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The Art of Mexican Cooking Hardcover – October 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553057065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553057065
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The intrepid Kennedy ( The Cuisines of Mexico ) here gives us an excellent new collection of traditional Mexican recipes and keenly observed culinary habits, crisscrossing her adopted country with the zeal of Sir Francis Drake. From a Yucatan fisherman she gathers regional secrets for preparing an octopus dish, and a recipe for steamed cactus is surrendered by a bus driver. Celebrating the increasing availability of Mexican ingredients in North America, and aiming "to perfect things," Kennedy has modified recipes from previous books for partisans of "honest, authentic food," urging us to process tamale dough from dried corn and grind it at home. Plucking a chicken or stuffing blood sausage may be too much for the faint-hearted, but accessible dishes are presented in abundance (e.g., Mexican masa ball soup). Kennedy's labor of love and scholarship belongs in the home library as a chronicle of culinary culture, regardless of whether or not cooks decide to turn their kitchens into cantinas. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Kennedy, a widely respected authority on Mexican cooking, devotes her latest book to the country's traditional popular foods. She presents unquestionably authentic recipes for these regional specialties, supplying background material and careful preparation notes for each; there are whole chapters devoted to corn and "the pig," as well as invaluable descriptions of chiles and unfamiliar ingredients. Inexperienced cooks may find some of the recipes daunting, but anyone with an interest in Mexican cuisine will be fascinated.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Diana Southwood Kennedy went to Mexico in 1957 to marry Paul P. Kennedy, the foreign correspondent for the New York Times. In 1969, at the suggestion of Craig Claiborne, she began teaching Mexican cooking classes and in 1972 published her first cookbook. She has been decorated with the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor bestowed on foreigners by the Mexican government. She lives much of the year in her ecological adobe house in Michoacan, Mexico, which also serves as a research center for Mexican cuisine.

Customer Reviews

The dish is well worth the time and effort.
Gary Lemons
For anyone from beginners to savvy connoisseurs of Mexican food, this book will provide an excellent reference of staple Mexican dishes.
ScrappyJane
She is the best when it comes to true Mexican cooking.
Candice Valencia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By "f-n-c" on November 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is not a book for beginning cooks. Most of the recipes are arduously complicated, but I've been using it for years with great results. I use Mexico the Beautiful more because it's a little more realistic in terms of how long one is willing to spend making a "simple" dish.
Mrs. Kennedy reminds me a lot of Rose Bernbaum of The Cake Bible in slavish dedication to detail.
Apart from the time required to make some of these dishes, they are indeed quite authentic. I've lived in Mexico for years and all my Mexican friends enjoy these recipes. If you're serious about graduating from Taco Bell sludge, get this book. It will make an expert out of you.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Evon Z. Vogt on April 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My idea of heaven is a meal with savory black beans, fresh tortillas, a couple of chile rellenos in a tomato/garlic/cinnamon broth, finished off by a curdy sweet flan for dessert. Diana Kennedy steps you through the processes of each dish, and adds all the little touches to get it JUST right! Some will dispute my choices, I suppose, and prefer a turkey breast and thighs in a chile/ chocolate mole sauce, or maybe the traditional September treat of chiles en nogada (ground pork inside freshly roasted green chiles, covered with a white walnut sauce, sprinkled with persimmon seeds). She has all the recipes, they're all great.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As the title implies, this cookbook is for "Aficionados" of Mexican food. This is serious Mexican food (you won't find combo platters here). Every one of Diana Kennedy's recipes that I have tried have turned out wonderfully. If you want authentic Mexican, this is the only book you'll need.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Candice Valencia on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Diana Kennedy's books. She is the best when it comes to true Mexican cooking. Her books capture the aromas, textures and tradition that are essential part of Mexican cooking. I love that she tells the background of the cook the recipe comes from and how she went about gettting the recipe. Many of these recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and have never even been written down. I am so thankful that the passion of this woman has allowed her to embark of the daunting task of gathering, translating and publishing these recipes because I think that without it many would die off.

I am an American woman who married a Mexican man from Michoacan. Diana Kennedy's books have been a lifesaver!!!! Cooking is such an integral part of the women's lives in my husband's family and they have been fortunate enough to grow up learning from their Mexican mothers these techniques. I on the other hand learned nothing about Mexican cooking techniques growing up and Diana Kennedy's books have filled in many of the gaps of knowledge I had about certain dishes. I have wowed my Mexican in-laws repeatedly with the authenticity of my dishes. Thank you, Diana!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Hamilton on July 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For my money, no other Mexican cookbook (printed in English) that I have seen beats Diana Kennedy's 'The Art of Mexican Cooking'. I closely peruse any and all that I find, which have been many. Kennedy is precise in her explanations, leading the reader through very flavorful and deeply authentic dishes that have always proven to be a success for me. Consequently, my guests and I are always thrilled with "Mex Night" at our place.

Be advised that there are no fabulous color finished dish photos here designed to charm and seduce you into buying the author's book (see Bayless for that), but there are some useful black & white photos of some of the preparation steps. I have not found the lack of finished dish photos in this book to be problematic. Also, this is literally a cookbook, more an instruction of Mexican cooking technique and many great core recipes that make up the heart of the style. The creativity in how the elements are utilized and presented are left up to you.

One should be prepared to spend some time in the kitchen for authentic Mexican cuisine. There's no escaping it. Although Kennedy also offers short cuts, good things from scratch often take time, more so when the ingredients are so humble as these. Apart from some of the salsas, these dishes will not "throw together" in 15 minutes (beginning to end), so I prep some parts one or two days before the meal. If you're into Mexican food on a regular basis, what works for me is to prepare "parts" regularly to keep in the fridge which can be thrown together in different ways to create various dishes at any time.

I've cooked professionally for many years. That said, I previously (and ignorantly) dabbled in Mexican (Tex-Mex, really) food only at home, using no recipes for some time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Lemons on August 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have not made many of Kennedy's recipes but I did make "Pollo en Mole Verde" for my Mexican wife and Mexican father-in-law from Toluca, Mexico. They both couldn't believe how good my mole was and how authentic it was. They loved it. I take no credit as Diane Kennedy's recipe is so well writen. The dish is well worth the time and effort.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By G. Galloway on August 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have owned this book for several years. Some ingredients are hard to find but can be adapted. Everyone loves the chorizo rice recipe when I make it for work and my kids love the mexican rice recipe. My husband loves all of them. I enjoy the introductions about the recipe and where she found it. Out of the many cookbooks I have, this one is often used.
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