Essential Cuisines of Mexico: Revised and Updated Throughout, with More Than 30 New Recipes

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Overview

More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy published The Cuisines of Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy. But change was in the air. Home cooks were turning to Julia Child for an introduction to French cuisine and to Marcella Hazan for the tastes of Italy. Through Diana Kennedy they discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed. The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book became ...

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Overview

More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy published The Cuisines of Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy. But change was in the air. Home cooks were turning to Julia Child for an introduction to French cuisine and to Marcella Hazan for the tastes of Italy. Through Diana Kennedy they discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed. The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book became best-sellers, and Diana Kennedy was recognized as the authority on Mexican food.

Now a new generation has discovered that Mexican food is more than chimichangas, that they can find fresh hierbas de olor (pot herbs, including marjoram and Mexican bayleaf) and chilacas in their markets. The book that will become indispensable in their kitchens is The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.

Diana has combined her three classic books in one volume, refining recipes when possible, bringing them up to date without losing the spirit of their generation. Old friends will be delighted to revisit these refreshed classics and to find more than thirty new recipes from different regions of Mexico. Among these discoveries are the very popular arroz a la tumbada (rice with seafood) from Veracruz, a pico de gallo with peaches from the state of Mexico, and tasty snacks from the cantinas of Mérida.

Newcomers will delight in Diana's "word pictures" — descriptions of her travels and discoveries — and in her off-the-cuff comments. Whether they turn to this book for the final word on tamales, recipes for tasty antojitos to serve with drinks, or superb tacos, they will find there is no better teacher of Mexican food. How enviable to attempt for the first time Calzones del Diablo (yes, the Devil's Pants), and what a pleasure to succumb to Diana's passion for Mexican food.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Diana Kennedy's books on Mexican cooking are different. They demand to be devoured."
— William Rice, Chicago Tribune

"Every time Diana Kennedy publishes a new book I am delighted."
— Alice Waters

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
HThe prolific Kennedy revisits her adopted homeland in The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, a compilation of her first three books (The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book and Mexican Regional Cooking). From Nuevo Le n to the Yucatan, Kennedy strives to retain the authenticity of regional recipes: "I have simplified the recipes when possible, bringing them up to date without losing the spirit of their generation." Chapters reflect an assemblage of courses, including appetizers, corn dough cakes, vegetables, meats, egg dishes, light meals, sauces and relishes, sweet pastries and drinks. The concluding "general information" section provides helpful tips on equipment, chiles, cheeses, spices, herbs and other ingredients indigenous to Mexican cookery. Chapter introductions and detailed anecdotes (e.g., "A Weekend and Barbecue in Oaxaca") offer engaging glimpses of local Mexican life. Recipes will beguile aficionados searching for the "real Mexican deal," with a cornucopia of earthy ingredients--like calf's tongue, pig's feet, tripe "of different textures," pork lard--and exotic flavors, such as machaca (dried salted beef), nopoles (cactus paddles) and cuiclacoche (corn fungus). For novices, there are appealing, easy-to-make comfort foods, like Angel Hair Pasta in Tomato Broth and Chiles Con Queso (Chiles with Cheese), while seasoned cooks will appreciate challenging dishes such as Stuffed Chiles in Walnut Sauce and Turkey in Mole Poblana. Vivid prose chronicles the sojourns of Kennedy's curious palate, painting "word pictures" to describe "a Mexico of the past." Her efforts yield yet another classic, one that masterfully documents the rich diversity of Mexico's gastronomic heritage. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Kennedy has been writing about Mexican food for more than 30 years and is widely acknowledged as the authority on the topic. Her last book was My Mexico (LJ 9/15/98), a personal culinary journal through the country and its regional cuisines. Now she has gathered the recipes from her first cookbook, the groundbreaking Cuisines of Mexico (1972), as well its two successors, The Tortilla Book (1975) and Mexican Regional Cooking (1978), both of which are out of print, in this new collection. She's revised the recipes and simplified some, and there are also 30 or so new recipes. Kennedy's books became classics long ago; this compilation of her early works is an essential purchase. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609603550
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 7.34 (w) x 9.39 (h) x 1.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Southwood Kennedy went to Mexico in 1957 to marry Paul P. Kennedy, the foreign correspondent for the New York Times. In 1969, at the suggestion of Craig Claiborne, she began teaching Mexican cooking classes and in 1972 published her first cookbook. She has been decorated with the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor bestowed on foreigners by the Mexican government. She lives much of the year in her ecological adobe house in Michoacan, Mexico, which also serves as a research center for Mexican cuisine.

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Read an Excerpt

I am sure that this reincarnation of old friends will reach a new audience as future generations of Mexican Americans become more aware of their culinary heritage and a new wave of young chefs delves into these exciting, authentic recipes. Among them, I am sure, will be my devoted fans, to whom I am so grateful for their continued enthusiasm for my books and classes, and for their letters of appreciation, which I have carefully saved over the years. They, too, have helped preserve the spirit of these fascinating cuisines.

