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Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor Paperback – August 25, 2009


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Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor + Mexican Made Easy: Everyday Ingredients, Extraordinary Flavor + Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; Original edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307451100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307451101
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Book Description
Growing up in Mexico, Marcela Valladolid rejoiced in the complex moles, dozens of different chiles, and homemade tortillas that graced her family’s dinner table. Going to school across the border in San Diego, and later to cooking school in Paris, she found plenty to love in the markets, quickly folding new ingredients into her repertoire. She also encountered some curious foods masquerading as authentic Mexican: cheddar cheese-stuffed quesadillas, tortilla chips drowning in still more cheese, and the ubiquitous everything-but-the-kitchen-sink overstuffed burritos. Where were the authentic, easy-to-prepare Mexican recipes she grew up with? The brightly flavored seafood ceviches bursting with freshness? The simple, slender burritos filled with nothing more than intensely flavorful braised meat and blistered chiles? The healthy salsas that come together in minutes but can transform a meal?

In her vivacious, fresh voice, Marcela aims to invigorate America’s taste for real Mexican food--dishes that can be accomplished on any busy weeknight but that still express the authentic flavors of her native cuisine. Her food is much like her, Mexican but influenced by other cultures. You’ll find recipes for Tilapia Ceviche; Butternut Squash-Chipotle Bisque; Roasted Pork Loin with Pineapple Glaze; Ancho-Chocolate Braised Short Ribs; and Fresh Guava Layer Cake.

Inspired ideas, helpful cooking techniques, and ingredient substitutions make this the most accessible, appealing, and contemporary Mexican cookbook you’ll find today. In addition, fast recipes and dishes that are low in fat are called out with easy-to-find symbols. With more than a hundred delicious recipes and beautiful color photography throughout, Fresh Mexico introduces a new generation of Americans to the vibrant flavors of modern Mexico.


From Fresh Mexico: Game Hens in Apricot, Tequila, and California Chile Sauce

This recipe is one of my favorites ever. It comes from my aunt Marcela, a chef who inspired me to enter the magical world of the culinary arts. We not only share the same name and the same career, we also agree that sweet and spicy is one of the best combinations when preparing Mexican food. Store-bought apricot preserves, used here, work well; just be sure to buy the best you can find. A kitchen syringe is a useful tool for injecting the hens with a flavorful mixture of broth, butter, and tequila. The result is a moist and succulent dish. --Marcela Valladolid

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons golden tequila
  • Two 2-pound Cornish game hens, thawed if frozen
  • 3 California chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh apricot halves, for garnish

(Serves four)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Mix 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, the melted butter, and 2 tablespoons of the tequila in a small glass bowl. Using a kitchen syringe, inject the mixture all over the hens, about 1/2 inch deep into the flesh. (If the butter in the mixture solidifies, warm it in a microwave.)

Put the chiles and 2 cups of the broth in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the chiles. Then transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the chile mixture into a small bowl, pressing on the sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard whatever is left in the sieve.

Mix 1/4 cup of the preserves and 1/4 cup of the chile mixture in a medium bowl. Season heavily with salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the hens, working some of it between the skin and the breast. Put the hens on a rack in a large roasting pan. Add the remaining ½ cup broth to the roasting pan.

Roast, basting with the pan drippings every 20 minutes, for 1 hour, or until a thermometer inserted into a thigh registers 160 F. Add more broth if the juices begin to dry out.

Transfer the hens to a platter. Strain the pan juices into a medium saucepan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons tequila, 1/4 cup apricot preserves, and chile mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the hens, garnish the platter with fresh apricot halves, and serve.


From Publishers Weekly

Positing that many Americans associate Mexican cuisine with shiny globs of orange cheese, Valladolid sets out to offer a broader, more diverse and healthier vision of south-of-the-border cooking. The Tijuana-born, Ritz-Escoffier–educated Valladolid is a young mother as well as a culinary television personality. As such, she values weeknight recipes that can be produced with a minimum of fuss and a few good flavors. Though ValladolidÖs mission is to educate readers of the world beyond Old El Paso taco kits, she distinguishes herself from authenticity-focused Mexican cookbook authors such as Diana Kennedy, allowing for looser, creative interpretations that befit contemporary eaters: osso bucco with lime zest and chilis; mascarpone-stuffed squash blossoms with raspberry vinaigrette; and the decadent Mexican cake, pastel de tres leches, made with Italian meringue as a substitute for the traditional raw egg whites. Using ingredients that are readily found in the U.S., her creations are reliable and at times wonderfully simple, like a bright slaw of jicama, arbol chilis and uncooked beets with toasted sesame oil, or baked cod with anchovies, lime and a few kalamata olives and capers thrown in for good measure. Home cooks will appreciate ValladolidÖs enthusiastic yet straightforward approach. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

MARCELA VALLADOLID is the host of Discovery Travel and Living's Relatos con Sabor (Stories with Flavor), which airs in every Latin American country and on Discovery Familia in the United States. Raised in Tijuana, Mexico, she attended the Los Angeles Culinary Institute and later the Ritz-Escoffier Cooking School in Paris. A former recipe editor/tester at Bon Appétit magazine, she became widely known after appearing as a contestant on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. She and her young son divide their time between Tijuana and San Diego.

