Amá: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen by Josef Centeno and Betty Hallock

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Pickled oregano onions

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      I love these pickled onions. I've made these with both Mexican Oregano and Oregano Indio and the Oregano Indio really shines so it's worth tracking down if you can.

    • Frenchfoodie on May 24, 2020

      After only a day of marinading these are good, spicy, crunchy and with a citrusy herbal note from the mexican oregano. Yum.

    • purrviciouz on July 05, 2020

      Very tasty from the oregano and the onion flavor is mild.

  • Pickled gooseberries

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      These are great little flavor bombs! I made them to use in the scallop aguachile in this book and looking forward to adding them to a cheese and charcuterie platter.

  • Amá spice mix

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      I've made this a couple of times now and had the same experience as the other posters in that the chiles roasted very quickly. I've been using it a lot and it's earned a spot in my overcrowded spice cabinet!

    • MollyB on August 06, 2020

      What a wonderful chile mix! It's quite a bit of work and requires a lot of chiles, but it is much more complex and interesting than any other chile blend I've made. (I ordered the chiles from spiceinc.com and was very happy with them.) I'm looking forward to trying the recipes that use it! So far I've just used in for the book's chorizo recipe, and I loved it in that. I agree with Frenchfoodie that the oven roasting time is off - I took them out before the 10 minutes when some chiles started smoking. Watch the chiles closely and don't wander off!

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Makes a good-size batch, worth the work of prepping the chiles

    • Frenchfoodie on July 05, 2020

      Tasty with complex heat though the oven roasting took way less than the 10 minutes in the recipe - even after 5 they were a bit more done than I’d have liked.

  • Mexican Sriracha

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      This stuff is so good. I've been putting it on everything! After putting it through a strainer, mine was like a thick ketchup so I ended up thinning it down. I also added a spoonful of honey to balance the flavors.

    • southerncooker on September 17, 2020

      Wow this stuff is powerful. Had my nose running and my eyes watering. I did a little taste before popping in fridge to use in some recipes. It's mighty HOT. My son should love it.

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Needs a bit of acidity, combined with a homemade vinegar-carrot hot sauce

  • Cascabel pimento cheese

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      A perfect fusion between Tex-Mex and Southern cooking. It's not my all-time favorite pimento cheese (that honor goes to the one in Deep Run Roots) but I still enjoyed the twist and would make it again.

    • southerncooker on September 16, 2020

      I wasn't sure about it, but it's really good. I had some on Ritz crackers.. I do love pimento cheese and enjoy trying new versions. This was definitely a unique one. Hoping to try some in the Cheese Chile's Rellenos p. 202

  • Tomatillo salsa

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      I've made some other tomatillo salsas that boil the tomatillos and like this roasted version better. I love having a tangy green sauce like this on hand.

    • Frenchfoodie on August 10, 2020

      Made it for the green enchilladas and it worked well, even with canned tomatillos (well drained, grilled to char lightly) though I am sure fresh would be much better.

    • patioweather on March 18, 2020

      This is the way I've always made my salsa verde, although I usually use jalapenos rather than serrano because they are more readily available. This recipe was easy and delicious. My guests raved about it.

  • Tía Carmen's flour tortillas

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      I used rendered bacon fat to make these. Really good and easy, though I need to work on getting them more perfectly round!

  • Grandma Alice's chipotle chorizo

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      Really excellent! Much better than any I've purchased in the store. I used all pork belly as I had it on hand and will make sure to use at least half when I make it again.

    • MollyB on August 06, 2020

      This was great! I used all pork belly and it was delicious, rendering the fat and getting nice and crispy.

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Outstanding chorizo recipe, no reason to buy Mexican-style chorizo again

    • Smokeydoke on July 02, 2020

      Fabulous! I used half pork belly and half ground pork and I"m glad I did because the fat renders out and makes this delicious sauce. It's not health food! LOL. It was too fatty to eat on its own, so I made some eggs, cut up some avocadoes and made burritos out of them, they were even better.

