By Jose Garces
Lake Isle Press, $35.00
This beauty of a book is Philadelphia-based chef Jose Garces's love letter to Latin home cooking. Organized into five lavishly photographed chapters-one each for Ecuador (Garces's ancestral homeland), Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru-the book explores the foods that have nourished Garces and shaped his growth as a chef. In each chapter, Garces offers four dinner menus, featuring tempting authentic regional dishes such as Ecuadorian Chicken and Rice Soup with Achiote, and Seafood Vermicelli Paella (yes, paella made with pasta, not rice) from Spain's Costa del Sol. He also includes extra recipes for "essentials" of each cuisine like Ecuadorian empanadas, sweet Cuban-style espresso, and hearty Mexican corn tamales. Throughout the book, Garces remains true to his mission of celebrating home cooking, and the recipes are consistently doable and unpretentious. It's filled with the sort of comforting family-friendly roasts, stews, and salads that we all love-and it's a great read to boot.
Cubano (page 188) I love this sandwich: rich roast pork, thinly sliced ham, Swiss cheese, and dill pickle layered in a buttered baguette and pressed until the bread is toasty and the cheese melty. This version is magnĂfico.
Ceviche de Camarones (page 38) Fresh shrimp get poached and then marinated in a sauce made with tomato, citrus juices, chiles, and cilantro. Served with crunchy spicy popcorn on the side, this ceviche is distinctly and deliciously Ecuadorian.
|Green Hominy Soup with Crab||Â||Braised Shredded Beef Stew with Red Beans||Â||Yuca Bread with Queso Fresco|
Photos by Jason Varney