Maybe it's because I'm from Florida (the slightly more seasonal Tampa, not tropical Miami) that, to me, Latin cookbooks signal summer.
Next month, Raquel Rabade Roque, who owns Miami's Downtown Book Center, will offer recipes from croquetas, sofrito, plantanos, and ropa vieja, to refreshing cocktails, such as the mulata (lime juice, rum, coffee liqueur) and batidos, milkshakes made with fruit: mamey, mango, and papaya. In the Cuban Kitchen, Roque taps into her Cuban heritage and has put together 500 recipes that show the island's Spanish, French, African, Caribbean, and Chinese influences.
In September (does summer have to end?), come books from two up-and-coming chef personalities. Marcela Valladolid, who first published Fresh Mexico in 2009, returns with Mexican Made Easy, the name of her Food Network show. Valladolid, who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico, but now lives in San Diego, offers poblanos stuffed with pork, beef, apples, and pineapple, and topped with a sauce of walnut and goat cheese (which serves a festive group of 10). Lighter fare includes tostadas with shredded chicken, crema, queso fresco and a roasted apple and tomatillo salsa.
And looking back, in April Wiley published a delightful book by Roberto Santibañez (former culinary director of the Rosa Mexicana restaurants) called Truly Mexican. The book generously covers two of Mexico's best-known sauces, moles and pipianes (mostly made of nuts and seeds).
I recently had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey, where I live. Our group of four each ordered quinoa, and each of us had a quinoa dish prepared differently. In New Latin Classics, Venezuela born Lorena Garcia has a great recipe for quinoa with sweet peppers and figs. (She also showcases recipes for other classic Peruvian dishes such as ceviche of mango, snapper and truffle.) But, of course, Garcia's scope is wide, and she includes dishes from her native country as well as from throughout South America.