Mexican chef and New York restaurateur, Zarela has very decided and exacting ideas about food. She came late to the cuisine of coastal Veracruz, thinking it too touristy and modern for her taste. But she has come to love the place and opens her book with a culinary driving tour of the region, discussing terrain, local ingredients and the best restaurants. The recipes make plentiful use of seafood, various chilies, corn, beans, tomatoes, citrus and avocado.
From Almond Soup to Shrimp Salad to Totonac-Style Beans with Pumpkin Seeds to Shredded Chicken in Blackberry Liqueur Sauce, Zarela insists on fresh herbs, painstaking preparations and the finest ingredients (which she often laments of finding in the U.S.). Dishes range from simple to elaborate (more time-consuming than complicated); the photographs of the region and the food are beautiful, and Zarela's directions are clear. This is Mexican food at its finest.
If you think Mexican cooking is all refried beans and tacos, think again. This book will introduce you to the coastal cuisine of Veracruz, where Spanish, Caribbean, and Mediterranean influences all can be found. A long introduction to the region, cooking, and people of Veracruz precede the recipes, which include everything from appetizers and small plates to dessets, beverages, rice and of course seafood and meat.
Some dishes are simplicity themselves, such as the wonderful Peppered Shrimp. Others are much more involved and complicated, such as the Stuffed Boned Chicken Legs. Still, if you are truly interested in learning about a wonderful and often overlooked cuisine, there is no better Mexican cookbook I've found yet that contained so many delicious and different recipes. Highly recommended.
Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I love my Zarelas cook book! It was a surprise because it is beautiful, has a ton of onformation of the region, AND has awesome pictures. 5 Stars for this book. You wont be dissapointed!
I had experienced a ceviche that had been made by a fellow from Veracruz - that got me hooked on wanting to know more about food from Veracruz. I bought this book immediately to learn more about the cuisine and why it was so different from any other Mexican food I have had. This book offered me all I wanted - history and recipes consolidated in one well-written book.