Catching up in June, it seemed everything was moving more slowly. Maybe it was just having the time to read Christina Delsol’s Mexico Mix articles for the SF Gate about the slow food movement in the Yucatán and the discovery of chocolate starting with Moctezuma drinking “bitter water” (xocóatl) from golden goblets. Reading Chichi Wang’s post on Serious Eats on how to make Colombian-style chicharrones, I learned they do not grow on trees in grease-stained brown paper bags but can be slow cooked in a wok then fried in their own rendered fat. It’s not something I’d ever considered before but his step-by-step for the Nasty Bits made it seem too easy not to try. Meanwhile, Enrique Hernandez explored Miami’s changing/never changing Cuban restaurants for the Miami Herald and Ferran Adrià announced plans for a new restaurant in Barcelona.
It’s always the little things that trip me up. I was thinking of making arepas last weekend when I came across a recipe for Venezuelan arepitas dulces. Also known as arepuelas or anisitas in Colombia, they’re smaller arepas sweetened with melado de papelón and fried for breakfast or dessert. Infused with whole anise seeds, they seemed as soothing and comforting as the candies in your grandmother’s purse. Read more
A few weeks ago, I was very excited to give Michelle Hainer for InStyle, #85-87 of “101 Reasons to Smile This Season” for their July issue, which just hit stands. Used to being the lone voice on my blog, it was a thrill to see my recipes for grilled corn with chili, green onions with lime, and pears topped with prosciutto and Gorgonzola, tucked into the pages with sky high wedges, gingham tops and the new Javier Bardem movie. You can never have to many reasons to smile so I hope you’ll pick up a copy and also take advantage of the other 98. Read more
I wish I had the ability to just stroll over to the farmer’s market, grab a couple of beets, some Swiss chard, and an apricot and turn it into a feast by finding inspiration in the season laid out under tents and weighing down tables. But that would mean giving up the planning, the list, and the check off which I also love, especially the list. Read more
I’ve written about the Red Hook Food Vendors before (click here) but it’s wasn’t until this past Saturday that I visited them on their home field for a tour led by Chef Aaron Sanchez, part of the Food is Art culinary program, a series of lectures, classes and special events curated by Zarela Martinez in conjunction with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. Read more
I am always looking for the best ingredients, but there are some things I just can’t find nearby and some I probably shouldn’t be able to find nearby. I try to stay local but the temptations of a jet-setting Prosciutto di Parma or a well traveled Chinatown dragon fruit can be difficult to resist. Still, it’s hard not to wonder what your missing when someone else does the picking and packing. The subtle differences between varieties and vendors that you can only discern when it’s close to home. That’s why, when trying a new cuisine, dessert can be the best place to start. I may not find the right Peruvian pepper or Argentinian zapallo, but milk, grains and sugar are universal and need little translation (or transatlantic travel). I’d been looking for a Chilean recipes to try and found several I wanted to include but kept circling back to this custard made with semolina and wine syrup (wine being the exception that was meant to travel the earth). Read more
This past Sunday I was invited to “Feel the Spirit of Brazil” at the Gourmet Latino Festival’s cachaça tasting seminar led by The Brazilian Kitchen’s Leticia Moreinos Schwartz and Olie Berlic. I have to admit that I was mostly looking forward to the petiscos: pão de queijo (cheese rolls), biscoito povilho (yucca sticks), croquette de carne (meat croquettes), and brigadeiros (chocolate fudge truffles) but there was more. Read more