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Customer Reviews

The recipes are easy to follow, yet very authentic.
Leticia
First, I LOVE Marcela's new show on the food network, so I had to go out and get her cookbook.
ca
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook and loves Mexican recipes.
Faith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By j.s. on August 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
I spied this book online a few months ago and was eager for its release (today, 8/25/09). Of course, I bought my copy this morning and immediately went to the grocery store for ingredients!

To my delight, these recipes seem authentic without being completely impossible. For example, the author calls for Mexican Ibarra chocolate in her mole sauce...but explains that you can substitute semisweet chocolate with 2 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and a little almond extract. These "tips" and substitutions are great because sometimes the grocery store doesn't have a wide variety of foreign foods.

While some of these recipes seem authentic, there are also some delicious looking "fusion" recipes. I am especially excited for the pine nut and pomegranite juice brittle (think Mexican trail mix) and cheese-stuffed jalapenos in puff pastry. Yumm!

The book itself is very beautiful to look at. The bright hues look great against the colorful pictures and savory recipes. There are appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, sides, salsas, and desserts.

This book is so outstanding because it isn't simply enchilada and flan recipes. We've seen those before! While there are some traditional recipes, there are many exciting "fusion" ideas too. I love the emphasis on FRESH ingredients (as the title hints) and easy to find items.

Recommended to fans of Mexican cuisine and those looking to transform their traditional recipes into something healthful, innovative, and delicious.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Barthbill on September 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We checked this out from the library, with the idea of copying a few recipes.

HA!

After the first three or four recipes, we knew we had to buy the book.

However, my wife had to copy one recipe so we could have it that night. She couldn't wait for the book to come.

It came, and so far, everything we have made from it is terrific and healthy. Many of her recipes are replacing our favorite recipes from way back.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Valdes on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got the book today and I skimmed over the recipies. I am not only in LOVE with the book but also an absolute fan of Chef Marcela. I truly love the fact that these are easy, straight-to-the-point- and simple to follow recipies. In addition, being Mexican, I am able to identify the authenticity and innovation in each and every single page of the book. These are traditional recipies "with a modern kick". I can't wait to try every recepie in the book! This is a MUST HAVE in your book shelf!!!!!!!!! Way to go Chelis!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G. Funcke on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
I LOVED this book!!! I am mexican and it has so many taditional authentic recipes that I grew up eating at my home as well as many original innovative recipes that look so delicious, I have read every single recipe and they are so easy to follow and to make. I have also had the opportunity to try Chef Marcela's food at parties she has catered in the past and it is VERY GOOD!!! I am so glad she shared all these wonderful recipes!!! If you want authentic mexican taste that is easy to make!!! BUY FRESH MEXICO!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Romero on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Many of my friends are talking about this new book and I got to say that they are right...this is certainly a wonderful cookbook!!

The recipes are written so clearly, step-by-step, they are practical and Chef Marcela provides additional helpful hints, substitutions and recommendations that I'm willing to give them a try even when I'm a stranger to the kitchen! Creamed rajas, avocado soup, can wait! I'm all inspired!!

I also enjoyed the additional information provided regarding Mexican food (i.e. there is no yellow cheese in real Mexican food!), culinary experiences growing up between Tiuana and San Diego, and professional pictures!

This cookbook is definitely a great addition to any kitchen open to experience fabulous Mexican food!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Funcke on August 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is by far the best Authentic Mexican Recipes cookbook I've ever come across; it has been a Joy to read and to cook the recipes. And I should know...my family has been collecting cookbooks for generations. I love the combination of the very classic food and fusion recipes. The photos are appealing, the variety is very good, the recipes are step by step. I have recommended this book to friends and family and plan to give it as gifts (perfect gift for a Holiday occasion)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Judy A. Bernstein on August 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for a cook book just like this. If you love south of the border cuisine, but wish for recipes on the lighter side and easy to prepare, this is a perfect cookbook. The recipes are simple fresh ingredients readily available and if not, she conveniently provides subsitutes. The pictures are beautiful and very helpful for an amateur like me.

Today I'm going to try the cold avocado soup, game hens with apricot and tequila and the guava layer cake with cream cheese frosting! Beautiful cook.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan W. Shepard on November 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The recipes are easy to follow, the ingredients easy to find and the results are delicious-and my family usually not fans of Mexican food.
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