I am looking to add a Diana Kennedy cookbook to our home collection and would like recommendations of the best one to start with, if you had to choose just one. Her new Oaxaca book looks stellar but the reviews I've seen make it look more like a coffee table book than one to actually cook out of. I'm leaning towards "My Mexico" but would love input.
We are skilled home cooks who are comfortable working with recipes from other cultures and sourcing unusual ingredients, and we are also busy people with professional lives and a 2 year old at home, so we are up for challenging recipes but not for excessively elaborate projects - just simple delicious dinners at home. To give a sense, we cook a lot out of Deborah Madison's books, and Joy of Cooking, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, etc. Susan Hermann Loomis's Cooking at home on Rue Tatin has been a favorite lately. Keller's French Laundry book, however, just sits on the shelf, though we do cook from his Bouchon book and love it's simpler, homier recipes. We had a Charlier Trotter book for a while and while I got some great ideas (like olive oil poached swordfish with roasted eggplant) I can't say I ever actually cooked out of it. So that should give you some idea of what we are looking for from Diana.
We've both lived in California and New Mexico and my wife has traveled to some extent in Mexico, so we know a lot of the flavors and want to create some of them at home.
So - where should we start?
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