Latin American Cooking Across the U.S.A.

Publisher: Knopf
In the first cookbook to encompass the full spectrum of Latin American cooking all across America today, Himilce Novas and Rosemary Silva offer 200 enticing recipes that have been drawn from the home kitchens of Americans with roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Jamaica, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, and nearly every other corner of Latin America.

Spicy, colorful, and full of surprises, Latin flavors are the latest rage with Nuevo Latino chefs from New York to Los Angeles. But here the exotic is translated into wonderful everyday dishes that home cooks can easily master.

For starters, Novas and Silva give us luscious Chilled Roasted Sweet Red Pepper and Coconut Soup or Orange-Scented Roasted Pumpkin Soup and appetizers known as antojitos ("little whims")--Bayamo's Fried Wontons with Chorizo and Chiles or a Costa Rican Black Bean and Bacon Dip.

For main courses, there are hearty delights like Piri Thomas's Chicken Asopao or a Heavenly Potato Pie with Minced Beef, Raisins, and Olives.

Center stage in many a meal are the rice and bean dishes with countless delicious variations on the theme, like Gallo pinto, Red Kidney Beans and Rice, and "Jamaican coat of arms",  also called Rice and Peas (which are actually small red beans).

And to satisfy the Latin appetite any time of day, also included here is a rich array of tamales, empanadas, and other turnovers, like Little Brazil Shrimp Turnovers stuffed with shrimp and hearts of palm.

From Cristina, the Cuban American talk show hostess in Miami, to U.S. Representative Henry B. González of Texas, from film producers and opera singers to young students and grandmothers, the authors have gathered, along with the family recipes and their origins, stories of the past and of the good times celebrated in America. Novas and Silva also offer invaluable information on Latin American chiles, on the earthy appeal of plantains and tubers like yuca and taro, and on other special foods that give these dishes their unique character, along with mail-order sources for hard-to-get ingredients.

An exuberant one-of-a-kind cookbook that will add a new dimension to the American table.