Weekend Cooking: Tacolicious by Sara Deseran, Joe Hargrave, Antelmo Faria and Mike Barrow



I’ve decided to make the Weekend Cooking meme, hosted by Beth Fish Reads  a regular monthly post at Book’d Out. Cooking is something I enjoy and I have been making more of an effort again lately, so I am looking forward to sharing some of my culinary adventures.


Title: Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails, and More

A collection of recipes for fun, accessible taqueria fare–including colorful salsas, tasty snacks, irresistible cocktails, and of course tacos galore–from the wildly popular San Francisco restaurants and acclaimed Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market food stand, Tacolicious.
Tacos may be the most universally loved, happy-making food on earth. After all, who can say no to a juicy, spicy Chile verde taco; a decadently deep-fried Baja-style fish taco; or a gloriously porky Carnitas taco? At Tacolicious, the San Francisco Bay Area’s most popular Mexican restaurant, tacos are a way of life. And now, in this hotly anticipated cookbook, co-owner Sara Deseran shares all of the restaurant’s tortilla-wrapped secrets. Whether you’re seeking quick and easy weeknight meals or inspiration for a fabulous fiesta, Tacolicious has you covered. With recipes for showstopping salsas, crave-worthy snacks, cocktails and mocktails, and, of course, tacos galore, this festive collection is chock-full of real Mexican flavor—with a delicious California twist.

Author: Sara Deseran, Joe Hargrave, Antelmo Faria and Mike Barrow

Published: Ten Speed Press: Random House September 2014

Status: Read on August 25, 2014   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Growing up, simple beef tacos and nachos were exotic meals, Mexico is after all a long way from Australian shores. Now these dishes, along with steak and chicken fajita’s, burrito’s, enchilada’s and quesadilla’s appear regularly in my family’s menu. I was curious about Tacolicious because I have never used anything except sachets of Old El Paso packaged seasoning to prepare any Mexican dishes and I know that flavour is probably sacrificed as a result.

The recipes aren’t complicated but some ingredients wouldn’t be easy to source except online, especially in my small country town. I can get chilies at the supermarket but they only come in red, green or in a jar, Velveeta cheese isn’t sold in Australia, nor is Monterey Jack. However with a few tweaks here and there almost all of the the recipes which include a range of Salsas, Snacks, Sides, Tacos, and more, seem doable.  I was a little disappointed there was no recipe for making tortilla’s though they do discuss where they source them from and compare store bought options for the home cook.

If you enjoy a drink or two there are a few dozen easy concoctions to choose from. Unsurprisingly tequila features heavily but non alcoholic options are offered also.

The overall tone of the cookbook is friendly and encouraging. There are some good hints and tips for preparation, cooking methods and presentation and the recipe steps are clearly described. Bright full page photo’s are a nice feature. The glossary and index are both useful inclusions as well.

You can view a few sample pages from the book and get recipes for Melon, mango and cucumber with chile, salt and lime and Old School Taco at the Tacolicious website. Random House shares a recipe for Roasted tomato–mint salsa along with the introductory pages in its Look Inside feature.

Tacolicious is available to purchase from

Random House I AmazonUS I BookDepository I IndieBound

via Booko


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Patty
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 11:50:54

    That book looks interesting! I need to send you the recipe I use for baked tacos…really good and you don’t have to keep getting up to fill them!



  2. Diane (@bookchickdi)
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 11:51:41

    I love the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market!



  3. Nish
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 15:10:19

    I love Mexican food, and want to try so many at home, but I have the same problem as you. Ingredients are hard to find, or are super-expensive.



  4. Beth F
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 21:27:19

    I love Mexican food too! I’m a little surprised this book calls for Velveeta cheese. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a very processed cheese product, not a “real” cheese.



    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Sep 07, 2014 @ 23:50:55

      I’ve seen Velveeta mentioned in quite a lot of American recipes, we don’t seem to have an equivalent here from what I can tell. In the book they use Velveeta for Chile Con Queso. The actually mention that is a highly processed cheese but is perfect for making this cheese dip.



  5. lakesidemusing
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 23:36:51

    Mexican food is a favorite around here, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I used Velveeta… your’e definitely better off with a substitute!



  6. Tina Culbertson
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 01:46:31

    I just`saw this`at the bookstore and it looks intriguing!



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