Mexican Family Cooking

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Serious cooks will appreciate this personal collection of authentic Mexican fare. Aida Gabilondo grew up on a ranch in northern Mexico and learned cooking in her grandmother’s kitchen. She includes some of her family’s favorite dishes for both everyday meals and fiestas, as well as variations on widely available recipes. Gabilondo always presents regional dishes with an anecdote or a note of explanation about ingredients and local preferences.

The reader will enjoy the reminiscences and appreciate the care with which this collection was assembled. Gabilondo begins with sections on special ingredients, utensils, and basic cooking techniques before devoting a chapter to corn tortilla dishes. With the basics covered, the fun begins, with more than two hundred recipes, from appetizers through desserts, and a chapter of personal favorites, such as Meatball Soup, Aztec Pie, Northern Tamales, and Shrimp in Creamed Chipotle Sauce.

There are chile peppers and salsas galore, of course, and there is much more in this book, all of it expertly presented. There are a few line drawings to illustrate some of the kitchen techniques. The family stories, kitchen hints, and local histories that introduce the chapters and individual recipes provide much color.

The author obviously loves her family, her heritage, and her work. One is left with the feeling that the creation of good food always produces a sense of well-being. This book would be a special gift to anyone interested in exploring a new cuisine.