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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Mexican Cooking from Scratch for Non-Mexicans, 15 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This book is the best Mexican cook book on the market. If you seriously love Mexican cooking, this cook book is absolutely essential.
I first discovered Diana Kennedy from a friend who was also seriously addicted to good Mexican food in 1973. I immediately bought a copy of her first book, The Cuisines of Mexico, and authentic Mexican food began to appear in my kitchen. Mexican food is the only food I make, other than something that can go directly into the microwave. Believe me, if I can get good results with this cook book, you'll be a regular Julia Child by comparison.
In fact, Diana Kennedy is a lot like Julia Child in many ways. Ms. Kennedy is an American who came to live in Mexico after she married a New York Times foreign correspondent. There, she learned Mexican food from the local people. Her book is full of beautiful tales about how people prepare and enjoy each dish. For years, she has offered cooking instruction, so she knows the kinds of things that people need to learn. For example, the book contains general information about what kind of equipment you need, basic descriptions of the various ingredients (which can get pretty complicated with the various chilies), and how to handle various ingredients for advance preparation (something I always do), storage, and freezing (something that always happens because I make so much).
The reason I say that this is the book to have is because this book contains the essential material from her three earlier cook books (The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book, and Mexican Regional Cooking) updated and improved. She has added more basic information and included 33 new recipes not in the originals (such as pico de gallo with peaches from the state of Mexico, rice with sea food from Veracruz, chicken in corn fungus sauce, many snacks from cantinas in Merida and Yucatan, and barbecued chicken from Chiapa).
Concerned about how healthy your Mexican food is? By making it from scratch, you can leave out the pork lard that makes it so tasty, and substitute some healthy vegetable oil instead. Or you can broil rather than fry. You get the idea. It won't be authentic, but it will taste a lot better than most of the other healthy food you eat. Most of the wonderful flavor actually comes from the vegetables and seasonings rather than the oils.
The book is broken out into the following sections: appetizers; Masa (corn meal) fantasies; tortillas and tortilla dishes; tamales; soups; soup stews; beans, rice, and pasta; egg dishes; light meals; salads; vegetables; sauces and relishes; meats; pork; beef; assorted meats; poultry; seafood; sweet yeast breads; desserts and cookies; drinks (included Craig Claiborne's favorite, Sangrita); and general information.
After you have finished enjoying this book, I suggest that you make a Cinco de Mayo dinner or party an annual event. I always like to have Mexican food for my birthday, as well.
Be sure to also get her new book, From My Mexican Kitchen which explains about essential ingredients.
Vaya con Dios!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 28 Dec 2013
This review is from: Essential Cuisines of Mexico: Revised and Updated Throughout, with More Than 30 New Recipes (Paperback)
As a beginner cook I find this excellent. Not only is it clear without being fussy, the lack of photos relieves the pressure somewhat and make you concentrate on taste more than looks. I've managed to cook some of the more complicated recipes without too much stress and I have trouble with cheese on toast. The only drawback in the UK is getting some of the ingredients.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An authentic mexican cookbook., 24 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Essential Cuisines of Mexico: Revised and Updated Throughout, with More Than 30 New Recipes (Paperback)
This cookbook holds all the classic mexican dishes. Its not Texmex and it contains no photos, its like the oldfashioned cookbooks our grandmothers had - its simply authentic mexican recipes at its best!
Diana Kennedy has also written "The art of mexican cooking" which gives a thoroughly introduction into the mexican cuisine, and I would recomend you to get that tittle as well. How ever the "Essential cuisines of Mexico" has more recipes.
If you really want to know how to cook true mexican food, then get them both. If you are serious about it then you wont regret it. But beware that outside of Mexico the ingredients can be difficult to obtain. And you do need to get the correct ingridients if you want to get a real authentic food experience! =)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mexican recipe book, 23 Aug 2010
By 
Mr. P. J. Wood "N Wood" (Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essential Cuisines of Mexico: Revised and Updated Throughout, with More Than 30 New Recipes (Paperback)
I bought this for my husband for christmas and i must say, it is a brilliant book. There are lots of recipes from the very basic to quite complex and probably every mexican dish you would ever wish to cook. The recipes are simple and straight forward to follow. The only reason i have not given it 5 stars is because i do like to see some pictures of the food in the recipes book, to see what i am aiming for and unfortunatly this book does not have this. When i was originally looking for a mexican cook book in the shops, i could not find one at all. I came onto amazon and found this and after reading some reviews i thought i would give it a try. I am very glad i did and i would recommend this book to anyone who is wanting a mexican cook book or is interested in trying some new recipes.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing journey through Mexico, 1 Mar 2010
By 
S. Pierce - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essential Cuisines of Mexico: Revised and Updated Throughout, with More Than 30 New Recipes (Paperback)
If you want to learn about Mexican food and cooking then you must buy this book. Diana Kennedy's writing transports you to Mexico as she takes you on journeys through time and place with a staggering collection of authentic recipes. There are no photos, but it matters little. Kennedy's writing more than makes up for it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but book, full of the essence of Mexico - no pictures., 14 Feb 2014
By 
Marc Ingvorsen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essential Cuisines of Mexico: Revised and Updated Throughout, with More Than 30 New Recipes (Paperback)
Good but book, full of the essence of Mexico - no pictures. But menu interesting flavour combos, which I enjoy trying out. Still has menu to try out. For the foodie with a need to find the real mexican cuisine I would call it a must have. Haven't found any better book yet.
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