Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mexico in a dish

We have a couple of new cookbooks that will help you spice up your kitchen and take you beyond tacos and fajitas (which is the extent of my forays into Mexican cooking, unfortunately).
If you are a completely new to making Mexican dishes, try Simply Mexican by Lourdes Castro. her collection of 60 simple recipes comes accompanied with 'Cooking Notes' that helps familiarize readers with techniques and ingredients central the the Mexican table. You can learn how to wrap meat in banana leaves, put together tamales (time consuming, but oh so good) and prepare an achiote marinade. These are nice, simple dishes that are quick to prepare and serve as a good introduction to Mexican dining.
If you would like to move on to dishes that are a little fancier, try Fresh Mexico: 100 simple recipes for true Mexican flavor by Marcela Valladolid. Her recipes use a wide range of ingredients, from cactus leaves to fresh guava to amaranth seeds. She also incorporates a little ethnic fusion as well, offering Mexican twists on sushi, osso bucco and Napoleons. The mascarpone-stuffed squash blossoms will transport you to the streets of Tijuana. Many of the recipes here are very elegant and would create a perfect meal for guests.

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