Taco Obsession: Essential Recipes to Celebrate the Flavors of Mexico, written by Adriana Martin, features a delicious collection of traditional and contemporary taco recipes and accompaniments. A few highlights include Cactus and Egg Tacos (Tacos de Nopales con Huevo), Chicken Skewer Tacos (Tacos de Alambre de Pollo), Grilled Tuna Tacos (Tacos de Atún à la Parilla), Shredded Pork Pibil Tacos (Tacos de Cerdo Pibil), and Mosaic Gelatin (Gelatina Mosaico). I will also be sharing her recipe for Salsa Taquera (Street Taco Salsa) following the review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Rockridge Press in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Adriana Martin was born in the state of Tamaulipas, raised in Mexico City, and is currently based in Florida. She is a home chef, food writer, recipe developer, trained food stylist and photographer, and creator of the blog- Adriana’s Best Recipes.
Her work has been featured in a variety of publications since 2011. She also teaches online cooking classes and has collaborated with top brands. This is Adriana’s third cookbook. She is also the author of Best of Mexican Cooking and Super Easy Taco Cookbook.
Adriana begins Taco Obsession with a short introduction and the history and traditions behind the creation of tacos.
She describes the taco’s origins in Mexico to the present day trends and fusions. She even discusses the regional variations with a labeled map for reference. Beginners will also appreciate the list of popular ingredients and tools with descriptions and uses.
Chapters are divided according to the following: For the Love of Tacos; Eggs and Vegetables; Chicken; Seafood; Beef, Pork, and More; Tortillas, Sauces, and More; and Drinks and Desserts.
The photography is provided by Darren Muir with food styling by Yolanda Muir. The beginning of each chapter has a full-page photo of one of the included recipes.
Measurements are listed in US Customary. A chart with measurement conversions can be found in the back of the book. Titles are written in English and Spanish. Each recipe includes a headnote with background information, tips, serving size, prep and cook time, and pairing ideas.
Salsa Taquera (Street Taco Salsa)
I particularly enjoyed the chapter on homemade sauces and condiments to help add even more flavor to the tacos.
This Salsa Taquera (Street Taco Salsa) quickly became a favorite! Chiles de árbol are blended with onions, garlic, and tomatoes to create reddish-orange salsa with a smoky, spicy flavor.
To finish, stir in finely chopped red onion and top with fresh cilantro. The salsa can be refrigerated in a jar for up to 5 days.
Adjust the chiles de árbol more or less depending on your spice preference. Adriana also mentions you can sauté two or three tomatillos with the tomatoes to add some extra tartness.
I paired the Salsa Taquera with Tacos de Carne Asada (Beef Asada Tacos), but it is delicious with other grilled meats as well.
I also made the Tacos Dorados de Papa (Crispy Potato Tacos), Tacos de Carne Asada (Beef Asada Tacos), Mojito de Mango con Mezcal (Mango Mezcal Mojito), and Paletas Heladas de Fresa (Strawberry Ice Pops).
The Tacos Dorados de Papa (Crispy Potato Tacos) were so so good. I loved the contrasted of creamy mashed potatoes with the crisp tortillas. Before serving, they are topped with shredded lettuce, crumbled queso cotija, and a drizzle of Mexican crema.
I made the Tacos de Carne Asada (Beef Asada Tacos) to pair with the Salsa Taquera. It comes together so easily in just 30 minutes! Thin slices of steak are briefly marinated in a citrus garlic mixture, then grilled on each side. They are paired with corn tortillas, the salsa, onion, cilantro, and lime.
In addition to tacos, Adriana has also put together a chapter on accompanying drinks and desserts. This Mojito de Mango con Mezcal (Mango Mezcal Mojito) is the first in that chapter. Fresh mango pieces are muddled with mint leaves and combined with sugar, lime, mezcal, and sparkling water to create a light, smoky drink.
The Paletas Heladas de Fresa (Strawberry Ice Pops) were Claire’s pick and such a fun treat. Fresh strawberries are blended with sugar, lime juice, and lime zest until smooth, then frozen in popsicle molds.
Taco Obsession is a great pick for those looking for a collection of taco recipes created with the home cook in mind. Many come together quickly with only a handful of ingredients. Others are more labor-intensive or require specific equipment (pressure cooker or Dutch oven). There is a nice variety of chicken, meat, seafood, and vegetarian options.
Having a market specializing in Mexican ingredients will be helpful for locating items such as queso fresco, squash blossoms, crema, guajillo peppers, papilla peppers, banana leaf, masa harina, tomatillos, and Mexican chocolate.
Salsa Taquera (Street Taco Salsa) Recipe
Excerpt from Taco Obsession
Salsa Taquera (Street Taco Salsa)
- 1/4 cup corn oil
- 3-6 chiles de árbol stemmed
- 1/4 white onion coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 4 Roma tomatoes halved
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/3 red onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium to high heat until shimmering.
- Fry the chiles de árbol for 1 to 2 minutes, turning constantly. Remove them from the oil and set aside.
- Add the onion to the skillet and fry for 3 minutes, sporadically turning. Add the garlic cloves and fry for 2 minutes on both sides until browned.
- Add the tomatoes and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft. Season with the chicken bouillon and salt and stir. Simmer for another 2 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Transfer the cooked vegetables, including the oil used for sautéing, to a blender, and blend for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce emulsifies and changes to a reddish-orange color. It should be a smooth consistency.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl, stir in the chopped red onion, and top with fresh cilantro before serving.
- Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.