Guacamole
Avacado Dip
Makes about 2 1/3 cups (585 ML)
The word guacamole comes from the Nahuatl words for "avocado" (ahuacatl) and "mixture," or "concoction" (molli) — and what a beautiful "concoction" guacamole is, pale green sparked with the cilantro's darker green and the red of the tomato. Its beauty is definitely enhanced if it is served in the molcajete in which it has been made and where it rightfully belongs. (Never, never use a blender for the avocado to turn it into one of those smooth, homogeneous messes!) If you don't possess a molcajete, then use a blender for the base ingredients and mash avocados into it.

Guacamole is usually eaten in Mexico at the beginning of a meal with a pile of hot, freshly made tortillas or with other botanas (snacks), like crisp pork skins (chicharrón) or little pieces of crispy pork (carnitas). It will also often accompany a plate of tacos. It is so delicate that it is best eaten the moment it is prepared. There are many suggestions for keeping it — covering it airtight, leaving the pit in, and so forth — but they will help only for a brief time; almost immediately the delicate green will darken and the fresh, wonderful flavor will be lost.

2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
4 serrano chiles, or to taste, finely chopped
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
3 large avocados (about 1 pound, 6 ounces/630 G)
4 ounces (115 G) tomatoes, finely chopped (About 2/3 Cup/165 ML)

To Serve
1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro

Grind together the onion, chiles, cilantro, and salt to a paste.

Cut the avocados into halves, remove the pits, and squeeze the flesh out of the shell and mash into the chile base to a textured consistency — it should not be smooth. Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, adjust seasoning, and top with the remaining chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.

Serve immediately at room temperature (see note above). I do not recommend freezing.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xii
Foreword xvi
Preface xvii
Appetizers 1
Masa Fantasies 25
Tortillas and Tortilla Dishes 44
Tamales 95
Soups 115
Soup Stews 138
Beans, Rice, and Pasta 151
Egg Dishes 169
Light Meals 181
Salads 194
Vegetables 205
Sauces and Relishes 234
Meats 252
Pork 256
Beef 287
Assorted Meats 297
Poultry 323
Seafood 354
Sweet Yeast Breads 389
Desserts and Cookies 408
Drinks 443
General Information 459
Sources 501
Index 502
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2006

    Best book on Mexican Cuisine I have ever found

    I'm a native of Mexico and I can truly say that she captures every single detail, ingredients and ethnic essence in this book. I first found the Tortilla book in Spanish and recognized that although it was not written by a mexican it was just what i was looking for. Her recepies are easy to follow and her insights on how she got certain recepies and other things are as authentic and truthfull as it gets. She honours mexican cusine and that is why she is recognized in Mexico for it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2001

    Authentic Mexican Cooking from Scratch for Non-Mexicans

    This book is the best Mexican cook book on the market. If you seriously love Mexican cooking, this cook book is absolutely essential. I first discovered Diana Kennedy from a friend who was also seriously addicted to good Mexican food in 1973. I immediately bought a copy of her first book, The Cuisines of Mexico, and authentic Mexican food began to appear in my kitchen. Mexican food is the only food I make, other than something that can go directly into the microwave. Believe me, if I can get good results with this cook book, you'll be a regular Julia Child by comparison. In fact, Diana Kennedy is a lot like Julia Child in many ways. Ms. Kennedy is an American who came to live in Mexico after she married a New York Times foreign correspondent. There, she learned Mexican food from the local people. Her book is full of beautiful tales about how people prepare and enjoy each dish. For years, she has offered cooking instruction, so she knows the kinds of things that people need to learn. For example, the book contains general information about what kind of equipment you need, basic descriptions of the various ingredients (which can get pretty complicated with the various chilies), and how to handle various ingredients for advance preparation (something I always do), storage, and freezing (something that always happens because I make so much). The reason I say that this is the book to have is because this book contains the essential material from her three earlier cook books (The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book, and Mexican Regional Cooking) updated and improved. She has added more basic information and included 33 new recipes not in the originals (such as pico de gallo with peaches from the state of Mexico, rice with sea food from Veracruz, chicken in corn fungus sauce, many snacks from cantinas in Merida and Yucatan, and barbecued chicken from Chiapa). Concerned about how healthy your Mexican food is? By making it from scratch, you can leave out the pork lard that makes it so tasty, and substitute some healthy vegetable oil instead. Or you can broil rather than fry. You get the idea. It won't be authentic, but it will taste a lot better than most of the other healthy food you eat. Most of the wonderful flavor actually comes from the vegetables and seasonings rather than the oils. The book is broken out into the following sections: appetizers; Masa (corn meal) fantasies; tortillas and tortilla dishes; tamales; soups; soup stews; beans, rice, and pasta; egg dishes; light meals; salads; vegetables; sauces and relishes; meats; pork; beef; assorted meats; poultry; seafood; sweet yeast breads; desserts and cookies; drinks (included Craig Claiborne's favorite, Sangrita); and general information. After you have finished enjoying this book, I suggest that you make a Cinco de Mayo dinner or party an annual event. I always like to have Mexican food for my birthday, as well. Vaya con Dios! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The 2,000 Percent Solution and The Irresistible Growth Enterprise

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    Posted March 21, 2010

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    Posted June 11, 2009

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