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Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Street-Side Kitchens of Mexico Hardcover – 26 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (26 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118190203
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118190203
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Americans are having a love affair with the taco. What began as an affection for the fast-food version, that hard yellow shell filled with ground beef and mysterious yellow cheese, has blossomed into an all-out obsession for the real thing, with upscale taquerías and food trucks popping up from coast to coast. Yet even today, few people are familiar with the incredible variety available on the streets of Mexico, from fish tacos of Baja to slow-cooked pork tacos of the Yucatán to cream-spiked strips of poblano peppers tucked into tortillas from the markets of Mexico City. In Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales , chef Roberto Santibañez shows you how to recreate these thrilling flavors in your home kitchen. And real tacos aren't the only revelation in store. Santibañez also explores the equally exciting Mexican sandwiches called tortas and hearty tamales, which are so much easier to make than you might think. There are plenty of salsas and condiments to enliven every bite. He also shares recipes for fresh juices called aguas, alcoholic treats like margaritas, and a handful of everyday desserts. While the flavors are exciting and complex, the cooking itself is anything but complicated. All you'll need are fresh ingredients and a few basic rules of thumb. Whether you decide to make each component from scratch or cut a few corners, this is the only cookbook you need to prepare fantastically simple and amazingly tasty Mexican food at home. With Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales in your kitchen, your dinners will never be dull again.

From the Back Cover

"I′ve been lucky enough to witness many taco revelations, the moments when visitors to Mexico bite into one that changes their lives. Perhaps it′s the warm soft tortilla that does it. Maybe it′s the little mounds of tender steak or the streak of vibrant salsa . If I′ve picked the place, you can bet it′s all three. What was once just a pleasant snack becomes a treat that you plan entire days around, one that you pine for as you lie in bed at night. " —from Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales Praise for Roberto Santibañez′s Truly Mexican , a New York Times Notable Cookbook of 2011: "With the goal ′to convert as many readers as I could from people who would love to cook Mexican food to people who cook Mexican food they love,′ the author lays a solid foundation with a chapter on ingredients, technique, and equipment. . . . The author′s expertise is conveyed in a straightforward and inspiring tone that will instill confidence in cooks eager to prepare Mexican meals at home, regardless of previous experience or skill level." —Publishers Weekly "The book underscores the breadth of Mexican cuisine while diving into its most accessible aspect. . . . The recipes work; the flavors are eye–opening; Santibañez′s modern twists are appealing; and he writes with verve, precision, and authority." — Cooking Light magazine

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Wigle on 8 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is amazing! After spending some time in Mexico I wanted to make traditional foods at home. This cook book had the exact recipes I had eaten in taco stands & small restaurants while in Mexico. I found the recipes easy to follow & only needed to source a few key ingredients. Now that I've got everything I need in the cupboards at home I make amazing & tasty tacos in no time! I haven't tried all the recipes, but am working my way through the book & enjoying every one along the way. I love the section on salsas. And the drinks too.
I can't fault this book at all. I highly recommend it & guarantee you won't be disappointed in it.
If you want to make delicious Mexican street food........ This is the only cook book you will need!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I adore this book. I borrowed a copy off a friend and had to buy it for myself. Amazing recipes-the slow cooked pork is to die for, so are the tongue tacos, salsas, coconut rice pudding and we've even had success with the tortillas. Buy it now if you like Mexican food!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tanya Hernandez on 7 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my husband, who is a Mexican Chef and he loves it. Its authentic and beautifully presented. I would definitely recommend this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BBQ man on 21 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some good recipes, but had to resort to the Hairy Bikers for a Guacamole recipe!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 67 reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
I love this book! 18 Nov. 2012
By Food digger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a Mexican living in Sweden, where Mexican food and culture are almost unknown. I am always in the search for any literature about authentic Mexican food. I grew up easting these delicious foods of Mexico they are a top part of my identity. When I received Tacos, Tortas and Tamales I was so pleasantly surprised and was able to recognize that every picture and most of the recipes in the book are from my native country! The tortas, the tacos, and the tamales are as I remember them. The recipes are easy and tasty! I was so inspired by this book that the day after I received it, I made my family with a chicken cutlet torta for dinner!! Believe me, they are still asking for more tortas.

I love this book!!
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Mexican Recipes For Everyone 26 Nov. 2012
By heidi bayer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I first began my love affair with Roberto Santibañez' cookbooks five years ago (click here for my 2010 cookbook review) when I was looking for Mexican food that I remembered from Los Angeles, and was unable to find it here in Brooklyn. Roberto's previous cookbook, Truly Mexican, concentrates on sauces, the key to Mexican cooking, whereas Taco's Torta's and Tamales covers the everyday delicious foods of Mexico. From those signature dishes you would find in the puestos of the street vendors, tacos suados, quesadillas, and atole's, to those you would find in your Abuela's kitchen such as Tamales from Chiapas, Roberto patiently walks the reader through the recipes, and the stories behind them.

