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on June 28, 2017 :
I don't usually like cooking books, but my love of Mexican food made me get Excel Mexican Cooking. I wanted to learn how to make some of my favorite Mexican food and impress my friends. One thing I highly enjoyed in this book is that I learned about dishes I had never heard of before. Those dishes make me a little nervous that I won't cook them as well as I want. I'm a little bit of a perfectionist at times.
What makes this cooking book a little different from most is that it gives you a history lesson. Most cooking books just tell you how to make what you're cooking and that's it. Those books don't care about the history behind the dishes, just making sure you can cook them. There's nothing wrong or bad about that, it's just having some change in cooking books is good. Though the problem with the little history lesson is that sometimes I get more interested in that than making the dishes.
Besides the history lessons, the book gives suggested times for all of its dishes. If you're like me and are unfamiliar with a dish or two, it's good to know when to serve it. Mainly so that you don't seem too out of place. Especially if you have someone with Mexican heritage coming over. There are only so many eye rolls a person like me can take.
I know Mexican food is spicy and so I didn't need to be reminded about that part. I'm glad, though, that those who don't know will be reminded. If you have bad acid reflux, like me, be very wary about making and eating this ethnic food. You might be really happy for a few hours but then the pain will start. Because this stuff is really spicy at times you may need to tone it down at times.
On the subject of spicy, the book recommends water to combat the burning sensations. However, I've always found it better to use milk. In any case, you'll need some sort of backup if you find out the food's spiciness is too much for you. Some people like feeling as if their mouths are on fire while others don't.
One of my favorite dishes from this book is the Quick Shrimp Taco. It sounded weird to me at first but I like both tacos and shrimp. I owed it to myself to at least try it out. Yep, this is a good dish and I can see why it's included here. I can't decide if I like fish or shrimp tacos more, so I end up making both at some meals.
I still have a lot to learn about Mexican food and which dishes I like the most. This book was a good start on my culinary journey. Though I still need practice here and there as some of my friends like to remind me. The book is a good combination of recipes, history, and suggested serving times.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)