Book Review,  Cookbooks,  Non-Fiction

Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico: A Cookbook

Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico: A CookbookMi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico: A Cookbook by Rick Martinez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Supposedly, a 1st Century Roman foodie named Apicius was the first to say, “We eat first with our eyes.” From Mi Cocina’s dazzling cover to the eye-popping, palate-tempting photographs strewn liberally throughout the cookbook, it’s a wonder my eyes haven’t gained ten pounds! I indulged in nothing but eye candy for my first walk through the cookbook, then went back to the beginning to settle in with the introduction and the recipes.

Please don’t skip the introduction. It’s a small book in itself, the story of Rick Martinez’s life as a Mexican American in Texas, at the knee of his mother, who was on a journey of her own to explore their heritage. That journey often included family recipes. There’s much more to know about Rick, and I will leave it to you to take that trip with him.

“The recipes in this book represent the food that I loved eating the most”, the author says, just before dropping a jaw-droppingly photo of what looks like a food court, under a huge sign reading, “Gastronomia”. Then, he talks about his own cooking style, answering questions about why he measures in grams, why he loves lard, and so on. He discusses ingredients, to be sure you’re familiar with the herbs, spices, chilies, and such that will be appearing in the recipes.

The first recipes are for tortillas. Nothing like starting off with the most basic, delicious, iconic Mexican food! We then move up to rice, beans, salsas, and condiments. By the time you hit the first actual meal, Pollo al Pastor (Spicy-sweet roast chicken with onion and pineapple), you’ll have learned enough about the basics to just enjoy making Rick’s recipes.

I can’t recommend this cookbook highly enough. If you love Mexican food as much as I do, you’ll enjoy creating exciting new dishes, reminiscent of basic meals you may have enjoyed before, but kicked up so many notches you’ll run out of ladder.

My thanks to author Rick Martinez, Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital advance review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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