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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Book Review- Just Tacos

Just Tacos : 100 Different Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner by Shelley Wiseman . The title describes the theme of this cookbook perfectly. Just tacos, but tacos made with ingredients that range from the expected like pulled pork to very unexpected ingredients like tuna with a wasabi mayonaise or fried avocado tacos.

The book starts with recipes for several kinds of tortillas since that's the part that holds a taco together. The recipes are mostly for corn tortillas made with masa harina. There is also one recipe for from scratch corn tortillas that you make the flour for, and 2 recipes for regular flour tortillas.

Then you get into the recipes. My family love tacos, and after my first leafing through the recipes, before I picked a couple try, I called a friend who really, really loves tacos and loves to cook and told him he needed this book.

There are several points in the book where the author goes into a bit more detail about a technique or an ingredient. All of them are chatty and informative. Each of the recipes has a serving suggestion listed for extras to serve on the side.

There is so much variation here. Literally a taco for any time of the day, any sort of mood. Vegetable (including several recipes that are vegan friendly), seafood, poultry, pork, meat (which mostly means beef but also includes lamb and sweetbreads), breakfast tacos and the final chapter which is Quesadillas, Sopes and Tostadas.

So many different flavor combinations, this is a keeper. I let my daughter pick the recipe she wanted to try and she picked the "Drunken Chile Con Carne" tacos. This is made with ingredients you'd expect like chiles and inexpensive steak, but also includes bittersweet chocolate and beer. My husband was extremely dubious of any recipe that called for beef and chocolate. Since the chile takes two hours to simmer though, he had lots of time to rethink that. The whole house smelled deliciously of the peppers and meat she used. The timer went off and he said "FINALLY!" then she went back into the kitchen to restart the timer (my timer only goes for an hour). When it was finally served, his reservations were gone. It tasted fantastic. She was able to follow the instructions easily.

I'm happy about the chorizo recipe. It's easy enough to make ahead and keep in the freezer to mix into all sorts of tacos without having the somewhat scary ingredients of the chorizo at my local grocery store. It tastes fantastic.

The table of contents is just that, it shows the chapters, not the recipes in the book. The index at the back is by type of taco and ingredient. So to find the recipe above, you wouldn't look under D for Drunken but under M for Meat. There are also a few beverage recipes in the book as well.

Very recommended for serious taco lovers.

You can get this book directly from the publisher, Taunton Press
My reviews are always my personal and honest opinion. You can read more about my review policy here.

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