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Mexico (Vegetarian Table) [Hardcover]

Victoria Wise
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Mar 1995 Vegetarian Table
Offers eighty vegetarian recipes for a range of spicy fare, and includes a glossary of ingredients.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (1 Mar 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811804755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811804752
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 21.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 923,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Victoria Wise was the chef of Northern California's acclaimed Chez Panisse restaurant prior to starting her own charcuterie. A former food columnist with The Los Angeles Times, she is also the author of several cookbooks, including The Well-Filled Tortilla and Mexican Cooking. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good dishes 4 May 2001
By A Customer
When I first glanced through this cook book, I was a little disappointed to read that many of the recipes where made up on the spot in someone's kitchen as opposed to 'handed down from generation to generation'. I tried the recipes anyway and I was extremely pleased with the results. I used several different recipes for dinner one evening and the combination was wonderful.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wise Approach to Mexican Cuisine 9 May 2006
By J. Ereck Jarvis - Published on Amazon.com
I acquired this book while living in San Francisco, where cheap delicious fresh Mexican food was so readily available that I never bothered making it in my own kitchen. Now, living in the Midwest, I'm delighted to have Victoria Wise as a guide.

I would emphasize the term "guide" because Wise's book encourages and at times necessitates taking matters into your own hands. The prefatory remarks that frame each recipe prove helpful and engaging. Another Amazon.com viewer faults Wise for including tomato paste and water in a recipe for "Fresh Tomato Salsa." However, the reviewer neglects to mention that both ingredients are marked optional: "a little sugar or tomato paste is included if the tomatoes need sweetening or thickening," and add water "as needed, depending on how juicy the tomatoes are." The book teaches rather than directs. Thankfully so: "Savory Chickpea and Walnut Empanada Filling" proved delicious, though only after I increased the spices (doubling! the cumin) to suit my taste.

Like many cookbooks published by Chronicle, the recipes are heavily inflected by California cuisine. Witness "An Unclassic Tostada" comprised of black beans, Golden Rice, and mango. Or a twist on the Caesar: a salad of romaine with creamy Roquefort dressing and cornmeal chili strips. "Authentic cuisine" simply does not exist anywhere, and Wise keeps this always in mind. The introduction emphasizes the many influences present in Mexican cooking, and each recipe's prefatory remarks nicely contextualize the dish-- reporting on her research and acknowledging elements gleaned from "upscale turista restaurants" and one-man stands in Coyouacan.

The dough for empanadas is mind-blowing: shockingly easy and simple but always a hit at parties. Wise's thoughtful book keeps Mexican food alive and interesting...even when tomatoes aren't at their ideal juiciest.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars creative mexican recipes 7 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
You might want to start with "vermicelli with tomatoes and chipotle chilies". It is a definite crowd pleaser and a very different way to prepare pasta from the traditional italian. With this recipe and several others, Victoria Wise has put together a very successful mix of flavorful and relatively easy dishes. She also provides a sufficient glossary of terms and a short history of Mexican cuisine--important for a beginner.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bag 3 July 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like Mexican cuisine and was very happy to find a vegetarian Mexican cookbook that looked promising. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
For starters, the "fresh tomato salsa" includes tomato paste and water! Other recipes are better, but nothing particularly stands out. Pictures are rare and with all the cheese in these dishes, the food does not qaulify as healthy. Unfortunately, this is not a cookbook that I end up using often.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yummy! Looks quite authentic and rich. But where's the chili? ;o] 5 Feb 2009
By Michael Gmirkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would have thought that various recipes for chili or spicy bean dishes would have made their way into this book, but perhaps the American "chili" as in "chili cookoff" is more of an adaptation of Mexican styles to American cooking and ingredients than an actual verbatim import?

That aside, this appears to get to the heart of the Mexican tradition in fine style and good taste (literally).

Be forewarned though, vegetarian doesn't necessarily mean low-fat. If I recall correctly, dairy and cream are used pretty heavily in some dishes for authentic flavor, so it may not be vegan or strictly "vegetarian." One wonders whether coconut cream or other vegetarian cream substitutes might work as well in the recipes, for those wishing to adapt to their own flavor of "vegetarian"... But, as they say, to each their own. This should give a pretty authentic Mexican flavor and cooking style, and sits easily alongside the other entries in the Vegetarian Table series, whicih is quickly growing to become one of my favorites, due to its apparent emphasis on explaining cultural context and tradition as well as giving excellent recipes of varying complexity / difficulty.

I also really do like the layout of the book. It's attractive, inside and out (so long as the dust jacket remains on it; the binding is pretty plain). It includes color pages and some full-page semi-gloss prints of the foods you might be preparing. Though, like other entries in the VT series, it generally fails to LABEL the prints as to which dish is being represented. A minor quibble, as one can usually find the recipe on the adjacent page(s). They really are just eye candy, in the long run (which I enjoyed looking at).

I'd certainly recommend this book to anyone wanting that authentic flavor / cooking style. Check out the others in the series too... Thailand, Japan, Italy, America, etc.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A colorful array of 90 traditional and innovative dishes 7 Nov 2003
By Lynn Harnett - Published on Amazon.com
Chapters include salsa and condiments (piquant sauce, smoky tomato ketchup, papaya and peanut salsa); tortilla cuisine (chiles con queso, chick pea and walnut empanadas); soups (melon and potato, avocado vichyssoise); pasta, rice and beans (vermicelli with tomatoes and chipotle chiles, Mexican pilaf, bean cakes); salads and vegetables (fava bean stew, cactus paddle salad); sweets (flan, rice pudding).
Gorgeous color photos are large close-ups of beatifully presented dishes and, while this is no low-fat cookbook, Wise uses no lard and has reduced fat in many recipes. She includes a glossary with preparation tips.
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