Latin Cuisine

Regional cuisine from Central and South America.


Latin Cuisine: How to Make Colombian-Style Sopa de Albóndigas (Meatball Soup)

My wife's Aunt Gloria in Colombia makes a sopa de albóndigas—meatball soup—unlike any I've had before. In fact, according to her, it's not like any meatball soup she's had anywhere else either. This particular combination of beef with capers in broth served with fried potato sticks seems to live almost solely within the confines of her own family. This is a shame, as it's terribly delicious. More

Cuban Fritas (Seasoned Cheeseburgers with Shoestring Potatoes and Spicy Sauce)

The frita is a classic regional American burger created by Cuban immigrants in South Florida. While the standard is a thin, griddled patty with a spiced ketchup-based sauce, my take on it is a slightly larger version designed for the backyard grill with a boldly seasoned pork and beef patty, a creamier sauce, and more vegetables. The crisp shoestring potatoes that are the hallmark of a traditional frita remain the same. More

Latin American Cuisine: Roasted Ripe Plantains with Cream and Sugar

Four ingredients—a ripe plantain, heavy cream, sugar, and cinnamon—get roasted together until the sugar is lightly caramelized and the cream has soaked into the plantain, turning its texture rich and custard-like, almost like a plantain pudding. It takes all of three minutes to throw together (five if you're really terrible at peeling plantains), plus a short stay in the oven, and you've got a crave-worthy dessert hot and ready to go. More

Latin American Cuisine: Colombian-style Cottage Pie

I want to say right off the bat that I had very little to do with this week's recipe other than eating it, loving it, and curating it. It was sitting there, hot on the table after a particularly long day at work. My wife doesn't always cook, but when she does, she does it right. My first thoughts when I saw it were oooh, shepherd's pie. There's not enough shepherd's pie in my life. I was wrong on several counts. First off, it's not shepherd's pie, as there's no sheep in it. Cattleman's pie is perhaps more like it. Secondly—and this only became clear after I started eating—That stuff that looks like potato on top? It ain't potato. More

Latin American Cuisine: Sopa de Platano (Colombian Plantain Soup)

It happens on occasion that I'll come home to a hot meal cooked by my wife, and it's usually something incredibly delicious and simple that I'd never think to make on my own. Last week it was sopa de platano—Colombian plantain soup.

If you don't count salt and oil, the recipe's only got four ingredients. My wife sometimes even leaves out the onions. As the starchy plantains simmer away, they break down, thickening the soup into a rich, rib-sticking, nearly porridge-like consistency, but without the heaviness of a grain or meat-based stew. It's good stuff for a chilly November night.


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