March 25, 2010

Growing up with a half Mexican, half Italian mother, I wasspoiled with the best of both worlds when it came to good food. Some of thefirst dishes I learned to make included tacos, enchiladas, Spanish rice andchile verde, so you can imagine how skeptical I am when looking for newLatin-inspired recipes. However, I was pleasantly surprised after reviewingDaisy Martinez’s new book, “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night.”

 


Martinez, who hosts the show“Viva Daisy” on the Food Network, has created a cohesive collection ofLatin-inspired recipes based on her travels throughout LatinAmerica and her Puerto Rican background. What I like best aboutthis cookbook is that it provides a wide variety of classic Latin dishes from allover the globe from Peruvian Roast Chicken to Jibaritos, a Puerto Rican-stylesandwich made with plantains instead of bread. She also gives excellent how-toguides with photos for preparing some of the more difficult items like churrosand empanadas.


The book is broken up into sections starting with breakfastbut Martinezhas cleverly included several unique sections like “Weeknight Dinners” and“Buffets” to help the busy cook plan their meals in advance without emptyingout their pocketbooks or taking up their entire day in the kitchen. Her goalwas to provide simple, nutritious recipes that are user friendly and easy onthe budget and she does this successfully while simultaneously helping theaverage cook get outside their comfort zone. The photos in this book arebeautiful and there are wonderful explanations of the origins of certain dishesor variations on specific recipes.

I’ve been trying to eat light lately, so I enjoyed theBuenos Aires Hearts of Palm Salad made with avocados, juicy tomatoes and alight citrus-based dressing. But I’ll admit I’m dying to splurge and try herStrawberry Delicia, a Latin version of a trifle made with layers of cake, creamcheese, whipped cream, preserves and fresh strawberries. Que Rica!

If you like to try different cuisines, or want a goodstarter book for Latin foods, I definitely recommend adding this cookbook toyour pantry!

For more Latin recipes try these:

Festive Mexican Menus

Cuban Dishes

Spanish Recipes

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