    • Frenchfoodie on May 17, 2020

      Man this was good! Warmly spicy, meaty, juicy with little crispy bits. I made with the meaty end of a rib rack. It is not the first homemade chorizo recipe I’ve tried but I’d need some persuading to try another, this was so good.

    • pattyatbryce on May 14, 2020

      I love this!! Way better than the mystery meat you get in stores. Super easy too!

  • Chorizo breakfast tacos

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      These are so great with the chorizo and freshly made flour tortillas from the book. I added avocado and a few spoons of the Mexican Salmorejo on p 28

  • Grandma Alice's chorizo and queso asadero

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      So good but also so rich that I couldn't eat more than a few bites. Great to have as an option on an appetizer spread with fresh veggies, guacamole and other lighter dishes.

  • Scallop aguachile with tomato-habanero water and gooseberries

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      I thought this was tongue-tinglingly delicious. I didn't have a lemon cucumber so I used a hot house cuke but otherwise followed the recipe. Since the pico de gallo that's drained to get the "tomato-habanero water" uses pineapple vinegar, I mixed the leftover solids with chopped pineapple to make a salsa to have with this and some freshly fried tortilla chips.

    • Frenchfoodie on October 11, 2020

      Delicious and very elegant looking.

  • Nana's deviled eggs with bacon

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      I don't usually like "stuff" in my deviled eggs and these have a lot but I liked them anyhow!

  • Nana's deviled egg sandwiches

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      I made these as little open-faced crostini on toasted whole wheat baguette and topped them with the crispy bacon instead of mixing it into the egg salad. Delicious!

  • Borracho bean dip

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      This cheesy Borracho Bean Dip is absolutely delicious. Honestly, the borracho beans from this book by themselves are so delicious, all you'd need to do is smash them up to make a great dip, this just takes it over the top. I've never added cream cheese to a bean dip but it made it super creamy and rich.

    • Frenchfoodie on May 17, 2020

      Made with regular chilli powder as I am waiting for chilli for the Amá mix. This was amazingly good, so tasty and moreish. I made as part of a much bigger spread with layered nachos, salsa, salad etc but it really would stand up with just chips.

  • Corn quesadillas with poblano, cilantro, and green onions

    • SheilaS on August 08, 2020

      Corn and green peppers are such a classic combo, it's no surprise they make a great quesadilla. Very good!

  • Tex-Mex Caesar salad

    • MollyB on August 21, 2020

      This was a great dish, especially the dressing. It was, however, a LOT of work for a salad, what with chopping garlic and fresh herbs, making croutons, and making the dressing. I might do either the dressing or the croutons in the future to make it a little faster, or else make the dressing the day before.

    • Rradishes on May 20, 2020

      Yum, the dressing is very good, elevating it to a salad worth serving at a dinner party.

    • Maefleur on July 13, 2020

      This was a very nice spin on Caesar salad with the spices and cheese for both the dressing and croutons. I topped ours with some leftover hot sauce chicken. Delicious!

    • purrviciouz on July 18, 2020

      This was great! The dressing is super easy and I like the step where you lightly cook the garlic and anchovies before adding to the dressing. It takes some of the raw bite edge out of the dressing. We added some of the steak fajitas for protein to make a dinner salad.

    • Lsblackburn1 on August 27, 2020

      Loved this! Excellent variation on a Caesar salad. I added chopped poached chicken breasts and extra avocado and it made a very filling dinner.

  • Migas

    • southerncooker on September 17, 2020

      Delicious. I did add the red potato. I was afraid it wouldn't be done. I sliced really thin and it was cooked perfect. I liked the crispy tortilla bits. I couldn't find Serrano chiles when I did my grocery shopping so I used jalapeno. I had mine on a whole wheat flour tortilla. I'd eat this again.

