When chef Michelle Bernstein described Miami’s lunch counter croquetas as “leaden”, I hated to admit that she was right. Made of pureed ham, chicken, or beef, they’re often left to sit out in glass cases for hours. Even if you’re lucky enough to come across a freshly fried batch, it’s more ham spread than creamy béchamel. On a recent trip home, I had one from an otherwise good bakery filled with a flourescent paste that could not have possibly been found in nature. Sold in large trays for family parties, the tiny versions pack an even weightier punch. Still, I haven’t given up on them yet. Using any excuse to visit the crowded coffee stands and bakeries that dot Miami, they’re usually the first thing I ask for when I land and the last thing I pick up on my way to the departure gate. Read more
I’d been waiting for spring to try these ricotta gnocchis with pea puree and jamón serrano. The ñoquis del 29 are meant to attract prosperity, so a little extra green can’t hurt. Read more
Before the official start of summer’s grilling, beaching, hazy half days, I wanted to thank everyone who’s been reading and commenting with my first cookbook giveaway. Since its release last year, Michelle Bernstein’s Cuisine à Latina has become one of my favorites. Raised in Miami by her food-loving Argentinian and Jewish family , she’s become known for the contemporary Latin cuisine with Spanish, South American, Caribbean and Mexican accents that she serves at Michy’s and Sra. Martinez in Miami and Palm Beach’s MB. The book is full of great recipes to make at home for anyone who’s home is always elsewhere. To win a copy, let me know what dish your most looking forward to having this summer. Leave a comment here (one entry per person) between today and June 4th midnight (EST) when I’ll pick a winner at random. Read more
With so many “best of” lists coming out not only for the year but the decade, it’s good to have a focus. Looking at the best of cookbook lists that are coming out, I realize that the year has gone by in blink and I have a lot of reading to do. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m happy that Francis Mallmann’s Seven Fires is popping up, hope to see Michelle Bernstein’s Cuisine á Latina included on more, and need to make jasmine rice pudding from The Craft of Baking, by Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox, immediately.
Click here for Caroline Russock’s Cook the Book take on Serious Eats and here for Eat Me Daily’s roundup. Finally, just for fun here are the top 10 flash mob pics of 2009 in case you missed any.