Food Network's Viva Daisy star Martinez offers Latin cooking for everyday and company meals in this well-illustrated, colorful book. Organized by meal (and further divided into weekday, leisure and entertaining), Martinez has adapted dishes from all over the Spanish-speaking world.
Try a Mayan (mushroom, arugula, spinach) omelet for a quick healthy breakfast, Plantain Fritters or Arepas for leisurely weekends. Or Potato "Jelly Roll" with Tuna Salad Filling for a make-ahead brunch. For lunch there's Peruvian-inspired Cream of Zucchini Soup with Crabmeat or various Empanada fillings (with illustrated, step-by-step instructions), Pressed Sandwiches, or Shrimp Ceviche Xni Pec.
The barbecue section includes Argentinean Grilled Pork Shoulder and Peruvian Napa Cabbage Slaw as well as classic Argentinean Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. Fast weeknight dinners range from Panfried Breaded Cutlets from Argentina to Soupy Rice with Pigeon Peas, and on the side there's Cumin-scented Fried Potatoes, classic Spanish salty Wrinkled Potatoes, Yellow Rice or New Style (less fat) Refried Beans.
Get started with a Spicy Gazpacho Shooter at the Cocktail Party, then cool down with Black Bean and Queso Fresco Tastaditas or Barcelona-inspired Smoked Trout and endive Canapés. Twice-fried Plantain Cups or Yuca Fritters are sure to impress while Chorizo-Stuffed Mushrooms can be prepped ahead.
The dinner party might start with Cream of Chestnut Soup with Posole (Puerto Rico) followed by Cuzco Roast Pork Loin with Onion and Pepper Stir-Fry and/or Sweet Peppers Stuffed with Rice and Cheese, or Multi-Culti Braised Oxtails. Or maybe you'd prefer a do-ahead buffet with Grilled Octopus Salad, Pastelon (Plantain and Picadillo Casserole) and the classic Chicken with Rice.
Desserts include Flans, Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruit, Baby Banana Beignets.
Sauces can be found throughout - Creamy Avocado (for fish, chicken, shellfish), Peruvian Aji Verde, cold Salsas, Cilantro Pesto, and more.
Martinez concludes with menus, complete with prep timing up to a week ahead, then a chapter of Basics from stock to rubs, and a glossary of ingredients. This is simple, punchy food, adapted for American lifestyles without losing the feel of authenticity.
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Lynn Harnett (Lynn_Harnett)
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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