  • Kielbasa and potato scramble

    • southerncooker on September 14, 2020

      I was unable to find either pasilla de Oaxaca or dried New Mexico chile. I looked online and found a dried Ancho was a good subsitute so I used that. Chipollini are also impossible to find here so I used a couple green onions. We ate ours with corn tortillas and salsa. So delicious. We all loved it.

  • Tía Mona's picadillo

    • southerncooker on September 19, 2020

      I made this so I could freeze some to make Chalupas p. 210 and Breakfast Tacos p. 69. I tasted of it when it got done and it was really good. I used a mix of chili powder and Chipotle instead of the AMA spice.

    • kitchen_chick on November 20, 2019

      We found this surprisingly bland. Not in a bad way, but blander than we expected or wanted. I'll probably use other picadillo recipes in the future. For example, it calls for 1/4 of a jalapeno for the entire dish? Why bother adding any at all. (I used an entire jalapeno.) It definitely needs to be part of another dish. All the dried chiles listed in the ingredients are for the special chili spice blend that is a separate recipe. The recipe says you can substitute chili powder, though it may not be as flavorful. (Maybe that's why ours was bland.)

    • Frenchfoodie on May 09, 2020

      Made with just one sub, a mix of regular chilli powder and chipotle flakes for the ama spice mix. It came together quickly and was relatively flavourful but not so good I’d rush back. I do like the book tip that this can be made and frozen then warmed up in a pan from frozen, would be a good standby with a bit more tinkering.

    • patioweather on March 18, 2020

      I made this with faux, vegetarian ground meat. We enjoyed it a lot, but we upped the amount of chile powder a lot because it was clear that 1 tsp was not enough.

  • Picadillo breakfast tacos

    • southerncooker on September 25, 2020

      Delicious. I used a whole wheat tortilla for mine. I had frozen some of the picadillo p. 66 I had made last week.

  • Broiled piloncillo Texas grapefruit

    • southerncooker on September 15, 2020

      I've never been a fan of sugar on grapefruit, but always put a little salt on mine. I've also never eaten a broiled one. With that in mind I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy this. Since I had a red grapefruit I decided why not. I tried to get hubby to try half, but he refused. One of our local grocery stores always has Piloncillo and I've never tried it. I decided to pick some up to do this recipe and maybe the French Toast p 77, but they were remodeling and I couldn't find any so I used brown sugar. It turned out delicious after adding a pinch of salt. I ending up eating both halves. I've always pre-segmented mine though for ease of eating. My Mom taught me to do that.

    • Frenchfoodie on May 15, 2020

      Relatively quick and easy, looks beautiful and tastes pretty good. Turns out I’m not really a fan of hot grapefruit though.

    • patioweather on March 27, 2020

      Broiled grapefruit is good in all its guises and this is no different. I had never thought of pre-segmenting it though. That trick is going to be a game-changer for me.

  • Fideo

    • southerncooker on September 20, 2020

      The fideo I found was in a 7 oz package instead of 5. I used chili powder instead of the spice mix. For the liquid option I chose vegetable broth. I used the whole tablespoon of the Mexican Sriacha p. 29 and wow was it spicy. I added some Mexican crema to mine to tone it down. Very flavorful. Next time I'll use less sriracha.

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Oddly bland but would try again with additional spices.

  • Borracho beans

    • southerncooker on September 25, 2020

      Good but I did have to add salt. Looking forward to using leftovers in a few more recipes.

    • Frenchfoodie on May 17, 2020

      Good solid bean recipe. Made with mogette as had no (have never seen..) cranberry beans. Nice savoury flavour from the beer but not ‘beery’. Will happily make again.

    • purrviciouz on July 18, 2020

      Delicious, I ground the chili along with the cumin and used about 3x the cumin. Frenchfoodie's descriptions is perfect, it's a solid bean recipe.

    • Lsblackburn1 on August 28, 2020

      These were great, although need salt, which I don’t think the recipe mentions! I also cooked them for about 3 hours, adding some veggie stock I had that needed using up. Served with cheese, avocado, and flour tortillas.

