Hello. My name is Kim and I am a cookbook-aholic. I’ve flagged more cookbook recipes than would be humanly possible to make in a single lifetime. Yet my obsession with acquiring new and old cookbooks persists unabated. This month I share my compulsive tendencies via the “21 Days” series, featuring some of my favorite cookbooks from local authors and publishers. Please feel free to join me in finding new cookbooks to feed our passion at any of my favorite Triangle indie book sellers: The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books, Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh or McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro’s Fearrington Village.
As I read the following sentence in Sandra Gutierrez’s introduction to The New Southern-Latino Table my mind began turning, swirling all my favorite cuisines together in the perfect blend of Southern American and Latin American culinary tradition.
“In The New Southern-Latino Table, I’m writing about the culinary movement in which grits are combined with roasted poblano peppers, chiles rellenos are stuffed with pimiento cheese, fried chicken is dipped into smoky ketchup, pulled pork is simmered in annatto and citrus broth, and sweet corn ice cream gets topped with hot praline sauce.”
If those five dishes picqued your interest (and perhaps started your mouth watering) there are about 145 additional recipes in the cookbook you might enjoy.
The author’s diverse background and experience inspired this first cookbook (Gutierrez has since released another cookbook, Latin American Street Food) that melds dozens of Latin American regional flavors with those of the South. For example, take the traditional Southern buttermilk biscuit and add some finely grated chicharrón to the biscuit dough. When baked, slather that Buttermilk and Pork Rind Biscuit (page 18) with Chipotle-Honey Butter (page 28) and you’ve got a Southern-Latino dish on your table. Want more? Of course you do. How about Catfish Soft Tacos with Mango Salsa (page 118) or a Lime and Chipotle Roast Chicken (page 128) for the main course? On the side you could add a Chorizo Dirty Rice (page 200) or Huancaína-Style Potatoes (page 211) and maybe some Masa-Encrusted Fried Green Tomatoes with Cilantro Crema (pictured above, page 60).
The dessert chapter is my favorite section of this cookbook. The Anise and Rum Strawberry Shortcakes (page 223) are a delightful (and grown up) twist on the traditional dessert. The anise seed and anise extract in the recipe add a slight (but not overwhelming) liquorice flavor. There’s also a recipe for a Peach and Bourbon Tres Leches Cake (page 241) that’s been on my (ever growing) must-make list for far too long (hopefully before this year’s peach season comes to a close). I’ve said it before. So many delicious looking recipes – not nearly enough time. However, I’ll make the time to create more dishes from The New Southern-Latino Table.