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Cookbook Shelf: Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Born in El Paso, Texas, Evangelina Soza, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Veronica Gonzalez-Smith learned to cook from their mother and grandmother, Jesusita, whose Mexican recipes were considered legendary among family and friends.  In 2010, they started the Muy Bueno Cookbook Blog as a way to preserve their special culinary heritage for future generations.  In homage to Jesusita, they named the blog after the words she used to welcome her guests to her table – “Sientate a comer, esta muy bueno!” – “Sit down and eat, it’s very good!”  The blog quickly attracted thousands of followers who fell in love with Muy Bueno’s delicious recipes, touching family stories and stunning photography.

Now the ladies have opened their hearts and kitchens to an even wider audience with the release of their first cookbook: Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor. Each with an accompanying full-color photograph, Muy Bueno’s over 100 approachable and easy to make recipes range from traditional old world Mexican, comforting south of the border home-style dishes and innovative Latin fusion creations. The book also features an informative glossary of a variety of chiles with photos and step-by-step instructions for roasting chilies.  All with easy to find ingredients, Muy Bueno’s recipes provide a great introduction for those unaccustomed to Mexican cooking but also offer some fun, creative and tasty twists for those looking to expand their Mexican recipe collection.

No Mexican cookbook is complete without covering the classics, like homemade corn and flour tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole, red chili sauce and tacos – all of which you will find in Muy Bueno.  Another classic you will find in the book is tamales.  And Muy Bueno’s tutorial on making Mexico’s beloved dish is one of the best and easiest to follow that I have seen.  The book has a wonderful collection margaritas.  A couple of my favorites include the Blood Orange Mezcal Margarita and Cranberry Margarita, both of which will add a nice kick to just about any fiesta.  Other stand-out recipes among its salsas, appetizers, soups, entrees, sides and desserts include: Pozole Rojo, Stacked Chipotle Shredded Pork Enchiladas, Chicken Tinga, Mango, Jicama, Cucumber Salad, Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, Pumpkin Turnovers and Mango Upside-Down Cake with Cajeta-Rum Glaze.

Muy Bueno is a true celebration of Mexican customs.  It is a testament to the vibrancy of Mexican culture both in Mexico and the United States.  It is also a testament to the wonderful memories that can be created in the kitchen.  If you love recipes for family-friendly, authentic Mexican dishes that are comforting and rooted in family traditions, Muy Bueno is the book for you. 

In celebration of publication of their new book, TLK contributors Evangelina, Yvette, and Veronica shared two recipes from their book with TLK readers. We hope you like them as much as we do!

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Jalapeño (Camarones Brochette)

  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons tequila
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 20 medium-large shrimp (about 1 pound)
  • 3 jalapeño peppers, cut into thin strips
  • Wooden toothpicks, presoaked

Click here for the full recipe.


Persimmon Margarita

  • 1½ cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup ground cinnamon
  • Limes, cut into wedges and wheels
  • 3 or 4 persimmons (See note)
  • 2 cups tequila reposado
  • 8 ounces lime juice
  • Ice cubes

Click here for the full recipe.

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