La Latina - Review, recipe and giveaway

When spunky Grace Ramirez was a guest on The Chew a few months ago promoting her work and cookbook, I had to find out more.

I reached out to Grace about La Latina, her brilliant cookbook published by Random House New Zealand in 2015, and she immediately responded by mailing out a copy to me.

La Latina takes us on a cook's journey of Latin America from Mexico in the north to Argentina in the south, and shares a beautiful array of dishes from almost every country in between. Each country's culinary history and background is nestled in the recipes and gorgeous photographs making this a full immersion into Latin American cuisine.

Grace is a Miami-born chef who was raised in Venezuela and her food style can be described as comforting Latin American soul food mixed with her own culinary chic. When the former Masterchef USA contestant isn't creating dishes, she's a judge on one of New Zealand's highest rated shows: My Kitchen Rules which airs in New Zealand, the UK and Asia. She's also the host of Food Network LATAM: DESTINO CON SABOR, currently airing throughout Mexico and Latin America.

The book is broken down as follows: Grains & Soups; Poultry & Eggs; From the Sea; Meats; Dishes with Fillings; Rice; Salads & Vegetables; Sauces, Condiments & More; Something Sweet; Drinks and Feasts with the country of origin listed at the beginning of the recipe. Dishes include Lomo Saltado (Beef Stir-fry Peruvian-style), Mandocas (Anise, Panela & Cheese Fritters (Venezuela), Llapingachos (Kumara & Cheese Patties with Peanut Sauce) from Ecudaor. and Pupusas Con Curtido (Cheese-filled Corn Pupusas with Curtido Slaw) from El Salvador. 

Special thanks to Grace and Random House New Zealand for sharing the following recipe with our members as well as providing copies of this book for our promotion below.

CHORIPÁN - LATIN SAUSAGE ROLLS
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Serves: 4
Time: 10 mins prep, 10 mins cook

4 chorizos or sausages of choice
4 ciabatta pockets
1 tbsp butter
1 cup guasacaca (see below for recipe)

METHOD

Preheat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet to a medium-high heat.

Grill chorizos or sausages on all sides until fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes depending on size.

Slice open ciabatta pockets, spread with butter and lay on grill to lightly toast for about 1 minute.

To assemble, tuck chorizo or sausage in and top with guasacaca.

GUASACACA - CREAMY AVOCADO & HERB SALSA
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Makes: 1¼ cups
Time: 10 mins prep

4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf
parsley with some stems
1⁄4 cup finely chopped coriander
with some stems
1 ripe avocado
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp white vinegar
1 fresh green chilli, or red chilli flakes to taste (optional)
flaky sea salt

METHOD

Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with a pinch of salt and then muddle it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When a paste has formed, add herbs and combine.

Halve avocado, remove stone and scoop out the flesh. Combine with herbs, mashing with a fork. Add lemon juice, vinegar and chilli (if using), and season to taste with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Chef's note: Some people make this in a food processor or blender, but I prefer the chunky, rustic consistency you get from a mortar and pestle.

The publisher in New Zealand is offering one copy to members in New Zealand. The generous author is offering three copies of this title to our EYB Members in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on September 25th, 2017.

Recipe excerpt from La Latina published by Random House New Zealand, 2015. Food Photography by Garth Badger.


74 Comments

  • Kristjudy  on  8/16/2017 at 12:01 PM

    Prawn chowder...oh my!!!

  • kmn4  on  8/16/2017 at 12:22 PM

    Ticos' rice & beans (Gallo pinto)

  • lgroom  on  8/16/2017 at 12:35 PM

    The guasacara sounds good.

  • sgump  on  8/16/2017 at 1:41 PM

    The Peruvian salsa sounds refreshing!

  • GillB  on  8/16/2017 at 2:07 PM

    Mexican Style Red Rice

  • sarahawker  on  8/16/2017 at 3:15 PM

    The curvy arepa queen (La reina pepiada)

  • lean1  on  8/16/2017 at 4:37 PM

    I would like to make the Ancho Adobo chicken.

  • GregH  on  8/16/2017 at 6:52 PM

    Black bean & meat stew (Feijoada)

  • vickster  on  8/17/2017 at 7:11 AM

    I'd love to try her Mole, and many other recipes!

