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Cookbook of the Month for January 2014: GRAN COCINA LATINA: THE FOOD OF LATIN AMERICA

GRAN COCINA LATINA: THE FOOD OF LATIN AMERICA by Maricel E. Presilla has been selected as the first Cookbook of the Month for 2014. This book is said to “unif(y) the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean…She’s gathered more than 500 recipes for the full range of dishes, from the foundational adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake.” http://tinyurl.com/ln956eq

On December 31st, I'll post individual threads for reporting your experiences from this book. In the meantime, you can use this announcement thread for general discussion about the book.

The voting thread that got us here:

The nomination thread is here:

A general explanation of Cookbook of the Month, and a list of past books:

Join in on the fun even if you don’t have the book! There are many recipes available online.

Rice with Corn, Chickpeas, Green Beans, and Chorizo http://katieatthekitchendoor.com/2012...

Green Beans with Bacon http://katieatthekitchendoor.com/2012...

Ecuadorian Spicy Onion and Tamarillo Salsa http://tinyurl.com/a6wje2x
Yuca Fingers with Cilantro Sauce Presilla http://tinyurl.com/a6wje2x

Creamy Cilantro Sauce Presilla http://tinyurl.com/a6wje2x

Bolivian Peanut Sauce (Ají de Maní Paceño) http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

Picadillo Cubano Mi Casa http://recipes.pgplate.com/food/learn...

Shrimp in Spicy Peruvian Pepper Sauce (Picante de Camarones) http://recipes.pgplate.com/food/learn...

Jicama Sticks with Chile and Lime http://recipes.pgplate.com/food/learn...

Soupy Rice and Chicken (Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera) http://m.thelatinkitchen.com/article/...

Baked rice with hearts of palm (arroz con palmitos) http://tinyurl.com/lyweds7

Puerto Rican-style ají dulce sauce (ajilimójili) http://tinyurl.com/lyweds7

Light tomato sauce (salsa de tomate ligera) http://tinyurl.com/lyweds7

Peruvian Warm Purple Potato and Squash Salad with Olive Oil and

Paprika Dressing (Ensalada Tibia de Papas Moradas y Calabaza con

Aceite de Oliva y Pimentón) http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/08...

Grilled Skirt Steak with Argentinean Chimichurri (Entraña con Chimichurri Argentino) http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/08...

Argentinean Chimichurri http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/08...

Havana-style Black Bean Soup http://lynnefaubert.com/en/2013/02/24...

Brazilian Salt Cod and Potato Casserole http://lynnefaubert.com/en/2013/03/23...

Clam, Pork and White Bean Stew http://www.northjersey.com/columnists...

Arepitas de Queso Sazonadas (Spicy Baked Corn and Cheese Patties) http://tinyurl.com/lhr9ooq

Quinoa-Crusted Chicken Fingers (Chicharron Novoandino de Pollo con Costra de Quinoa) http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/12/...

Roast Turkey in Andean Pepper and Pisco Adobo with Roast Plantains and Sweet Potatoes (Pavo en Adobo de Aji Mirasol y Pisco con Platanos y Camotes Asados) http://www.today.com/food/make-latin-...

Cuban Avocado, Watercress, and Pineapple Salad http://food52.com/blog/6379-maricel-e...

Cream of Caribbean Pumpkin Soup with Cacao Nibs: Crema de Calabaza y Cacao http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/Recipes/...


Spicy milk sauce from Ciudad Bolivar (Aji de Leche) http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...

Caracan Black Bean Soup (Puré de Caraotas Negras Mantuano) http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...

Drunken Stewed Plantains (Plátanos Gusados Borrachos http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...

Paraguayan Meatballs in Broth (Albóndigas en Caldo) http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...

To Die While Dreaming (Morir Soñando) http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...

Chimichurri Rojo (Red Chimichurri) http://www.foodswoon.com/red-chimichu...

Spiced Venezuelan hot chocolate (Chocolate en taxa Yaguaraparo) http://www.americanfoodroots.com/50-s...

Ecuadorian potato and cheese patties with peanut sauce (Llapingachos con aji de mani) http://www.americanfoodroots.com/50-s...

Puerto Rican Pasteles (Pasteles Puertorriqueños) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog (Coquito) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Simple Cuban Mojo for Boiled Root Vegetables (Mojo Cubano) http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

Salvadoran Corn on the Cob http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/... (Elote Loco)

Cuban ground beef hash (Picadillo Cubano de mi casa) http://www.post-gazette.com/food/2013...

Pesque de quinoa (Quinoa serrana) http://quemas.mamaslatinas.com/food_f...

Cuban Sandwich http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...

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  1. Wow, you've really done an amazing job of collecting recipe links BigSal. Thank you so much.

    1. Here's another recipe online that I didn't see in your list (hope I didn't overlook it).

      Shrimp Ceviche

      1. great job on finding these recipes

        1. Thanks for all of the links. I will definitely participate with them if I can't get the book from the library.

          1. Mille grazie, BigSal! With the links you've posted I'll be able to choose a few recipes, I'm sure. What a lot of research you've done during your tenure. We have all benefited from your work.

            1. I'm so glad to see this as the COTM. I've got it and haven't gotten that into it yet. Maybe this thread will get me to participate more.

              1. What an exciting selection for the new year! I'm so thrilled that this has been chosen that I'm going to try my darnedest to get a new year's eve menu based on these recipes.
                Thanks for all your sleuthing, BigSal, so that those who cannot acquire said book can still participate!

                1. Beautifully done, once again! Thank you so very much.

                  1. After reviewing the recipes I'm likely to try, my ear worm of the day:"The Score from West Side Story." Thanks Very Much.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gio

                      The whole score? My goodness, isn't that about three hours of tuneful tunes? But now I have the gang "fight" in my head... nothing like 11/8 time to make walking difficult.

