A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen (Mexican Food Cookbooks, Tex-Mex Cooking, Mexican and Spanish Recipes)
by Josef Centeno; Betty Hallock
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Pub Date 01 Oct 2019 | Archive Date 08 Oct 2019
Tex-Mex is diverse. B ÁmaBar Áma finds inspiration from regional Mexican cuisine and beyond, with influences from the American South, Germany, Poland, and Morocco.
Tex- Mex isn't authentic. The only thing authentic about Tex-Mex is that it isn’t authentic: It evolves and adapts.
Tex-Mex is delicious. Think meaty stews, breakfast tacos, and tres leches cake.
Home cooks will learn how to make them all—in addition to crunchy salads, slow-cooked meats, and fresh cocktails—in this collection of more than 100 recipes from San Antonio native and Los Angeles chef and restauranteur Josef Centeno. This cookbook is a hands-on winner for anyone who loves big flavors, casual parties, and firing up the grill.
Praise for Bäco (Josef Centeno's previous cookbook):
"When I arrived in Los Angeles 15 years ago, it was clear that Josef 's cooking was leading the charge in terms of inventiveness, technique, and sense of adventure. Unbeknownst to him, he became a mentor to me, and ushered in the next generation of chefs that have redefined L.A.'s food culture. I can't wait to cook my way through this retrospective of his work." -Travis Lett, Gjelina, Gjusta, GTA
"Josef 's ability to weave a swath of traditions into forceful and deeply satisfying dishes has made him a pioneer in the resurgence of L.A. dining. Detailed and lyrical-a little Turkish and a tad Tejano-Bäco is the perfect manual for just how he does it." -Patric Kuh, food critic, Los Angeles Magazine
Possible appearances at the Texas Book Festival (head to the Chronicle Books booth for a chance to win a signed copy!)
Possible appearances at the Texas Book Festival (head to the Chronicle Books booth for a chance to win a signed copy!)
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 55 members
Bar Amá is one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles - a fantastic bar with some of the most delicious elevated Tex-Mex food I've tasted. This cookbook not only does justice to the food, but is a great work of history and culture around Centeno's experience growing up in San Antonio and experiencing true Tex + Mex. His recipes and stories remind me so much of my family's traditions around food: many of the salsas and dishes are named after/for his relatives, and he has a whole list of ingredients that are unique to Mexican food that are essential to this kind of cooking (for example: Mexican oregano is worlds away from the oregano pizza spice we're likely used to).
In terms of the recipes, I was initially a bit miffed that many recipes called back to others - like you had to make a salsa listed earlier in the book in order to make a main course listed later. But again, I realized that's very similar to my family as well - there are certain staple ingredients and spice mixes and sauces that are necessary for making a dish truly authentic. The cookbook has entire sections on grilling, cocktails, and bar food, which to me sets it apart from other cookbooks of the same style. The recipes are easy to follow if you have all the right ingredients, and I look forward to making more soon! I would definitely get this book as a gift for others who love Mexican food; the stories and images would make this a great coffee table book, and the recipes are great for an avid home chef.
I was given an ARC PDF of Ama in exchange for a candid review.
I truly enjoyed this cookbook. The photographs are very crisp and beautiful. The recipes and instructions are easy to follow and clear. I thought it was a very sweet idea to include the mentions from TX to family throughout the book for certain recipes and/or ingredients. I am definitely planning on trying out some of these recipes!
This cookbook has fresh new innovating recipes for people who love to cook Mexican. The pictures are vibrant, colourful and your mouth will water when you see them. For every course there is a multi recipes and I can't wait to start cooking with this book. One minus some ingredients are hard or harder to get. There for this book gets 4 points!
A gorgeous cookbook that's full of life. I cannot wait to dig into each and every recipe. Loved the colorful images and creative recipes.
Ohhh my goodness. This cookbook is a foodie's dream!! Not only are the photos mouth watering, but the instructions and recipes are perfection. I really enjoyed reading through each piece and have a new motivation for cooking! Who's going to win at family dinner? This girl!
Exceptional cookbook with delectable recipes and photographs! I enjoyed the unique take on Tex-Mex and the mouthwatering recipes. Readers will thoroughly enjoyed the detailed and intricate notes for each recipe, giving plenty of tips and tricks along the way.
Do not miss the wonderful historical information contained in the Introduction. We learn facts about Tex-Mex cooking, where it came from and some interesting information about Josef Centeno's ancestors. You will read the life story of Ama, whom the book is named after. There is a quick note and explanation of Chiles. Their names and uses are explained further on in the recipes.
