Nopalito A Mexican Kitchen Cookbook Review

Nopalito  A Mexican Kitchen Cookbook Review
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Title: Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen
Author: Gonzalo Guzmán and Stacy Adimando
Published: April 11, 2017, Ten Speed Press
No. of Pages: 256
Cover Price: $30.00 Hardcover, $15.99 Kindle



Although many cookbooks from famous restaurants are banal and include only a few recipes that anyone would actually want to make (and recipes that don’t even resemble the dishes served at the restaurants they represent), Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen, is a beautiful exception. Written by the head chef at the San Francisco restaurant, Nopalito, in collaboration with a journalist and test kitchen guru, this cookbook is incredible. None of the dishes are even close to those served at Taco Bell, Del Taco, Qdoba, Baja Fresh or other chain restaurants claiming to serve Mexican food. The dishes are mouthwatering, the photography is exceptional, and the vignettes and explanations that precede each recipe, as well as the history and facts about the areas from which the recipes come are fascinating.

Although some of the recipes take time and a bit of effort, there are also quick and easy recipes such as Ensalada de Frutas (Fruit Salad with Chile and Lime), Ensalada de Pepinos y Verdolagas (Cucumber and Purslane Salad), and Tostadas de Picadillo (Ground Beef Tostadas). Also included are recipes for homemade tortillas, as well as step-by-step instructions for making tamales (with beautiful pictures). Guzmán has included how-to on making homemade tortilla chips, tostada shells, and Mexican sandwich rolls at home. There also recipes for basics such as Mexican rice and a few versions of Mexican beans. The instructions are easy to understand and cook-friendly, whether for a beginning cook or someone with more experience.

No one will be able to resist Carne Asada con Chorizo (Grilled Steak with Chorizo), Tortas de Chilorio (Adobo-Braised Pork Sandwiches), Cemita Poblana de Milanesa (Breaded Chicken Sandwiches with Sesame Rolls), or Enchiladas Rojas de Camarón (Red Shrimp Enchiladas), which are delicious. There are also fabulous chicken enchiladas made with one of the many recipes for Mole. Since there were banana leaves in the freezer, Trucha Adobada en Hoja de Plátano (Adobo-Rubbed Trout in Banana Leaves) was a fairly quick dish I prepared for my family; there were no leftovers.

Yes, there are recipes for tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and other ubiquitous Mexican dishes in this excellent cookbook, but absolutely nothing that resembles those 20-minute weeknight Americanized versions. In fact, the dishes are so dissimilar, you’ll think you are eating a new and exotic cuisine while sitting on a Mexican beach.

Wow! Anyone who loves real Mexican food will immediately want to pick up this cookbook and start cooking. It will occupy a hallowed place on the cookbook shelf and be used until the pages are dog-eared and worn.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.





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