A few weeks ago, I delved into Lourdes Castro’s Latin Grilling then spent the summer more or less living off her recipe for grilled corn and quinoa salad. While the book is full of great recipes, its her well thought out menus and make-ahead advice that stands out. My party planning always falls short of my ambitions so any tips on how to stay out of my own way go far.
For awhile now, I’ve wanted to add more chef-blogger-food people q&a’s to the site. Since September marks Hispanic Heritage month, Lourdes Castro, a Cuban-American chef and teacher, Miami native and some time New York transplant, seemed like the right close-to-home person to start with. At the time of her latest release, Lourdes was kind enough to answer a few questions. Here’s what she had to say about Latin grilling, finding her passion for food, and igniting wooden planks… Read more
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
I wasn’t really excited about summer (too hot, too soon) until I finished my run this weekend and stopped by the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket on my way home. Seeing some chives in full bloom, I asked the vendor how they could be used. Holding on to the stem, he gently twisted off the light purple puff at the top and presented me with a handful of blossoms – suddenly I could see weeks mint tea, ripe berries, fat peaches and green tomatoes spreading out before me and couldn’t wait to get started. But, before I get lost in the corn fields, I wanted to catch-up on some articles that popped up in May. Read more
I’ve wanted to make vaca frita for awhile. Literally translated as “Fried Cow”, I hesitate to order it at Cuban restaurants. While I love the combination of crispy beef and caramelized onions sprinkled with lime, too often it’s more fry than cow. Read more
I’ve wanted to make chilaquiles for awhile but was a little overwhelmed by the choices. I love the precision of cooking and there was no set way to go about making these. The tortillas can be fried or baked, topped with chicken, chorizo or eggs, sprinkled queso fresco or Cotija, sauteed or covered on Oaxacan cheese then baked, the sauces can be red or green or mole, the peppers fresh or dried. Elbow deep in books and online recipes, I saw a an opportunity to throw in some staples that I overbuy but under use testing the tips and side notes that the cookbook obsessed pick up and file away. They can be a breakfast or brunch dish, a perfect way to use leftover tortillas, and a sometimes cure for hangovers. A generous dish. With no set path, there was no way to fail. Read more
I’ve wanted to try this corn tart recipe from Lourdes Castro’s Simply Mexican for weeks. Unfortunately, I’d only remember this when I’d just left the market cornless, mid-pool at the gym, or ten minutes before I fell asleep. With summer winding down, I realized it was now or never if I wanted to take advantage of the piles fresh summer corn that were getting smaller each week. Similar to a soufflé but less temperamental, I had it with the achiote chicken roasted in banana leaves. Having read it cover to cover, I should have known the tart would be easy to make. A straightforward collection of recipes, it’s a great introduction to cooking Mexican at home. Read more