Ama cookbook contains some wonderful dressings and vinaigrettes, that can be used in various ways. Pickled products, preserves and various salsas that may become favorites. Their are so many Breakfast entrees you will want to try. Delicious looking seafood, you will not know which to make first. The desserts look are out of this world. The images are very well done. They not only add beautiful color to this book, but are mouth watering. You cannot wait to try these dishes. This cookbook is a wonderful addition to any ones kitchen, who loves big flavors, nacho parties, grilling and wonderful Tex-Mex cooking. I received a complementary copy of this beautiful book from Chronicle Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Gorgeous photos complement this unique cookbook that features the recipes to your favorite bar food at Ama's in L.A. The ingredients may be hard for some cooks to find as they are exclusively in Hispanic markets, and some recipes are most definitely not for novices. But I would still buy this book and attempt to make many of these recipes. I'm intrigued!
Having owned about half a dozen Mexican cookbooks, Ama was a pleasant surprise. It is not centered on Tacos, but contains many other recipes, some surprising (such as the pickles). Although the book is heavily focused on meat dishes, it was a plus to also see vegan recipes, such as cashew queso. The desert section was also a good addition. Besides an interpretation of the churros, i discovered the cinnamon fennel shells and a coconut cake
Lots of gorgeous pictures and the instructions are clearly written. Also a really wide range of recipes, which was great. Some of the ingredients aren't so easily obtainable, though. Even in a big city I'd have some trouble finding some of these, they seem pretty specific to parts of Texas and California. But some are adaptable nevertheless, really excited to try them! Sometimes with Mexican I feel like I've tried everything I can considering my own cooking skills, but this proved me wrong with lots of new ideas.
As a Texan, I agree with Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock that "Tex- Mex isn't authentic. The only thing authentic about Tex-Mex is that it isn’t authentic: It evolves and adapts."
This cookbook is easy to follow with wonderful pictures are vibrant, colorful and you will make what to eat the food when you see them. I can wait to make the Mexican Sriracha, Ama spice mix, Grandma Alice's Chipotle chorizo, and Mom's Green enchiladas.
Look out Giada DeLaurentis and Bobby Flay! Armed with this gorgeous cookbook I will be outcooking both of you in no time!
The recipes are approachable, the ingredients easy to obtain and the results amazing!
Thank you to Josef Centero and Betty Hallock, Chronicle Books, and NetGalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
This is a fantastic showcase of what I might call “elevated Tex Mex cuisine.”
I’m hesitant to refer to at as merely, a cookbook, because it’s so visually exceptional, from the food photography to the design and layout.
But the book isn’t just a pretty face. My husband and I tested several recipes last night, and were delighted to find that we loved every one that we tried. The roasted Asian squash, lobster taquitos, and Mom’s green enchiladas were notable standouts. Looking forward to testing many, many more of these.
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.
Tex-Mex is diverse. B ÁmaBar Áma finds inspiration from regional Mexican cuisine and beyond, with influences from the American South, Germany, Poland, and Morocco. Tex- Mex isn't authentic. The only thing authentic about Tex-Mex is that it isn’t authentic: It evolves and adapts. Tex-Mex is delicious. Think meaty stews, breakfast tacos, and tres leches cake.
Home cooks will learn how to make them all—in addition to crunchy salads, slow-cooked meats, and fresh cocktails—in this collection of more than 100 recipes from San Antonio native and Los Angeles chef and restauranteur Josef Centeno. This cookbook is a hands-on winner for anyone who loves big flavours, casual parties, and firing up the grill.
I love Mexican and Tex-Mex but I am spoiled as I have an incredible authentic Mexican restaurant around the corner from me that also serves some of the best INDIAN food in the city as well. (I am not kidding!) I love cooking and I bookmarked so many recipes in this book it is insane! (I am allergic to cilantro so it is hard for me to eat our in Mexican restaurants - with this book I can eat safely by doing my own cooking.) The recipes are wonderfully written and the photos divine - if you want to make some amazing Tex-Mex this is the book for you. (BTW, dear readers, a larder is a pantry.)
As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🌮 🌯 🥑 🌯 🌮
I seriously can't wait to try these recipes. They are all your typical Tex-Mex favorites but he added his flair and it looks delicious. There are some adorable little family stories mixed in to boot. I will definitely be recommending this one for the library to purchase and may even add a hard copy to my own home kitchen if these recipes pan out the way I hope they will.
I am so hungry right now!
I love Mexican food but here in the UK it's pretty limited so the best thing is to make it yourself. This book is a bit of a revelation, I had no idea that Tex-Mex was influenced from so many different places. The stories about the food are really interesting, especially the little reminiscences by the authors.
The pictures look great, I really like to see what a dish is supposed to look like and the instructions are clear and straightforward.
