LATIN COOKING RECIPES
BY LORENA GARCIA
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
Lorena Garcia's New Latin Classics
(Ballantine) ISBN 978-0345525437 0345525434
Lorena Garcia provides modernized versions of Latin recipes, as well as recipes for the most popular dishes from her Latin restaurants, such as blue cheese-crusted beef tenderloin with passion fruit glaze.
Using international ingredients, she creates quick everyday meals, Latin dishes for company and Nuevo Latino recipes for cooking outdoors. Luscious photos illustrate much of the Latin cooking.
The 100 recipes in New Latin Classics are organized by type of Latin cooking, e.g., fast meals, outdoor cooking and desserts. Lorena Garcia introduces each recipe with information about Latin cuisine.
For example, in the Venezuelan arepas recipe, she explains that Latinos eat these corn flour breads at home and in restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To make a Nuevo Latino version of the traditional recipe, she bakes arepas rather than deep-frying them.
Several Latin dishes include variations. In the designer mango jerk chicken salad recipe, from Lorena Garcia's first restaurant, she suggests a variation with pineapple and coconut. The Latin chef explains how to make a pineapple boat for serving the salad.
Full-page color photos by Quentin Bacon make Lorena Garcia's New Latin Classics recipes look so delicious, that you want to cook them right away.
Latin cooking ingredients
The introduction to New Latin Classics describes ingredients and Latin foods, such as masarepa corn flour for homemade arepas (corn flatbreads). Lorena Garcia recommends these brands: Harina P. A. N., Areparina and Dona Arepa.
The 230-page Latin cookbook features Sabes Que sidebars with cooking tips. One explains how to use vanilla beans. (After scraping out the seeds for cooking, you can put the pod in a jar of sugar or grind the dried pod with sugar to make vanilla sugar.)
Because Lorena Garcia grew up in Caracas, Venezuela, she includes several recipes for Venezuelan foods. They include cremita di apia (celery root soup), asado negro (roast beef caramelized in wine and panela unrefined sugar) and telitas (cheese-stuffed corn flatbreads).
Lovers of Venezuelan cuisine will also find recipes for carne mechada (shredded flank steak), torta de pan (bread pudding) and spicy guasacaca salsita (Venezuelan guacamole).
Sample Nuevo Latino recipes
Black bean and jalapeno hummus with fresh herb drizzle. Carrot and ginger soup. South American chicken fricassee. Spinach and goat cheese empanaditas. Creamy roasted corn soup. Black lentil and bell pepper salad with fresh mint. Risotto with caramelized walnuts and fresh apricots. Mango BBQ baby back ribs. Chicken albondigas (Latin-style meatballs). Candied red peppers. Tropical crab cakes. Butternut squash, coconut and lemongrass soup. Chilled shrimp and Peruvian corn salad. Grilled sea bass with pistachio crust and tropical passion fruit vinaigrette. Caramelized apple and walnut-stuffed pork loin with vanilla mango sauce. Make-ahead wild mushroom and steak risotto.
The Indispensable Despensa
- 30 Minutos: Delicious Food on the Fly
- Cocina Casera: Homestyle Favorites
- All Stars: Restaurant Best Sellers at Home
- Afuera! Move Your Kitchen Table Outside
- Cocinar con Amor: Dishes to Celebrate
- Satisfying the Biggest Sweet Tooth—Mine!
- The Basics
Chef Lorena Garcia has appeared on America's Next Great Restaurant on NBC. She owns Lorena Garcia Cocina in the American Airlines terminal at Miami International Airport.
Raquel Pelzel is also co-author of Bite by Bite.