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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good recipes, good supplementary Mexican cookbook, not a first reference
I view this book as a complement to Bayless's other books: once you are comfortable with Mexican cuisine, this book is a big help when you want to show off your skills for a crowd. He and his wife Deann (co-authur of the book) deal with the logistics of centering a party with various Mexican themes, from a "Luxury Guacamole Bar Cocktail Party for 12" to a "Classic Mexican...
Published on July 5, 2010 by Chris Hennes

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7 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for the Average Joe
There were a couple of things in the book that I was thinking, "really!". I believe that the intent was to give a plethora of ideas for enjoying close friends. I wasn't very impressed with the tequilla tasting (that was one of the "really!" moments I had). Also, I felt this book was not for the average Joe. It appeared to be geared towards someone who had more time to...
Published on August 16, 2010 by Robin P.


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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good recipes, good supplementary Mexican cookbook, not a first reference, July 5, 2010
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This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
I view this book as a complement to Bayless's other books: once you are comfortable with Mexican cuisine, this book is a big help when you want to show off your skills for a crowd. He and his wife Deann (co-authur of the book) deal with the logistics of centering a party with various Mexican themes, from a "Luxury Guacamole Bar Cocktail Party for 12" to a "Classic Mexican Mole Fiesta for 24." Included are drink recipes, salsas, guacamoles (the roasted garlic and orange guacamole in particular is excellent), as well as many main dishes and desserts. Included are a surprising number of vegetarian options, important so that those guests don't feel left out of the party. The recipes also scale down well, if you aren't feeding 100 guests. Winners are the enfrijoladas, the guacamoles (not your typical guacs, these!), the Cochito Chiapaneco (grilled pork roast), the Tacos de Arrachera al Carbón, and his twist on Enchiladas Suizas. I didn't care for the Queso Fundido al Tequila, but so far most of the recipes have ranged from pretty good to great.

If you are looking for an introduction to Mexican cooking from a beginner's standpoint, I'd suggest either "Mexico One Plate At A Time" (by Bayless), or "The Art of Mexican Cooking" by Diana Kennedy. Either of those will provide you with the solid fundamentals that you need before you can get the most out of Fiesta at Rick's.

Pros:
* Detailed party-planning timelines
* Mostly good to excellent recipes
* Easy to follow and understand instructions

Cons:
* A few "clunkers" in the recipes
* Not a good Mexican cooking intro: the recipes make more sense if you are already familiar with Mexican cooking
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Mexican food you will like this book, July 9, 2010
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This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
Rick has a way to pick his dishes, and to describe them in an appealing way, with clear instructions. I'm biased, sure, I love Mexican food, and I love cooking. Still, having cooked out of dozens of cookbooks I can recommend Rick's books. This one addresses parties, cooking for larger groups of people, in a way that helps you organize the cooking work (which is an art in itself), the selection of the dishes and drinks, and the actual cooking. You'll not over-commit to too complex dishes, or run out of time - your guests arriving with your mole still cooking.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes as always... assuming you're cooking for a crowd, July 4, 2011
This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
I own every other Rick Bayless cookbook. The first one I bought in the 80s flops open to several recipes, and the pages are honored by many food stains. Even if you don't watch his PBS TV shows, Bayless is an absolutely reliable cookbook author, with understandable instructions, educational explanations, and yummy recipes. Best of all, he is accurate: If he says something will cook in 12 minutes or so, then you can be pretty sure it'll really be done by then.

Fiesta at Rick's is, however, a *party* book, and I wasn't sure if I really needed to add it to my collection. I usually cook for two, occasionally four or six. Some of the recipes in Fiesta are for _25_, such as a posole party. Even though I had a big party coming up (10 people at a holiday pool party, with a menu which we had declared would be Make Your Own Tacos) I wasn't sure I *had* to have this. In such circumstances I turned to my Book Triage, usually relegated to authors of less certain adoration: I went to the library. (My rule is that if I cook three things from a library book and still want to cook more, I may permit myself to buy the book. This has saved me from several unfortunate purchases.)

The bottom line: I'm almost certain to buy a copy of Fiesta.

