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Posts from the ‘Cuba’ Category

Merengón con Crema de Leche Redux


If I’ve been quiet the last few weeks, it’s because I’m in the middle of packing up my apartment. In the musical chairs that is New York real estate, most people I know move every few years, but I’ve been living in the same place since college. It has been stressful but the clarity it has given me to let things go is incredible. I’ve also found a lot of things to hold onto. In that spirit, I remembered a post I had written when I was asked for and heirloom recipe. I immediately thought of my mother’s merengón. Read more

Una Tormenta

Tormenta-Dark Rum MojitoSome words have no translation. It’s easy enough to approximate the meaning but the emotion is lost. That’s how I feel about the word tormenta.  It means nothing more than a storm, but tormenta is just a better word for it. It even sounds like the crack of lightning. Tormentas slice through canvases by El Greco to threaten saints and martyrs, storms menace weekend sailors and their dockside girlfriends in yacht rock classics. Storm clouds can be chased away, tormentas have to be waited out. I miss the rains I grew up with in Miami where the weather can go from a bright, blue sky day to an end-of-days downpour (or aguaceros) in a heartbeat. Read more

Dulce de Toronja/Mermelada de Toronja

IMG_4262 Winter may feel endless just now but the season for red pomelos is way too short.  Only a few markets in my neighborhood carry them  and I all but missed them last year.  Sweeter than other varieties with a thick white pitch or albedo, pomelos are perfect for making dulce de toronja and I‘d been waiting all year for them to come back around. Read more

First Look Inside The Cuban Table

CubanTable_ArrozConPollo_Image_72The Cuban Table  will be here next week but I couldn’t wait until then to share a recipe from the book.  I’d been planning on this post for awhile but it was hard to choose just one.  Not only are they all attached to a memory or favorite moment during this long process, they’re also attached to some of my favorite people.  They were great company as I wrote and I’m so excited to introduce them to you.  Even now, I feel like when I open the cover they all start talking once – a familiar feeling if you’ve ever walked into a Cuban gathering.  It’s also at those parties where you’ll most often find … Arroz Con Pollo.  And that’s how I finally decided.  Read more

Dulce de Grosellas

IMG_3029I don’t remember having currants – red, black, or otherwise – growing up, so I was surprised to find them in one of the older Cuban cookbooks I’d been using, Delicias de las Mesa by Maria Antonieta Reyes Gavalán.   Written in the 1920s, I came across it at the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection.  While most other Cuban cookbooks date from the mid-fifties when everyone was only too happy to embrace cans and convenience, Gavalán’s book captures an earlier time, referencing ingredients and techniques that had fallen out of use but worth reconsidering. The book itself was so worn and frayed that it couldn’t be scanned or photocopied, so I spent most of  my time in the archives furiously taking notes before reluctantly giving it back. It was complete coincidence when my aunt Marta called from New Orleans to tell me her friend had given her a copy of the book that I could have. Read more

The Cuban Table

Cuban Table_revised_02

I always had a hard time dropping my pencil and turning in my work as a little girl and it’s not much different now. It has been almost two years since I first posted about The Cuban Table, my collaboration with food photographer Ellen Silverman, but I could have happily kept tweaking and polishing it forever. Luckily it wasn’t up to me which is why I have this lovely cover to share, an actual ink and paper bound book on its way, and an official release date from St. Martin’s Press to look forward to this October! Read more


IMG_0754Some posts take longer to write.  That’s how it was with these capitolios – vanilla cupcakes topped with meringue, dipped in chocolate, and shaped like Havana’s Capitol building (hence the name). Our parents used to buy them for my sister and I and for years she’d been asking me to make them.  Since her birthday falls in May, she always plans something outside and this year she chose a spot under the Brooklyn Bridge and next to Jane’s Carousel for a picnic.  I had no idea what to bring when she reminded me that I’d never gotten around to the capitolios.  Read more


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