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Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico

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Americans have at last discovered Mexico's passion for exciting food. We've fallen in love with the great Mexican combination of rich, earthy flavors and casual, festive dining. But we don't begin to imagine how sumptuous and varied the cooking of Mexico really is. After ten years of loving exploration, Rick Bayless, together with his wife, Deann, gave us Authentic Mexican, Americans have at last discovered Mexico's passion for exciting food. We've fallen in love with the great Mexican combination of rich, earthy flavors and casual, festive dining. But we don't begin to imagine how sumptuous and varied the cooking of Mexico really is. After ten years of loving exploration, Rick Bayless, together with his wife, Deann, gave us Authentic Mexican, this now classic, easy-to-use compendium of our southern neighbor's cooking. This all-embracing cookbook offers the full range of dishes, from poultry, meat, fish, rice, beans, and vegetables to eggs, snacks made of corn masa, tacos, turnovers, enchiladas and their relatives, tamales, and moles, ending with desserts, sweets, and beverages. There are irresistible finger foods such as Yucatecan marinated shrimp tacos and crispy cheese-filled masa turnovers; spicy corn chowder and chorizo sausage with melted cheese will start off a special dinner; you will find mole poblano, charcoal-grilled pork in red-chile adobo, and marinated fish steamed in banana leaves for those times when you want to celebrate; and exotic ice creams, caramel custards, and pies to top off any meal. There's even a section devoted to refreshing coolers, rich chocolate drinks, and a variety of tequila-laced cocktails. The master recipes feature all the pointers you'll need for re-creating genuine Mexican textures and flavors in a North American kitchen. Menu suggestions and timing and advance-preparation tips make these dishes perfectly convenient for today's working families. And traditional and contemporary variations accompany each recipe, allowing the cook to substitute and be creative. Rick and Deann Bayless traveled more than thirty-five thousand miles investigating the six distinct regions of Mexico and learning to prepare what they found. From town to town, recipe by recipe, they personally introduce you to Mexico's cooks, their kitchens, their markets, and their feasts. If, like the rest of us, you have a growing love for Mexican food, the reliable recipes in this book and the caring, personal presentation by Rick and Deann Bayless will provide meal after meal of pure pleasure for your family and friends.


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Americans have at last discovered Mexico's passion for exciting food. We've fallen in love with the great Mexican combination of rich, earthy flavors and casual, festive dining. But we don't begin to imagine how sumptuous and varied the cooking of Mexico really is. After ten years of loving exploration, Rick Bayless, together with his wife, Deann, gave us Authentic Mexican, Americans have at last discovered Mexico's passion for exciting food. We've fallen in love with the great Mexican combination of rich, earthy flavors and casual, festive dining. But we don't begin to imagine how sumptuous and varied the cooking of Mexico really is. After ten years of loving exploration, Rick Bayless, together with his wife, Deann, gave us Authentic Mexican, this now classic, easy-to-use compendium of our southern neighbor's cooking. This all-embracing cookbook offers the full range of dishes, from poultry, meat, fish, rice, beans, and vegetables to eggs, snacks made of corn masa, tacos, turnovers, enchiladas and their relatives, tamales, and moles, ending with desserts, sweets, and beverages. There are irresistible finger foods such as Yucatecan marinated shrimp tacos and crispy cheese-filled masa turnovers; spicy corn chowder and chorizo sausage with melted cheese will start off a special dinner; you will find mole poblano, charcoal-grilled pork in red-chile adobo, and marinated fish steamed in banana leaves for those times when you want to celebrate; and exotic ice creams, caramel custards, and pies to top off any meal. There's even a section devoted to refreshing coolers, rich chocolate drinks, and a variety of tequila-laced cocktails. The master recipes feature all the pointers you'll need for re-creating genuine Mexican textures and flavors in a North American kitchen. Menu suggestions and timing and advance-preparation tips make these dishes perfectly convenient for today's working families. And traditional and contemporary variations accompany each recipe, allowing the cook to substitute and be creative. Rick and Deann Bayless traveled more than thirty-five thousand miles investigating the six distinct regions of Mexico and learning to prepare what they found. From town to town, recipe by recipe, they personally introduce you to Mexico's cooks, their kitchens, their markets, and their feasts. If, like the rest of us, you have a growing love for Mexican food, the reliable recipes in this book and the caring, personal presentation by Rick and Deann Bayless will provide meal after meal of pure pleasure for your family and friends.

