Latin cooking made simple for those uninitiated in the cuisine or the kitchen.
Honduran-born Yibrin has converted his native dishes into recipes that time-pressed Americans can whip up after the workday. And he does so without sacrificing the signature ingredients, such as yucca, plantains and chorizo, which are popular south of the border. Each offering is preceded by a pithy introduction that makes readers feel as though they have discovered a Latin grandmother’s personal cookbook, which holds decades of spicy culinary know-how. Eschewing traditional preparation methods, this guide is for true cooking neophytes who will be satisfied crafting a dessert with store-bought dulce de leche and ready-to-use crepes. The book provides a quick culinary tour of Central and South America with easy-to-follow, time-friendly instructions for a host of salsas, empanadas, tostadas, spiced stews and flans. The conch soup serves a piquant appetizer to the chicken chilaquiles with green salsa, which pleases not only the palate but the pocketbook with only four ingredients. However, some of the recipes feel stretched out. A full page is dedicated to the preparation of white rice; separate recipes are provided for guacamole and guacamole on chips, or â€œguacamole tostadas”; and five pages on rice with chicken, chorizo, shrimp, squid or vegetables could have been combined into a single recipe that indicates the grain’s compatibility with each ingredient. But Yibrin does append helpful tips to the more challenging dishes, flagging spots where chefs should be mindful of sudden burning and offering suggestions for peeling foreign fruit. Despite the guide’s heavy reliance on packaged ingredients, the recipes will result in fare exotic enough to impress discerning dinner guests and demanding family members alike.
Latin Cooking for Dummies.