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If you could only buy one Mexican cookbook, what would it be?

Megiac Jul 20, 2007 10:08 AM

I am obsessed with tamales (and to a lesser degree, all things Mexican) and really want to invest in a great Mexican cookbook, so I can start making those and my other favorites. I have a terrific Latin market nearby, so do not lack for good ingredients. I just lack the skills to put them to good use.

What one book would you recommend?

  1. Candy Jul 20, 2007 10:45 AM

    I'd start with Bayless' Authentic Mexica and advance to Diana Kennedy

    1. Mandymac Jul 20, 2007 10:54 AM

      I second Bayless, though I've got Mexican Kitchen and I've enjoyed it, especially the tamale recipe. It was a long and involved process (as all legitimate tamale making should be) involving boiling pork shoulder for hours (which yeilded the most transcendant pork juice), and the tamales were different than the ones I remembered from the my SoCal youth, but very good. Bayless really knows his stuff and imparts his research into the cuisine of Mexico. Other things I enjoyed out of Mexican Kitchen cajeta (goat milk caramel) and tres leches cake.

      1. Bivalve88 Jul 20, 2007 10:56 AM

        Diana Kennedy's "My Mexico" is a little bit more accessible, I think, than "The Art of Mexican Cooking". Both qualify as great, but I agree with Candy that they can be a bit daunting when first starting out. I also love the Fonda San Miguel cookbook, from the restaurant in Austin. Heavily Kennedy influenced, but much easier to do. I've been wowing friends with the pork tenderloin with poblano apple slaw and creamy cilantro sauce. Yummmm. I've never checked out "Authentic Mexica". I have Beyless' "One Plate at a Time" and it's great.

        1. b
          Bostonbob3 Jul 20, 2007 11:25 AM

          My go-to Mexican cookbook (although I also love Rick Bayless):


          EDIT: That's the bilingual version, BTW. Here's what the original looks like:


          1. b
            bear Jul 21, 2007 12:01 PM

            I made some mighty tasty tamales, first time, last year using Bayless' Authentic Mexican.

            1. salutlemonde Jul 21, 2007 12:11 PM

              I second "LA Tradicional Cocina Mexicana: Y Sus Mejores Recetas" - nice to know there's a bilingual version. However, there are some ingredients listed that you're just not going to find outside Mexico - and it's thin, so you won't have as many choices as Diana Kennedy (who I prefer over Bayless). I tend to read through a Kennedy recipe, then simplify it, if it's not in "La Tradicional...". Of course, there are a lot of good recipes online to compare with Kennedy...

              1 Reply
              1. re: salutlemonde
                bigjimbray Jul 21, 2007 03:18 PM

                Go to website www.about.com and they have training lessons and recipes to teach
                how to make anything mexican. and you don`t have to buy a book. but if want the
                best book out there it would be like everybody has allready told you. Baylees`s book
                with his experence is far the best.

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