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annachan

Latin American cookbooks/references

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I'm been interested in Latin American cooking lately. This has been prompted by watching Rick Bayless and enjoying a variety of really good food from the street food scene. I want to pick up several solid cookbooks and maybe some good books about ingredients. I'm more interested in traditional recipes/cooking methods. I'm a pretty good cook but I am new to cooking this type of food at home.

I like to have books that include the following:

*Cooking meats like al pastor, carne asada, carnitas, etc.

*Soups and stews

*Different types moles, salsas and other sauces

*Empanadas

*Pupusas

*Tamales - love to learn the different types

*Alfajores

Thanks! :raz:

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Diana Kennedy's "Cuisines of Mexico" is a classic if it's still in print. She is the Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine and has written a few cookbooks. Look her up at ecookbooks.com. Also you might search on South America while you are at ecookbooks.


'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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Diana Kennedy's "Cuisines of Mexico" is a classic if it's still in print. She is the Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine and has written a few cookbooks. Look her up at ecookbooks.com. Also you might search on South America while you are at ecookbooks.

Thanks!

It see several cookbooks by her on ecookbooks. I do have a question about her book, "Essential Cuisines: Revised and Updated Throughout." The description said "Diana has combined her three classic books in one volume...." Any idea what are the 3 books mentioned? I get don't want to end up getting books that are duplicates.

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I've been happy with Rodriguez' Latin Ladles. His handling of tripe is something I use regularly.

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If you don't have any of her books I would get the one that combines her three classics, then you won't have any duplicates. I'm not sure what the other two are.


'A person's integrity is never more tested than when he has power over a voiceless creature.' A C Grayling.

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The Essential Cuisines of Mexico combines The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book, and Mexican Regional Cooking.

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"Essentials" includes the cookbooks as noted by Sally-chan upthread. However, DKs The Art of Mexican Cooking is probably the best bet. It was her second book and is very, very good. Diana Kennedy's recipe structure is very solid (i.e. the recipes work) and I've not had very many failures from any of her books. The Cuisines of Mexico was recently reissued. If possible I would suggest checking them out at a bookstore or library first before buying to see if they've what you're actually looking for.

Most Rick Bayless cookbooks are also pretty good. For a beginning with Mexican cuisine, Salsas That Cook is a good choice. What I like about this cookbook is that the first chapter is 8 essential salsa recipes all scaled for different yields and with suitable chile substitutions. The remainder of the cookbook is 50 recipes using the 8 essential salsas. What this does is introduce you to the techniques and flavors via the salsas, and then gives you doable recipes using the salsa.

Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz did a Mexican cookbook and a South American cookbook, both of which are good. Other good Mexican cookbooks would be Zarela Martinez's Veracruz, Susan Trilling's Seasons of my Heart, tho' both of those tend to be more regional.

Norman Van Aken did a New World cookbook based on the cuisines of the Carribbean and South America.

I recently picked up a cookbook called Dulceby Rodriguez's pastry chef. Flavor profiles are great, but the recipes could use a little work.

I've got tons of Mexican and Latin American cookbooks at home, I'll look on my shelf tonight after work.

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This is great! I just back from the library with two of Diana Kennedy's books: Nothing Fancy and From My Mexican Kitchen, Techniques and Ingredients. I should be able to pick up her Cuisines of Mexico book in a couple of weeks.


Edited by robirdstx (log)

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I think I'm going to browse the books at some bookstores tomorrow. I hope to be able to check out some of Kennedy's book.

Since Rick Bayless also has several books, anyone know if there are any overlap in them? The Salsas That Cook book sounds right up what I'm looking for.

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Spirit of the Earth: Native Cooking from Latin America by Beverly Cox & Martin Jacobs. An attempt at authentic recipes for food throughout Latin America, not just Mexico. I've cooked a few recipes, and they were delicious. The ingredients can be hard to find, e.g., unusual chiles or herbs, although Cox gives some substitutions in the recipes, or suggestions under Ingredients at the back of the book. I find myself substituting ingredients quite a bit. The results can be worth the extra effort. I've made some great, unusual dishes from this cookbook, like a Bolivian Squash Chowder. Now out of print, but available through Amazon or Abebooks

http://www.abebooks.com/.

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Since Rick Bayless also has several books, anyone know if there are any overlap in them? The Salsas That Cook book sounds right up what I'm looking for.

Yes, there is some overlap but each one has a different style and their recipes will generally yield similar yet distinctively different results.

I find RB recipes to be somewhat sweeter in taste than DKs. Structurally, their recipes are both pretty solid and work consistently. The only exception being RBs current new book Fiestas at Ricks in which I don't think the same attentino has been paid to recipe testing as in his earlier cookbooks. Either one will give you good results. I think Rick's recipes are a bit easier to do and a little less complicated, tho' I prefer the flavor profiles I get from Diana's recipes

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