  • hirsheys  on  8/17/2017 at 12:27 PM

    her recipe for flan looks amazing.

  • lpatterson412  on  8/17/2017 at 5:34 PM

    I would love to try shredded beef in tomato sofrito!!

  • Frogcake  on  8/17/2017 at 5:35 PM

    Definitely the prawn chowder! Difficult to choose just one!

  • Amandaspamanda  on  8/17/2017 at 8:39 PM

    Grandmother's chicken soup - i love chicken soup!!

  • FieryItalian  on  8/18/2017 at 4:35 AM

    Ancho adobo chicken (Pollo en adobo de chile ancho) would be my pick.

  • laffersk  on  8/18/2017 at 8:19 AM

    Mom's black beans (Caraotas de mi madre) (page 15) yummy- I need these to taste like the ones in Cozamel Mexico at an authentic restaurant!

  • skipeterson  on  8/18/2017 at 11:46 AM

    Skirt steak quesadillas (Quesadillas de arrachera)

  • Siegal  on  8/18/2017 at 7:02 PM

    Stuffed crab shells sounds great

  • LaurenE  on  8/18/2017 at 9:16 PM

    Pupusas Con Curtido sounds amazing!

  • Scotsman61  on  8/18/2017 at 10:20 PM

    shredded beef in tomato sofrito

  • t.t  on  8/18/2017 at 11:54 PM

    Chickpea flat-bread (Fainá)

  • Shana.  on  8/19/2017 at 12:04 PM

    Creamy avocado and herb salsa.

  • love2chow  on  8/19/2017 at 2:40 PM

    Cheese-filled corn pupusas with curtido slaw (Pupusas con curtido) - I saw a pupuseria while visiting NC and would love to try this out.

  • fiarose  on  8/19/2017 at 6:44 PM

    mmm, lovin' the latin food--duck breast with guava and wild berry sauce, peruvian ceviche, prawn and scallop ceviche, mussels topped with corn and tomato salsa, adobo marinated prawns, octopus tostaditas, achiote grilled fish wrapped in plantain leaves, cheese-filled corn pupusas with curtido, pickled vegetables, mezcal watermelon salad, charred tomatillo sauce. yum!!

  • percussion03  on  8/19/2017 at 11:06 PM

    Wow, most of them sound good, but Creamy Prawn Stew in Pumpkin is unusual.

  • matag  on  8/21/2017 at 9:43 AM

    Duck breast with guava & wild berry sauce

  • ravensfan  on  8/21/2017 at 2:31 PM

    Black bean and meat stew

  • ktwalla  on  8/22/2017 at 8:16 AM

    The Curvy Arepa Queen.

  • rglo820  on  8/22/2017 at 1:39 PM

    Peruvian Ceviche!

  • Clove  on  8/22/2017 at 4:27 PM

    I lve the idea of hot, smoky, nutty ancho adobo chicken. Yum!

  • Nataliecrue  on  8/23/2017 at 1:25 AM

    Papusas and the adobo chicken

  • Shelley.b  on  8/23/2017 at 3:50 PM

    Grandmother's chicken soup

  • Andanin  on  8/23/2017 at 11:15 PM

    Red hominy stew sounds pretty tasty, and very budget friendly, perfect!

  • CC.cooks  on  8/24/2017 at 12:24 AM

    The chickpea flatbreads would be my first choi d but all looks delicious

  • smarriott66  on  8/24/2017 at 2:21 AM

    Love the creamy avocado and herb salsa - could serve with anything or as a dip.

  • motherofpearl81  on  8/24/2017 at 6:42 PM

    Octopus tostaditas [two ways] (Tostaditas de pulpo) omg love octopus!!

  • lils74  on  8/25/2017 at 9:43 AM

    I'm also loving the look of Grandmother's Chicken Soup!

  • natashatheoharous  on  8/25/2017 at 9:43 AM

    The guasacaca actually sounds so good.

