With more than three hundred recipes, nearly sixty of which have never been published before, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz--an expert on Latin American food--brings the colorful tapestry and basic principles of Mexican cooking to your kitchen. Here familiar items like peppers, avocados, cilantro, pumpkin, and beans are transformed with original and unexpected combinations that evoke the rich heritage and flavors of Mexico. Authentic dishes that tempt the palate range from such classics as Enchiladas Suizas (Flour Tortillas stuffed with Chicken, Poblano Chilies, and Tomatillos) to the intoxicating flavors of Pescado en Salsa de Azafran y Nuez (Fish in Saffron and Pecan Sauce). You'll find the recipes for the best known as well as creative variations on salsa, soup, meat, poultry, and vegetable dishes, passed from one generation to the next and enhanced by the colorful imagination and exquisite skills of cooks throughout Mexico. In the lively new headnotes for each recipe, Lambert Ortiz explores the fascinating history of this ancient cuisine, from the original Aztec and Mayan cooking of the precolonial civilizations to the cuisine that developed after the Spanish conquest. She'll show you how you too can recreate the vibrant spices, the exuberant colors, and the delectable taste of Mexican food in your own kitchen.