LATIN COOKING ON THE GRILL IDEAS
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1607740049 1607740044
Lourdes Castro's recipes provide grilling ideas for Brazilian rodizio, Argentine asado, Patagonian cuisine and several other Latin menus.
The grill cookbook includes 90 recipes, with mouthwatering photos, grilling tips and ingredient information for ten fiestas.
This 192-page cookbook is organized by regional cuisine, from Brazilian grilling to Mexican cooking. Each chapter begins with a menu of drinks, appetizers, main courses, side dishes and desserts, as well as a menu-planning schedule.
The author introduces each BBQ recipe with grilling ideas and information about Latin cooking. For example, in the introduction to the charred potatoes and pancetta recipe, she explains that chapaleles are deep-fried potato cakes, flavored with pork rinds that are served as Chilean snacks and appetizers.
Latin American ingredients
The cookbook provides information about Latin American food. In the recipe for grilled ripe plantains, Lourdes Castro notes that plantains have three stages: unripe, yellow and ripe plantains. She explains the best cooking method and seasonings for each. For example, starchy unripe plantains are best fried and seasoned with salt and lime juice, while sweet ripe plantains are best grilled, roasted or fried and served with butter and sugar.
Sidebars also specify substitutes for Latin American ingredients. In her recipe for chicken skewers with spicy yellow chile sauce, Chef Castro suggests substituting a serrano chile or habanero chile for the Peruvian yellow chile (aji amarillo).
Tara Donne's photos depict Latin Grilling recipes for Brazilian rodizio, Argentine asado and other Latin American cooking.
The grilling cookbook has a large selection of Latin marinades, rubs, glazes and sauces. She explains the differences between Mexican crema and sour cream, and provides a recipe for crema. (Mexican crema is saltier and thinner than sour cream, and has a richer flavor that neutralizes the heat of chiles.)
In the recipe for citrus and oregano-marinated split chicken, you will find two helpful cooking tips. How much juice will you get from three to four oranges? Answer: one and one-third cups of orange juice. How many limes do you need for one and one-third cups of juice? Answer: 16 limes.
Latin Grilling also includes culinary customs like drinking leche de tigre (tiger's milk), the juice left over after eating ceviche. Lourdes Castro explains that it's not bad manners to drink from the dish. You can also add vodka or pisco to leche de tigre to make a hangover treatment.
Sample Latin American grill recipes
Chile-marinated pork tacos with pineapple salsa. Grilled corn on the cob with chipotle crema and queso fresco. Beer-stewed beans with chiles. Mexican chocolate cupcakes with cajeta buttercream. Rum and guava cooler. Coffee-rubbed cowboy ribeyes. Chorizo sliders with guava ketchup. Grilled mahi-mahi with mango salsa. Butter rum cake with lime icing. Brown sugar-crusted grilled chicken. Crab, avocado and potato terrine. Peruvian caramel meringue. Sausage and mushroom empanadas. Grilled rosemary flatbread. Bacon-wrapped scallops with charred corn salsa. Sugarcane-skewered shrimp with coconut lime glaze. Chipotle guacamole.
Guide to Grilling
- Mexican Frontera Cookout
- Yucatecan Barbecue
- Nicaraguan Ranch Roast
- Cuban Cookout
- Northern Andean Barbecue
- The Peruvian Grill
- Patagonian Asado
- The Argentine Grill
- Chilean Seafood Cookout
- Brazilian Rodizio
Lourdes Castro is a Latin chef and cooking school teacher, who is also the author of Simply Mexican and Eat, Drink, Think in Spanish.