Yesterday, I saw Aaron Sanchez on the Today Show, making garlic-chipotle love sauce. Ok, anything named love sauce has got to taste damn good. So it got me thinking about cookbooks. Do you think of cookbooks when you think of writing? I do. To me, cooking is really important. I like to nourish my family and pass on my heritage through real food. Here’s three Latino cookbooks you might want to check out.
Sanchez’s cookbook is Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours (the book is written with JJ Goode). The term “Mexican-inspired” gives me pause because it makes me think of yucky Mexican restaurant food that caters to American tastes. I’m picky like that – nothing my family has ever served featured a giant helping of sliced black olives, okay? But Sanchez’ skills were passed on to him by his mother, also a chef, so I’m going to look this one over as soon as I get my hands on it. I’ll definitely be trying the love sauce.
Sanchez is a Food Network star and owns several restaurants in New York. His other cookbook is La Comida del Barrio.
I flipped through Eva Longoria’s book, Eva’s Kitchen, when I saw it on the store display a few weeks ago. I have to tell you, I was pretty skeptical. So I skipped over to the recipe for arroz rojo. (The ultimate test.) I don’t measure when I cook mine, but the recipe seemed right on. You also see a personal side of Longoria when she includes her disabled sister’s favorite recipe.
So then I looked at the recipe for red enchiladas. The recipe called for making the sauce from scratch. Who am I kidding? My sauce comes courtesy Las Palmas or El Pato. But if that recipe came out tasting like abuela’s I’d be over the moon. This one is going on my Christmas wish list.
The next cookbook hasn’t come out yet. But you can go to the blog the book came out of, Muy Bueno Cookbook! I saved the best for last because this blog rocks. This blog is a family affair and features authentic recipes and beautiful photos. My mouth waters every time I click over.
One day I decided that my mom needed one of her favorite comfort foods, so I set out to find a recipe for capirotada, which I’ve never made. I’m googling this over and over to try to find something authentic, and I found this website. I adapted their recipe for capirotada (it’s not easy to find piloncillo in Alabama, so I used brown sugar), and it was delicious. If you don’t know what capirotada is, it’s a bread pudding that uses day-old bread, cheese, raisins, brown sugar/piloncillo, and other ingredients depending on your personal variation. It turns out sweet and salty and you have to try it even though it sounds weird.
Okay! I’m hungry now. Go forth and cook something good today!
Will you share some of your recipes (or methods where you don’t use recipes) that you already use or learned from your family? I recently went to a friend’s birthday party and had enfrijoladas – suddenly I remember the food I had in Mexico that is so different from Mexican food that is served in the US.
These cookbooks look great – can’t wait to find them!
I’ll see what I can come up with!