In my neverending quest to eat all the tacos, I am perpetually on the lookout for recipes to try at home. Enter TACOS: 75 Authentic and Inspired Recipes by Mark Miller. I was familiar with another cookbook of his The Great Salsa Book . I enjoyed the salsas that I’ve made from that cookbook and I thought, this fellow may be onto something.
The book begins by chronicling how the author was introduced to the taco. Growing up in the New England area, Miller describes eating tacos during his summers in Guadalajara.
“…this food was alive, colorful, aromatic, tasty, crunchy, juicy, and flavorful-as if I had crossed a new frontier of food experience. “ Miller describes.
He goes on to detail his experiences with “fast food” and street food in the U.S. and the contrast from Mexico.
“Tacos are much a part of daily social life in Mexcio as the Catholic Church” Miller writes.
It is this awakening that has leads Miller to write not only this book on tacos but the “the great salsa book” and “…great chile book” respectively. Miller’s inquisitive approach as well as his in-depth understanding of flavors has yielded some great recipes. There are both traditional taco recipes as well as some non-traditional takes on the taco.
His 16 ingredient tacos al pastor recipe calls for many classic Mexican ingredients. These ingredients play off of each other to give you a complexity of flavors that is as authentic as it can get, without having your own tompo. His carnitas recipes is almost the exact inverse with some simple seasoning that highlight the crispy pork flavor.
Some of his nontraditional recipes include Thai shrimp tacos. These Thai inspired tacos have both a creamy consistency and some distinct heat that Thai chilies bring to any recipe.
Taco fillings are broken down into six categories. Vegetables: Chicken and Fowl: Seafood: Pork: Beef Lamb, and Game: Breakfast. There are also chapters on salsas, sides, drinks and tortillas. Miller gives the readers and cooks a lot of options when deciding on which to cook. His knowledge and culinary IQ shine throughout this cookbook. All of the recipes seem congruent and consistent to the authors sensibilities. I can image serving several recipes from this book for a gathering or an epic taco marathon.
Overall I like the recipes that I experimented with in this cookbook and I can’t wait to try some more.
You can buy a copy of TACOS: 75 Authentic and Inspired Recipes