Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral lay out the facts, “Carne asada is not just a taco . . . in millions of backyards across Southern California, asada means family, friends, memories, great music, cold drinks, good times, and the community you’ve built.”--in all its multivarious forms.
This is a cookbook that is a feast for all your senses, from the book’s cover (original font), end papers (day-glo lime green); illustrations that are single or double-spread color photographs of Los Angeles, and of ingredients and finished dishes; and informative and personal anecdotes that precede each recipe.
The book’s chapters are grouped as: starters, meats, seafood, sides, salsas, beverages (non-alcoholic), for the cooler (alcoholic), desserts (A small selection because carne asadas are not about sweets, but a little something sweet is a great way to end a great meal.) And some introductory sections about the basics: The Asada Pantry; Tortillas: Corn or Flour?; A Guide to Mexican Dairy; A guide to all the Chicharrón; The Asada Cuts; Choosing Your Grilling Style and the Reasons Why Your Tío cleans the Grill with an Onion; carbón (Charcoal); Gas; Electric and Pellet Grills.
An asada is an unregimented affair, nothing too formal about arrival time or time to go home, or anything else–except the food which is highlighted by Mexican-style grilling. “The responsibility of being an asada grill master for the day comes with great privilege, and a cold beer to get you through it. Fortunately for everyone, backyard style carne asada is extremely forgiving.” That being said, an asada can begin indoors, in the kitchen, then end up outdoors. Bricia Lopez is encouraging in getting anyone started on having an asada as she reminds us, "Throwing a carne asada is an act of love." And, if only we could respond to her when she says, “Yes, you are invited to the asada.”