Friday, July 23, 2010

Book Review: Latin Grill by Rafael Palomino with Arlen Gargagliano

Title: Latin Grill: Sultry and Simple Food for Red-Hot Dinners and Parties
Author: Rafael Palomino with Arlen Gargagliano; photographs by Dan Goldberg
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pub Date: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8118-6660-6
Pages: 160
Price: 19.95
Genre: Cooking
I received a free copy of this book from FSB Associated for my honest review.

Book Synopsis from the publiser:
More than 80 recipes for easy to make grilled dishes, cooling ceviches, and cocktails such as Blueberry-Pisco Sours and Grilled Pineapple Mojitos to make an occasion of any meal. Grilling and relaxing at home has never been more of a pleasure!

Inspired by the traditional foods of Rafael Palomino's native Colombia and his travels, you, too are a worldly adventurer who brings the fiesta to the table with uncomplicated recipes for everything from marinades and dipping sauces to appetizers, grilled meats, and desserts. A meal couldn't be simpler or more satifsying than Crisp Tortillas Topped with Prosciutto and Shaved Manchego Cheese or the signature Palomino burger, oozing with melted cheese and avocado. Roasted Muscovy Duck in a Honey-Black Pepper-Pineapple Glaze or Grilled Sea Scallops with a Cumin and Garlic Rub make an easy, yet sophisticated mid week dinner. Round out the meal with sides such as Grilled Caesar Salad, grilled asparagus, or sweet plantains.

For a dessert with unanimous appeal, dip homemade Churros into Dulce de Leche, Mora, or Chocolate Sauce or pull out all the stops for your favorite chocoholic with the unforgettble Semisweet Chocolate and Coffee Brioche Bread Pudding. Whether it's a hot afternoon when grilling is the perfect dinner solution or a winter Sunday that needs to be picked up...this food is no sweat. Enjoy!

About the Authors:
Rafael Palomino, born in Bogota, Colombia, and rased in Queens, is the proprietor and executive chef of Sonora in Port Chester, New York, Pacifico in New Haven, Connecticut, and Center Valley, Pennsylvania, and Greenwich Tavern in Greenwich, Connecticut. He is the author of Nueva Salsa, Viva la Vida, Fiestra Latina (all from Chronicle Books) and Bistro Latino. Chef Palomino, founder of and, lives iwth his wife and two children in Bedford, New York.

Arlen Gargagliano is the coauthor of Nueva Salsa, Viva la Vida, and Fiesta Latina, as well as several other books related to Latin-style entertaining. She has lived and traveled in Spain and Latin America, and currently resides with her family in New Rochelle, New York.

Dan Goldberg is a Chicago based photographer. His work for Chronicle Books includes Anna Getty's Easy Green Organic.

My review:
Latin Grill is a great cookbook. It starts out by describing charcoal and gas grills and what the best option for your grilling would be. It then moves on to the essential tools you need to grill successfully and gives a short "How to Use this Book" section. I liked these little extras as it is a beginning point that sets out the basics and gets the cook started. For many readers of this book, it may be their first adventure into grilling and I found this to be very helpful. The book contains recipes from drinks, appetizers, main dishes, and desserts that will please every pallette. Simple ingredients to more unusual concoctions are included as well. I liked that it contained both as at times I want something fast and simple and at other times, I want to venture out and try something new. I love the section that contains recipes for the sauces you use. I enjoy making items from scratch and now I can add sauces to the repertoire. The recipes are great for a simple at home meal for the family, yet it includes dishes that would wow anyone you had over for a dinner party. I have tried a couple of items from this book and enjoyed them and can't wait to try every offering in between these covers.

Since summer is in full swing, I thought I would post one of the great drink recipes here for you all to try.

Mango Lemonade
*4 lemon wedges
*2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
*3 teaspoons Simple Syrup
*1 ounce Sour Mix
*4 teaspoons mango puree
*1 cup ice

In a large bar shaker, combine the lemon wedges, sugar, simple syrup, and sour mix. Using a pestle, muddle them together. Add the mango puree, the 1 cup ice, and water to fill up the shaker. Cover and shake.

Fill a bar glass with ice. Strain the mixture into the glass and serve.

You can serve this to kids and adults and add some rum to spice it up for the adults.

To make your own simple syrup for this drink:
*1 cup water
*1 cup sugar
Makes about 1 cup.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let syrup cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To make your own sour mix.
*3/4 cup water
*3/4 cup sugar
*1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
*1/2 cup fresh lime juice
Makes about 2 cups.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature. Add the lemon and lime jiuces and transfer to a container for the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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