The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz was published in 1967.
My copy is hardback with the original dust jacket. The dust jacket is yellowed with age, and ripped a bit along the edges. The book pages are yellowed also, but overall the book is in good condition.
The book is nearly 400-pages long including the index.
Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz was born in 1915 in England. She published poetry, reviewed films
The couple were transferred to Mexico and Ortiz delved into Mexican cooking by learning from stall holders in the markets, and (eventually) from her husbands family and acquaintances.
Read a whole lot more about Ortiz in her Guardian obituary.
The Mexican kitchen is an exciting one, but it is not easy to discover, even firsthand. For the most part, the senoras I met socially didn’t cook, and cooks don’t write down their recipes…
The fact that I cooked at all was frowned on, until my cook-cum-maid reported to my mother-in-law that I was, after all, a respectable ama de casa (Spanish-elegant for housewife.) She said I couldn’t really cook; I only pretended to be able to; that I looked everything up in a book, and what real cook would do that?from the forward
Amazon reviewers love this cookbook and the reprint from 1985 which you can pick up for under $10. You may also find copies of my 1967 hardcover on
On Amazon, K. Lamb wrote, “We got a paperback copy of this book 35 years ago and loved it to death! So when I used it to make turkey mole for Thanksgiving and went to replace the rubber band holding it together, I decided to see if it was possible to get a new copy. I’ve given my Diana Kennedy Mexican cookbooks to our library book sale. Kennedy’s books have lots of great background information on Mexican cooking, but the recipes are too complex for everyday use.”
An Amazon review from Norman H. Harris says, “This book has been around for quite a while. I’ve been through two paperbacks but finally decided a hardcover would stand up better to the heavy use to which I put it. It is a wonderful introduction to a cuisine not fully appreciated in the US. It’s much more than tacos and guacamole. Good discussion of the various chiles basic to Mexican cookery. For those who thought that Mole is just a chocolate-chile sauce for chicken (actually Mole Poblano)the book opens a whole new vista of regional Moles.”
With Chia seeds becoming more of a health food these days and not so much the quirky ceramic pet things they were back in the day, I thought I’d include this recipe for Chia Juice from The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking. It sounds like a summer thirst quencher for sure!
- 1/2 pound chia seeds
- 3 quarts water
- sugar to taste
- lime or lemon juice to taste, strained
Place the chia seeds and water in a large jug and allow to stand long enough for the seeds to swell up and become gelatinous (a few minutes, actually.)
Add the lemon or lime juice and sugar to taste.
Don’t strain. Chill before drinking.