Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook is a gorgeous volume of Mexican recipes from the internationally celebrated chef Enrique Olvera. He was featured in the Netflix documentary series, Chef’s Table. This is his first home-cooking book and a very creditable one it is too.
Enrique Olvera is a native of Mexico and shows evident passion for its food and gastronomic culture. Mexican food has gained popularity worldwide over the past decade but much of what we find in casual restaurants is in fact Tex-Mex food. Nothing wrong with that but it’s a pleasure to discover some authentic plates.
In Tu Casa Mi Casa Enrique Olvera shares a hundred of his favourite recipes. There are more than 100 enticing photographs of finished dishes and ingredients, including step-by-step photos to aid the Mexican-cooking novice – and there are indeed many of us.
I would start with flour tortillas. Yes, one can buy them in supermarkets these days but they are simple to make at home with no specialist equipment or ingredients. They work not only with Mexican meals but also for lunchtime wraps with your favourite fillings.
One can find refried beans in a can these days but nothing beats the real thing. Chef Olvera says that oil can be used instead of the traditional lard but I actually prefer good old-fashioned lard in such recipes. The authentic dish only demands a very little but it’s worth including what a Mexican grandmother would choose.
But there are lots of far less familiar recipes here and all of them enticing. Chicken Tinga is a must-try. The ingredients are accessible even in the UK and one doesn’t need a qualification from a catering college to create this flavourful preparation. Have this with a pile of the aforementioned flour tortillas and a bottle of chilled beer.
Rather sophisticated finale
Tu Casa Mi Casa also offers desserts, and the perfect summer cooler would be Passion Fruit Ice Cream. This would be ‘cool’ after that spicy chicken, as would a Mexican Chocolate Ice Pop. Coffee Custard would make a rather sophisticated finale to almost any meal; and Banana Cornbread is a great accompaniment to a nice cup of tea.
Peter Meehan, award-winning food writer, Los Angeles Times editor, former New York Times food critic, and co-founder of Lucky Peach has written the foreword to this stylish volume.
Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook
Author: Enrique Olvera
Published by: Phaidon Press