Ama: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen

Chronicle. Oct. 2019. 272p. photos. index. ISBN 9781452155869. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781452156859. COOKING
With the ascent of the many regional Mexican cuisines, Tex-Mex has typically been left far behind. In this second book by Centeno (Baco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles), the aim is to re-create family dishes from the author’s childhood in San Antonio, where his grandfather started Centeno Market, while adding a few modern Southern California touches. The book, coauthored by food journalist Hallock, leads off with a larder section covering homemade spice blends, salsas, pickles, and sauces. There’s also a chapter on breakfast, two sections of main dishes, and one on vegetables, appetizers, and dessert. The recipes are well written, designed with home cooks in mind. One design quibble: recipe titles are laid out vertically on the left side of each page, so all recipes on the right-hand side of the book have their titles somewhat obscured in the crease. Otherwise, gorgeous photos of most dishes are found throughout.
VERDICT If you are in the market for some delicious and authentic Tex-Mex cooking, this collection would be an optimal place to start.

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