This year I did a short series of Christmas posts for the Cooking Channel’s Devour on traditional holiday dishes served in Latin America. This meant spending a lot of time speaking with friends’ parents asking them just how they made that thing I had at their house that one time. One of my first calls was to my friend’s father Oscar Marin who generously gave me his recipe not only for the buñuelos Colombianos but the natilla con panela they serve with it. I’ve always loved joining friends for their novenas but it wasn’t until I spoke to Oscar that I realized how lit up Colombian Christmas can be. Jump here to read more. Read more
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
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
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.
This spring, I spent a few days working on a how-to-make croquetas for the Cooking Channel’s Devour the Blog. What was supposed to be a fast and easy solution for leftovers, became an ongoing project as I tried a few different variations and even planned an entire brunch around it for friends (hereto known as croquetaspringa). Now that the post is up, I have a daily reminder when I open my freezer and batches of frozen croquetas launch out at me like so many breaded torpedoes. Before we head into summer, I thought I’d link up and take one look back at a spring well spent. Click here for the recipe and final post.
March has been such a whirl that I made it all the way to April before I could stop and catch my breath. It started well with my first contribution to the Cooking Channel’s Devour the Blog and it was great to see so many of you making the jump. A new post on stocking my Latin pantry went up yesterday with more to follow. I laid my cupboard bare (well I straightened it up first) so I hope you’ll visit the site again and let us know what’s in yours. I also wrote a piece about Latin American staples – Running with the Grains – for Marcus Samuelsson‘s Food Republic that combines two favorite obsessions – seeking out new ingredients and running till I just can’t anymore. A new site covering everyone from Junot Diaz to Michelle Bernstein (who also helps spices up school lunches here), I was thrilled to be a part of their launch this week. Read more
I was very excited to see my post up on the Cooking Channel‘s Devour the Blog yesterday. I’ll be contributing regularly over the next few months and hope you will make the jump with me. It was my first visit, so I gave a lot of thought about what to bring before deciding on a pastelón de platano maduro. It had been awhile since I’d made one and I was dying to update one of my favorites, especially since I’d discovered recao and ajicitos tucked in between the parsley and peppers at the grocery store. Once it was baked, photographed and eaten, my mind went to the plantain recipes I hadn’t tried. I’d made tostones on the fly, mariquitas when I was feeling restless, and tortilla de platanos maduros just because. With a bowl full of plantains that were just past ripe, it was time for dessert. Read more
I first read that the Food Network would be launching a second cable channel on Memorial Day in February, when summer seemed a long time away. A few weeks later, a friend recommended me to a production company that was looking for food people to talk on camera about their interest, love, passion for food to promote the new channel. After years in film production, I’d been content to stay behind the camera. If they’d asked me to “audition”, I may have backed down, but they called it a “screen test” instead. Actors “audition” but at a “screen test” you can just be yourself (or Lana Turner). That’s a how I find myself, a week later, getting wired for sound in a New Jersey produce market (very unlike Lana). Read more