Granted, I've only made a couple of the recipes here. As it turns out, most of the tacos I made came from Mexico One Plate At A Time, doubled up, (and the zucchini tacos, from that cookbook, were the biggest hit). I used Fiesta for the recipe for the roasted tomatillo salsa and for the grilled garlic and orange guacamole, which earned a few Wows. (Bayless says the latter serves 8-10 as a nibble; I set it alongside the other salsas, and there were no leftovers.)

Still: Bayless makes me want to make more of these recipes. And I really *should* entertain more...

Besides, not EVERYthing here is meant to serve 25. Plenty of the recipes are meant for a gathering of, say, 6-10 people, usually in combination with other dishes, such as Mexican Paella for Six or "Almost Oaxacan" Grilled Tostadas with Chorizo, Tangy Guacmole, and Fresh Cheese (serves 6-8, and doesn't sound bad as leftovers either). I suppose I can scale back some recipes, too, such as the many wonderful guac variations (toasted almond guac with apricots, bacon-and-tomato guac).

For the most part, you can do your shopping at a well-equipped regular grocery store, though I am glad to have a Mexican grocery three miles away (especially for really fresh tortillas and pasillas at 99 cents a pound).

I also appreciate the relatively high proportion of vegetarian dishes included in Fiesta, such as Plaintain-stuffed Chipotle Chiles in Escabeche or the taco filling Fresh Cheese in Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (which was a finalist for my menu). "Relatively," mind you, because Mexican cooking is fairly meat heavy. However if your guest list includes a spice wimp, Fiesta won't help much. It's not that everything is hot-spicy, but I don't think there's anything to appeal to the White Bread member of your family.

If you're new to Rick Bayless' cookbooks, I'd recommend that you start with another one only because you'll get to make more of the recipes. (Unless you are big on entertaining, in which case I think you should invite me to the Summertime Seafood Cocktail Party for 12.) However, if you have the smallest intention to put on a party -- such as a Thanksgiving mole party for 24 -- you won't go wrong with Fiesta.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book, July 14, 2010
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This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
This is a great cookbook with a unique spin. Each section is broken up into an outline for a party from appetizers to main course, including group size and even a suggested playlist. If you want to throw your own Fiesta but arent certain where to start this is definitely the book for you.

Beyond the party blue print there are some great recipes in here. My wife's family is from Mexico and these recipes are very similar to the traditional recipes they use, the main difference is he provides details, something that has been very difficult to get with the traditional recipes. My mother in law did not measure anything using a measuring cup.

Finally the photography and printing in the book are excellent beautiful photographs of nearly every dish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Viva la Fiesta at Rick's!, August 8, 2010
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rodboomboom (St. Louis, Missouri United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
I admit that I am a Bayless fan and have all but one of his cookbooks and use them regularly when in need of inspiration to cook some great Mexian food.

Here though is a different approach in that it provides sequence of recipes and menus and drinks and music play lists and suggestions for fiesta with friends. This is unique and so useful and a well done resource. Such a variety to choose from as well, e.g. Guacamole Bar Coktail Party; Classic Mole Fiesta; Mexican Tapas Party, and my favorite so far: Street Food Party!

The photos and helpful breakouts on such as Tequilla tasting, Guacomole Basics are truly well done and useful. This guy is expert and can provide all kinds of insights and tidbits to make fiesta so great!

So far tried Roasted Beet Salad with Red Onion, Poblano and Lime; Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas with Creamy Tomatillo Sauce and Melted Cheese; Grilled Rack of Lamb with Honey-Pasilla Glaze; Flaky Turnovers with VArious Fillings; Blueberry-Tequilla Ice Creaml and Mojito Fruit Ice Pops (to which I added some coconut rum).
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LIFE IS GOOD WITH THESE RECIPES, August 20, 2010
This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
"Fiesta" is certainly a well chosen word to be included in the title of Rick Bayless's 7th cookbook because each recipe is a delicious celebration of food. Not only is the food the tastiest but with FIESTA AT RICK'S one finds joy in the preparation and most especially in sharing with friends.. Many of us who know how ebullient Rick is on television may be pleasantly surprised to find that this same joie de vivre and encouragement come across on the printed page.