30 review for Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Sanders

    If your are like I was prior to reading this book and you think of Mexican food as red sauce and yellow melted nacho cheese, I challenge you to pick up this book and try two of Bayless' recipes: the Oaxaqueno Picadillo (pg. 132) and the Machaca filling for burritos (pg. 141). Both introduce flavors not commonly tasted in American Mexican cooking. The Picadillo infuses cinnamon and clove into slow cooked pork stuffed with almonds and raisins. It is a wonderful mixture of sweet and savory and a gr If your are like I was prior to reading this book and you think of Mexican food as red sauce and yellow melted nacho cheese, I challenge you to pick up this book and try two of Bayless' recipes: the Oaxaqueno Picadillo (pg. 132) and the Machaca filling for burritos (pg. 141). Both introduce flavors not commonly tasted in American Mexican cooking. The Picadillo infuses cinnamon and clove into slow cooked pork stuffed with almonds and raisins. It is a wonderful mixture of sweet and savory and a great combination of rustic textures. The Machaca introduces the earthiness of poblano peppers in re-hydrated jerky. They are relatively easy dishes and my two favorite creations in Authentic Mexican. After Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Rick Bayless' Authentic Mexican is my most essential cookbook. I've cooked nearly everything in the book (including the very time consuming but rewarding moles). Bayless supplies just enough fun anecdotes from his travels to provide cultural context for the dishes. The dishes themselves are mostly easy to moderate difficulty, though some will take more time to prepare than others. Fortunately, every dish has an estimated completion time (though I typically spend 15 - 30 more min on the dishes than he suggests). Overall, this is the ultimate introduction to what Mexicans in Mexico eat and I highly recommend it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scott Cave

    Bayless is a good writer, with an anthropologist’s eye (he is, in fact, a trained anthro) for explaining why things are the way they are. All that explanatory text, though some may find it burdensome, is the real strong suit of the book, and leaves you with a feel for the diversity of Mexican food and the underlying logic behind it. Parts of the book feel a tiny bit dated, written with a 1990s supermarket in mind, but it is a great introduction to Mexican cooking that I come to as a reference, e Bayless is a good writer, with an anthropologist’s eye (he is, in fact, a trained anthro) for explaining why things are the way they are. All that explanatory text, though some may find it burdensome, is the real strong suit of the book, and leaves you with a feel for the diversity of Mexican food and the underlying logic behind it. Parts of the book feel a tiny bit dated, written with a 1990s supermarket in mind, but it is a great introduction to Mexican cooking that I come to as a reference, even when I don’t need a particular recipe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Simpson

    A good update to a time-tested book. These recipes are not especially convenient or quick, but they work well, they are not very difficult (time-consuming and with many steps, but not difficult), and the results are really tasty. Authentic Mexican food takes a lot of effort and time, but the flavors are great and you'll get those with this book. A good update to a time-tested book. These recipes are not especially convenient or quick, but they work well, they are not very difficult (time-consuming and with many steps, but not difficult), and the results are really tasty. Authentic Mexican food takes a lot of effort and time, but the flavors are great and you'll get those with this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Alvarez

    Every year I take on a new cookbook and this was 2018's project. Bayless is a clear writer and the recipes here give an excellent overview of Mexican flavors but once you get a few of the techniques down there isn't much left. It was pretty easy to cook through this tome on weekdays. Recommended! I'll never look down on boiling meat again. Every year I take on a new cookbook and this was 2018's project. Bayless is a clear writer and the recipes here give an excellent overview of Mexican flavors but once you get a few of the techniques down there isn't much left. It was pretty easy to cook through this tome on weekdays. Recommended! I'll never look down on boiling meat again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashani

    Rick undoubtedly is a encyclopedia of Mexican Cuisine or Latin American food . I read this book and took quite a long time to finish. The modern books have plenty of photos and seems like my generation need food photos along with a book to feast the eyes. This book is crammed with recipes and I noted few to try out. But I wish we get an updated version sweeping with food photos through.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dan Cornford

