This month we explored the cuisine of Mexico with two of Rick Bayless’ books. Bayless is a nationally known expert on authentic Mexican cooking, having written several books on the subject; he also operates four restaurants in the Chicago area and stars in an eponymous PBS television show. He’s a busy, busy guy! His passion is showcasing regional Mexican cooking, as distinct from the more familiar Tex-Mex.
Of the two books we read, Mexican Everyday was the more approachable. Most recipes could easily be made on a weeknight, and substitutions for less-available ingredients were always given. Some of the dishes that we tried: chipotle meatballs; chicken with rice and beans; green-sauced enchiladas; chorizo, potato, and mushroom tacos; spinach, mushroom, and caramelized-onion tacos; and jalapeno shrimp. All of these were given two thumbs up!
Mexico One Plate at a Time had lots of great background information on ingredients and cooking methods. Several people commented that the book was a fascinating read; but the recipes were more involved, which meant substantial time had to be set aside to try them. The guacamole and tortilla soup recipes both drew praise, as did the Mexican rice pudding (“easy, and the creamiest ever!”).
Members also commented that they really enjoyed going out for Mexican food, so here’s a list of local restaurants that were recommended:
- CasaBlanca in Chelmsford
- On the Border in Woburn
- Border Cafe in Burlington
- La Carreta in Nashua
- Margarita’s in Nashua and Lexington
- El Huipil in Maynard
Best of all, eating at a Mexican restaurant in the Southwest…..or perhaps at one of Rick Bayless’ restaurants! Road trip anyone?