Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Preferred Mexican Cookbooks


lindag

Recommended Posts

I own one of the cookbooks put out by Rick Bayless and one by Diana Kennedy....but my long term go-to cookbook is Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking, 1967.  I've owned the paperback since 1967, which predates my interest in cooking by a few decades.   

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

We live in hope. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the full line of Bayless/Kennedy books and they're certainly fine.

 

These 2 are also (the one on the right is from 1965, the one on the left, mid 80s)...

 

image.thumb.jpeg.4306d8fa1c57237e08926f169f6e4fe4.jpeg

 

This one is quite a bit newer (2015)...

 

IMG_7924.thumb.jpeg.c33df795cdd0d5f395af3cca2efbd050.jpeg

Edited by weinoo (log)
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with and own books from Kennedy, Bayless, Lambert-Ortiz.   But when I'm looking for a fast and simple recipe, I grab either Ortho or, gasp, Betty Crocker enhanced paperbacks.    Basic and on target flavors without stress or time consuming shopping or prep.

  736981631_ScreenShot2022-10-13at11_22_54AM.png.3ebdadfc18171483b977c99f93db4036.png1988578595_ScreenShot2022-10-13at11_24_37AM.png.f544c1750f16ff90530a6e89eb19b51f.png

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

eGullet member #80.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a shelfie from my Mexican collection.  I have more on Kindle. 

2139944B-F48C-4B77-A42F-5ABB2EC9E423_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.b75e947e50b5f0a6b9f31c350f9b4260.jpeg

If I were going to recommend a single Mexican cookbook to learn from, I think it would be Roberto Santibañez's Truly Mexican.  It's co-authored by JJ Goode (@jogoode, when he was posting here) who's written books with a number of chefs and seems to deliver solid recipes while maintaining the voices of his chef co-authors.  It's from 2011, so not a brand new title, but has held up well.  Excellent introduction with tables of fresh and dried chiles and descriptions of other ingredients.   Recipes are clearly written and easy to follow with helpful header and side notes.  It doesn't have photos of everything but quite a few.  I often use his recipes as a sense-check when I'm cooking from another book.  I believe it's still in print but used copies are also readily available for a modest price.

 

Others that I like, in no particular order. 

The older Diana Kennedy books are classics, but like most older cookbooks, they don't have much in the way of photos. My Mexico just has an inset of ~ 5 or so pages, mostly capturing scenes from the country, plants, people cooking or selling food. One can learn a lot from her books but they don't really draw me in and make me want to cook.

Her Oaxaca al Gusto is lavishly illustrated, though most show ingredients rather than dishes.  It's a beautiful coffee-table gift book but not great for cooking.  Lots of very specific Oaxacan ingredients that are difficult to source. The index is by region only, not by recipe name or ingredients, making it challenging to find a recipe, even when you know what you're looking for. 

The Bayless books are very accessible and the recipes are reliable.  More Mexican Everyday starts out with 3 or 4 basic sauces that you can use throughout the book.  No deep dive into unusual regional cuisines but very easy to cook from.  I believe we have "Cooking from..." topics on a few of them.  He has lots of YouTube videos your friend could check out. 

Mi Cocina is the newest in that collection and Rick Martinez writes it with the zeal of a born-again Mexican.  He grew up in Texas, eating mostly American-ized food and wrote this book after taking a deep dive into Mexican cuisines during a 1 year trip around the country.  It gives a nice sampling of regional cooking without being overly exhaustive about it. He also has a lot of YouTube videos available.  

As the title says, My Sweet Mexico is a book about sweets and could be good if your friend is a dessert fiend.  Candies, pastries, breads, beverages, ice creams, paletas, etc. It's by Fany Gerson, who also wrote Paletas, a great little cookbook on Mexican popsicles and ices. 

Nopalito is one of my absolute favorites.  Author and chef Gonzalo Guzmán, whose restaurant is in the Bay Area, grew up in a small town in Mexico where he learned all the old, traditional methods that had already been replaced in the big cities. He brings an appreciation for that tradition to his cookbook. I've cooked a lot from this book, thoroughly enjoyed the interesting flavors and return to it regularly.

Amá is Los Angeles restaurant chef Josef Centeno's book of the traditional Tex-Mex recipes he grew up with in Texas.  Every recipe has a story about the aunt, uncle, grandparent or other relative whose cooking inspired it.  I've cooked a lot from this one and enjoyed everything.  Grandma Alice's chorizo is fabulous and the Amá spice blend is something I always keep on hand. Not actually Mexican but really a great cookbook so I wanted to include it. 

Both of the last 2, being restaurant books, include cocktail recipes.  I've made them all and enjoyed them!

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

Here's a shelfie from my Mexican collection.  I have more on Kindle. 

What a great overview of Mexican cookbooks.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had success with any Rick Bayless recipe I've tried, so I definitely second (and third, etc) that recommendation. I have tried a couple of recipes from Rick Martinez's Mi Cocina and enjoyed those - many others on my list to try. Finally, Diana Kennedy's Heart of Mexican Cooking has been a patient teacher in helping me learn some basics, with many, many more excellent sounding recipes I have yet to try.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just have to add this little ramble of thoughts here…. I have many of the books listed above and they all make me happy, but the book that makes me the happiest to peruse is one that my grandparents gave to my mom, and eventually, she to me.  They lived in a small mining town in Arizona (where I was born, BTW) that has long since been at the bottom of a huge open pit copper mine. This book is a fairly tiny one, with a 1958 copyright.

