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My husband decided to take up cooking so I got him this book among others for a fun ethnic mix of foods. I really love the passion of the author for both his mother's recipes and the neighborhood he grew up in. The book has a lot of personal stories and background to recipes that makes it different than most straight recipe books. Coming from So Cal myself, we have some amazing taco places so there was a standard to meet for me.
This book will appeal to anyone who knows the area and all the cultural richness it holds.
Definitely not traditional-style tacos, but certainly inspired and interesting recipes with a bit of narrative elaboration in between sections. Some of the recipes look amazing, and we'll definitely be made. Others were a bit too exotic. Overall though, an colorful addition to the cookbook collection.
Okay, first off, the author swears too much. I get that you want to put YOU into your book, but for the benefit and unscarring of any kids out there that want to benefit from what you're offering, maybe tone it done a bit on the second edition or next book.
All right, enough pontificating. The first recipe I made from the book was the Sweet Potato Taco and man was it awesome. The almond salsa--which doesn't taste like almonds, really, but is still incredible--was probably the most involved thing on the menu. (I made the mistake of buying red bell peppers instead of roasted red peppers, so I had to learn how to roast red bell peppers to produce roasted red peppers.) But I got through all that and the salsa was spicy and like nothing I've ever tasted. Glad I used half a habanero pepper in that.
The recipe calls for Japanese sweet potatoes--never heard of!--so I used the regular kind and picked out the slimmest ones. Author says boil and simmer for 12 minutes. I say boil and simmer for 24 minutes. And then you're supposed to brown the coin-slices of sweet potato for 15 minutes per side in butter on medium-high heat, but I'd say low-medium for 8-10 does the trick. YMMV. Not sure what sort of stovetop arrangement the author had, but the second time around the browned sweet potatoes came out better for me.
Eyeballing the "albondigas" recipe for the next prep. . . . Looks like meatball and pork stew with a lot of tomato. (In other words, looks tasty.)