AMÁ - A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen Cookbook Review

AMÁ - A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen Cookbook Review

Title: Ama: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen
Author: Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock,
Published: October 1, 2019, Chronicle Books
No. of Pages: 272
Cover Price: $29.95 Hardcover, $9.99 Kindle

AMÁ: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock is not your typical Mexican cookbook where the authors profess that their recipes are authentic. In fact, Centeno says, “The only thing authentic about Tex-Mex is that it isn’t authentic: It evolves and adapts.” That’s one of the reasons that this cookbook will appeal to almost everyone and make it possible for them to prepare fabulous Tex-Mex dishes at home. In addition, the author includes vignettes of his childhood and family memories, which make the book and recipes interesting. In fact, this is one cookbook that is fun to just sit down and read, even if one isn’t cooking.

Joseph Centeno owns Bar AMÁ (along with some other restaurants), a popular Tex-Mex restaurant located in Los Angeles. Centeno’s upbringing and the food prepared by family members, especially grandmothers, are the main influences on his cooking and the food served at his restaurant. His family also owned several Mexican markets, so ingredients were at his fingertips. He has used the ingredients to advantage in the recipes. For most of us that means a trip to a special grocery, but it is well-worth the trip.

This excellent cookbook includes mouthwatering recipes, which are beautifully photographed, and make it difficult to decide what to make. There is an excellent recipe for homemade flour tortillas, with step-by-step photos to insure that ours will turn out perfectly at home. The chapters are a bit different than standard cookbooks, and include Larder (pickled foods, condiments and basics), Tex-Mex Breakfast (Migas, Huevos Rancheros, etc.), Super Nacho Hour (what else? Nachos, some very unique, but all incredible), and Dulces and Desserts (Cookies, cakes, and other sweets), to name a few.

The recipes are written so that anyone can easily follow them; some have long lists of ingredients, but others are quick and easy for busy cooks. Several call for special ingredients, so hopefully readers of this cookbook have a Mexican grocery nearby. This is one cookbook everyone who loves Tex-Mex food will love. It will keep them busy cooking for months.

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

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