Now you're cooking!
Cooking resources at your library, kitchen suggestions and tips, and more.
Mexican fast food places seem to be almost everywhere. Mexican food is much more than what you find in such eateries. There are quite a few good cookbooks on the subject, many of which are in the Jackson County Library system.
Almost every form of ethnic cuisine has at least one author who is considered the authority of that style of cooking. For Mexican cuisine, that author is Diana Kennedy. She has written 9 books on the subject. If you want to learn to cook superb Mexican food, hers are the first books you should consider. The Essential cuisines of Mexico is the one you must read. What makes this book special is that it is a compilation of her three books that are considered classics: The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book.
From my Mexican kitchen: techniques and ingredients is Kennedy’s book that is best suited for novices, although those who are familiar with cooking Mexican will also find it useful. As is true with many of the best ethnic cuisine books, My Mexico is as much a celebration of her experiences in the country as it is a cook’s resource.
Rick Bayless is another American chef whose specialty is Mexican cooking. He has a TV series on PBS. His Mexico one plate at a time is a companion book to his PBS series of the same name. Rick Bayless's Mexican kitchen and Fiesta at Rick's are also worthwhile. Those who want to make great Mexican food without spending a lot of time doing it should consider his More Mexican everyday.
In previous entries on this blog, I have sung the praises of America’s Test Kitchen and for good reason. They have published The Best Mexican recipes and, as is true with all of their books I’ve read, it is great for cooks of all levels of expertise.
Enchiladas are a staple of Mexican restaurants. Often, they are good but not memorable. If you want enchiladas that are noteworthy, Enchilada Queen cookbook by Sylvia Casares is for you. I can almost guarantee that there are some enchiladas in this book that you’ve never tried.
Kitchen tip: One mistake often made when preparing asparagus is cutting the stem so that some of the woody part at the bottom remains with the stalk. To remedy that, don’t use a knife. The asparagus will “tell you” where the break should be. Hold the stalk with both hands a couple of inches from the bottom and snap it in two. The woody part will break off, leaving you with the edible part of the stalk.