    • SweetLittleBytes on January 21, 2021

      I used pinto beans since cranberry beans weren't available to me. This recipe makes a lot but freezes very well.

  • Refried borracho beans

    • southerncooker on September 29, 2020

      Delicious. We liked the beans even better this way.

    • Frenchfoodie on May 21, 2020

      Delicious, though think this was as much about the (excellent) borracho bean base recipe maturing than anything else given the simplicity of the recipe.

  • Mom's rice

    • southerncooker on September 29, 2020

      We thought too bland so added hot sauce and that did the trick. Daughter also added cheese and said delicious.

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      I find it a little bland but my family loves this rice and the V-8 juice makes it so easy!

    • Rradishes on May 20, 2020

      V8 juice is a genius shortcut, might be best Mexican rice I've ever made. very easy too

    • mamacrumbcake on November 29, 2020

      This is almost as good as Arroz a la Mexicana from Diana Kennedy’s The Art of Mexican Cooking—and much easier to make. But I made one change and that was to increase the salt to 1.5 teaspoons. I understand why others said this was bland. The recipe calls for a mere 1/4 tsp salt for two full cups of dry rice. There is no way that is close to enough. The increased salt brought forth the flavor of the aromatics and the stock. My stock was unsalted so if you use regular stock, you might need less than 1.5 teaspoons.

    • Frenchfoodie on May 15, 2020

      Came together quickly and easily and looked beautiful. Tasted a bit bland though even with homemade stock and really tasty veg juice so needs playing with a bit and seasoning more heavily. Definately a repeat though.

    • Lsblackburn1 on May 28, 2020

      Loved this! After doing the dry rice, shallots and garlic in a skillet, I put it in the rice cooker with the liquid. Came out perfectly.

  • Fried chicken with honey and mint

    • southerncooker on September 29, 2020

      My family had mixed feelings about this one. One loved, one said good, one didn't like. I thought good with honey and even better next day cold with touch of honey. I didn't use mint.

  • Dad's steak fajitas

    • southerncooker on September 19, 2020

      Very tasty and the green onions were a great addition. Instead of grilling I did in a cast iron skillet. Hubby and son added some favorite toppings. I had mine on a whole wheat tortilla with salsa.

    • purrviciouz on July 18, 2020

      We added the steak to the tex-mex caesar, super good!

  • Amá's guacamole

    • southerncooker on September 16, 2020

      He's right you really can't tell there's celery in it. It was good with tortilla chips. There are other versions I enjoy more but I would eat this version again.

  • Snake's blood

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      An outstanding cocktail, well-balanced

    • jenburkholder on August 17, 2020

      Delicious, but very, tooth-achingly sweet. Save for a special occasion.

  • Turmeric-ginger chicken fajitas

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Flavorful and very easy

    • purrviciouz on July 14, 2020

      Incredible! This was very easy and added a unique flavor to the fajitas tacos.

  • Broccolini torrada with aged cheddar and lime

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Outstanding vegetable side. The torrida is excellent on other vegetables and swiped on a sandwich.

  • Mama Grande's chicken soup

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Flavorful and comforting soup, the sesame seeds add a nice note

  • Albondigas with tomatillo salsa

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Delicious and easy, consider baking in mini muffin tin to prevent cheese from leaking out.

    • Lsblackburn1 on May 28, 2020

      This recipe makes a lot of meatballs, but fortunately, they’re delicious so will get eaten! I did not add the water... not sure if it was needed. Everything else as written (don’t forget to add the caraway, which doesn’t get mentioned!)

  • Morita-guajillo salsa

    • bernalgirl on October 08, 2020

      An outstanding salsa, rich with the flavors of toasted chiles and tomatoes. This is going to be in regular rotation

    • Frenchfoodie on July 05, 2020

      Seriously good though a bit fiery for us, an extra 2 tomatoes were needed.

