Nopalito by Gonzalo Guzman

Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen by Gonzalo Guzmán and Stacy Adimando is a stunning book from the head chef at San Francisco's popular restaurants by the same name.

Featuring 100 Mexican dishes with a Californian vibe along with stunning photographs throughout makes this another must-have restaurant cookbook. Techniques, insights into Mexican food and culture are also included.

I love everything about this book - the vibrant food and photographs and even the quality and feel of the paper. Recipes include Teleras (Mexican sandwich rolls), Quesadillas Con Repollo De Bruselas (an incredible looking quesadilla filled with Brussels Sprouts and Cascabel Chile Oil), Gorditas de Papas Con Chorizo and Tostadas de Picadillo (ground beef tostadas) - the latter three recipes I want to try to make this weekend for Cinco de Mayo.

Special thanks to Ten Speed Press for sharing the recipe below for some cheesy deliciousness with our members. (I did some googling - and if you can't find fresh nopales - you can use canned but the texture will be different - or substitute okra, green beans or green peppers. I am going to make this recipe for our Cinco weekend as well and will probably just leave them out.) Be sure to head over to our contest page for a giveaway on this title.

QUESO FLAMEADO CON CHORIZO Y NOPALES
Hot Oaxacan and Jack Cheese Dip with Chorizo and Cactus

This delicious dish of molten cheese and crumbled, spiced chorizo is loved all over Mexico, but my favorite versions are in the southern part of the country, where cooks often add tender cactus leaves, ornopales. (Outside of Mexico you can usually find cactus at Mexican markets or online.) Once you have all the ingredients prepared and layered, it takes just 10 minutes in the oven.

Acazuelais a Spanish-style ovenproof dish; you can use any comparable casserole dish or cast-iron pot. Queso flameado is best eaten hot, so be sure to get it onto the table just as soon as it is out of the oven.

Serves 4

2 small nopales, spines trimmed away
Salt
2 teaspoons rice bran oil or canola oil
6 ounces (3/4 cup) Chorizo Oaxaqueño or crumbled store-bought Mexican chorizo (discard the casings)
1 cup shredded Jack cheese
2/3 cup shredded Oaxacan cheese
Chopped cilantro leaves

Tortilla chips or warm soft corn tortillas, for serving

Rinse the cactus leaves with cold water and pat them dry; season on both sides with salt. Preheat a skillet big enough to contain both cactus leaves over high heat (if they won't both fit, work in batches or in two separate skillets). Add the cactus leaves and cook, flipping them every 3 to 4 minutes, until well seared on both sides, about 15 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest until cool enough to handle, then slice into thin, bite-sized strips.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula, until browned and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain off any excess fat that pools in the bottom of the pan.

In a 16-ounce (6-inch) cazuela or other ovenproof baking dish, layer half of the Jack cheese evenly on the bottom. Top with a layer of the chorizo, then one-quarter of the Oaxacan cheese, the cactus strips, and the rest of the Jack and Oaxacan cheeses mixed together.

Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese is completely melted and bubbling around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with chips or tortillas for dipping.

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29 Comments

  • imaluckyducky  on  5/3/2017 at 11:19 AM

    Mexico One Plate At A Time by Rick Bayless, hands-down.

  • sgump  on  5/3/2017 at 1:45 PM

    I don't yet have a favorite Mexican cookbook--perhaps *Nopalito* will become the one?

  • stephdayl  on  5/3/2017 at 2:25 PM

    Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

  • HelenB  on  5/3/2017 at 11:20 PM

    The first recipe I would try is the Shrimp ceviche.

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  5/4/2017 at 1:18 AM

    Viva La Revolucion - Fiona Dunlap And do like My Sweet Mexico because I enjoy dessert cookbooks.

  • Patoliv1312  on  5/4/2017 at 3:51 AM

    The Sweet potato tamales with mole Amarillo sounds tasty.

  • FireRunner2379  on  5/4/2017 at 5:13 AM

    I really don't have a favorite Mexican cookbook.

  • WideAngleMind  on  5/4/2017 at 7:36 PM

    I'd love to try the Sesame Sandwich Rolls!

  • hippiechick1955  on  5/5/2017 at 11:25 AM

    I don't yet have a favorite Mexican Cookbook so I'm hoping this is the one!

  • RSW  on  5/5/2017 at 4:08 PM

    I don;t have any

  • Siegal  on  5/7/2017 at 11:03 AM

    My fav Mexican cookbooks is by phAidon

  • bstewart  on  5/8/2017 at 12:49 AM

    Love Nopalito -- and excited for the book!

  • meggan  on  5/8/2017 at 1:54 PM

    Hartwood is my favorite right now.

  • kitchenclimbers  on  5/8/2017 at 2:40 PM

    I don't have a good mexican cookbook yet!

  • lgroom  on  5/12/2017 at 8:53 PM

    Mexico One Plate At A Time

  • t.t  on  5/13/2017 at 12:33 AM

    I don't really have a favorite yet.

  • JenJoLa  on  5/13/2017 at 5:50 AM

    Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless is probably my favorite Mexican cookbook, but I'm always up for trying new Mexican cookbooks.

  • AnnaZed  on  5/17/2017 at 2:14 AM

    I have a Mexican cookbook that I like called: MUY BUENO: THREE GENERATIONS OF AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FLAVOR

  • cocecitycook  on  5/20/2017 at 4:24 AM

    The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy is my favorite. Nopalito looks like it has some yummy recipes in it also.

  • TrishaCP  on  5/20/2017 at 2:47 PM

    Whatever I'm cooking out of at the moment between Diana Kennedy, Zarela Martinez, Rick Bayless, and Pati Jinich. I do want to give a shoutout to Yucatan by the much mourned David Sterling- anyone that wants the authenticity and detail of Diana Kennedy's work needs that cookbook. Spectacular.

  • BarbaraM48  on  5/25/2017 at 10:16 AM

    Love Mexican one plate at a time

  • PennyG  on  5/26/2017 at 4:28 PM

    Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

  • masterphill99  on  5/26/2017 at 11:26 PM

    I would try the chicken tinga tostadas!

  • Lem9579  on  5/27/2017 at 8:16 AM

    I'd try polvorones. I used to eat them a lot when I was little and made them too. I grew up in Puerto Rico. There might be a slight difference but I still bet they are to die for!

  • Lem9579  on  5/27/2017 at 8:21 AM

    I only have Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday. I do like it a lot but certainly could use another one.

  • RSW  on  5/30/2017 at 11:11 AM

    I have never cooked Mexican. Would love to try. Do not own a Mexican cookbook.

  • MeganGarcia  on  5/31/2017 at 5:41 PM

    Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibañez

  • monique.potel  on  6/1/2017 at 8:50 AM

    i love all the books from rick bayless and dianna kennedy

  • Nancith  on  6/3/2017 at 11:45 AM

    I don't own any Mexican cookbooks yet; that's one reason to enter this giveaway!

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