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Mi cocina
Syndetics Unbound
Trade Reviews
Library Journal Review
Discover regional Mexican cuisine with Martínez (a food writer contributing to the New York Times and Bon Appetit) who a few years ago moved from his Texas hometown to Mazatlán, on Mexico's Pacific coast. Alongside practical recipes for home cooks, Martínez also makes a thorough study of the foodways of each of the seven regions of Mexican cuisine. The 14 salsa recipes that kick off the book are just the beginning; other useful features include make-ahead suggestions, menu pairings, and a primer on chili peppers. Readers will especially appreciate the travelogue of Martínez's road trip across Mexico, his reflections on authenticity and migration (his grandparents moved from northern Mexico to Texas in 1910), and his quest to bring his favorite fare to home cooks. It'll be hard to stay out of the kitchen after reading Martínez's delectable descriptions of dishes and ingredients, next to bright, seductive photography. VERDICT Martínez manages to marry pragmatic, genuine, and delicious recipes with a beautiful narrative about his journey of self-discovery; will quickly become a favorite on cookbook shelves.--Sarah Tansley
Publishers Weekly Review
A 19-month culinary quest through Mexico results in this excellent recipe collection from erstwhile Bon Appétit editor Martínez, his debut. While he highlights the country's most popular regional dishes, Martínez explains his recipes are guided, first, by his "own preferences"--which avoid labels of "authentic" (ones that, "as a public-facing cook in this industry," he admits to being "complicit" in perpetuating), yet take a practical approach to ingredients. The native and hard-to-find chilhuacle amarillo chiles in Oaxacan mole, for instance, can be substituted with guajillos. Mexican basics such as tortillas, beans, and salsas are accompanied by a flavor-profile chart of dried chiles and helpful tips (to "coax a deep... and nutty flavor" out of arroz rojo, toast the rice until it's "really browned"). Mexico City proved to be a melting pot of cuisines, and Martínez also shares recipes for the shawarma-like tacos Árabes he enjoyed in Puebla and a tamarind-infused sweet-and-sour shrimp stir-fry that nods to Chiapas's Chinese immigrants. He also serves up an impassioned defense for cooking with lard (which is lower in saturated fat than butter) and cops to a favorite recipe: pollo al pastor, his chicken rendition of the classic pork dish. This intimate look at a country's cuisine has as much spice as it does soul. (May)
Booklist Review
After growing up in Austin, Texas, and graduating from culinary school, Martínez set off on a journey to visit every one of Mexico's 32 states to discover his roots. This road trip revealed for him the diversity of Mexican cuisine: rich pork carnitas from Mexico City, tlayudas (a sort of Mexican pizza) from Oaxaca, poc chuc (citrus-grilled pork) from the Yucatán, roasted goat from Jalisco, steak tacos from Baja California. For the sweet tooth, champurrado spikes hot chocolate with masa, cinnamon, and brown sugar, preferably using chocolate from Tabasco. Martínez digs into the multicultural roots of Mexican cooking, and finds immigrants from Africa, China, the Middle East, and Canada all contributing new traditions to the native Mexican table. Martínez advocates lard as the best cooking fat to reproduce his recipes, but he suggests alternatives readily; in general, Martínez's ingredients will be easy for U.S. eaters to source. Dazzling photographs throughout feature Martínez and his beloved Labrador retriever, as well as colorful dishes brimming with savory foods.
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