Mucho Sabor: Taste the Many Flavors of Latin American Cooking

By Oscar Vazquez, Office Aide
March 12, 2021
Riverside Library

The phrase "Latin America" is an umbrella term that refers to people with various ethnic and heritage backgrounds from more than twenty different countries and commonwealths in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Thanks to centuries of cross-cultural mixing and colonization, Latin American food is a cuisine with Spanish, Portuguese, African and Indigenous influences. Here are some suggested Latin cookbooks by professional chefs and a food blogger to help you get started in making and tasting this diverse cuisine.                                                   

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Southern Heat: New Southern Cooking Latin Style by Anthony Lamas and Gwen Pratsi

Louisville, Kentucky-based chef Anthony Lamas mixes American Southern flavors with those of his Latin heritage, growing up in a Mexican and Puerto Rican family in Southern California. The award-winning chef shares more than 140 recipes for snacks, side dishes, main entrees, and more.  

Here are some examples of his unique dishes: Pork Loin with Chipotle-Orange Bourbon             Glaze, Macadamia-Crusted Halibut with Passion Fruit-Habanero Sauce and Flourless Cake with Kahlua Ganache.

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Latin American Paleo Cooking: Over 80 Traditional Recipes Made Dairy & Gluten Free  by Amanda Torres and Milagros Torres

Amanda Torres, a neuroscientist from Memphis, Tennessee, and her mother-in-law Milagros provide authentic recipes from Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia,Venezuela. Amanda's idea of Paleo cooking includes lean meats, fresh fruits,  and seeds.  Amanda also has a food blog called Curious Coconut.

Here are some of their recipes: Garlic-Lime Fried Shredded Beef, Chicken With Rice, and Green Banana Tamales.

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Rustic Mexican: Authentic Flavors for Everyday Cooking by Deborah Schneider

Deborah Schneider is an Executive Chef with SOL Cocina Restaurant Group and a cookbook author. She has authored five books about Mexican food.Rustic cooking is her specialty although she also develops more modern recipes.

A few recipes in the book to try: Blackened Salmon Tacos,Summer Salad of Tomatillos, and Chocolate-Coconut Torta with Nata.

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Daisy's Holiday Cooking Delicious Latin Recipes For Effortless Entertainingby Daisy Martinez

Daisy Martinez learned to cook by spending time in the kitchen with her Puerto Rican mother and grandmother.She makes all kinds of food from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, and the Caribbean. In this holiday cooking book the author brings fine food to life with classic and modern dishes.

Highlighted dishes: Rosca de Reyes which is a traditional sweet bread for Epiphany (Día de Los Reyes), and Arroz con Pato (Luscious Duck with Rice).

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Fresh & Flavorful Latin Superfoods: 100 Simple, Delicious, and Energizing Recipes for Total Health by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

Cookbook author Leticia Moreinos Schwartz has a passion for her native Brazilian cuisine.  Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, her passion for food began at a very early age. In this cookbook, she aims to show that healthy eating can be delicious and an importanttool to use for improving your health and life.

Here are some sample recipes from the book: Yucca Latkes, Gluten-free Guava Paste              Thumbprint Cookies, and Hearty Black Bean Soup.                                                           

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 Latin Grilling: Recipes to Share, from Patagonian Asado to Yucatecan Barbecue and More by Lourdes Castro

With 90 recipes, Castro uses this book to highlight the diversity of Latin American cooking and flavors. Aimed at home cooks, the book includes tips and techniques for grilling and country-by-country party plans and menus that go way beyond the Mexican and Tex-Mex food you may be used to.

The following recipes I found delicious to enjoy with your family:& Grilled Chorizo Skewers with Crusty Bread (Choripan), Grilled Provolone Cheeses(Provoleta)and lastly is Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Cajeta Buttercream.