Mexican cuisine cookbook gift?

Yet another cookbook question...tis the season!

For Christmas last year, I gifted one of my dear friends a container of a locally blended mole spice mix. She loved it so much that she asked for more. I've obliged (but at $9/one meal container, it's a little pricey!) but I'd like to get her a cookbook so she can explore on her own. Does anyone have any suggestions for a great Mexican cuisine inspired cookbook preferably with some kickass mole recipes?


  • Posted by: enbe
  • December 4, 2012


ChefJune December 5, 2012
My bff, who has owned and cheffed at Mexican restaurants, and currently teaches says that Diana Kennedy's "From My Mexican Kitchen" is truly the ne plus ultra of Mexican cookbooks. I find Ms. Kennedy's recipes easy to follow and excellent.
enbe December 4, 2012
Thank you all! Now I'm tempted to get myself one too. Santibanez's Brooklyn joint is mere blocks away from where I'm spending the holidays so I'll have to make a trip.
LLStone December 4, 2012
I agree w/ the Santibanez's Truly Mexican (and Greenstuff). I also tried it due to the Piglet, and loved it. It treats Mexican sauces sort of like the mother sauces in French cooking. It's outstanding. If you can cook/make the salsas, guacs, moles, etc., you can cook authentic Mexican.
Greenstuff December 4, 2012
I'll add a plug for the Piglet, FOOD52's tournament of cookbooks--if it hadn't been for that (light-hearted) contest, there's no way I ever would have bought Santibanez's Truly Mexican. Glad I did.
Jeanelle December 4, 2012
I agree with Kristen! Rick Bayless' recipes are incredibly approachable and simple. I am often amazed by how few ingredients he uses to get wonderful, deep flavors.
Kristen W. December 4, 2012
Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. Great recipes, lots of historical and cultural as well as technical information in conjunction with them, guidance for improvisation in the kitchen and adapting the recipes according to availability of ingredients. A great, great mind and a great, great book.
FutureChef December 4, 2012
If you're on the fence, try out his oaxacan mole negro from the Top Chef Masters website. I am a total sucker for mole, but biases aside, his is awesome!
Greenstuff December 4, 2012
I agree with mrslarkin, especially if your friend might be a little reluctant to plunge into making her own moles and other sauces. It only took me a couple of weeks to go from a long-time discomfort with Mexican cooking to feeling secure and ready to branch out on my own. As much as I love Diana Kennedy's books, she never did that for me.
mrslarkin December 4, 2012
Hi enbe. Check out Truly Mexican: Essential Recipes and Techniques for Authentic Mexican Cooking by Roberto Santibanez. I think it was a Piglet contender last year. Great sauce recipes in that one. I had it out from the library for WEEKS.

pierino December 4, 2012
I will second mrslarkin on this. I do own the book. Recently I had to lead cook a big meal with the help of a family of my Mexican homies from LA and it was really helpful.
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