Cinco de Mayo is a little more than a week away, and I've got Mexican cuisine on the brain. So imagine my surprise and delight when I received a copy of a new title, Amor Y Tacos: Modern Mexican Tacos, Margaritas, and Antojitos, by Deborah Schneider. With cocktails and simple food suggestions, the small, portable cookbook focuses on the sort of party food that's perfect for Cinco de Mayo, or any other warm weather celebration. To find out if it lived up to my high party girl standards,
- At the start of the book, there are sample party menus with different ideas for cocktails, appetizers, and entrees.
- There are helpful tidbits sprinkled throughout. You'll learn about Mexican ingredients like tequila and agave and can read the background and history of some dishes. An in-depth discussion of tacos allows the reader to experiment at home.
- The photography is glossy and beautiful.
- There's a section devoted to just Mexican salsas and sauces as well as a glossary of chiles.
- Some of the cocktail recipes call for obscure ingredients that you might not use more than once. Also, the majority of cocktail recipes make only one drink, so if you were to serve them at a party you would have to do the math to make batches.
- If you don't have access to a Mexican market, it might be hard to find all of the components necessary for the recipes. Sadly, substitutions for things like epazote leaves are not listed.
- Not every recipe has a corresponding image.
Recipes: I'm very excited to try the recipes in this book and hope to experiment with some of the following soon:
- Mexican mojito
- Pineapple serrano margarita
- Octopus salpicon
- Mexican hot dog
- Shrimp taco
- Coca-cola shredded beef taco
Imagery: The photographs in this book are delightful and mouth-watering. Each is a clear depiction of a dish or ingredient.
Overall rating: If you love making authentic Mexican cuisine or enjoy the cult of street food, you'll devour the recipes and ideas in this book. It's not an all-encompassing guide, but it's full of festive cuisine that will satiate any South of the Border cravings.