Spice Up Your Spring Menus

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

 Daisy Martinez-blog

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

Daisy Martinez-blog2
The book is broken up into sections starting with breakfast
but Martinez
has cleverly included several unique sections like “Weeknight Dinners” and
“Buffets” to help the busy cook plan their meals in advance without emptying
out their pocketbooks or taking up their entire day in the kitchen. Her goal
was to provide simple, nutritious recipes that are user friendly and easy on
the budget and she does this successfully while simultaneously helping the
average cook get outside their comfort zone. The photos in this book are
beautiful and there are wonderful explanations of the origins of certain dishes
or variations on specific recipes.

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

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

For more Latin recipes try these:

Festive Mexican Menus

Cuban Dishes

Spanish Recipes


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