 

13047CF4-D4BD-457B-BE3B-9918ED607985.thumb.jpeg.82aead6488df006cd81d23208c4af2c5.jpeg

 

The recipes were my childhood taste memories, which were passed on to my kiddos…. As things should be  💕

 

B17D8579-A115-4963-AB84-59D7590D6557.thumb.jpeg.196b0617395e8053dec2735165d0e8aa.jpegF19D0652-07F4-4F93-9B3F-552FDE6C4929.thumb.jpeg.5f143dc9de11e18c71538f9ad49deeb9.jpegED01E1A0-F93C-43D9-B23D-E4F6FED93DCE.thumb.jpeg.dc731b448798b1cb2c487faf35dfd30a.jpegEA7F43D1-3AB8-4DC9-8E0B-9A86EBD80B10.thumb.jpeg.7b9eb1fa623c23881f1d862852ec59f8.jpegBAB1843A-2685-4169-9CA6-ECB79EC6CFAA.thumb.jpeg.8a152d88ca85f2a8ce6a0a75bfc51b25.jpeg

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1

"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, BetD said:

I just have to add this little ramble of thoughts here…. I have many of the books listed above and they all make me happy, but the book that makes me the happiest to peruse is one that my grandparents gave to my mom, and eventually, she to me.  They lived in a small mining town in Arizona (where I was born, BTW) that has long since been at the bottom of a huge open pit copper mine. This book is a fairly tiny one, with a 1958 copyright.

 

13047CF4-D4BD-457B-BE3B-9918ED607985.thumb.jpeg.82aead6488df006cd81d23208c4af2c5.jpeg

 

The recipes were my childhood taste memories, which were passed on to my kiddos…. As things should be  💕

 

B17D8579-A115-4963-AB84-59D7590D6557.thumb.jpeg.196b0617395e8053dec2735165d0e8aa.jpegF19D0652-07F4-4F93-9B3F-552FDE6C4929.thumb.jpeg.5f143dc9de11e18c71538f9ad49deeb9.jpegED01E1A0-F93C-43D9-B23D-E4F6FED93DCE.thumb.jpeg.dc731b448798b1cb2c487faf35dfd30a.jpegEA7F43D1-3AB8-4DC9-8E0B-9A86EBD80B10.thumb.jpeg.7b9eb1fa623c23881f1d862852ec59f8.jpegBAB1843A-2685-4169-9CA6-ECB79EC6CFAA.thumb.jpeg.8a152d88ca85f2a8ce6a0a75bfc51b25.jpeg

 

2 hours ago, BetD said:

This is all the stuff that lives in the book  

 

 

ABE6E9B2-C94C-4C40-BD83-5E47ECF89C55.thumb.jpeg.c2874667f6382aac3ae2af7d75d21478.jpeg

 

That book looks like a treasure on several levels. Thanks for posting about it! Makes me want to look for it in the used book sales sites, but that wouldn't help with the family heirloom recipe cards.

  • Like 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, BetD said:

This is all the stuff that lives in the book  

 

 

ABE6E9B2-C94C-4C40-BD83-5E47ECF89C55.thumb.jpeg.c2874667f6382aac3ae2af7d75d21478.jpeg

 

I know next to nothing about Mexican food or cooking (way to much c@rn!), but that book is a delightful treasure. What a cookbook should be!

  • Like 1

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

"No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot"
Mark Twain

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@BetD, add me to the list of those captivated by your book. At the risk of going off-topic, I have a plaid BH&G cookbook that belonged to a friend and coworker who passed away quite some time ago. It is positively crammed with old LA Times food section clippings and most special of all, hand written recipes from other coworkers that I can recognize from their handwriting alone and others whose dishes I have fond memories of. Going through them is kinda like a virtual potluck with old friends!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one has mentioned "The Taste of Mexico" by Patricia Quintana. I've had this book many years and have no memory of how or when I got it. It's lovely. A large elegant book organized by region, it has expensive paper and beautiful photography. Curous, I checked Amazon and it sells for a whopping $65. However it appears there are lots of used copies floating around at very reasonable prices on eBay, Abe's, etc., many hovering at $10 or so. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Katie Meadow said:

No one has mentioned "The Taste of Mexico" by Patricia Quintana. I've had this book many years and have no memory of how or when I got it. It's lovely. A large elegant book organized by region, it has expensive paper and beautiful photography. Curous, I checked Amazon and it sells for a whopping $65. However it appears there are lots of used copies floating around at very reasonable prices on eBay, Abe's, etc., many hovering at $10 or so. 


I have never seen the book but for anyone interested there were a few recipes of hers on StarChefs that I had saved to my google drive over the years (I like to save recipes for inspiration).  Was going to link to them but they appear to be gone, fun stuff like a Hibiscus flower mole with lobster. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...