                    2. I think the recipe for the simple cuban mojo is what I've been looking for. I have been wanting to find that vinegary sauce they put on yuca and pork and what not down here. I have to make it and see :)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Siegal

                        How is "mojo" prononced? Is it moh-JOE? MOE-hoe? moe-YO?

                        1. Yay! I see several that eveyrone in my family will try.

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                            Any "saltfish" recipes? Might be all I need to go from cookbook abstinence to "Cook My Books" (or some such.. )

                              1. re: Shrinkrap

                                There are several salt cod recipes - cod is the only fish that I know of that was salted to preserve before soaking and cooking. Numerous other ones - i.e. salmon, herring, anchovies - are eaten in their preserved state.

                                1. re: herby

                                  Thank you!

                                  I think I'll get this book. I got the Zuni Cookbook, and an Edna Lewis one for myself for Christmas, and I am officially off the cook book wagon, and on to EYB!

                                  "cod is the only fish that I know of that was salted to preserve before soaking and cooking."

                                  My in laws from Jamaica call it "saltfish". Turns out there is at least one other, pollack, that is easier to get and cheaper. I think there may be others as well.

                                  1. re: Shrinkrap

                                    A british Jamaican friend once took me for "ackee and salt fish" I'm still traumatized - lol! This comes from someone who eats and likes everything from pickled cow tongue to chicken feet. But that salt fish....yucky

                                    1. re: Siegal

                                      MIL would say "you don't know what's good!"

                                    2. re: Shrinkrap

                                      Haddock is being sold salted, the same way as salt cod. It's considered a more sustainable choice as cod has been severely overfished. I'm even seeing haddock labeled as bacalao/bacalhau. You have to look really closely at the label to know if it is haddock or cod. I adore salt cod, but I haven't tried any of the haddock yet.

                                      1. re: MelMM

                                        "You have to look really closely at the label to know if it is haddock or cod"

                                        I found that to be true of the pollack sometimes as well. MIL get's it in Sam's Club, or maybe it was Costco in ATL. Clearly labeled there. If it tastes similar, and is clearly labeled, I am all for easing up on the cod supply. Still, I keep a stash, and right now have some pollack, but I will probably go through all of the "real" cod before I try it.

                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                          I have some salted pollack in my freezer right now, along with some cod. Haven't tried the pollack yet, but that seems to be the direction things are going. If you try yours anytime soon, I'd like to hear what you think.

                                        2. re: MelMM

                                          Would that be basically the same as finnan haddy (sp?)?

                                          eta: just google answered my own question - finnan haddie is smoked, not salted. And it is darned delicious.

                                2. Wow thanks BigSal. I didn't cast a vote because I don't know how much I'll be able to participate as usual, but I was secretly hoping this one would win :) Buying a new book that I may not get to use too much isn't in the budget right now, but all of these links will make it easy for me to participate should I find the time in January.

                                  1. Many thanks BigSal! I do have the book and will try to participate. Hope all of you Latina enthusiasts will get me excited to make a couple of dishes from the book and I'll post about the ones I made before.

                                    1. Just got yet another contract... won't come up for air for months! Hope to try at least one of the recipes that BigSal found online before the end of the month.

                                      1. I couldn't get the link for Drunken Stewed Plantains to work, but here is another link for it:


                                        1. It looks like a few of the links got separated when I pasted them. Here are the complete links.

                                          Caracan Black Bean Soup (Puré de Caraotas Negras Mantuano) http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...
                                          Paraguayan Meatballs in Broth (Albóndigas en Caldo) http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...

                                          To Die While Dreaming (Morir Soñando) http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food...

                                          Thanks to everyone for being so appreciative.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: BigSal

                                            Would be interested to hear if anyone has made the black bean soup--sounded right up our alley until the 5 oz of brown sugar, which seems mighty sweet. Opinions?

                                            1. re: pine time

                                              Pine time, I checked the book to make sure there is no mistake and she says "or to taste". Apparently it is colonial heritage and "the sweeter the soup, the more steeped is the cook in Venezuelan tradition". This is definitely very sweet soup but you could make it without sugar and add sugar in bit by bit to your taste.

                                              She has two other black bean soups in the book - Mexican with epazote and chipotle and Cuban style - neither one is sweet.

                                              1. re: herby

                                                Thanks, herby. The last 2 soups may be more to our liking. Appreciate you taking the time to reply.

                                          2. Oh my, BigSal: once again you've outdone yourself. Thank you.

                                            I have this book, so hope to try lots of recipes though January is shaping up to be a busy month.

                                            1. I went shopping this morning at local latina supermarket for items needed for some of recipes I am going to prepare.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                What are you planning to make, jpr54_1? We have a couple of very small Latino shops - wonder what selection your supermarket has to offer.

                                                1. re: herby

                                                  I live in Hallandale Beach, Florida (Broward County)
                                                  We have a large varied latina population-not sure of all their ethnicities- Venezuela, Columbia, Peru, Mexican, Ecuador, etc.
                                                  There are 2 large supermarkets Presidente and Sedanos
                                                  plus many smaller markets as you get closer to Miami/Dade County.
                                                  There are pockets of Argentina-Bolivia as well

                                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                                    unrelated to latina cooking
                                                    We have a very large Quebecois snowbird population

                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                      Yes, of course, you would have an amazing latino food selection. And lots of Canadians who love to overwinter in Florida :)

                                              2. I'm too excited. Already made 3 things! Can't wait for the thread to go up

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Siegal

                                                  And I'll be anxious to read about your results. I spent some time last week scoping out some recipes I'd like to make. There are just so many! I have narrowed it down to 2 for NYE