on 27 July 1999
During our last trip to Mexico my wife and I ate in the author's San Cristobal restaurant, La Casa del Pan. We are not vegetarians, but we do try to eat meatless meals fairly frequently. We loved the food and immediately bought several copies of the cookbook to share with friends. We also enjoyed meeting the owner/author, who is a musician as well, and frequently hosts informal musical evenings at the restaurant.
Few Mexicans are vegetarian (at least not by choice--sadly many Mexicans can seldom afford to eat meat) and most Mexican cookbooks are heavily meat-oriented, even though many recipes are easily adapted to meatless cooking. Mexican cooking can also be high in fat, although the heavy dishes Americans often think of are NOT the everyday fare for most Mexicans, but are instead special occasion dishes.
Nigh's cookbook gives wonderful meat-free takes on some traditional recipes, and also includes innovative Mexican-influenced creations of her own.
Some recipes are vegan, or could easily be made so, but many include milk products and/or eggs. While a few recipes in this book are definitely not for those on a low-fat diet, most are very healthful.
Although it makes not pretend to be a historical treatise, the book does contain interesting historical information about Mexican ingredients and culinary history, including commentary on such things as amaranth, which was banned by the Spanish conquerors because it had religious significance to the Aztecs.
The recipes are clear and easy to follow. Every recipe I have tried has turned out very well. I have found the salad and dessert sections especially interesting, but the soups and main courses are quite fine, too.
My only complaint is that the book is so short. I would love more recipes like this. However, given the book's modest price, I think it is an excellent investment for anyone interesting in Mexican cooking, whether they are vegetarian or not.
on 2 December 2015
Book has just arrived so I haven't yet had a chance to cook anything from it, although all the recipes, of which there appear to be many, sound very authentic.
There are however absolutely no photos of the recipes. If you are a cook that likes to see a photo of what the dish should look like then this book may not be for you.
I'm not sure why the physical dimensions of the book matter - it isn't your normal size Nigella or Delia book, but it still has the normal features on each recipe - A short description/background to the recipe, the actual ingredients and the steps to cook the dish.