Book Review: Just Tacos by Shelley Wiseman

I enjoy eating tacos and they have been one of my go-to meals for a very long time. When my children were young all I had to say was “Taco Night” and their sweet little faces would light up.

Some things have changed since those days. For one thing, I no longer deep-fat fry the tacos shells. It’s not because we didn’t like them that way or because we were attempting to de-fat our diet. It was a lot of work and made my stove a greasy mess. Today we use good quality tortillas and warm them in the microwave or briefly on a grill.

When I had the chance to review a new book titled Just Tacos, at first I thought I’d pass. I figured I had a good grasp on the subject. But something was nagging at me to give it a try. I think it was the subtitle: 100 Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. It was a tease. Can there really be 100 different ways to make tacos?

The answer is yes, there really are 100 ways to make fantastic, good tasting tacos. And they are so much more than your everyday taco-bell, taco-truck tacos. These easy to make and  easy to eat sandwiches are gourmet level tacos.

The beginning of the book gets us going with an excellent basic chapter on tortillas, including several recipes for corn and flour tortillas as well as flavored tortillas. There are beautiful pictures and detailed instructions for handmade tortillas. It’s important because a poor quality tortilla can ruin a taco. It pays to buy the best or make them yourself.

A look at the table of contents gave me a look at the wide variety of tacos in this book. There are Vegetable tacos, Seafood Tacos, Chicken, Turkey, and Duck Tacos. In addition I found Pork and Beef Tacos and Breakfast Tacos and Quesadillas, Sopes, and Tostadas. Nothing is left out as far as I can tell.

Let me list a few of my favorite recipes so you can get an idea of the variety and quality of the recipes in this book.

  • Swiss chard and potato tacos
  • Lobster with mango salsa
  • Shredded chicken with onion (my husband’s favorite)
  • Chorizo and Potato Tacos
  • Lamb Braised in Guajillo Sauce
  • Fried eggs ranchero style

There are so many salsas tucked into this little book as well as little tricks and interesting tidbits of culinary history and lore. If you love Mexican food as much as I do, this will be a great resource.

About the author:

Shelley (Shelton) Wiseman is a multi-lingual food editor, teacher, and cookbook author. She developed recipes for Gourmet magazine for 12 years. Shelley has cooked professionally in France, Mexico, and the United States for 25 years, is co-author of The Mexican Gourmet Cookbook, and has hosted her own radio program in Mexico City, The Creative Cook.

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a weekly feature at Beth Fish Reads. Click the button below and it will take you there.

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20 Responses to Book Review: Just Tacos by Shelley Wiseman

  1. Who knew? I’ve heard of fish tacos, but all the rest of those are new to me! Our nephew loves tacos so I make them every time he visits, but I rarely make them otherwise.

  2. I tend not to eat tacos because they’re so difficult to eat without having everything go everywhere! …sort of like powdered donuts!

  3. Beth F says:

    Okay. I think I need this book. I have three kinds of tacos I make. I need to learn to make more. Love the idea of breakfast taco — and really, why not?

  4. Trish says:

    I send Beth’s comment about NEEDING this book! We’re on a mission to eat more from scratch, but I’m too timid to make tortillas from scratch. Living in Texas, though, I know that a good tortilla makes all the difference. Glad you reviewed this one!

  5. Uniflame says:

    I have reviewed this book as well a few months back. I love all the different taco recipes! 🙂

  6. This sounds great! I was just thinking that I wanted some Mexican food to make to go with the Bloggiesta theme late this month.

  7. We love taco’s! I’d love this book, sounds like some fantastic ideas in there! I would really like to try the poato and chorizo taco to start.

  8. Peggy Ann says:

    I only make one kind of taco I need to get with it!

  9. JoAnn says:

    Add me to the growing list of those NEEDING this book! I rarely eat tacos when we go out (too messy), but enjoy making them at home.

  10. candice says:

    great review! my face (although, it may not be as sweet anymore) still lights up with the words “taco night”…

  11. Christine says:

    I LOVE tacos! Fish tacos are my favorite.. Lobster with Mango Salas? omg sounds awesome. I’m so there!

  12. Libby says:

    Wow!! Lobster tacos?!?! That sounds amazing. I will keep a look out for this book. 😉

  13. My post this week is about Frontera Grill’s Taco Skillet Sauce, so I find this book very interesting.

  14. Cat says:

    The only time we have tacos is when the grandchildren come but some of these recipes sound really tempting.

  15. Cerrin says:

    oooh Tacos. My face lights up with the thought of tacos still. And I want to try those chicken and onion ones that sounds yummy.

  16. Yummmmmm. We love burritos (big fat juicy leaky ones)…I enjoyed reading the one comment above who said she didn’t like them because they were too messy , like powdered donuts. I’m actually usually with her — For example, I hate messy foods, can’t abide ribs for that reason (or powdered donuts). But tacos are one of the very few foods that (to me) are worth the mess!

  17. Bumbles says:

    Oh God – that is MY kind of cookbook!!! I’m am pretty low brow with my tacos – I buy a taco mix kit at the grocery store, fill the hard shell with all the goodies, lay out a soft shell tortilla, spread warm melted cheese all over it, and then wrap it around that hard shell. The cheese acts like the glue and that way even if the hard shell cracks and splits, the good stuff stays put because of that soft tortilla cushion. Sooo fancy, I know ;0)

  18. Staci says:

    Holy Cow! I’m all over this book! My family LOVES tacos and this sounds like a great way to mix it up and garner much love and applause from the boys!! 😀

  19. Ti says:

    I love a good taco! In fact, it’s one of the few foods I can easily make gluten-free so we have them often.

  20. stacybuckeye says:

    I love tacos but they are messy. Jason loves when we have them so I should take a look at this one. I bet even Gage could eat lots of them!

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