Review of Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangelina Soza

Award-winning food blogger, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack of along with her mom, Evangelina Soza, and her sister, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, want you to “SiĆ©ntate a comer, esta muy bueno!” which means “Sit down and eat, it’s very good!”. This is how their grandmother, Jesusita, would welcome guests to her table. This cookbook is to honor her memory and share their family’s recipes and stories for future generations. Muy Bueno showcases old-world northern Mexican recipes from Jesusita’s kitchen; comforting south of the border home-style dishes from Evangelina; and innovative Latin fusion recipes from Yvette and Veronica.

Here I am taking photos of my food. Photo courtesy of Melissa's Produce.
Here’s a big thank you to Melissa’s culinary team who prepared the following dishes with the utmost care and expertise.

In the Salsas chapter, Mango and Avocado Salsa (Salsa de Aguacate Y Mango) is made with mango, red onion, avocado, roma tomatoes, cilantro, serrano pepper, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. This salsa is chunky and refreshing with sweet tomato and mango flavors. The avocado adds a nice creamy texture and buttery flavor. It could use a bit more heat, maybe by adding a few more serrano peppers. This is beautifully served as an appetizer with tortilla chips or even atop grilled fish like salmon. Rating: 4.5/5

Jesusita’s House Salsa (Salsa Casera de Jesusita) is made with Anaheim chiles, jalapeno peppers, salt, garlic, tomato, and tomato sauce. This version was made with hatch chiles since they were in season. The chiles added a roasted, smoky flavor to that special peppery flavor that hatch chiles have. The use of the hot hatch chiles versus the mild would be better for a spicier kick if that’s your preference. The color is beautifully festive and reminds me of Christmas. Rating: 4/5

In the Appetizers chapter, Corn in a Cup (Elote en Vaso) is made with corn, salted butter, lime juice, crema Mexicana, chili powder, salt, hot sauce, and cojita. This has a sweet, creamy corn flavor like you would have on the cob at a street fair. It is much easier to eat, but sometimes all the fun is in gnawing the kernels off the cob. This would be great for potluck or even Thanksgiving. Rating: 4.5/5

In the Entrees chapter, Chicken Tinga (Tinga de Pollo con Chipotle) is made with water, chicken breasts, salt, galic, yellow onion, tomato, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and canola oil. The tomato and spicy flavors work well with the chicken. This would be excellent all on its own, with beans and rice, or in a taco, burrito, tostada, or inside enchiladas. Rating: 5/5

Beef Brisket Tacos (Tacos de Carne Deshebrada) are made with beef brisket, liquid smoke, bay leaves, beer, salt, and black pepper. The brisket is pulled so it is stringy and tender. The flavor is a little muted and could use more salt. Maybe braising it in a mixture of beer and beef stock would help punch up the beefy flavor. Rating: 4/5

In the Sides chapter, Mango, Jicama, and Cucumber Salad (Ensalada de Mango, Jicama, Y Pepino) is made with yellow mango, green mango, jicama, cucumber, lime juice, chile powder, cayenne, and salt. This is a refreshing salad with great texture and flavor – soft, sweet mango, crunchy jicama, and refreshing cucumber all dance together in epicurean harmony. This would be great for a summer picnic. Rating: 5/5

In the Desserts chapter, Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan (Flan de Calabaza Y Tres Leches) is made with sugar, cream cheese, eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, milk, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. This has two of my favorite fall/winter desserts infused into one – pumpkin and custard pies. The flan is pumpkin flavor forward with a creamy, custardy texture. The syrup is perfectly thick and sweet. So decadent. So delicious! Rating: 5/5

If you love Mexican cuisine, Muy Bueno is a must-have for your kitchen cookbook collection. Muy delicioso!

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