    This is Mexican Food Not that junk we get served in "Mexican restaurants" here in the US. Rick explains regional differences and the differences between what is typically served at home vs restaurants vs street vendors, and has recipes that cover all of these (though why he thinks he needs to dumb down a real margarita is beyond me). This is Mexican Food Not that junk we get served in "Mexican restaurants" here in the US. Rick explains regional differences and the differences between what is typically served at home vs restaurants vs street vendors, and has recipes that cover all of these (though why he thinks he needs to dumb down a real margarita is beyond me).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    As in most Rick Bayless books, I must say that I find the narrative vs. the recipes the most interesting part of the book. While the recipes were interesting, I found most included extensive preparation or were not appealing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Glen

    I think I would want to take this cookbook with me if I ever went to Mexico.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    Superb. Real Mexican cooking; no shortcuts. A classic!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Schibley

    Rick Bayless' good stories and recipes from deep in Mexico. Rick Bayless' good stories and recipes from deep in Mexico.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Recipes: four stars. Cultural commentary: 2 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    christopher mushall

    Authentic, entertaining and educational. It's not just Tomato sauce with Chili Powder and Cilantro. And I learned much of the history of "el Nortenos" and other regions not Mexico Authentic, entertaining and educational. It's not just Tomato sauce with Chili Powder and Cilantro. And I learned much of the history of "el Nortenos" and other regions not Mexico

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nan Simonsen

    Chef Bayless is an icon and this is a terrific read and resource.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    When I learned that other library Cookbook Clubs had used books by Rick Bayless, I was intrigued and decided to add them to our list. A few members were put off by the thought of Mexican being spicy and too much for those who can't eat fiery foods but we all discovered, happily, that we made some great recipes and no one needed antacid after the meeting! This book has a lot of great information about Mexican cooking. When I learned that other library Cookbook Clubs had used books by Rick Bayless, I was intrigued and decided to add them to our list. A few members were put off by the thought of Mexican being spicy and too much for those who can't eat fiery foods but we all discovered, happily, that we made some great recipes and no one needed antacid after the meeting! This book has a lot of great information about Mexican cooking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I wanted to love this book but found myself resenting a recipe that listed ingredients like 6 egg whites and then 6 egg yolks only to find out later that I didn't have to separate them at all. His academic style is self-serving and not easily followed by the home cook. After Gretchen, Sheela and I spent some time in Sayulita Mexico we were excited to recreate some of the flavors from there. We felt a bit let down. Molly - Ground Beef Salad: This was the unexpected highlight of the meal. Cold and I wanted to love this book but found myself resenting a recipe that listed ingredients like 6 egg whites and then 6 egg yolks only to find out later that I didn't have to separate them at all. His academic style is self-serving and not easily followed by the home cook. After Gretchen, Sheela and I spent some time in Sayulita Mexico we were excited to recreate some of the flavors from there. We felt a bit let down. Molly - Ground Beef Salad: This was the unexpected highlight of the meal. Cold and savory. Really something extraordinary. Molly doesn't usually do the non-fish meats. I want her to do more. Gretchen - Adobo Chicken: This was good but I kept wanting it to be Chicken Mole. Sheela - Roasted Corn with Queso and Chilies: Nice coating. Good side. I'll put this one in my barbeque arsenal. Me - Almond Flan: Fussy,frustrating, way too much custard for the amount I wanted to serve. The volume worked to my advantage in that I screwed up a couple of pie dishes-worth before realizing personal-size ramekins are the key to a successful flan and a nice presentation. To make again I would do half the custard in individual portions and twice the caramel.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Very interesting read, haven't gotten a chance to try to many of the recipes yet. Does make one hungry though to read and there's a lot of interesting dishes that one doesn't normally see here in the States. Very dense as far as information and local practices, something I love. One of my favorite cookbooks I've read so far.[return][return]Serves as a nice counterpoint to the Mexican Everyday book as it has some of the basic sauces and the like that for speed and convenience he suggests just buy Very interesting read, haven't gotten a chance to try to many of the recipes yet. Does make one hungry though to read and there's a lot of interesting dishes that one doesn't normally see here in the States. Very dense as far as information and local practices, something I love. One of my favorite cookbooks I've read so far.[return][return]Serves as a nice counterpoint to the Mexican Everyday book as it has some of the basic sauces and the like that for speed and convenience he suggests just buying. [return][return]I read the first edition, I'm guessing at some point it's likely that I'll get the 20th anniversary version and it'll be interesting to see what differences there are. (note, bought this book since I originally reviewed it in Living Social. haven't had a chance to compare yet. Does have a nice photospread in the center in the Anniversary edition. Can't remember if that was in the original)[return][return]Only critical thing I suppose I could say is that I could see people being overwhelmed and wanting better illustrations. Some sections also seem comparatively small.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Girl Underground

