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Posts from the ‘Latin America-General’ Category

Yerba Mate Soda

Yerba Mate Soda 1I keep coming across lists of things I’m not supposed to like.  If I do – which is often the case – then I’m from Florida/Brooklyn, varying degrees or white/latino/other, basic or a hipster.  The hipster lists really sting because they’re typically include favorite food trends  – but then who doesn’t love bacon, green juice is good for you, and mason jars are very practical.  I was considering making my own yerba mate-flavored soda when I saw homemade soda listed as a repeat offender and felt very much caught in the act. Read more

Batido de Cherimoya

IMG_7626With my manuscript deadline closing in, I haven’t been able to update as much as I’d like.  For months now, I’ve been waiting for life to get back to normal but am starting to realize that this might be it.  Not wanting to stay away any longer, I’ve decided to keep it light and frothy – very frothy – and write about batido de cherimoya.  I had it for the first time at a small Peruvian restaurant my mother wanted to try.  Lost in a tetris-like configuration of strip malls, it was actually a great place with amazing ceviche and Miami-eccentric service.  Their jugo de cherimoya reminded me of the icy champola de guanabana (another tropical fruit with a pre-historic exterior and sweet center) I had growing up. Read more

Sweet Memory

IMG_7443My sister has been asking me to post about canned dulce de leche since I started the site in 2008.  Still away on my summer hiatus she saw her opportunity…

When my mother told me to grab a spoon I was confused.  I looked around the kitchen and only saw her opening a can of something without a label.  “Traeme una cuchara,” she insisted.  I walked over to the drawer and brought her back two spoons.  She quickly took them from my hand and scooped something brown and gooey out of the mystery can. ‘Try it!’ She said confidently and then she started enjoying her own spoonful.  I carefully took a lick and proceeded to light up the only way a fat kid could.  I couldn’t believe my mom had made something so delicious.  “How did you make this?” I was 8 years old and amazed.  “Carefully!”, she answered looking over at the pressure cooker. Read more

Pulled Chicken in Guava Barbecue Sauce

IMG_7552When talking about regional Latin American food, the subject of heat is polarizing, especially for those countries who don’t really use it.  Viewed as a generality that paints us all with the same brush and overlooks an incredible diversity of ingredients and flavors, most people, myself included, are quick to point out that Cuban food is spicy but not hot – though that’s not entirely true either.  While it’s kept out of many traditional recipes, peppers pop up in the food of eastern Cuba and a few drops of hot sauce always work their way into camarones enchilados.  I may balk at adding chipotle mayo to my Cuban sandwiches, but a small red bottle of Tabasco sauce stands guard at most Miami lunch counters.  Still, when I was asked to develop a few recipes for McIlhenny Company’s Tabasco, I was hesitant at first.  Deep into an intense recipe testing period, I didn’t see a way of working it in until I made pulled chicken cooked down with guava barbecue sauce.  Spiked with a good dose of heat, it stood up to the guava paste, cut through the sweetness, and sharpened the flavors.  It’s was a good enough reason to draw outside the lines. Happy Fourth! Read more

Almond-Orange Flan

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Whenever I turn out a successful flan, I always feel like I’ve gotten lucky.  Made with with relatively few ingredients, they should be simple but that’s not always the case.   I recently tried to make a Mexican flan imposible (part custard, part chocolate) that turned out to be – well – impossible.  This week, I was determined make this almond-orange flan for the Cooking Channel’s Devour the Blog dairy-free for Passover.  Making flan without my go-to cans (part condensed milk, part evaporated milk) was unnerving, but I had a feeling it would work out in the end.  I was due. Read more

Sea Scallops with a Malanga Crust

Every four years, my extended family gets together in South Carolina for a week long reunion.  Synced to both the presidential election (something to argue about) and the summer Olympics (something to look forward to), we always know when it’s coming.  This time I carved out a few extra days to visit nearby Savannah – a city I’ve had a crush on for a very long time. Read more

Hungry in Edible Manhattan

I always love coming across a copy of Edible Manhattan so I was thrilled when they asked me to contribute two pieces to their first ever dairy issue (March/April 2012). Tasked with finding the city’s best tres leches, all signs pointed to Daisy Lebron at  Bizcocho de Colores in Upper Manhattan. On what seemed like the only cold day this past winter, I made the treck to the opposite side of the island and was rewarded with an amazing tres leches (or two).  It was a treasure in a plastic clam shell. Click here to read Uptown, a Dominican Confection Makes Life Three Times Sweeter which includes an extended photo gallery by Elizabeth Leitzell. Read more

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