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Simply Mexican
By Lourdes Castro
ISBN: 1580089526
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: April 2009
Format: Hardcover
Number of recipes: 60
List price: $24.95
Type: Ethnic: Mexican
Sample recipe: Crab Tostados
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive encyclopedia coffee-table
Meal part: all breakfast/brunch lunch dinner dessert
Competition: outclassed a bit behind in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: airfare required online specialty store supermarket pantry
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose minimal complete educational
Time conscious: not conscious bald lies white lies realistic scout's honor
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant ample generous
Photos/drawings: none drawings b&w photos occasional color mostly/all color
Art contribution: disappointing distracting decorative beautiful glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging ok clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy delicate years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: hard-to-find spotty sufficient most pages every page
Table of contents: missing frustrating minimal helpful excellent
Index: none confusing adequate nice a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writing history: beginner writer/journalist food writer writing cook personality
Cooking heritage: unknown self-taught teacher chef celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short satisfactory successful exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward good friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: This book does just what it says it will – it provides a modest assortment of simple Mexican dishes with clear instructions that just about anyone will be able to succeed with. It has left out the hard ones. It has mostly left out ones with hard-to-find ingredients. It has not left out flavor. It has not left out authenticity.

Recipes include appetizers; soups and salads; seafood; chicken; meat; vegetables, beans, and rice; sauces, condiments, and marinades; and desserts. There is a modest glossary of 25 Mexican ingredients and terms you should know, and a short list of pantry items you should have on hand, staples you should pick up at a Mexican grocer or online, and fresh produce to pick up at the market so that you can make some or all of these recipes when the mood strikes.


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