Saturday, February 27, 2010

Passion for cuisine

I know it is obvious to anyone who reads this blog regularly that I love all flavors Mexican. Rick Bayless and Bobby Flay are frequent guests in my kitchen and between the two of them they represent 7 cookbooks on my shelf. Living for several years in Houston, eating authentic Mexican food and learning the components that are put together to make the food sealed this passion. I will always love to cook and eat Mexican food.

Recently, however, I have been leaning away slightly, wanting to expand what I am comfortable with, to learn about the food of related cultures. It has been an interesting journey of research (I LOVE research!) and kitchen experiment, leading me toward other Latin countries, and even further into the Caribbean. It has been fascinating to discover how intertwined this food is. To see the Spanish influence on native Mexican cooking, learning how attached Cuban cuisine is to that of the Caribbean Islands, and how it points back to African influences has been utterly fascinating.

So far in doing this I have only purchased one new cookbook! Daisy Martinez is Puerto Rican and her cookbook Daisy Cooks touches enough of the Latin countries that I havent needed a different book for each one. She has recipes for Cuban, Spanish, Puerto Rican and Peruvan foods to name a few. The best part is she has a new book coming out Tuesday and I plan to own a copy!

It is has been nice to re-discover two other cookbooks that I already owned but hadn't utilized to their full potential. Fiesta on the Grill provides what the name promises - food for a party, whether it be for two or twenty. What the name doesn't tell you is that party definitely spins Latin!

The other book in my current repertoire is Douglas Rodriguez's Latin Flavors on the Grill. As with the previously mentioned book, I have had to adapt for winter cooking, but this hasnt hurt the food one bit! Bold flavors attach themselves to both main and side dishes making everything we have tried so far pure pleasure. I look forward to spring weather to really dig into this book.

The Caribbean Islands will round out my new season of exploration. Although a slight mention is made of these foods in the before mentioned books, a separate book will be required to really make sure we are doing it right. A new cookbook! Makes me smile! I havent found the one I am willing to spend money on as of yet so if anyone has a recommendation, let me know!

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