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Hugo Ortega's Street Food of Mexico Hardcover – September 1, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hugo Ortega was born in Mexico City. He graduated from Houston Community College's Culinary Arts program in November 1992 and assumed the role of chef at Backstreet Cafe; he became executive chef in 1995. He has made two guest-chef appearances at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. In 1999, he was named Up-and-Coming Chef of the Year, by My Table magazine; and a top chef by Inside Houston magazine. He is a member of the national organization Chefs Collaborative 2000. Hugo's was named Restaurant of the Year by both the Houston Press and My Table magazines. In 2011, Ortega was named Chef of the Year at the prestigious Houston Culinary Awards. Penny de los Santos is an award winning internationally published photographer. She began photographing as a way to understand her own diverse cultural background and identity. She is senior contributing photographer to Saveur magazine and a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine. In addition to photographing cookbooks, she has been on assignment to Martha Stewart Living, Time magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Mother Jones, Texas Monthly, and many other periodicals.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bright Sky Press (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936474735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936474738
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hugo Ortega's book is the type that makes one rethink doing everything on an electronic device. It needs to be held to be truly enjoyed. There is much to appreciate. The scope of the offerings is staggering, and all the more helpful because Ortega's love of his country's cuisine is evident on every page. He did his homework, seemingly traveling the length and breadth of Mexico to get at the soul of its street food offerings. Penny de Los Santos' photography is stunning, producing pictures that are worthy of being framed and hung. The overall effect is, to put it simply, sensuous. Everything I saw I wanted to make, and I have started working my way through it's recipes.

Not everything is new, especially for those who are familiar with the cusine and its preparation methods, but there are new treats and twists aplenty to keep Mexican food veterans interested; two immediately come to mind. First is "Guisado de cazuela de chicharron", literally pork skin stew. The chicharron, which I happened to have just purchased at a local tienda, is immersed in a beef and tomatillo broth, using the familiar onion, chile and garlic for aromatic punch. Spice additives included cumin, oregano and a bit of ground clove, which added an interesting note. The chicharron softens in the dish, and develops a texture I happen to love, akin to the tendon commonly found in Vietnamese Pho.

The second dish is "Tacos de transito de lujo." Just a taco, you say? Yep, but made with deboned pig's feet panfried in egg batter. Using deboned trotters is the "lujo" or luxury, in the dish's name. You can have them deboned by your butcher, or braise or boil them briefly with aromatics to soften them up, and then debone them yourself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love the book. You can see that there was some time put into making this a very comprehensive cookbook. There are detailed definitions of ingredients. As I went through it, I could see this was not like other Mexican cookbooks. There is a soul and presence of Mexico in every recipe and picture. You can tell that these recipes were not just made up to fill a page but have been passed down for many generations. I plan on cooking everything.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely love the enormous amounts of true Mexican recipes in this book! EVERYTHING you could possibly wish to find is here- even Mexican 'torta' bread recipes. The author has shared a culinary treasure trove of recipes! The only negative I can add, which is something I read in other reviews, is the strong 'chemical' odor emanating from the book. This of course has nothing to do with the author's contribution to this work. I hope AMAZON can contact the publishers or suppliers about this very annoying problem. (Amazon are you listening?) However, for once I can say, because of the amazing worth of the recipes alone, I am willing to let it pass- no way I'm returning this book! I highly recommend it! Others, however, may not be so forgiving.

I posted the above review and had to come back to edit. After spending the evening pouring through the book, I found that the abnoxious odor pretty much disappeared after airing it out whilst reading. It would be a great service to the publishing house's readers to do something about the problem, but I am editing my review because I don't think anyone should miss out on owning this book because of the noted problem with the odor. It does seem to dissipate after a while. At least that has been my experience with it.
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Format: Hardcover
I got this book because I have been in his Hugo's restaurant in Houston several times, and every time it's been a delight.
His book reflects that, mmm just by writing this review I'm getting hungry.
I fully recommend this book as a true Mexican Food and not just an American interpretation of it.
Tasty, Tasty, Tasty!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story of Hugo Ortega is a rags to riches one that most people dream of. Hugo began working at Backstreet Cafe.

This is one of the best and most inventive restaurants in Houston. My husband and I are big fans of both BC and Hugo's. I recently ordered this book because we are such fans. The recipes are awesome. I can't wait to try them!

Looking these up on line, I found that they now have five restaurants. One is Italian and another is an oyster bar. We are planning a trip to Houston very soon and plan to eat at one of them again. We may eat at several!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My family and I love this book. We've made several meals, and each time we are amazed at the flavors. This book for us, gave us a whole new look at Mexican cuisine!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love his food at Hugo's so thought I would get this. Very authentic mexican food but just wish they could put some of the recipe list online here.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful cookbook!! I have already given it to several friends. TThe recipes that we have tried have been absolutely fantastic.
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