I want to get right to the kitchen and get cooking. There is one minor issue though and that is some of the ingredients may not be easy to get hold of here in England. However, this is what google was invented for - sourcing alternatives or ordering from specialists.
I noticed the level of detail that went into this cookbook. I found myself engrossed in the many flavorful recipes that I wanted to make for myself and just not my family. Also, I found the history that was centered around the pictures of the dishes, both heartwarming and engaging. This is one of the best cookbooks that I read thus far. I can express how the level of detail provided the extra elegance to an already excellent book of exciting dishes! Kudos.
Having lived in the southwest for a large part of our relationship, one of the things my other half and I miss the most now that we live back in New England is the food. I was so thrilled to find this cookbook because it has so many of the foods we knew and loved when we lived out that way.
The book is based on recipes from Bar Ama's menu, "a neighborhood restaurant— a small, noisy, friendly Tex-Mex joint, not in Texas but in the center of downtown Los Angeles, next to an alley off of Fourth Street." The recipes are inspired by the owner's Ama's recipes. There's family tradition and history explained, which makes the entire cookbook all that much more fun and interesting.
Anyone who reads my cookbook reviews regularly knows that I often give/take stars based on a few specific checklist points. This book does not have nutritional breakdowns, so that would normally get it a -1 star from me; however, that is countered by the family history and the photographs that make every single recipe look mouth watering. I'm excited to try out so many recipes in this cookbook.
In Amá, Centeno, owner of Bar Amá, a neighborhood restaurant in downtown Los Angeles shares a variety of dishes inspired by his Mexican roots.
The food dishes range from home to upscale. Breakfast features twists such as Huevos rancheros, Migas, and Carne guisada. His family recipes which are also served in Bar Amá include Mama Grande’s Chicken Soup, Grandma Alice’s Chorizo and Queso Asadero; Amá’s Carrot and Potato Sofrito Enchiladas and Mom’s Green Enchiladas.
There’s also the author’s Tex-mex version of Caesar salad and some street delicacies such as the Mexican street corn (sautéed with cotija, mushrooms’ and bacon).
A chapter is devoted to savory bites you’ll find at Bar Amá such as Queso and Vegan Cashew Queso, Tortilla chips, Nachos, and Bar Amá’s guacamole. Cocktail highlights include the author’s version of Amá margarita, The Nacho, (so named after an adult film star named Nacho Vidal, who is a fan of Nachos), La Pina, and Snake’s Blood.
Some extras include Mama Hallock’s Pecan Pie, Vanilla Bean semifreedo with dulce de leche (a version of vanilla ice cream made at Bar Amá; Tex-Leches Chocolate-coconut cake and Capirotada, a Mexican bread pudding served at Lent.
Accompanied by enticing photos, this book is sure to inspire home cooks to give these recipes a try.
Thank you to the authors, NetGalley, and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ama is a great cookbook! The recipes are delicious (I made the flour tortillas, Carne Guisada, and borracho bean dip)! The photographs are beautiful, and the recipes are well written. I live in Chicago, so the ingredients are all easily found here in any market. My one misgiving is that I hate that the recipe title is vertical rather than horizontal. I would recommend this to my friends and family.
Fantastic not only because of the recipes but also due to the stories. I like it very much, that each recipe comes with a little introduction and very useful tips on preparation, substitution, additions and little tweaks.
Beautiful photos and I like the way the recipes are sorted very much. Very delightful.
Although I now live in the Midwest, I spent many of my formative years in Texas - and I miss my Tex-Mex!!! Midwesterners are averse to s[icy cooking so it is hard to find any decent Mexican or Tex-Mex cooking 'round here. so I love having all of the necessary recipes to make my favorite Tex-Mex recipes in Ama. The recipes are easy to follow and the ingredients easy to source and my family loves the food. What more could you want?
Um Hello! YUM! This book was mouth watering. I live in Texas, I love mexican food. This is my cookbook. Even though I have adopted the low carb lifestyle, every recipe in this delicious book will make a hit with the family and on cheat night. I love a book with pictures so I can visualize what it is I am about to consume. I can not wait to try out all of these recipes.
I was given an ARC from NetGalley in return for my honest review.
Thank you to Chronicle Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I loved, loved, loved this cookbook! Well structured chapters, drop-dead gorgeous photos, do-able recipes with some more complex dishes as well, and interspersed with wonderful stories and personal history of the author's family, which shaped his view of food and cooking. I am enormously sad that I live so far from the author's restaurant - and that I live in a country that abhors spicy food, so I am going to find it difficult to get the ingredients I need... but this book has me excited to start cooking!
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