    No yellow cheese in this cookbook! Bayless is awesome for his willingness to learn so much about his specialty, especially as an OKC native who admitted that he came to a point where he had to settle for the Americanized Mexican food or dive in and embrace the authentic cuisine. Once he chose the latter, he learned about the cuisine's long history, how each region treats it (one of this book's focuses), and how the food is enjoyed today whether in the restaurants or in homes. And the RECIPES are No yellow cheese in this cookbook! Bayless is awesome for his willingness to learn so much about his specialty, especially as an OKC native who admitted that he came to a point where he had to settle for the Americanized Mexican food or dive in and embrace the authentic cuisine. Once he chose the latter, he learned about the cuisine's long history, how each region treats it (one of this book's focuses), and how the food is enjoyed today whether in the restaurants or in homes. And the RECIPES are pretty great, too--I've never tried a Bayless recipe that's failed. This book is proof that good cookbooks don't have to be filled with eye candy, but the anniversary addition includes a dozen or so color pictures to get your salivary glands going.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    First off, let me just say I love Rick Bayless - and not just because he has the ability to create tasty dishes. Any decent chef can do that. But because you can truly feel the love he has for the simplicity and beauty of food. This book really showcases his knowledge and expertise in the field of Mexican cuisine. The recipes are delicious and there are tons of great side notes that teach the reader even more about Mexican food culture and flavors. The only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars i First off, let me just say I love Rick Bayless - and not just because he has the ability to create tasty dishes. Any decent chef can do that. But because you can truly feel the love he has for the simplicity and beauty of food. This book really showcases his knowledge and expertise in the field of Mexican cuisine. The recipes are delicious and there are tons of great side notes that teach the reader even more about Mexican food culture and flavors. The only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars is simply because I prefer healthier foods with less frying, less meat and more veggies. But, if that wasn't an issue for me, I would easily have given this book the extra star.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James

    I'm not an expert, but I did grow up in SoCal with trips to Baja and what I've experienced does match this book. This book is very hard core, it includes making tortillas starting from dry corn and a metate! Not for the faint of heart. Even half a century ago many Mexicans bought them from tortillarias. (6 for a penny!) While a good book, many of these dishes require extensive prep work and aren't suited for singles or vegetarians. The only caveat I have on the recipes is that Bayless is a midwes I'm not an expert, but I did grow up in SoCal with trips to Baja and what I've experienced does match this book. This book is very hard core, it includes making tortillas starting from dry corn and a metate! Not for the faint of heart. Even half a century ago many Mexicans bought them from tortillarias. (6 for a penny!) While a good book, many of these dishes require extensive prep work and aren't suited for singles or vegetarians. The only caveat I have on the recipes is that Bayless is a midwesterner and loves his salt, he uses 2-4 times as much salt as compared to others. I've read one of his other books which seemed OK, but I still want to read his first Everyday Mexican book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lfrisch

    This does have great recipes, however I have to agree with other reviews that sometimes the way it is presented can cause confusion. I do have to say that I have made a few items so far and they have been wonderful and the end result is real Mexican cuisine. If you are looking for Taco Bell or Americanized Mexican food, this cookbook is not for you. This is one of the first cookbooks I have purchased electronically, which I have found has cause other issues in finding what to cook. I think it is This does have great recipes, however I have to agree with other reviews that sometimes the way it is presented can cause confusion. I do have to say that I have made a few items so far and they have been wonderful and the end result is real Mexican cuisine. If you are looking for Taco Bell or Americanized Mexican food, this cookbook is not for you. This is one of the first cookbooks I have purchased electronically, which I have found has cause other issues in finding what to cook. I think it is just a learning curve.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dora

