Latin Flavors on the Grill

Douglas Rodriguez, Author, Andrew DiCataldo, Author, Andrew DiCataldo, Joint Author
Douglas Rodriguez, Author, Andrew DiCataldo, Author, Andrew DiCataldo, Joint Author Ten Speed Press $35 (224p) ISBN 978-1-58008-055-2
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-58008-565-6
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Following the current trend of picking a cuisine and transferring it to the grill, Rodriguez (Latin Ladles, Nuevo Latino) takes his turn with the flavors of Latin America. Some of these recipes either seem a risky venture to put over coals or else are a bit removed from his Cuban roots. There is a Fire-Roasted Clam-Onion Quesadilla that looks too involved to be worth the questionable taste combination of Spanish onion, littleneck clams and cheese. Similarly, trying not to char a foie gras only to drizzle it with a Dried Cherry and Shallot Mojo--made of cherry syrup, port wine and mustard oil--seems a shame. But when Rodriguez does right, he does very right. One clever trick involves using skewers cut from raw sugarcane, thus adding function to form in his Sugarcane Skewered Shrimp with Lemongrass, and Sugarcane Skewered Pork Tenderloin Strips. He also makes good use of that oft-neglected fruit, the tangerine. Not only are they diced and added to the traditional Brazilian cocktail, the caipirinha, but their juice enlivens a bold Chilean Sea Bass with Tangerine-Serrano Mojo. Elsewhere, the hamburger is reinvented by substituting ground pork seasoned with smoked Spanish paprika and other fiery spices. A section on oils and rubs includes a deliciously complex Mole Rub with cocoa, ancho chili and 15 other flavors. And, happily, there is a simple recipe for Arepas, the cornmeal and mozzarella pancakes that are a staple dish of Columbia, Venezuela and New York City street fairs. (Sept.)
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