Welcome to my world!

I've developed a passion for cooking since childhood, but in the past six years, that passion has grown into a geeky obsession. I love cooking, baking, and most importantly, sharing the love of food with family and friends. I invite you along on my journey of food discovery and passion.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I may need more shelving in my pantry...

because I just added two new cookbooks! One of the best ways I know to relax and spend time is in the cookbook section of Half Price Books. I love finding treasures or even economical cookbooks that have a few good recipes. I had two such experiences in the past weeks. The first was to find a first edition translation of the Escoffier cookbook, "Le Guide Culinaire." It's a translation of the original French, of course, but is a great view on continental cuisine. At this point, I don't feel my everyday cooking is sophisticated enough to really try and cook many of the recipes (and frankly since the original book was written in the 1800's, I don't find there to always be an easy translation of the recipe to modern ingredients). That said, it helps me understand this type of cuisine better, and I can't wait to delve into this further!

The second fed my Tex-Mex/Mexican food addiction head on. On the Food Network Facebook blog, there was discussion on knowledgeable cooks of traditional Mexican food (NOT Tex-Mex). Now, I love good Tex-Mex, but I can understand and respect that the cuisines of the regions of Mexico are vastly different than what we know Mexican to be in many cases. I was thrilled to find the Diana Kennedy book, "The Art of Mexican Cooking" on one such trip.

Diana Kennedy, along with Rick Bayless, are perhaps two of the foremost experts on the traditional Mexican cookery. Kennedy is a longtime resident of Mexico (originally from the UK), who has traveled extensively throughout the country and continues to research and understand the cuisine of each region. Bayless was actually training to become an anthropologist, and continues to bring that approach to his modern Mexican cuisine.

While I realize that I will likely come nowhere near making every recipe in her cookbook, I view having the book and reading it as a lesson in what Mexican cooking really should be, and what I would expect in Mexico proper. I will take some recipes and lessons from that, but more importantly learn to distinguish the more authentic interpretations of Mexican food from more Americanized Tex-Mex. And maybe, just maybe, I'll learn to make the perfect Spanish rice in the process!

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