cover image Mexican Everyday

Mexican Everyday

Rick Bayless, with Deann Groen Bayless. . Norton, $29.95 (336pp) ISBN 978-0-393-06154-3

Bayless, popular Chicago chef and author (Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen , etc.), jumps on the "everyday food" wagon with this lively collection of recipes designed to take no more than 30 minutes to prepare. Known for his painstaking approach to recreating the classics of Mexican cuisine, Bayless moves in a new direction here, substituting easy-to-find ingredients for exotic ones, streamlining complex sauces into a few steps and emphasizing nutrition. Purists may balk when they encounter more boneless chicken breasts than lard—not to mention a cheerful reliance on canned beans and peppers and, in a pinch, prepared salsas—but any time-pressed home cook will welcome this pragmatic approach to the complexities of Mexican food. Bayless's confident, step-by-step recipes lead even the novice through a variety of twists on tacos and enchiladas, staples like tortilla soup and guacamole, and more ambitious dishes such as Grilled Red Chile Steak with Sweet Plantains, Red Onion and Chipotle Salsa. Even the notoriously complex mole tradition is reinvented with the foolproof Chicken in Oaxacan Yellow Mole. This companion volume to the fourth season of Bayless's PBS series Mexican One Plate at a Time will rescue any Mexican food fan who's ever been daunted by the prospect of serving more than chips and salsa. Photos. (Nov. 7)