In this sparkling new book, Lourdes Castro draws on her many talents as a teacher, chef and passionate lover of all things Latin to throw open the door on the diversity and uniqueness of Latin American grill cooking. "All Latin food is not created equal," states Castro. "Latin America is a huge region made up of many countries, each with its own culinary history and characteristic flavors." Castro knows that Latin-Americans love to grill, and offers recipes from ten countries, each with a grill menu complete with drinks, starters, main courses, sides and condiments, and dessert. The flavors are delicious and varied, the authentic recipes scintillating. We want to cook everything, try every new taste.
Castro has organized recipes in ten chapters, each one representing a specific area, and each chapter's full menu suggests that a back yard fiesta is in the offing. This is a book for celebration, and for getting together. The grill will never be the same. Try any -or ALL- of these menus:
-Mexican Frontera Cookout
-Nicaraguan Ranch Roast
-Northern Andean Barbecue
-The Peruvian Grill
-The Argentine Grill
-Chilean Seafood Cookout
Castro has written a clear introduction to each chapter giving the characteristics of each individual cuisine, and has prepared a game plan so the cook can go boldly forth. As but one example out of many exciting menus, Castro writes of the Peruvian Grill that the indigenous use of potatoes, grains and tubers met with the Spanish colonists who brought meat, eggs, and beans, but later absorbed influences from Chinese indentured servants who brought with them soy sauce and ginger, as well as new techniques of wok cooking and serving raw fish. This results in recipes such as Soy & Chili Marinated Beef Skewers, Roasted Potatoes with Huancaina Sauce, Fresh Shrimp Ceviche with Ginger and Chile. Who doesn't want to fire up the grill while sipping a Pisco Sour?
Latin Grilling is user friendly. There are no hard-to-find, exotic ingredients and Castro's writing is direct. Many recipes have side bars offering tips on ingredients, techniques, and advance planning. There are color photographs throughout by Tara Donne that will whet the appetite. Have a party.