The Essential Cuisines of Mexico

A Cookbook

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Paperback
$32.00 US
On sale Oct 20, 2009 | 544 Pages | 978-0-307-58772-5
Combining her three bestselling and classic books--The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book-- in one volume, Diana Kennedy has refreshed the classics and added more than thirty new recipes from different regions of Mexico.

More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy first published The Cuisines of Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy. But change was in the air. Home cooks were turning to Julia Child for an introduction to French cuisine and to Marcella Hazan for the tastes of Italy. Through Diana Kennedy, they discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed and she became recognized as the authority on Mexican food.

Whether you turn to this book for the final word on tamales, recipes for tasty antojitos to serve with drinks, or superb tacos, you'll find there's no better teacher of Mexican food. How enviable to attempt Calzones del Diablo (yes, the Devil's Pants) for the first time, and what a pleasure to succumb to Diana's passion for Mexican food!
I am sure that this reincarnation of old friends will reach a new audience as future generations of Mexican Americans become more aware of their culinary heritage and a new wave of young chefs delves into these exciting, authentic recipes. Among them, I am sure, will be my devoted fans, to whom I am so grateful for their continued enthusiasm for my books and classes, and for their letters of appreciation, which I have carefully saved over the years. They, too, have helped preserve the spirit of these fascinating cuisines.


Guacamole
Avocado Dip

Makes about 2 1/3 cups (585 ML)

The word guacamole comes from the Nahuatl words for "avocado" (ahuacatl) and "mixture," or "concoction" (molli) -- and what a beautiful "concoction" guacamole is, pale green sparked with the cilantro's darker green and the red of the tomato. Its beauty is definitely enhanced if it is served in the molcajete in which it has been made and where it rightfully belongs. (Never, never use a blender for the avocado to turn it into one of those smooth, homogeneous messes!) If you don't possess a molcajete, then use a blender for the base ingredients and mash avocados into it.

Guacamole is usually eaten in Mexico at the beginning of a meal with a pile of hot, freshly made tortillas or with other botanas (snacks), like crisp pork skins (chicharrón) or little pieces of crispy pork (carnitas). It will also often accompany a plate of tacos. It is so delicate that it is best eaten the moment it is prepared. There are many suggestions for keeping it -- covering it airtight, leaving the pit in, and so forth -- but they will help only for a brief time; almost immediately the delicate green will darken and the fresh, wonderful flavor will be lost.

2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
4 serrano chiles, or to taste, finely chopped
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
3 large avocados (about 1 pound, 6 ounces/630 G)
4 ounces (115 G) tomatoes, finely chopped (About 2/3 Cup/165 ML)

To Serve
1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro

Grind together the onion, chiles, cilantro, and salt to a paste.

Cut the avocados into halves, remove the pits, and squeeze the flesh out of the shell and mash into the chile base to a textured consistency -- it should not be smooth. Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, adjust seasoning, and top with the remaining chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.

Serve immediately at room temperature (see note above). I do not recommend freezing.
DIANA KENNEDY has devoted almost all of her fifty years in Mexico to studying the nation’s cuisine and culture. The author of The Art of Mexican Cooking, My Mexico, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, and From My Mexican Kitchen, as well as Nothing Fancy in English and Spanish, she is considered the leading authority on Mexican food, and the government has awarded her its highest honor, the order of the Aztec Eagle. View titles by Diana Kennedy

About

Combining her three bestselling and classic books--The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book-- in one volume, Diana Kennedy has refreshed the classics and added more than thirty new recipes from different regions of Mexico.

More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy first published The Cuisines of Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy. But change was in the air. Home cooks were turning to Julia Child for an introduction to French cuisine and to Marcella Hazan for the tastes of Italy. Through Diana Kennedy, they discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed and she became recognized as the authority on Mexican food.

Whether you turn to this book for the final word on tamales, recipes for tasty antojitos to serve with drinks, or superb tacos, you'll find there's no better teacher of Mexican food. How enviable to attempt Calzones del Diablo (yes, the Devil's Pants) for the first time, and what a pleasure to succumb to Diana's passion for Mexican food!

Excerpt

I am sure that this reincarnation of old friends will reach a new audience as future generations of Mexican Americans become more aware of their culinary heritage and a new wave of young chefs delves into these exciting, authentic recipes. Among them, I am sure, will be my devoted fans, to whom I am so grateful for their continued enthusiasm for my books and classes, and for their letters of appreciation, which I have carefully saved over the years. They, too, have helped preserve the spirit of these fascinating cuisines.


Guacamole
Avocado Dip

Makes about 2 1/3 cups (585 ML)

The word guacamole comes from the Nahuatl words for "avocado" (ahuacatl) and "mixture," or "concoction" (molli) -- and what a beautiful "concoction" guacamole is, pale green sparked with the cilantro's darker green and the red of the tomato. Its beauty is definitely enhanced if it is served in the molcajete in which it has been made and where it rightfully belongs. (Never, never use a blender for the avocado to turn it into one of those smooth, homogeneous messes!) If you don't possess a molcajete, then use a blender for the base ingredients and mash avocados into it.

Guacamole is usually eaten in Mexico at the beginning of a meal with a pile of hot, freshly made tortillas or with other botanas (snacks), like crisp pork skins (chicharrón) or little pieces of crispy pork (carnitas). It will also often accompany a plate of tacos. It is so delicate that it is best eaten the moment it is prepared. There are many suggestions for keeping it -- covering it airtight, leaving the pit in, and so forth -- but they will help only for a brief time; almost immediately the delicate green will darken and the fresh, wonderful flavor will be lost.

2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
4 serrano chiles, or to taste, finely chopped
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
3 large avocados (about 1 pound, 6 ounces/630 G)
4 ounces (115 G) tomatoes, finely chopped (About 2/3 Cup/165 ML)

To Serve
1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro

Grind together the onion, chiles, cilantro, and salt to a paste.

Cut the avocados into halves, remove the pits, and squeeze the flesh out of the shell and mash into the chile base to a textured consistency -- it should not be smooth. Stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro, adjust seasoning, and top with the remaining chopped tomatoes, onion, and cilantro.

Serve immediately at room temperature (see note above). I do not recommend freezing.

Author

DIANA KENNEDY has devoted almost all of her fifty years in Mexico to studying the nation’s cuisine and culture. The author of The Art of Mexican Cooking, My Mexico, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, and From My Mexican Kitchen, as well as Nothing Fancy in English and Spanish, she is considered the leading authority on Mexican food, and the government has awarded her its highest honor, the order of the Aztec Eagle. View titles by Diana Kennedy

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