July’s been a quiet month so I thought I’d focus on some of my favorite blogs for my round-up. Liz Caskey from Eat Wine posted a recipe for Peruvian Shrimp Chowder that I can’t stop thinking about and will definitely try soon. If I’m looking for projects this August, I’ll definitely check Zarela Martinez’s site for ideas like this recipe for making your own chorizo oaxaqueno or her tutorial on home-rendered lard. Going through the markets this weekend, I realized that I haven’t paid attentions to the squash, peppers, and eggplants that have been coming in, so I was happy to find Dorie Greenspan’s guide to roasting peppers and David Leibovitz’s recipe for eggplant caviar. Read more
I missed last month’s ñoquis del 29 post due to technical difficulties. I was in the middle of trying this recipe for bread and spinach gnocchi for the first time when a friend called after months of phone tag. Thirty minutes later, we’d finally caught up but I had a too soft mass of spinach flecked dough looking despondent in a mixing bowl. Having mis-measured, I made some adjustments so that they could be shaped but wasn’t hopeful that they’d stand up to boiling water. Read more
Whenever I think of eating at home, my mind extends to the Cuban restaurants that dot Miami. The tables were filled with people you knew, the waitresses treated you like a grandaughter, affectionate but critical, and the food was definitely home cooking. Masitas de puerco were my order from the first time anyone thought to ask me what I’d like, possibly because I knew exactly what I was getting. A few rounds of “guess what you just ate?” with my grandfather making me nervous about venturing to far from the safe and familiar (typical answers: pig’s brains and blood pudding). It may have been a game but I didn’t always feel like playing.
I once read that Montezuma would pour melted chocolate over bowls of snow brought to him from the mountain tops. The image made me swoon though it has to be boiling outside for me to give up my scorching espresso or spiced hot chocolate. This weekend we actually did reach the boiling point so I decided to try it the Emperor’s way. Read more
I’ve always been drawn to recipes where you can manipulate an ingredient into an object or shape that more accurately captures its essence. It’s why I love retro dishes like fighting lobsters (don’t they look like they should be fighting?) or deviled eggs (yolks sent to finishing school). It’s what attracted me to these Argentinian pastries filled with membrillo and shaped into flowers. Fresh quinces have always remind me of perfumed apples so it’s fitting that boiled down with sugar and tucked into pastry dough, they bloom. Read more
I’m a little late in posting this recipe for humitas. Though I read about them weeks ago and made my first batch a couple of days ago, a lot of have-tos (and a few want-tos) have gotten in the the way. Initially, I didn’t recognize them as the tamales I’d grown up with. They were of course and they weren’t. Depending on whether you’re in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela or the Caribbean, they’re known as humitas, humintas, tamales, tamalli, tamalitos verdes, chapanas, bollos, choclotanda, chumales, cachapas, chapanas, chiguiles, envueltos de mazorca, ayacas, hallacas, juanes, pamonhas. The filling can be sweet or savory, made with fresh or dried corn, plantains or potatoes, wrapped corn husks, banana leaves or parchment paper, steamed or baked, served as a snack, side dish, casserole or heavy stew. Read more
I missed my kitchen. While there’s been plenty to post, it’s mostly been food that was blended or frozen, steamed or fried, quickly. In and out, I’ve avoided recipes that would force me to spend too much time in the warmest part of my hot apartment in my sweltering city. Though I couldn’t stand the heat, I wasn’t staying out of the kitchen much longer. Read more