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Posts from the ‘Vegetables’ Category

Yuca Frita con Salsa a la Huancaína

I am grounded. So completely grounded.  Scheduled to return to New York just after Christmas, my flight was canceled because of the blizzard and I’m still in Miami.  Desperate to get back in the sno-globe, I spent hours refreshing the Continental Airlines app to check flights and badgering Ask Alex – the virtual “expert” on their site – with questions.  Only getting back canned answers and unhelpful links, she’s become my sworn enemy. Still, there are worse (and colder) places to be stranded and I don’t mind having more time with Christmas leftovers. A couple of weeks ago, I made salsa a la huancaína over yuca frita.  With piles of yuca left over from Nochebuena dinner, I thought it would be a good time to post the recipe (now that I suddenly have all the time in the world). Read more

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Sopa de Flor de Calabaza

I don’t usually let myself buy flowers.  Frivolous in a million other ways, I become oddly practical when it comes to that.  I’ll consider the enormous sunflowers bursting out of their buckets but head straight to the potted basil, lavender, and rosemary plants instead, preferring the kind of pretty you can eat.  That’s why I get so excited when squash blossoms arrive at the markets.  Since July, I’ve had them stuffed, fried, chopped and sauteed with tomatoes.  Now that the summer is melting away and every day feels like Sunday night, each bag of blossoms has become that much more precious – shriveled and golden, bugs and all. Read more

Arroz con Quimbombó

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

Frida’s Fiestas

A few months ago a friend recommended Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo.  Written by her step-daughter Guadalupe Rivera and Marie-Pierre Colle, it’s part cookbook and part food memoir.  Organized by month, each chapter centers on the holidays and seasons as they were celebrated in the Blue House in Coyoacán.  Describing a trip with Frida to the pyramids of San Juan Teotihuacán, the author writes:

After offering us the traditional refreshment of agua de chía, doña Rosa invited us to eat.  She had prepared a number of Lenten dishes typically served throughout the central Mexican plain, where the gods that Frida invoked in her paintings had once upon a time resided.  As it turned out, doña Rosa and don Tomas extended their hospitality to us for three more days, days in which reality was inseparable from magic. Read more

Frituras de Malanga

I bought the malanga by mistake.  I’d considered adding it to my garbanzos last week but left it out at the last minute.  Not wanting to let it go to waste, I decided to try making fritters instead.  I’d stopped by a friends house unexpectedly when he was finishing a batch for salt cod fritters, and it looked so easy and simple that I wanted to try this variation.  They’re the kind of last minute side dish that could be whipped up in a few minutes.  I looked through a few different recipes that were very similar – malanga, eggs, a little garlic, maybe parsley.  Reading A Taste of Old Cuba, I was reminded that frying 0f any kind was always left for last so that the fritters, plantains or croquetas could be served hot and crisp, never greasy .  I hadn’t thought about it before but realized that I do associate the crackle and sizzle of frying with a great meal about to be had – a little music drawing everyone to the table. Read more

Causa Caliente

I’ve been wanting to try this second causa recipe, stuffed with chicken for awhile.  I was finally got my hands on bottled ají amarillo, the Peruvian peppers that are key to so many recipes but are difficult to find in New York.  Though usually served cold, roast chicken wrapped in yellow potatoes then slathered with cheese and lightly browned, seemed like the perfect early fall comfort food.  I’m always a little skeptical that it’s going to work, but the pureed potatoes combined with oil and peppers become a perfect kind of molding clay so the only difficult part is stopping yourself from playing with it incessantly so it has time to chill.

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Stuffed Chayotes

During my last Sunset Park crawl, I couldn’t resist buying some of the Mexican chorizo that’s sold in all the grocery stores and bodegas.  Mixed into omelettes or covered in cheese, all the recipes I found for using it were pretty heavy.  That’s when I came across this version using chayotes in Marilyn Tausend’s Cocina de la Familia, a collection of recipes she collected while traveling through the United States and Mexico.  This one come from Miami by way of Mexico City.  Light, fresh and slightly sweet, the chayotes were the perfect balance for the heavily spiced chorizo.  Originally from Mexico but popular throughout Latin America, Tausend compares chayotes to the ideal 19th century woman, “somewhat exotic, always modest, very versatile, and capable of assuming any role necessary.”  I didn’t know I was looking for a Victorian solution but I found one. Read more