As an allergic family, if there is only one cuisine that we can all agree on, and eat with few substitutions, it is Mexican cuisine. We all agree that the array of foods available to use, from the cactus, to potatoes, to the mushrooms, are always flavorful and all the ingredients are available at the bodegas in our neighborhood. Additionally my vegan friends find Roberto's recipes to be full of flavor and very satiating. Which is why for a recent dinner party I chose to make the Tamales from Chiapas as well as Spinach & Mushroom Enchiladas (from Truly Mexican).

I had been looking for a good tamale recipe for the past twelve years, but had not come upon it until now. Of this recipe Roberto says in his book,

"Lucero Macal, whose family is from the state of Chiapas...prepares these unusual wonderful tamales for friends as gifts and was kind enough to share her recipe with me...with a Middle Eastern influence on Mexican cuisine on full display"

And it did not disappoint. The tamales are steamed in banana leaves which are toasted over the open flame of my gas stove. Each Tamale is wrapped with the most flavorful Masa, and filled with a wonderful blend of chicken made ahead with the most interesting spices and chiles. The tamales are then steamed for an hour in a steamer on the stove. The presentation was beautiful and, as Roberto says, upon opening each banana leaf (note: although we manage banana allergies, the leaf is fine as it is not ingested) it as if there's a little present inside. In this case, this recipe resulted in a large gem - the fabulous tamale recipe itself. That evening everyone was in the clean plate club. Even our child!

The Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa is delicious as well as quick and easy to prepare. I had the opportunity to speak with Roberto last weekend at his Brooklyn restaurant FONDA ([...]) in Park Slope, and he highly recommends that I try the recipe for Strawberry Tamales next. The pages are loaded with beautiful color photographs by Todd Coleman (Saveur Magazine) whose photographs range from pictures of Tortilleria's in Mexico to wonderful staged photographs of the Hibiscus Margarita. Roberto's narrative is full of stories from his youth in Mexico City, as well as his search for the flavors of Mexico while in culinary school in Paris. This is a fantastic book for everyone, those who have had experience cooking Mexican, as well as those who have never cooked it before.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Jam-packed with information and creativity! UPDATED 3/3/13 29 Dec. 2012
By I Do the Speed Limit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very personable and information-loaded cook book. I picked it up from my library and it's got so much good information in it, I've decided to order my own copy. Hey, I even got up the courage to make tamales for the first time this Christmas! It would not have happened without the coaching and teaching I got from this author's approach to Mexican cooking.

Not only does this cook book go into depth on tacos, tortas (Mexican sandwiches) and tamales, it also does a great job covering salsas, sauces, and beverages. It pairs the Mexican names with their English translations, so this is also a great handbook to cart with you to your Mexican market.

These are not "quick and easy" recipes, but on the other hand, they are not recipes with long cooking times and longer ingredient lists. (Okay, the tamales will take some time.) For instance, you will be using smaller cuts of boneless pork shoulder, instead of big bone-in pork roasts. You won't find any recipes for beef cheeks or whole pig or cauldron-size stews. They are just very nice manageable recipes. And, if you want to learn to make tamales, you will come away from this book with the knowledge and confidence to make them.

UPDATE 3/3/13: I finally received my own copy from Amazon, (I guess there was a batch of books with the cover put on upside down that needed to be replaced.), and I made the recipe for carnitas from this book. It intrigued me because it is made with Coke. Fair warning: It calls for 5 teaspoons of salt. I used half that and it still came out saltier than we like it. Also, it cooks in a 450 degree oven, so make sure the handles and knobs on your dutch oven can take the heat. Recipes calling for dutch ovens don't normally call for such high heat. The knob on my Le Creuset pot lid cracked. Other than that, the recipe was spot-on and I will make it again--in another pot and with a scant two teaspoons of salt to start with, as I know I can always add a bit more later. Do not overextend the cooking time: At 450 degrees there is no grace period.

A real plus for a person like me who has quite an extensive cook book collection: There are also some interesting combinations of ingredients; some combinations that gave me pause, and excited me enough to insist that my husband (and cooking partner) take a look at this or that recipe. I love to braise bone-in cuts of pork shoulder, but I've been losing interest in my same-old, same-old techniques and ingredient lists. This cook book has got my creative juices flowing (swiftly) again!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Taco Time 13 Nov. 2012
By AlexO - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have no idea why there were bad reviews for this cookbook. Can't win them all, right?

This book is excellent! The recipes are straightforward, clear, and easy to follow. Kudos to the writer. I've tried numerous recipes and they've all turned out perfect. Who knew I would like cactus tacos?! Much love to the photographer, too. The pictures really pop off the page.

All together 5 stars.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Great recipes for entertaining 14 Nov. 2012
By D. Archer-Rosenthal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have used this cookbook, as well as Roberto Santibanez and JJ Goode's first collaboration Truly Mexican, to plan menus for several very successful dinner parties. The recipes are bursting with flavor and the possibilities for combining different meats and sauces are endless. Although the ingredient lists can look daunting, if you can your hands on some jalapeños, garlic and lots of onions, you are most of the way there and the preparation isnquite simple. From this book, I made the potato and chorizo taco filling and the carnitas. Both were extremely easy and incredibly well received. Can't wait to try some more recipes.
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