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The Latin Road Home

When I first opened the Cuba chapter in Chef Jose Garces’ The Latin Road Home: Savoring the Foods of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico and Peru, I held my breath for a moment.  It’s always a little strange to see yourself through someone else’s eyes – well not me exactly but the food I grew up which can feel like the same thing.  My first instinct was to jump ahead to the recipe for the sandwich Cubano – not only did he keep his version free of chipotle mayo, but mentions Miami’s Latin American cafeteria and includes directions for sugar-cured pork.  I kept reading. Read more

Nonathoner Pancakes

These may seem like ordinary pancakes, but to me – they are pre-historic.  I was training for the NYC Marathon and developed a recipe for amaranth pancakes for the Cooking Channel‘s Devour, to run on the days leading up to it.  Normally, I rely on pre-run quinoa, but amaranth, the other Latin-American nutritional super food with an ancient – not to say mythical – history, made sense.  Using amaranth flour combined with white whole-wheat and a good dose of honey, they were tender and nutty with a slight tang from the buttermilk.  I was really happy with the way they’d turned out and thought it would be a quick link and write-up while I rested for the race.  The recipe ran as scheduled with the small post-script that I’d be running my second marathon.  By then, everything had changed. Read more

El Dia de los Muertos

As a ritual based, Latin American food holiday, el Dia de los Muertos has kept me busy.  After stopping through some my favorite Sunset Park’s Mexican bakeries, I did my first piece for Edible Brooklyn’s Notable Edibles: Bread of the Dead.  Visiting el Museo del Barrio, I was also able to cover this years altars, on display through November 11, for the Daily News Viva section.  The Latin Kitchen posted my empanaditas de calabaza recipe and I made pumpkin atole for the Cooking Channel’s Devour.  Lingering over baroque altars and autumnal spices seemed strange at times, but as always it was lovely visit.

Tale of Two Hurricanes

It was the wind howling against the windows that really unnerved me.  The un-ignorable fact that the smallest pebble hitting the pane at the wrong spot would shatter it completely and bring the full force of the hurricane inside the house kept me sleepless.  When the storm had finally passed, I left the interior room we’d huddled down in and dared to look out the window.  Most of the surrounding houses were still standing, but I couldn’t make them out – it was all white sky and black water.  Knowing we were safe, I allowed myself to sleep, unless I was wrong and had been dreaming the whole time. Read more

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