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Tacos: 75 Authentic and Inspired Recipes Paperback – April 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
While one might think of the taco as a simple street snack, Miller, chef and founder of Santa Fe's Coyote Cafe, takes the Mexican favorite to a new level in this single-subject title comprising 75 recipes. Organized by protein (with additional chapters on breakfast, salsas, sides and drinks), recipes for taco fillings take center stage and are preceded by informative headnotes and paired with suggested tortillas, accompaniments and drinks; each is tagged with a handy heat level indicator. The selection of tacos range from classic (pork carnitas) to inventive (Thai shrimp) and include a good number of vegetarian options. While some might be intimidated by ingredients such as wild boar, buffalo, elk and tamarind paste, the author includes source suggestions and some substitutions. Prep times for some recipes can be up to six and a half hours and may discourage those who want to keep things fast and easy in the kitchen. Nonetheless, this well-designed title has an appealing sense of enthusiasm and authority. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“While one might think of the taco as a simple street snack, Miller, chef and founder of Santa Fe’s Coyote Café, takes the Mexican favorite to a new level in this single-subject title. . . . An appealing sense of enthusiasm and authority.”
Top customer reviews
I love to cook and prep time can be like therapy, however, there has to be a pay-off that is equal to the time spent preparing it and the expense of the ingredients. It may surprise some people but authentic Mexican food is very complex, has a lot of different ingredients, and requires a lot of prep and marinating time. Even while keeping that in mind, I found some the recipes in this book to be overly complex for what they turned out to be. First I will cover some of my favorite dishes in the book:
* Tacos Al Pastor - Even though the recipe called for 80 assorted, rehydrated chiles and 16 other ingredients, the resulting taco was very satisfying and authentic.
* Chicken with Chorizo - This was a great recipe that will become a favorite in my house. The spicy chorizo blended well with the marinated chicken.
* Lobster and Avocado - Although this is a fairly expensive dish to make, my friends and I loved the delicate combinations of lobster, mangoes and avocado (although I felt that the fresh truffle garnish was a case of gilding the lily.)
* Huevos Divorciados - I have eaten this in many a south Texan and New Mexican restaurant and was glad to finally have a recipe for making it at home. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed ALL of the breakfast recipes in this book.
Now, a few that I wasn't crazy about:
* Ceviche with Coconut and Ginger - Although I love cerviche, the textures just didn't work for me as a taco filling. Given the cost of fresh red snapper I would have rather had this dish by itself, without the tortilla.
* Cumin Scented Lamb Loin - I was really looking forward to this one, and it did taste great. However, I found a problem with the recipe. Mark Miller starts this one off by telling about the time that he spent in Morocco and the importance of cumin (which he says has a "spicy, pungent, woodsy aroma which gives meat a "gamier" or "meatier" flavor) in that country's cuisine. He goes on to mention it's importance in Tex-Mex cooking. The only problem was that, out of the 14 ingredients for the brine which is used as a marinade for the lamb, there is NO cumin. Not even a spice blend that contains some cumin. This has to be a mistake, one which I would not expect in a book like this. After making it the first time I recreated it using a Moroccan spice blend (Ras El Hanout) and chili paste (Harissa) instead of 6 other ingredients and I cut the prep time in half (and I have to admit that my friends even thought that mine was better.)
The photography, by Califonia's Ed Anderson, is some of the best that I have seen in quite a while. I have grown so weary of seeing photographers overuse the "very-shallow-depth-of-field" technique. Having been trained in the use of large-format view cameras I appreciate a photographer who understands all of the different methods of manipulating the range of focus. The photographs here are not only technically correct but also beautifully designed. Good food photography is expensive and I love that this book is packed with enticing, delicious looking pictures. I will be looking for some of Mr. Anderson's other work and I will put him on my short-list of favorite food photographers.
All in all I enjoyed this cookbook and will be using it often, although some of the recipes seem more appropriate for a high-end, South-West restaurant than for most homes. I will reserve the fancier ones for entertaining.
Most recent customer reviews
HIGHLY ENJOYABLE AND FUN READING.
I AM VERY HAPPY WITH MY BOOKS.
THEY ALSO INCREASED MY KNOWLEDGE OF MEXICAN COOKING!!!