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Norteña: Authentic Family Recipes from Northern Mexico

By Karla Zazueta

Passed down through the generations of Karla Zazueta’s family, she explores cooking techniques and ingredients brought in from lesser explored regions. This is a true taste of north Mexico using fresh produce, bursting with flavour, colour and – crucially – history.

The Mexican cuisine that most people are familiar with is from the centre or the south of the country, but in Norteña, Karla Zazueta shares the dishes and ways of cooking that she grew up with. Norteña – meaning ‘northerner’ – tells the tale of the northern states of Mexico – of the coastlines and fresh seafood, the cattle ranches, sun-ripened fruit and vegetables and the family gatherings around the table.

The recipes in the book include the world-famous Baja fish tacos, ‘piggy’ pinto beans, vegan chorizo, crab tostadas, sopes (corn patties) served in a tomato broth and empanadas californianas (shredded beef empanadas), all accompanied by mouth-watering spicy salsas, fresh queso and zingy salads.

There are recipes para la sed (for the thirst), which includes the best margaritas. The book ends on something sweet, with recipes such as Mexican flan and camotes (sweet potato poached until tender in a sweet, spiced syrup). The recipes are accompanied by longer texts that describe the different cultural events and influences that play such a huge part in the cuisine, such as the tamales estilo Sinaloa, wrapped with special care at Christmas time.

Karla’s understanding of flavour shines through in her recipes and she suggests substitutes throughout so you can recreate the authentic taste using ingredients from the supermarket. In addition, many of the meat and fish dishes are given a vegetarian alternative so that you can adapt the recipes for everyone to enjoy.

By sharing her family recipes, taking influence from her travels and tastes, Karla makes sure that each dish is packed with flavour but also cooked with love. Let yourself be transported to the Baja peninsula, rolling corn tortillas in the sun, sipping on a refreshing michelada and cooled by the breeze coming in from the sea.


Buenos Dias/Good Morning

Esenciales Norteñas/Northern Essentials

Algo Picosito/Something Spicy

Del Huerto/From the Garden

Del Mar/From the Sea

Del Rancho/From the Ranch

Final Dulce/Sweet Ending

Para la Sed/For the Thirst

Carne Asada/Mexican Feast

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 25 Apr 2024
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-0-00-859948-5
Price: £22.00 (Export Price) , £26.00, €None
Karla Zazueta grew up in Baja California, in the north of Mexico. When she moved to the UK twenty years ago, she brought with her all her family’s recipes and ways of cooking that had been passed down through the generations. She decided to make a career from her passion for cooking and started her blog, Mexican Food, where she writes about food and Mexican tradition. She runs cookery classes from her home, as well as hosting regular sold-out supper clubs at home and in venues across London. Her writing has been featured in Guardian, Observer Food Monthly and BBC Good Food, and she has been a guest on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet with Jay Rayner. @mexicanfoodmemories (26.8k Instagram followers)

”'I have been following Karla for years. Over that time, I have cooked and eaten so many of her incredible dishes - and was even lucky enough to be taught by her. She’s such a brilliant cook … and now writer!” - - Olia Hercules