I am not the biggest fan of Mexican food. Or should I say – American-style Mexican food. Regular salsa doesn’t seem to have a lot of flavor dimension – just hot, hotter, and taste doesn’t really matter hot – and everything is loaded down with heavy sauces. And don’t forget about the gut-bomb/inevitable post-meal regret you experience after going crazy on the chips, cheese, and beans. If I do eat it, I’m looking for the fruit/cucumber style salsa, something that’s grilled, and guacamole. My daughter asked for guacamole for Christmas a few years ago. We’re serious about guac, but for the rest…..I’ll opt for Thai takeout.
This cookbook is not that kind of Mexican.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised this week. First, the book is by Rick Bayless, arguably one of the best chefs around, let alone Mexican cuisine specialists. He’s the winner of Top Chef Masters. And he’s a hard-core yogi. (Tidbit from the book!) I’ve had this book for about 3 years and have used it primarily for guacamole and for Cinco de Mayo inspiration. Since it’s the first week of May, this was the book of the week! Rather that just subject my family alone to my 99 cookbooks project, we invited neighbors over for a feast to thank them for feeding us when our kitchen was gutted. That meal was one of the few food highlights I had this past winter, so I was ready to show my gratitude.
Home Cooked Beans
Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf
Avocado-Mango Salad with Fresh Cheese and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa
Guacamole Three Ways
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Tangy Yucatecan Spices and Seasonal Vegetables
Chorizo, Potato, and Mushroom Tacos
Smoky Pork Tinga Tacos with Avocado and Fresh Cheese
Tomatillo-Sauced Enchiladas with Spinach and Mushrooms
Pineapple Skillet Upside Down Cake