  • Jesusita's pequín salsa

    • bernalgirl on September 01, 2020

      Flavorful and easy salsa

  • Amá's margarita

    • bktravels on May 05, 2020

      This is the best margarita we've ever made at home. Deliciosa! Cinco de Mayo, 2020

  • Roasted cauliflower with cilantro-pecan pesto

    • Rradishes on May 20, 2020

      The cilantro pesto is bright and flavorful, infinitely adaptable. Definitely will repeat

  • Super nachos

    • metacritic on November 01, 2020

      I found these less than the sum of their extravagant parts. Fine, sure. But not equal to the labor and costs they entail.

    • patioweather on March 18, 2020

      Hard to go wrong with nachos, honestly.

  • Hot sauce chicken with cabbage and kale slaw

    • Maefleur on July 10, 2020

      The chicken came out tender, juicy, fiery and flavorful. Love the oregano vinaigrette on the slaw. Perfect combo.

  • Anchovy butter-roasted red onions

    • dzant on June 03, 2020

      One of the best recipes in the book.

  • Mexican salmorejo

    • Frenchfoodie on May 09, 2020

      Quick basic though a bit watery with blended full tomatoes, will try deseeded in the future. Broiling/grilling the onion and garlic was a nice touch to reduce the raw taste and add a little smokiness.

    • purrviciouz on July 14, 2020

      I used the tinned tomato but drained all the liquid from the can before blending. I liked the flavor of this salsa and it was super easy and fast.

  • Carne guisada

    • Frenchfoodie on August 10, 2020

      Tasty and kept and reheated well but was not as much of a hit as some of the recipes in this book.

    • Lsblackburn1 on July 13, 2020

      Flavors were delicious, but I used bone-in short ribs and there was a lot of grease. I’d totally would make this again, but I’d pour off all the grease after searing the meat (I did try to get some, but not enough!)

  • Cornmeal pancakes with maple-molasses syrup

    • Frenchfoodie on May 16, 2020

      These are more decadent than our usual scotch pancakes but cooked up a real treat, plush and plumped up with the odd crispy bit on the edges. I massively reduced the maple molasses syrup and still had loads left over. Quite tender and tricky to turn so don’t overcrowd the pan.

  • Biscuits with bacon gravy

    • Frenchfoodie on August 10, 2020

      Biscuits were light and soft but bacon gravy was not to my personal taste - and thickened too much for pouring.

  • Beef cheek barbacoa

    • Frenchfoodie on May 24, 2020

      Having sourced the right chillis and followed the recipe to the letter I felt this was ok but lacking in flavour. I’ve reduced the sauce down and simmered the meat in it a bit longer, here’s hoping that works.

  • Mom's green enchiladas

    • Frenchfoodie on July 05, 2020

      Seriously good, savoury cheesy deliciousness, even with a feta substitute for the filling. No heat which makes them perfect for a family meal; the adults can spice it up with salsa.

    • patioweather on May 26, 2020

      This was easy if using pre-cooked shredded chicken, but I found the filling a bit bland.

    • Samallyn6 on August 22, 2020

      I also found this a bit bland. I would like to make it again, but need to figure out how to make it a bit more flavorful.

  • Oven-roasted baby back ribs

    • Frenchfoodie on May 21, 2020

      Delicious. I cut sugar in the dry rub by 1/3 but that was my main change. Ribs were tender with beautiful sticky bbq glaze and hum of chilli heat but in good balance with sugar and wider spices. Husband still thinks nigella’s are best but I’m on the fence, these were that good.

  • Tex-Mex roast turkey

    • Frenchfoodie on May 21, 2020

      Cooked this with a chicken (turkeys rare here in France) and it was great - burnished bronze, well flavoured and juicy inside despite inadverently cooking too high and too long.

  • The Nacho

    • Frenchfoodie on May 09, 2020

      This was good, even tequila agnostics liked it. Made with an approximation of the shrub using a vinegar/sugar based chilli sauce plus a dash of soda water. Will definitely re-run with the shrub.

