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Mexican Cook Book

Miriam's Cook Book

What should great food be but a celebration of life itself?

Out of my wildly successful series of Puerto Vallarta cooking classes, comes my first cook book, Mi Mexico (My Mexico). It is more than a cookbook—it is an invitation to experience the warmth and authentic culture of Mexico's Jalisco, where fresh seafood and spices, traditional cooking methods, and the joy of sharing meals all come together.

Mi Mexico presents elegant dishes, and the accompanying photos are luscious—but the key to the book's appeal is its simplicity. Many cookbooks intimidate readers with time-consuming recipes and difficult techniques. The casual home cook thinks, “I could never do that,” or “I don't have the time.” But with Mi Mexico, I'm here to show you: It's easy!

Whether the reader is merely curious to expand his palate or yearns for a more rooted, authentic cooking experience, they will find in Mi Mexico a warm, vibrant approach to recipes that is geared toward simple techniques, easy-to-find ingredients, and most of all, hospitality.

These are not 10-hour recipes—who wants to slave away in the kitchen while the party is going on?! Instead, in classic flavor combinations—from Camarones a la Diabla (shrimp in chile de arbol sauce) to Guachinango en hoja de platano (Red Snapper wrapped in banana leaves) to a traditional Birria (celebratory beef stew in mild chili sauce)—readers will discover that they, too can easily create colorful, dynamic flavors—and have fun doing it.

Raised in Pabelo, a small village in Jalisco, Mexico, I grew up in the kitchen helping my grandmother with everyday tasks: hand-grinding corn, making fresh cheese, picking fresh chiles, grinding spices with mortar and pestle. Everyone pitched in, and everyone gathered to eat meals together. Food was not just calories or nutrition but a way of sustaining love and the fabric of family. Food is a love language, a way to say “I love you.”

It was the vibrant culture of Jalisco (the birthplace of tequila and mariachis, to name just two) and the sustainable traditions of village life, that led me back to my roots. The slower pace of life. Living closer to the land and culture which give rise to the ingredients. A more deliberate care in the preparation of food, using rustic and made-from-scratch techniques.

More and more, modern people are craving to slow down and to live more consciously, and Mi Mexico speaks directly to this feeling. More primitive but not less complex, the rustic approach and recipes I present result in elegance and dynamic flavors.

During the high season in Puerto Vallarta, I teach cooking classes 4-5 days a week. The groups of people who fill my classes are diverse—I've had Italian deli owners from New York, elderly widowers from the Midwest, young Canadians on vacation, retired Californians—but they share one thing in common. Almost everyone walks out with a newfound connection to the food they eat: a joy and confidence that they, too, can experience and create authentic flavors, and by sharing that with people around them, they can build and sustain their own communities.

(And of course, they always ask: “Do you have a cookbook?”)

So from the rich traditions of my little village, into the warmth of your own kitchen, I give you: Mi Mexico.

Provecho! -Mario Ross