- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Brdbk edition (July 31, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607743167
- ISBN-13: 978-1607743163
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 163 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Mexican Slow Cooker: Recipes for Mole, Enchiladas, Carnitas, Chile Verde Pork, and More Favorites Paperback – July 31, 2012
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About the Author
DEBORAH SCHNEIDER is the executive chef/partner of SOL Cocina in Newport Beach, CA, and was dubbed “the reigning queen of San Diego chefs” by Bon Appétit. She is the author of the James Beard-nominated Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta; Amor y Tacos; ¡Baja! Cooking on the Edge, which was one of Food & Wine’s Best of the Best of 2006; and is the co-author of Williams-Sonoma’s Essentials of Latin Cooking.
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This book is a completely different sort of slow cooker book than some cooks will be used to: some of the recipes require some prep work (at a minimum, the chili peppers need to be roasted, peeled, and chopped), and many of the recipes require 4-6 hours of cooking. Sometimes there are ingredients to add in the last hour of cooking. A few reviewers have complained that the time factor for these steps defeats the purpose of the slow cooker. Each cook will need to judge that issue for himself or herself, but my view is that the use of fresh ingredients and a few extra steps such as browning the meat and roasting the peppers for maximum flavor bring authentic and delicious results. The prep work can be done the night before if time is short. The author suggests using a programmable cooker too, so that after 6 hours of cooking on low, it will automatically move to a "warm" setting. This seems like a good compromise for cooks who need to be away all day; you can still come home to a fine Mexican meal that is kept at serving temperature.
There are 17 soup recipes in this book, and they are all worth making. Nearly all of them require at least 6 hours of cook time and little preparation. A few recipes in the book require up to 10 hours, such as the Lentil Soup with Longaniza sausage (p. 25). I loved the Pork Ribs in Chipotle-Tomatillo Salsa (p. 44), which also needs 6 hours and requires only 6 ingredients. It has no prep work at all; everything goes in at once, and the ribs are tender with a wonderful sauce.
Some reviewers felt that the inclusion of a few salsa, taco, and burrito recipes that don't use the slow cooker was not necessary. I am grateful to see them there, because the variety of salsas and other "extras," as well as the suggestions for dishes that pair well with the slow-cooked ones, enhance the whole experience of a Mexican meal.
For cooks who really can't get over the fact that some recipes require only 4 hours of cooking, I'd say why not make them on the week-end? You can still plan to leave the cooker on while you go out. With this book, you won't risk overcooking meats and sauces, and you will use fresh ingredients. There are no indications for hotness level in the recipes (apart from a brief mention occasionally), so cooks may need to adapt them to their own taste. For me, the recommended amounts are generally moderately hot--fine for me, but if I made them for guests, I would adjust them downward a bit.
This is a book packed with information, helpful hints about slow cooking, and extra suggestions for variations on each recipe. The results are full of deep flavor and present a broad sample of Mexican meals for which the slow cooker can be a great help.
Oddly enough, her pinto beans recipe is the one that impressed me the most. I've always treated beans like something that had to be embellished with all kinds of other veggies, herbs, and spices to taste good. Her recipe is just pinto beans and two simple extra ingredients...and they were the best bowl of pintos I've ever eaten. The refried beans I made from them were equally delicious.
I will say that I'd steer clear of the rice recipes. Rice cooked in a slow cooker (at least in my failed experience) is time consuming and doesn't turn out well. I like my rice to have that fluffy, restaurant style texture which can be tricky when you use brown rice like i do. (Protip: parboil it, drain, and then bake covered in 325F oven)
Overall, I've mainly focused my cooked on the Street Food and Basics chapters so I can't speak to the Soups, Mains, or Desserts, but I'm so glad I bought this cookbook and can't wait to explore it further. My only regret is that I bought the Kindle edition instead of the hard copy.
Most recent customer reviews
The book was complete as it gave information on all the pantry spices, etc. needed, beautiful pictures of the final product, and clear instructions.Read more
I bought this because it was being used by a member of our weekly Taco Night.Read more