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4.0 out of 5 stars Mexican food!
Cruz and Fordham run Benito's Hat, a chain of Mexican restaurants in London which aims to serve up authentic, modern Mexican food.

This approach translates to the book. It feels AMAZINGLY authentic. This due to more than the use of the occasional vegetable I've never heard of (chayote, since you ask). The book is littered with little boxes explaining various...
Published 28 days ago by William Axtell

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3.0 out of 5 stars OK book
After a trip to mexico I wanted to carry on eating that lovely food so I broughy this book. Its OK.
Published 9 months ago by Teval Stephens


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4.0 out of 5 stars Mexican food!, 7 Jun. 2015
Cruz and Fordham run Benito's Hat, a chain of Mexican restaurants in London which aims to serve up authentic, modern Mexican food.

This approach translates to the book. It feels AMAZINGLY authentic. This due to more than the use of the occasional vegetable I've never heard of (chayote, since you ask). The book is littered with little boxes explaining various ingredients' relevance to Mexican cuisine and each recipe has a little story attached to it, shedding light either on the history of the dish or the life of Cruz, the head chef.

The recipes themselves feel authentic. They feel timeless and unfussy, enduring classics, while there's a certain rugged, rustic quality to them too. The soups are chunky and the refried beans are mashed, as opposed to blitzed with some modern gadget which would looked laughably anachronistic in a Zorro movie.

The book is beautifully presented. Achingly so. The cover is a riot of green, magenta and gold and every pages is a different colour. The photography is fabulous, setting the food off with a careful selection of side dishes and Mexican-style tableware.

It's a perfect size, a little smaller and squarer than most recipe books, meaning it sits beautifully in the hand.

I would have to criticise the book on the number and complexity of its recipes. At under 150 pages and with plenty of photographs, it is hardly extensive. There is only one burrito and one quesadilla recipe and no recipes for red or green rice.

The recipes tend to be on the simple side. To call it bish-bash-bosh cooking would be unfair, particularly as Mexican food veers that way anyhow, but some of the dishes really did not require vast imagination to construct.

That said, they are still lovely and some of the spice mixes required skill to conceive.

To road test the book, I tried three recipes. I made scrambled eggs with chorizo, a chicken quesadilla and an oatmeal and cinnamon "drink" (this served very nicely as an evening meal!).

First, some caveats. I had to adapt all the recipes slightly to suit my specific purposes. I used taleggio for the eggs, because I was out of cheddar, used quorn instead of chicken for the quesadilla because I couldn't afford well-looked after chicken and used honey instead of agave syrup for the drink because I didn't want to shell out for a bottle of sweet stuff I was unlikely ever to use again. Oh, and I forgot to put garlic in my quesadilla's marinade.

However, if there is one thing the friendly style of the book's prose encourages it's a flexible attitude to ingredients so I don't feel too bad. Besides, quorn is awesome.

The recipes worked out great. Each one was full of flavour and deeply comforting. Nothing required a fire extinguisher to the mouth yet compromised nothing in terms of taste, especially the wonderful marinade for the chicken quorn.

Real Mexican Food is a lovely book. Authentic, attractive and friendly, it is a great guide to a fabulous world cuisine. However, the book could have done with more recipes to make it truly great.

Overall * * * * - A good introduction into Mexican cooking but not without a couple of flaws.

Presentation * * * * * - Absolutely fantastic photography, design and prose style.

Quality of Recipes * * * * - Delicious and comforting, the recipes work well in the kitchen and feel extremely authentic.

Range of Recipes * * * - The book covers most of the basics but is hardly a thorough and rigorous examination of Mexican food. Could have been longer and some of the recipes were really quite simple.

Price * * * * - At £18.99 RRP I don't feel cheated but neither to I feel like I found a bargain. A fair price.

Will I Take This Off The Shelf To Cook From? - Yes.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Cooking, 3 Oct. 2012
Some nice and simple Mexican recipes that don't take an age to prep and cook. Also looks great on my bookshelf!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 24 Aug. 2013
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Lovely book, great dishes with delicious ingredients... Really nice photos. I would buy this again. Good book buy for foodies!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Some great recipes here - this book really did help take ..., 4 May 2015
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Some great recipes here - this book really did help take my skill in cooking mexican cuisine to the next level. Does contain a fair few recipes with hard-to-find ingredients, which I can hardly use against it but if you don't live in a big city you may struggle to get everything you need. The roasted salsa recipe is insane, and is worth the price of the book alone. The book is also wonderfully presented.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great starter book, 23 Mar. 2014
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Cute design - But the selection is totally thinking outside of the normal bounds of Mexican. Really offers something different
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK book, 8 Oct. 2014
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After a trip to mexico I wanted to carry on eating that lovely food so I broughy this book. Its OK.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is a nicely presented book, 26 Aug. 2014
This is a nicely presented book, but that's about as far as it goes.

I bought it because i wanted to expand my Mexican repertoire, but the recipes here are for fairly common fodder which anyone even half-familiar with Mexican cuisine would be able to cook without a recipe.

It might be useful for someone coming to home-cooked Mexican food for the first time. For anyone else, it's far too basic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Nov. 2014
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Very good!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Dec. 2014
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Real food
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 6 Sept. 2014
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good book
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Real Mexican Food: Authentic Recipes for Burritos, Tacos, Salsas and More
Real Mexican Food: Authentic Recipes for Burritos, Tacos, Salsas and More by Felipe Fuentes Cruz (Hardcover - 30 Sept. 2012)
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