Offered as a companion to the sixth season of Rick's PBS series, "Mexico - One Plate At A Time," this photographed filled volume presents 150 new recipes ranging from"Guacamoles, Nibbles, and Libations" to "Sweet Inspirations from Street Stalls, Bakeries and Ice Cream Shops" (do not, I repeat do not miss the White Chocolate - Mezcal Ice Cream found on page 310 - a little bit of heaven on earth!)

Whether you're cooking for yourself and a significant other or for a party of 20 Rick is a trustworthy guide, offering full menus and easy to understand day or two before the big event suggestions. For instance, since Fall is not too far away he suggests a Classic Mexican Mole Fiesta for 24. Your friends won't soon forget this get-together beginning with a Mexican "Cruidite" Platter with Chamoy Dipping Sauce followed by Lacquered Chicken in Classic Red Mole along with Sweet Plantains, Steaming Corn Tortillas and finishing with "Cafe de Olla" Flan. Yes, you can do this thanks to Rick's Fiesta Game Plan that includes equipment, a timeline (clearly explained day by day), serving strategy, and embellishments. It's a no-fail plan for a never to be forgotten Fiesta. Rick is a wonder at making preparations not only easy but fun.

What is my favorite recipe in FIESTA AT RICK'S? Impossible to say because each is so different treating us to varying taste sensations.

Next time I'm in Chicago my first stop will be the Frontera Grill owned and operated by Rick and his wife, Deann. Until then I've been having my first tastes of Frontera foods (FronteraKitchens.com). We started with Frontera Guacamole Mix - fresh tasting, just spicy enough with hints of tomatillo, garlic, green chile, and cilantro - unbelievably good! We made enough for 18 people and four of us devoured it in under an hour. So easy - simply mash ripe avocados and add mix - presto perfection!

Following that we tried Frontera Roasted Vegetable Soup - only 80 calories, no cholesterol - rich with tomato, corn, pepper, onion, zucchini. Yes, yes I know the directions say "Just heat & serve." However, since it's summer in Texas we served it chilled topped with dollops of sour cream and loved it. Know it will be yummy and warming when cold weather comes.

FIESTA AT RICK'S is a much appreciated book at our house, and Frontera foods are much enjoyed.

- Gail Cooke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book today!, December 30, 2010
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This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
I received a copy of Fiesta at Rick's as a Christmas present, and was salivating uncontrollably (drooling)from the moment I started reading it. I made the first meal tonight, Tuna in Escebeche and Tacos al Pastor. Everyone in my family came back for seconds!

Take them as a menu for a party, or approach them one at a time, the recipes are sure to please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Awesome Bayless Book!, September 5, 2010
This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
Just finished doing the dishes after a great meal cooked from recipes in this book! Looking forward to cooking more tasty dinners for family and friends. Even the "going all out" menus are simplified with a timeline to help you pull it all off without breaking a sweat. But not everything has to be used for huge gatherings. There's plenty here for everyone!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic from Rick Baless, July 26, 2010
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This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
Fiesta at Rick's explores multiple themes in Mexican cooking with multiple recipes organized to be used together for entertaining. In classic Bayless fashion, each recipe has an introduction explaining the dish, with its inspiration and ideas on when to make the recipe. Each section is concluded with an outline of how to throw a fiesta with menu, drink ideas and sound track inspiration.
Fiesta at Rick's explores variations on Guacamole, Mexican inspired cocktails and ice cream/gelato/sorbets much more than in previous books along with sections on taco fillings, seafood appetizers and a great section on wood fired cooking.
Great addition to Rick's collection of cookbooks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really good basic Mexican cooking, May 6, 2014
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This review is from: Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends (Hardcover)
This is a go to book for people who would like to present a yummie Mexican meal or who want to introduce this style of cooking into their everyday repertoire. A LOT of Mexican cooking is quite healthy, light, grilled meats, veggies, citrus sauces, rolled in a corn tortilla...so good! He truly has gotten things down to what he calls the nut & bolts of good Mexican cooking with a minimal amount of time. Great choice for any level of experience, I grew up with Mexican food (my Mom) and I found some really delicious recipes that I can't wait to serve.
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Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends
Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends by Rick Bayless (Hardcover - July 5, 2010)
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