  • Katiefayhutson  on  8/28/2017 at 2:23 PM

    Creamy avocado and herb salsa

  • saladdays  on  8/28/2017 at 2:27 PM

    Chicken and rice

  • fbrunetti  on  8/28/2017 at 3:40 PM

    Arrachera

  • bologna  on  8/29/2017 at 10:29 AM

    Finally! A Latin Food cookbook where everything looks so good! First thing I'd try is the Hibiscus margarita! Then the avocado herb salsa and the corn and flour tortillas. Then the octopus. And the pickled veg. And the hominy stew. And the refried beans. And the sausage rolls (maybe with hot dogs??).

  • lmalter  on  8/29/2017 at 12:29 PM

    creamy butternut squash soup

  • lhudson  on  8/30/2017 at 6:52 AM

    Skirt steak quesadillas

  • sarahawker  on  8/30/2017 at 9:14 AM

    Potatoes in Huancaina sauce (Papas a la Huancaina)

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  8/30/2017 at 2:07 PM

    Ok it is a Wednesday and I need the recipe for Hibiscus Margarita to make it past the hump! Cheers

  • Karla123  on  9/1/2017 at 7:29 AM

    I love using "guacamole" as a dip or spread on sandwiches because of the great flavor it contributes.

  • Korenm  on  9/1/2017 at 8:31 PM

    Mmm, gallo pinto!

  • danielis  on  9/1/2017 at 8:33 PM

    Mexican style red rice - yum!!! Used to order extra at the local restaurant when I was a kid!

  • katehenderson  on  9/1/2017 at 8:49 PM

    Three milk cake!!

  • KarinaFrancis  on  9/2/2017 at 2:25 AM

    The hibiscus margarita!

  • Foodycat  on  9/2/2017 at 4:10 AM

    So many of the dishes sound delicious! But I've been craving rice pudding so I'd love to try her version.

  • lisambb  on  9/2/2017 at 5:59 AM

    Guajillo adobo-marinated prawns

  • sunset34  on  9/2/2017 at 11:23 AM

    Ancho adobo chicken sounds nice. Thanks

  • kbiggs  on  9/2/2017 at 12:04 PM

    Mom's black beans (Caraotas de mi madre) . Always on the lookout for "the" recipe. I haven't found it yet.

  • RickPearson54  on  9/2/2017 at 3:18 PM

    gallo pinto

  • NancyLynn  on  9/2/2017 at 8:08 PM

    arroz con pollo

  • sequoia55  on  9/3/2017 at 12:26 AM

    Peruvian Ceviche

  • jlemoine  on  9/3/2017 at 7:10 PM

    The street corn.

  • JenJoLa  on  9/7/2017 at 9:43 AM

    Flourless brownies with spice & nuts (Brownies con chile y nueces)

  • tarae1204  on  9/7/2017 at 12:35 PM

    Creamy avocado and herb salsa

  • alisonp  on  9/8/2017 at 4:43 PM

    Definitely carnitas!

  • bstewart  on  9/8/2017 at 6:01 PM

    Creamy prawn stew in pumpkin

  • choppergirl  on  9/8/2017 at 7:22 PM

    Red hominy stew

  • DemelzaPoldark  on  9/9/2017 at 10:55 AM

    The Hibiscus Margarita!

  • PennyG  on  9/9/2017 at 2:32 PM

    Refried Beans!

  • kitchenclimbers  on  9/14/2017 at 11:15 AM

    hibiscus margarita

  • ladybrooke  on  9/15/2017 at 4:20 PM

    Shredded chicken (Pollo desmenuzado)

  • cake17uk  on  9/16/2017 at 1:53 AM

    The Flourless brownies with spice & nuts (Brownies con chile y nueces) sound so good, would try these first

  • Titch  on  9/16/2017 at 2:40 AM

    I would try & make the Red hominy stew, because we all love stews & always on the look out for new flavours

  • orchidlady01  on  9/17/2017 at 8:37 AM

    Ancho adobo chicken (Pollo en adobo de chile ancho)

  • Julia  on  9/17/2017 at 8:29 PM

    Grandmothers Chicken Soup and Refried Beans.

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  9/19/2017 at 1:36 AM

    I would like to try making the Grandmother's chicken soup (Caldito de pollo de la abuela).

  • verorenee  on  9/20/2017 at 9:53 PM

    refried beans

  • silversand  on  9/23/2017 at 9:50 AM

    Chickpea flat-bread (Fainá)

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