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Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine

Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine

Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine BURSTING WITH BOLD, COMPLEX FLAVORS, Mexican cooking has the kind of gusto we want in food today. Until now, American home cooks have had few authorities to translate the heart of this world-class cuisine to everyday cooking. In this book of more than 150 recipes, award-winning chef, author and teacher Rick bayless provides the inspiration and guidance that home cooks have needed. With a blend of passion, patience, clarity and humor, he unerringly finds his way into the very soul of Mexican cui

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2 responses to “Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine”

  1. Luis Benavides says:
    93 of 94 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderfully authentic and accurate., December 21, 1999
    By 
    Luis Benavides (Tampa, FL) –

    This review is from: Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine (Hardcover)

    I’m mexican and a lover of good food. I can say that Rick Bayless knows about Mexican food more than most Mexicans. His deep understanding of Mexican culinary culture amazes me given that he wasn’t born in Mexico. I have cooked many recipes from his cookbook and found them very detailed and easy to follow. In addition, having tasted authentic Mexican food (as opossed to the American version of Mexican food) duting all my life, I can attest that Rick’s recipes really go to the heart of Mexican cooking. His recipes are a manual for authentic Mexican cooking techniques, to a level I have not seen in cookbooks written by native Mexicans. I travel frequently to Chicago and always enjoy eating at one of Rick Bayless’ excellent restaurants (I like them so much that I have repeteadly arrived several times when it’s closed on Mondays). Like another reader, I would have liked more color photographs, however, Rick Bayless’ superb prose more than compensates for this omission.

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  2. B. Marold "Bruce W. Marold" says:
    92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Master of Mexican Cuisine Does Staples and more!, July 8, 2005
    By 
    B. Marold “Bruce W. Marold” (Bethlehem, PA United States) –
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    This review is from: Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine (Hardcover)

    `Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen’ is restaurateur / PBS show host Rick Bayless’ second major book on Mexican cuisine in cooperation with his wife, Deann Groen Bayless, and the first with collaborator, JeanMarie Brownson.

    The primary point of view which distinguishes this book from both his earlier `Authentic Mexican’ book and his later PBS tie-in, `Mexico, One Plate at a Time’ is that it deconstructs major aspects of Mexican dishes by breaking them down into `Essential’ recipes and recipes which use these essential preparations as an ingredient.

    This has a lot in common with Ming Tsai’s technique in his latest book, `Simply Ming’, with the difference that while many of Ming Tsai’s preparations were of his own devising, Senor Bayless is presenting us with the fact that the Mexican cuisine by its very nature, lends itself to this `modularization’.

    Almost all of the essential recipes are sauces and salsas. As Rick explains, the notion of a salsa is much broader to the Mexican mind than it may be to us gringos looking at the notion from the outside. The essential recipes are:

    Simmered Tomato-Jalapeno Sauce

    Roasted Tomato-Jalapeno Salsa from the Stone Mortar

    Chopped Tomato-Serrano Salsa

    Chopped Tomato-Habanero Salsa

    Simmered Tomato-Habanero Salsa

    Quick Cooked Tomato-Chipotle Sauce

    Simmered Tomatillo-Serrano Sauce

    Roasted Tomatillo-Serrano Salsa

    Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa

    Sweet and Spicy Ancho Seasoning Paste

    Sweet and Smoky Chipotle Seasoning Salsa

    Bold Pasilla Seasoning Paste

    Simmered Guajillo Sauce

    Roasted Poblano Rajas with Seared White Onions and Herbs

    Garlicky Achiote Seasoning Paste

    Corn Tortillas

    I reproduced all these titles here to give you the best possible sense of what is at the heart of this book. Like the Italian cuisine and its preserved meats, cheeses, pasta and vinegars, the great variety of Mexican cooking is based on a few essential ingredients and the most important ingredient family, the dried chile and corn flour, came about, like Italy’s meats and cheeses, from the need to preserve important ingredients from spoilage.

    If this book were nothing more than these recipes plus the dishes which can be built from them, it would be a great book of recipes, but not quite the `IACP Cookbook of the Year’ winner from the Julia Child Cookbook Awards. Each recipe is presented with a variety of different methods, mostly based on alternatives between using the Mocajete (volcanic stone mortar), using the food processor, or using the blender. I give enormous credit to Bayless for not encouraging us to immediately going out and ordering ourselves a Mocajete since they are both rather expensive and (authentic versions are) difficult to find. While I am something of an atavistic cook, I may have been inclined to search one out anyway, but Bayless confession that the modern appliances are quite satisfactory in most applications leaves me satisfied with the equipment I already have.

    In addition to the richly detailed and annotated recipes, there are terrific sidebars on ingredients and methods. This is the first place I have read that there is an important difference in taste between the yellow and the white onion, and that the white onion is preferred for Mexican dishes, unless otherwise specified. Senor Bayless also makes it clear that the Habanero and the Scotch Bonnet are two different plants, and identifies those features that distinguish one from the other. Note that the level of heat is NOT one of the things that separate the two fruits.

    The remainder of the recipes fall into all the usual categories, with a few Mexican specialities. These are:

    Salads and Other Starters

    Light and Hearty Soups

    Tacos, Enchiladas, and other Casual Fare

    Vegetable, Bean, Rice, and Egg Dishes

    Classic Fiesta Food

    Main Dishes

    Desserts

    Wine and Margaritas

    As egg dishes are one of my favorite criteria for judging a cookbook, I looked at these more carefully than the others and found more than just your usual omelets, scrambles, and fried eggs with Mexican sauces and Fritos. Mr. Bayless’ version of Huevos a la Oaxaquena gives us an egg cooking method which I have not seen in any French cookbook, although the result is not too different from scrambled eggs cooked hard rather than the French preferred moist result.

    One section that caught my eye was the recipes for moles (in Classic Fiesta Food). The first two recipes required 28 and 27 different ingredients respectively and the procedures for both took three pages of text. Fortunately, aside from the stock, none of the ingredients required a lot of additional preparation, but, I can easily see why moles are relegated to…

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