recipes were not what I expected, I wouldn't make any of these recipes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 87 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unconventional and creative tacos for foodies Oct. 20 2015
By Deidre512 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This taco cookbook is a unapologetic and bold collection of inspirational recipes for making unique taco dishes.

There are some really interesting recipes in this book. This book is also not for the "casual" or traditional taco maker as the recipes are likely not what you are expecting.

The tone of the recipes is set in the first half of the book which gives a brief background on Alex Stupak and his culinary journey, some fundamentals on spices and chilies, and then a pretty lengthy explanation on the type of corn that best lends itself to tortillas, tortilla recipes, and salsa recipes. Thoughtfully, the tortilla recipes give you the ingredient option of easier to find masa harina (as well as the harder to find fresh masa). In addition to corn and flour tortillas recipes, there are some creative fusion recipes such as pistachio, saffron, and rye tortillas. The subsequent dedication to salsa recipes emphasizes the wide variety of ways a salsa can create a completely different taste and look to a taco.

The second half of the book is dedicated to taco recipes. While the opening notes suggest that some of the recipes are classics, I tend to disagree. That being said, the recipes are pretty cool. Some examples of recipes include Chicken Tacos with Kale and Salsa Verde, Skirt Steak Tacos, Fried Oyster Tacos, Pineapple Tacos, and Wild Spinach Tacos.There are also a few taco recipes that would lend themselves to breakfast as well as a couple of dessert taco recipes.

The closing section has recipes for components (such as Adobo paste) that are used in some of the recipes.

The writing tone of this book is very down to earth and lightly humorous. There are really nice photos throughout the book mostly showing plating of the final dishes but some showing steps along the way.

Pretty much all of the recipes require advance planning and preparation. They do not lend themselves to throwing together on the spur of the moment.

I recommend this cookbook to fans of Alex Stupak and foodies who enjoy innovative spins on traditional recipes.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious and creative! Taco heads need this! July 8 2016
By Jennifer Guerrero - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delicious and creative! Taco heads need this! Stupak's focus is on the tortilla, and he has some very interesting variations: saffron, beet, pistachio, chicken, etc. I went straight for an unusual one, the Scallop Tacos JGV, and everyone loved them. Scallops and cauliflower with a caper raisin emulsion. Outstanding flavor! I want to try his Conchita Pibil next. He gives two methods, pork shoulder in banana leaves in a Dutch oven in the oven, or the full pig in banana leaves cooked in a pit dug in the ground. I'll be going with the oven. Neat stuff!

There are beautiful color photos of most dishes.

If you need a tortilla press, Victoria 8 inch Cast Iron Tortilla Press and Pataconera, Original Made in Colombia, Seasoned works beautifully. You can use it for tostones, too, if you only press partially.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Insufferable Tone; Stay for the Tacos June 8 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These are good, relatively straightforward (though not simple) recipes. Generally, there's a fair amount of work involved and multiple steps (often the recipes directs you to a salsa or mole that is its own separate preparation), but the results are consistently worth it. Stupak's tone is nearly insufferable. Luckily the food is worth it.

The corn tortillas are substantially easier to make. Start with them.

His flour tortilla recipe is contradicted by other things he has written on-line about the same (or nearly the same) recipe. Online, he indicates the flour tortilla recipe makes 24 (not 12, as the book indicates). He also suggests an hour rest (rather than 10 minutes) before rolling out the tortillas. Better flour tortillas result. It seems to be an unfortunate error.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tacos for the true gourmet. Not for the Taco Bell gourmand. Aug. 7 2016
By Thoa - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This beautiful book has balls. I don't recall a recipe for Rocky Mountain oysters tacos but wouldn't be surprised if there is one. Along with basic recipes for proficient mole sauce and pork carnitas, the book featured tripe and tongue tacos. The recipes are uncompromising with the soul of a well-traveled chef who loves every single of these dishes.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deviled Egg Tacos???? Don't judge until you have tried them. March 6 2016
By DK - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you think I have lost my mind?

What the heck are Deviled Egg Tacos.

When he asked what was for lunch today and I said, "Deviled Egg Tacos," there was no response.

No response from him when it comes to food means he is highly skeptical.

Rest assured, Deviled Egg Tacos are delicious, and can be found in this cookbook, an informative hardcover book full of how-to photos and truly beautiful food.

This cookbook might just be the only book you will ever need on Mexican cuisine. It covers everything from making traditional tortillas to recipes for spinach, beet, and saffron tortillas as well. Salsas and condiments make up a large portion of the book. The authors even show step by step photos on how to prepare Cochinita Pibil THE HARD WAY. They also have an easier recipe for this iconic Yucatán dish, one that does not require digging a pit and lining it with banana leaves.

I needed to do something a bit easier for lunch. Although Deviled Egg Tacos sounds like it would be straight forward and pretty easy, they do require some prep work. That being said, most all the ingredients can be made ahead of time for an easier prep.

First, make the Sikil Pak, a truly "indegenous fusion" of Spanish, Moorish, Lebanese and Mexican flavors. This Yucatán dip or spread is addictive and is described as "alpha-hummus" (p 91). This is great as a dip with salty tortilla chips or just wrapped up in a corn tortilla on its own.

To make the tacos, simply prepare deviled eggs using whatever recipe you like. (I used 6 eggs, 1 T. mayo, 1/2 T. Dijon, and about 1 T. of the Sikil Pak mixture for my deviled eggs.) Use very good artisan-made corn tortillas (or make your own). I used Sprouts store brand and they worked wonderfully. Lay out the warm tortillas on serving plate. Place a dollop of Sikil Pak on each tortilla and spread using a spatula. Evenly distribute the deviled eggs among the tortillas and top with the minced red onion, chopped cilantro, and a small amount of Salsa Habanera. (I did not tackle the recipe for Salsa Habanera. Instead I used some sriracha.) Squeeze a couple of the lime wedges over the tacos and serve the rest on the side. (For more step by step directions, see page 212 in the book.)

Other recipes that have me intrigued are numerous:

Black Bean Hummus Tacos with Ayocote Beans and Avocado (page 195)
Shishito Pepper Tacos (page 189)
Chicken Tacos with Kale and Salsa Verde (page 108)

The Hubs, however, is fixated on making those Cochinita Pibil tacos (the hard way). He has already asked where we can buy banana leaves and where can he dig the pit.