Cantina: The Best of Casual Mexican Cooking

Susan Feniger, Author, Mary S. Milliken, Joint Author
Susan Feniger, Author, Mary S. Milliken, Joint Author Sunset Books $19.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-376-02039-0
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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""Cantina"" is an elastic term that can describe a simple one-table market stall or a full-fledged restaurant. It suggests a basic, everyday style of cooking that has been a mainstay of Mexican cuisine for decades. Feniger and Milliken, who run Border Grill in Los Angeles and have co-authored City Cuisine and Mesa Mexicana, ably sample different regional flavors and influences in the dishes, arranged from appetizers to desserts, they've selected here. There are Grilled Beef Tacos from the north, Saffron Mussel Stew from the Yucatan and Grilled Lobster Rosarita from Baja California, along with basic recipes for such staples as tortillas, salsas, beans and rice. Calling for authentic but generally available ingredients, including a wide variety of chilies, the recipes, each with a full-page photo of the finished dish, are simple enough to be feasible as family fare without losing the essential ethnic character. The recipe for a more complicated dish like Chicken Mole Drumsticks makes use of ready-cut chicken pieces, but, because flavor is in the details, homecooks still need to roast, seed and stem chilies. (Oct.)
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