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Bayless has spent the past three decades eating his way across Mexico "one plate at a time," as his PBS series proclaims. But for his seventh cookbook, he has switched modes from hunter-gatherer to home dweller, providing 150 recipes geared toward kicking back and relaxing with friends. Indeed, the attention paid to tequila in the opening chapter could easily lead to guests never leaving the sofa. A blood orange margarita and a Mexican mojito top the list, though Bayless also includes instructions for having a proper tequila tasting. Building up a thirst is no problem given the variety of hot, tangy, and pepper-filled dishes that are the author's stock in trade. Mango guacamole and chipotle-roasted almonds get things going. There are five different ceviches for seafood fans, tacos and tamales inspired by Mexican diners and street vendors, and an Oaxacan-style lamb pit barbecue for those who don't mind digging a hole in the backyard. To assure the proper fiesta atmosphere, there are song suggestions in a "tropical party playlist." And for those who want to throw a really big shindig, there are several megarecipes that cover every detail of such ambitious efforts as a Mexican mole fiesta for 24 and a seafood cocktail party for 12. These include not just the menu items but also a time line of when to buy and prepare each item, serving strategies, and embellishments. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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This new cookbook by restaurateur Bayless (Mexican Everyday) demonstrates how his enthusiasm and skills marry superbly. Writing with wife Deann, he offers 150 scalable recipes for informal entertaining. The dishes sound not just achievable by casual cooks but utterly delicious and welcome at any party. Indeed, a strength of the book is how Bayless suggests combinations and even provides plans for four different party ideas. Typical of his cookbooks, the recipes usually include entertaining and informative introductions that showcase how great a teacher he is. Also helpful are the variations he offers for the adventurous and for readers with limited access to special ingredients. The cocktail, guacamole, and ice cream recipes are especially alluring. Verdict An abundance of terrific ideas for party food and beverages from a master of Mexican cuisine. [Eight-city tour.]-Peter Hepburn, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.