I have been a fan of Rick Bayless for many years. I own numerous cookbooks by him and have eaten at his restaurants many, many times, so I was excited when his new book, â€œMexican Everydayâ€ came out. I was even more excited when I heard about the concept behind the book. The idea behind the book is to make Mexican cooking accessible to those that don't have a lot of time and to make it appealing to our modern sense of health consciousness, while still maintaining a traditional, flavor packed approach. I was intrigued, and a bit hesitant. The whole concept meant no lard packed tamales, time consuming traditional braises, or moles with ingredient lists 30 items long. I wondered if Rick could keep my attention with this â€œlightâ€ Mexican cooking. I should have trusted Rick. He has never let me down, in the past, and he wasn't about to this time either. â€œMexican Everydayâ€ is loaded with great recipes and ideas
First I must talk about his introduction. In it he outlines the reasons why he decided to write this book, and gives us lesson in how he feels that we can maintain a nutritious diet while still eating wonderful, flavor packed foods. Maybe it's because I picked up this book soon after New Year's and had just resolved to lead a more healthy lifestyle, but I really took to heart his list of 6 â€œEssential Learningsâ€. In these 6 â€œEssential Learningsâ€ he espouses the ideas of exercise, proper diet, and the eating of fresh, natural ingredients, but he does it in such a way that doesn't come across as self-righteous, but comes across as a reminder of a knowledge that our modern society has seem to forgotten.
This introduction is the set up for book full of recipes bursting with flavor and freshness. There are salads that will transport you to the sunny Caribbean, and entrees so good that reading them you can almost smell the meat sizzling on the grill. You will also find a variety of salsas, marinades, and dressings that you can use to liven up any dish. One thing I also very much enjoyed were the â€œriffsâ€ at the end of most recipes. These â€œriffsâ€ are variations on the main recipe that allow you experiment even further with these recipes. Many of these riffs are suggestions on how to make the dish vegetarian, a great idea, expanding the appeal of â€œMexican Everydayâ€ even further.
Once again Rick Bayless has created a wonderful cookbook. It is different from most of his others, in that it doesn't seem to be as rooted in traditional Mexican cooking as his earlier works, but it is still Mexican cooking at its finest, just a little more contemporary in its style.