Latinísimo: Home Recipes from the Twenty-One Countries of Latin America
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At more than 500 pages and with more than 300 recipes, this is a broad survey of food from Mexico and the Caribbean through Central America all the way down to the southern tips of Chile and Argentina.
Arranging her recipes primarily by signature ingredient (corn, beans, chiles, potatoes, poultry, etc.), Sandra Gutierrez, a food journalist and author of four prior cookbooks, focuses on home cooking rather than innovative restaurant-style dishes.
Most recipes are tagged to show which countries they belong to, and Gutierrez offers abundant advice on everything from handling dried beans to judging when a dish is ready for the addition of a new ingredient, or for serving.
Among the dishes which caught our eye:
- Pasta con palta, a Chilean dish made with avocado pesto
- Frijoles blancos con costilla de cerdo, white beans with achiote-marinated pork ribs from Nicaragua
- Pinchos asados con chimichurri, broiled lamb skewers from Uruguay
- Dulce de lechoza verde, candied green papaya from Venezuela
It’s worth noting that in what seems to be an effort to fit all but the most detailed recipes on a single page—and Gutierrez is a careful writer—the publisher has used small, slender type and instructions are often presented in a long single paragraph. There were probably friendlier ways to format the book. But the content is impressive nonetheless.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.