  • Berries with hibiscus-ginger syrup

    • Frenchfoodie on May 24, 2020

      The ginger-hibiscus syrup is phenomenal! I didn’t think it was necessary on the beautifult ripe berries I had it with but drizzled over ice cream and paired with tonic water and lime for a mocktail it was delicious. I may have snuck the odd tablespoon straight from the jar too, it is that good.

  • Hibiscus-ginger syrup

    • Frenchfoodie on October 11, 2020

      So so good, drizzled over ice cream and/or fruit salad or used to flavour lemonade (and give a great pink colour). Had a tang and depth of flavour that is hard to place if new to hibiscus but utterly addictive.

    • patioweather on March 18, 2020

      I made both this and the plain hibiscus syrup in the book and they are both so delicious and easy. Why do I not have hibiscus syrup round ALL THE TIME???

  • Amá's carrot and potato sofrito enchiladas

    • Kduncan on December 28, 2020

      The fried tortillas were amazing, but I think the recipe calls for a bit too much queso. You really need the topping for everything to go together. I thought it was going to be boring, but we really enjoyed this. Also the tiny chopping paid off.

  • Peel-n-eat shrimp with chile and peanuts

    • pattyatbryce on May 14, 2020

      Really good and you can scale the heat easily.

  • Vegan cashew queso

    • patioweather on March 18, 2020

      Even non-vegans thought this was great. The tomatillo salsa gives it a unique freshness it and makes it less "cheesy" than some other nacho cheese. If you eat a lot of vegan nacho cheese, you become used to the flavor profile of nutritional yeast or other similar ingredients. This has an entirely different flavor profile and so it's a nice change of pace. Will boil some pasta to eat my leftovers on.

  • Blood orange flan de queso

    • patioweather on May 16, 2020

      I made it with regular orange instead of blood orange. Makes an extremely easy flan without the syrup layer.

  • Hibiscus syrup

    • patioweather on March 18, 2020

      I made both this and the ginger hibiscus syrup in the book and they are both so delicious and easy. Why do I not have hibiscus syrup round ALL THE TIME???

  • Tía Alice Jo's curry-chile pork roast

    • purrviciouz on July 05, 2020

      Fantastic, the curry smells amazing while cooking and the flavor is pretty subtle in the finished pork. I used new mexican ground chile instead of chipotle in the marinade b/c that's what i had and it worked great however I did put chipotle hot sauce on the tacos.

    • purrviciouz on July 07, 2020

      We loved this. It was very simple and made for great tacos with the oregano pickled onions, store bought guac, and hot sauce. I used New Mexican red chile powder instead of chipotle.

  • Sautéed corn with cotija, mushrooms, and bacon

    • Lsblackburn1 on June 12, 2020

      Delicious! Served as a side dish for grilled sausages with onions. Perfect combo.

  • Fideo with octopus

    • Apepin on February 07, 2021

      I followed the recipe for the fideo, but cooked the octopus sous vide--blanching it for 30 seconds so that the tentacles would curl and then putting it in at 175 degrees for 5 hours. It was the best octopus I've ever eaten. Next time I'll crisp it up for a little longer. Everyone loved it. The fideo was a great complement.

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  • ISBN 10 1452155860
  • ISBN 13 9781452155869
  • Published Oct 01 2019
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Chronicle Books

Publishers Text

Tex-Mex is a delicious, irreverent cuisine that combines the deep traditions of Texan and Mexican cooking. Think meaty stews, breakfast tacos, and tres leches cake. Home cooks will learn how to make them all—in addition to crunchy salads, slow-cooked meats, and fresh cocktails—in this collection of more than 100 recipes from San Antonio native and Los Angeles chef and restauranteur Josef Centeno. Organized into chapters by type of food—including breakfast, vegetables, main courses, desserts, and a super nacho party—this is down-home cooking and grilling at its most inspiring. Presented in a colorful package with more than 100 food and atmospheric photos, this cookbook is a hands-on winner for anyone who loves big flavors, casual parties, and firing up the grill.

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