Latin Food

History

What foods are enjoyed during Hispanic Heritage Month?

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose...(more)

What are some of the culinary traditions in Latin America for New Year's Eve?

In this article you will read about the culinary traditions in Latin America for New Year's Eve....(more)

What are the "Las Posadas" holiday in Spain and Latin America?

The culinary rhythms associated with the holidays are especially true in Latin cultures, especially during Christmas time or Las Posadas, which is the celebration in...(more)

Dinner

Chayote Salad (Salada de Xuxu)

Xuxu or chuchu, pronounced shoo-shoo in Brazil, is also known as a chayote. This popular squash grows everywhere in Brazil, making it a staple in the Brazilian diet and is used in fritters, soups, souffles and salads like this. Chayote can have a pleasant crunch when raw or gains a soft, almost creamy texture when cooked. Typically bland in flavor, chayotes can absorb vinaigrettes quite well, making them ideal for cold salads. Did you know that "chuchu" is also a term of endearment in Brazil?...(more)

Molo (Mashed Potatoes with Peanut Butter)

Molo in Ecuador is a traditional accompaniment to Fanesca, or an Easter salt cod and vegetable dish although mashed potatoes are a year-round favorite to many Latinos. This dish is unusual because of the addition of the peanut butter. Natural peanut butter is best because it has not been sweetened, but ground up peanuts, while a bit more work, can work just fine. The peanut butter imparts the nutty fragrance and a slight taste, but the dish remains savory. As with most mashed potatoes, if you feel like they are not smooth enough, simply mix in some more warm cream or butter until you have the desired consistency....(more)

Almond-Sherry Chicken (Pollo con Salsa de Almendras y Jerez)

It has been said that Peruvians are masters of preparing dishes with nut sauces, like this almond-sherry sauce. With Portuguese and Spanish settlers also came new ingredients like fortified wines and almonds. This is a tomato-based sauce which incorporates the creamy nuts and sweet sherry. Blanching the almonds will make them soft, making them easier to process. This recipe uses chicken thighs, but boneless, skinless chicken breast work just as well. This dish is great served with white rice or creamy mashed potatoes....(more)

Desserts

Sorvete de Mango (Mango Sorbet)

In a lush landscape like Brazil, mangoes are available practically year round. Locals reap the benefits of this tropical fruit at small boutiques called sorveterias, which sell ice creams, sherbets and sorbets made from the fruits of Brazil. It is only natural to utilize the sweet pulp for smooth, cool treats like this sorbet. Remember that sherbets have cream added, not sorbets. That cream imparts a smoother, creamy texture in sherbets, while sorbets can have more granular ice-like textures. Using an ice cream machine will more evenly chill your sorbet, but also give your finished product a smoother texture. If you do not have an ice cream machine simply place the mango mixture in a freezer safe bowl and allow it to freeze for three hours: it should be hard on the outside but still slushy in the center. Simply beat it with a whisk until smooth and freeze further...(more)

Sufle de Goiabada (Guava Souffle)

In French, the word "souffle" means "puffed," and indeed the iconic dish is a dessert of gravity-defying decadence. Despite its French roots, Brazilians have indulged in the airy soufflé for ages, although it is known as a "Sufle" amongst hungry Brazilians. Brazil is a country bursting with many tropical fruits, and the guava (Goiabada or Guayaba) is king among those. For this dessert, guava jam or a melted guava paste is used to flavor the delicate souffle. Making a souffle is easy, making sure it does not deflate before you are ready to eat it is a little tricky. Using cream of tartar in the whipped egg whites will help to stabilize your eggs, increasing their heat tolerance and volume.This recipe calls for smaller 4-6 ounce ramekins. This will help with serving individual portions, as if one falls, then you still have five more. This dessert can also be made...(more)

Homemade Cajeta, or goat's milk caramel

Cajeta (pronounced cah-heh-tah) is a silky smooth Mexican caramel similar to dulce de leche. The one big difference, and the thing that sets cajeta apart from regular caramel and dulce de leche is the type of milk used. Most traditional caramels use cow's milk, while cajeta is made from goat's milk, or even from half goat's milk and half cow's milk. The milk is cooked for a relatively long time over a moderate heat, with constant stirring, allowing the milk to thicken as the water evaporates while it cooks. The milk is sweetened with sugar and flavored with spices like cinnamon. Some variations use vanilla as a flavoring agent, while some use sherry, or a fortified wine.Start with some goat's milk in a large heavy pot. The mixture will expand a bit and may bubble over in a smaller pot, so give it room to grow and use a large...(more)

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