Mexican Food Made Simple by Tommi Miers
Tommi Miers is the X Factor star of the food world. She rose to fame after winning the BBC’s MasterChef competition in 2005, wowing the judges with her gutsy, Latin-inspired food.
Mexican Food Made Simple is Miers’ third book, and Mexico is her first love. Tommi has since presented Channel 4’s Wild Gourmets and A Cook’s Tour of Spain, as well as opening three London branches of her restaurant Wahaca, serving Mexican street food.
She first went to Mexico aged 18 and fell for the people, the heat, the music and, most of all, the food. Miers describes her first visit as feeling as though she “had stumbled into paradise” and that sense of enthusiasm and discovery comes across loud and clear in her writing.
Real Mexican food is relatively undiscovered in Britain – there are few proper Mexican restaurants and some ingredients can be hard to come by. Yet the book’s introduction puts readers at ease; Miers points out common threads in British and Mexican cuisines, such as pork and pickles, and a passion for puddings. Both cultures are also big on slow braises and spicy dishes, accompanied by the odd tipple or two.
Despite the ‘Made Simple’ tag, this is, thankfully, not a dumbed-down book for short-cut cooks. Miers knows her subject matter and writes engagingly about it, suggesting alternative ingredients where necessary. Chapters run the gamut from salsas, sauces and relishes to puddings – including the likes of street food, grilled dishes and ‘soul food’ – and there are clear descriptions of essential Mexican stand-by ingredients.
A few key recipes, such as Chipotles en adobe and Tortillas, have step-by-step pictures and text; all are clearly written and easy to follow. Helped by a clear design, this is a great introduction to the breadth of real Mexican cooking, which goes way beyond the Tex-Mex clichés.
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
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