HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Which Rick Bayless book?

  • c
  • 6

If you could have one Rick Bayless cookbook, which one would it be?

I love his show and wanted to venture into Mexican cooking. But he has several books, and they all look great, which makes it hard for me to decide.

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I have a copy of "Authentic Mexican," linked below, with is one of my favorite cookbooks. In my opinion, it is to Mexican food what Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking is to French, or Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is to Italian. Comprehensive, detail oriented, well written, and the recipes result in great tasting food. Highly recommend it.

    Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...

    1. I have a copy of "Authentic Mexican," linked below, with is one of my favorite cookbooks. In my opinion, it is to Mexican food what Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking is to French, or Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking is to Italian. Comprehensive, detail oriented, well written, and the recipes result in great tasting food. Highly recommend it.

      Link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...

      1 Reply
      1. re: DanaB

        I have 3 of his books and I do use Authentic Mexican I use Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen a bit more. You might want to explore some of Diana Kennedy's books too. Most libraries have all of these books. Why not check some out and see which appeals to you.

      2. I have "Mexican Kitchen" (1996). List price was around $35, but I bought it used in mint condition for about $18. I believe this came after "Authentic Mexican."

        It's a really great book w/ recipes that are in the same genre of what he tends to feature on his PBS show. Sadly, I haven't used it that much since Mexican cooking is still not that natural for me nor is my pantry stocked w/ basic ingredients.

        I used to think, "What does this gringo know about Mexican cuisine??!" But it's apparent how much he has truly studied the cuisine and techniques and has translated them for the American kitchen. I ate at one of his restaurants, Frontera Grill, in Chicago once, which featured some of the most sophisticated Latin-inspired food I've ever tasted.

        1. I have all of Rick's books and I've spent a week in Oaxaca studying Mexican cooking with him. He really is a very nice man with tremendous knowledge and love for his subject. He's not as effusive as he is on TV, more toned down and real.

          I've cooked out of all of his cookbooks but the one I use most frequently, and the one I think is most useful and approachable for novice Mexican cooks is "Salsas That Cook". It's a little soft-bound book of about 100 pages. In it he gives the basic recipes for 6 or 7 salsas that he considers essential for cooking Mexican. He gives different batch sizes for the salsas and suggests substitutions and variations so that you actually end up with quite a variety of possibilities. There are about 60 recipes in this book all based on these basic sauces, and they're pretty good not particularly difficult or time consuming (once you've got the basic sauce made).

          I use Rick Bayless' Mexican Kitchen the most after Salsas that Cook.

          But having said all that, my first stop is almost always my Diana Kennedy books. I like both of them but the recipes in her cookbooks suits my tastes and flavor profile preferrences better.

          1. I have had Mexican Kitchen, Salsa's that Cook and yesterday as a surprise for our wedding anniversary got Rick to sign a copy of Mexico One Plate at a Time while I was sipping margaritas at the bar. I use both quite often but Mexican Kitchen more. I look forward to trying out my new book.