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November 21, 2014


Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

The popularity of authentic Mexican food in the US is on the rise. As a cuisine, it’s lesser known for being diverse and sophisticated, but we finally recognize and celebrate its panoply of traditional flavors. Given my current obsession with Mexican dishes, I was thrilled to delve into “Mexico: The Cookbook.” Margarita Carrillo Arronte’s comprehensive new cookbook offers 650 authentic recipes covering all regions in Mexico from Baja to the Yucatán. She explains that “[t]he world of Mexican food is labyrinthine” as she introduces us to the food, culture and histories of each region, from the simple to the more complex dishes. Tacos, while they seem easy to make, contain much more complexity than meets the eye. And each region has its own variations. Because I find the flavors of Mexican cuisine comforting, most of the time I associate them with homestyle cooking; even the innovative cuisine of Enrique Olveras at Pujol, though complex and intricate, kindles a sense of nostalgia and homecoming for me. Isn’t that what all foods should do? With so many recipes, it’s hard to know where to start. I recommend the drinks and dessert chapter. Mix yourself a margarita first, then a nice bowl of guacamole to munch on while you explore more recipes. Here are the recipes for guacamole, and potato and chorizo tacos.

Potato and Chorizo Tacos / Phaidon Press



Margarita Carrillo Arronte

Adapted from MEXICO: THE COOKBOOK by Margarita Carrillo Arronte

Region: All regions
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • tortilla chips, to serve

Put the tomato, if using, onion, chile, lime juice, and cilantro (coriander) in a bowl, stir well to mix, and season with salt. Gently fold in the avocado, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the olive oil and mix. Serve with tortilla chips.

Note: It is best to prepare guacamole minutes before serving to avoid discoloration. Instead of incorporating the chopped tomato you can use it as a garnish, arranging it around the edge of the serving bowl.