Some days, Chinatown could pass for Miami’s Little Havana. I have better luck finding tropical produce there than some of the smaller bodegas or upscale markets where a few tiny specimens are overpriced and undersold. A couple of weeks ago, I took the long way home, working my way through the East Village going along the Bowery to Canal St. where the fruit carts are piled high with pitayas, sapotes, and fresh guavas. Coming across a stack of carambola, I heard music. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Leticia Moreinos Schwartz’
While my kitchen shelves groan audibly every time they see the familiar Amazon swoosh coming at them, I don’t feel equipped to offer a best cookbooks of the year list. I couldn’t begin to cover all the great books that made my wish list this year. Rather than coming up with one more “best of” selection, I decided to write up a quick list of my favorite releases covering Latin American and Spanish cuisine instead. I thought this would be the only thing they have in common but as jotted them down, a theme emerged – classically trained chefs who are passionate about their region offering traditional recipes with modern innovations – contemporary baroque. It was a good year. Read more
Looking over Caribbean or Central American recipes, it’s no longer necessary to seek out Latin American markets or bodegas in search of specialty items. Increasingly popular, all grocery stores are now Latin American bodegas (or at least have a booming selection of Goya products). I could also order absolutely anything online but it doesn’t compare to finding it in a newly discovered shop or even better, bringing back a longed for ingredient from a trip. Portuguese and Brazilian recipes pose there own challenges. Too often lumped in with the rest of South America, it’s a combination of indigenous, Portuguese, and African influences whose unique ingredients can put it just out of everyday reach. I can find guajillo chiles or aji amarillo within few blocks of my house but I have yet to come across dendê oil or malagueta peppers by chance, making it that much more exciting to find farina de mandioca on the lower east side. Read more
This past Sunday I was invited to “Feel the Spirit of Brazil” at the Gourmet Latino Festival’s cachaça tasting seminar led by The Brazilian Kitchen’s Leticia Moreinos Schwartz and Olie Berlic. I have to admit that I was mostly looking forward to the petiscos: pão de queijo (cheese rolls), biscoito povilho (yucca sticks), croquette de carne (meat croquettes), and brigadeiros (chocolate fudge truffles) but there was more. Read more
After the relative quiet of the last few months, it seems like everyone is ready to celebrate the arrival of summer or at least have a glass of Rioja. From now until May 27th, 25 restaurants in both New York and Chicago will be offering special lunch and dinner menus for Rioja Restaurant Week. Lately it feels like restaurant week year around but it’s definitely worth visiting one, or two or three…Click here for a list of participating restaurants. Read more
With the days a blur of pollen and rain showers and my 200th post coming up, I thought it would be a good time to take a break, update my site and catch-up on my reading. ABC New recently posted a list of recent cookbooks on Latin cuisine and I can’t decide if I want to start with Nirmala’s Edible Diary by Nirmala Narine, Jose Pizarro’s Seasonal Spanish Food – a finalist for this year’s Julia Child IACP award for a first book, or Daisy Martinez’s latest – Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night (click here for her interview with A Chica Bakes). I’ll probably go with The Brazilian Kitchen by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz because it’s because it’s been leading my wish list since I tried her recipe for coconut brigadeiros last month. There have also been some interesting one ingredient articles. Now that the weather is fit for wandering, I plan on seeking out new markets and sources to include here. Apart from last week’s look at cilantro, which always elicits strong opinions, John Willoughby’s Pimentón: It’s Spanish for ‘Better Than Paprika’ had me triple checking the denominations of my paprika, and I’m still not sure what the Indian spice asafetida does but can’t wait to find out. That’s my spring break plan – cooking, reading, and shopping. I’ll be back next week, still hungry and with a lot to talk about, unless I decide to ditch it all for sunbathing, flirting with Ivy Leaguers, and bebop. Stay tuned.