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Beyond Tacos

Kitchen Wisdom Publishing, 1984. By Regina Akers and Herb Weiner. ISBN 0-937383-00-7. Contains over 100 authentic mexican recipes in an easy to use format.

Regina Akers grew up with the Mexican population in Los Angeles and the Sacramento Valley, and married into this culture at a young age. Over the years, she was exposed to the finest Mexican foods around, and became an excellent Mexican cook. She opened Regina's Mexican Cuisine in downtown Woodburn, Oregon in 1977.

In June of 1981, she taught a four-part cooking class at a Portland-area shopping mall, where she demonstrated her techniques and provided copies of the recipes. Herb Weiner, who had eaten at her Restaurant, was one of her original students. Herb realized that the four-week class barely skimmed the surface of Regina's cooking talents, and urged her to begin an ongoing series of cooking classes for the more serious students.

For the next several years, the class met once a month at her Woodburn restaurant, on a night that the restaurant was closed. These classes were much less formal; the students actually prepared the dishes, and no prepared handouts were available. Herb, who seemed to have a special talent for sorting out the chaos of a dozen student cooks at work, assumed the role of note-taker. He then used a computer terminal to prepare copies of the recipes for each of the students. This cookbook is based on the recipes from the class.

The title of the book, Beyond Tacos, was chosen because the recipes provide an insight into Mexican cuisine that most people never realize. Not only will this book show you how to cook delicious Mexican food at home, but it will also increase your appreciation of Mexican cuisine when you dine out. In order to enhance the value of this book as a reference volume, we have combined a comprehensive index and glossary into a single section at the back of the book. In this section you will find definitions of dishes and Spanish terms, and substitution instructions for unusual ingredients, together with relevant page numbers.