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Posts from the ‘Side Dishes’ Category

Garbanzos Fritos con Langostina

IMG_0006Last year I took what felt like a slightly selfish trip to New Orleans.  My excuse was book research, so I decided beforehand not to post or take too many pictures.  It felt like if I stopped to post or take a picture every time I saw something beautifully strange or strangely familiar in New Orleans, I’d do little else.  Strange because it’s a city so completely itself that it makes you come all the way there to experience it and familiar because I’d always heard stories from my family about New Orleans when it was a short jump from Havana.  There were so many parallels that it wasn’t surprising that so many of my relatives settled there when they left Cuba in the 1960s. Read more

A Comer Pasteles

IMG_9042For years, I’ve heard about the Puerto Rican families gathering in the kitchen during their endless Christmas season to make pasteles and felt a little jealous.  Researching and writing about them for Devour felt like a lonely way to go about making what should be a communal recipe.  To fill the kitchen, I consulted my cousins and aunt for the traditions surrounding Puerto Rican Christmas, my friend Carmen Rivera whose husband insisted raisins should only be optional, and my market friend Arelys Ocasio who suggested I throw in plantains to the usual blend of guineos and yautia.  Jump to Devour to read more. Read more

Father’s Day


Usually, I get so caught up during holidays that my celebratory posts don’t appear until around midnight.  While it’s been hard to post while I’ve been away, I didn’t want to let the day go by without putting my roundabout father’s day post. 

Of course, my father had every reason to expect a boy – they already had a girl after all. Though I rarely met him even halfway (tee-ball, soccer and tennis were disasters), I did prefer Star Wars to Barbie (there was a princess in it), wasn’t squeamish about what went in the frituras de sesos he love to make, and stayed awake during The Right Stuff – so I don’t think he minded too much. A foodie before the word, he gave me sugar cane to cut my teeth on, took me to the docks to buy fish as the boats came in, presented me with meltingly tender Italian prosciutto like it was a visiting dignitary, and charmed a fast melting cooler of Mexican guanabana ice cream through customs. Read more

Fideos Secos

It was about a year ago today that I started a major kitchen re-haul (really a few hours) before throwing a surprise party in my apartment.  I say started because, while everything was put back into some kind of order, I don’t think it was really finished until this week.  Faced with the potential embarrassment of friends seeing my apartment in shambles, I made miracles happen and then took some time off (about 12 months to be exact).  Most of the elements were in place but crowded, and I hadn’t gotten around to tying it all together. Read more

Quinotto de Champiñones

I usually dread fall-back but I’ve been looking forward to daylight savings for weeks. Normally a morning person, getting up in the pitch black, confusing the still bright streetlamps with my alarm clock, and starting every day with the say-it-aint-sos was really getting to me. For once, I was willing to trade darker afternoons for brighter mornings. Of course, playing mind games with the sun has its price. As someone with penchant for photographing their food, I’m sure I’ll be cursing the change when I’m trying to get a decent picture at 3-o’-clock in the afternoon. Read more

Berenjenas con Miel

Normally, I  jump around the globe but virtual travel can be exhausting and with our seasons aligning I wanted to linger in Spain awhile longer. I rescued the eggplants I’d bought from last week’s pisto manchego partly to try this Andalusian recipe for eggplant fritters drizzled with honey from Claudia Roden’s The Food of Spain and partly because my sister said they looked like little witches lined up in a row. Either way, they were ripe to stand on their own. Read more

Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad

The last couple of weeks I’ve been indulging in early Saturday market runs. Loaded down with corn, currants, peaches and herbs, I head home with my haul, spread it out then have a moment of what now. As inspring as the weekend farmer’s market can be, sometimes the summer goes to my head and I overbuy (or just haven’t found a gooseberry recipe to love). That’s partly why I was so happy to make this grilled corn and quinoa salad, the first recipe I’ve tried from Lourdes Castro’s new book,  Latin Grilling. Read more

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