    I've owned the original edition since the late '80s. It's my favorite Mexican cookbook, probably because he suggests variations on each dish with just about every recipe. His introduction is brief, but thorough and includes citations so that you could go read more of the history if you were inclined to do so. This book is the only one I've found that contains recipes that came close to some of the typical Mexican dishes that my grandma and great grandma used to make. I've owned the original edition since the late '80s. It's my favorite Mexican cookbook, probably because he suggests variations on each dish with just about every recipe. His introduction is brief, but thorough and includes citations so that you could go read more of the history if you were inclined to do so. This book is the only one I've found that contains recipes that came close to some of the typical Mexican dishes that my grandma and great grandma used to make.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    An amazing amount of authentic recipes and information on Mexican cooking make this a must for anyone looking to learn more. I found it a little intimidating to use every day but as a resource it is top notch. I did love, love, love the simple Zucchini with Roasted Peppers, Corn and (Cashew) Cream recipe. I am still craving it. ;-) http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20... An amazing amount of authentic recipes and information on Mexican cooking make this a must for anyone looking to learn more. I found it a little intimidating to use every day but as a resource it is top notch. I did love, love, love the simple Zucchini with Roasted Peppers, Corn and (Cashew) Cream recipe. I am still craving it. ;-) http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ann Clary

    I have always been flummoxed at why the books of Rick Bayless have been so popular. I live in Southern California where we are fortunate to live in a land of wonderful Mexican or southwestern cooking. Rick Bayless captures little of the sophistication and subtlety of Mexican or southwestern cooking. Try Diana Kennedy, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, Mark Miller or any of the books associated with the Santa Fe School of Cooking-all far, far superior.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I loved this book so much but I met a man with a family from Puerto Rico who wanted to open his own restaurant, I lent him the book and he loved it so much I ended up giving it to him, he said the recipes were so very authentic and although he was not from Mexico, his experience with Mexican food and cooking drove the fire in him to create and re-ignited his passion...how could I keep the book???

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    I cannot fairly give this a star rating. there's not much wrong with the book. I mean, more pictures would be better, but the directions and everything are clear. it's just that I'm not really a fan of Mexican food. we're doing this for cookbook club next month so I'll update after I've tried a bunch more recipes. I cannot fairly give this a star rating. there's not much wrong with the book. I mean, more pictures would be better, but the directions and everything are clear. it's just that I'm not really a fan of Mexican food. we're doing this for cookbook club next month so I'll update after I've tried a bunch more recipes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    David

    Aptly named, full of delicious food; a must have. I was on to Rick years before he became famous, and this book was a secret weapon lol. . .one I was loathe to openly mention except to other serious cooks and close friends/family.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I wish I had the time and energy to cook these meals but at this point in my life it just isn't feasible with 2 little kids and a busy schedule. These are traditional labor intensive recipes-lots of grinding and chopping of chiles, onions, peppers, etc. Maybe one day... I wish I had the time and energy to cook these meals but at this point in my life it just isn't feasible with 2 little kids and a busy schedule. These are traditional labor intensive recipes-lots of grinding and chopping of chiles, onions, peppers, etc. Maybe one day...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    This is the re-issue of Rick Bayless' first cookbook, which is very close to his best--I think if I had to pick one, it would be this one or the next one---the recipe for Mexican pickles is one we use over and over again This is the re-issue of Rick Bayless' first cookbook, which is very close to his best--I think if I had to pick one, it would be this one or the next one---the recipe for Mexican pickles is one we use over and over again

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I think this may be the best Mexican cookery book out there. Bayless gives not only recipes from various parts of Mexico, doing justice to the huge variety of cuisines, but explains ingredients that may be unfamiliar, and techniques for everything from roasting tomatoes to making tamales.

  30. 4 out of 5

    George

    One of the better Mexican cookbooks I own. It is very user friendly, is informative, and has some great recipes.

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