Book Review: Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics [TSS]

Title: New Latin Classics: Fresh Ideas for Favorite Dishes
Author: Lorena Garcia
ISBN: 9780345525437
Pages: 256
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Cookbook
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Review:

I’m a huge fan of Mexican and Latin food, so I was immediately intrigued when I saw Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics.  I was eager to pick up this cookbook as soon as possible and discover a new favorite recipe waiting for me inside it.

The presentation of Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics is absolutely beautiful.  The cookbook is hardback an has over two hundred high quality, glossy pages.  The recipe pages are shaded in beautiful pastels, and there are plenty of gorgeous, mouth-watering pictures to look at.  I absolutely love how this cookbook looks and feels; it’s impressive and makes you feel like there is something great waiting for you between its pages.

The book begins with an introduction and is divided into different sections.  The first is a list of ingredients users of Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics should have on hand in their pantry, along with helpful descriptions.  Then the book turns to the recipes, which are divided by “subject” – 30 minute meals, homestyle favorites, restaurant bestsellers at home, grilling outside, dishes for a group meal, and desserts.  The last section is “The Basics”, which has recipes for different types of salsas, infused oils, and more.

Within each of these sections, recipes are divided into starters, soups, salads, main courses, and sides, and this is where the organization of the cookbook didn’t work for me.  Because there are only two of us, I often only make a main course, perhaps with a simple side.  I don’t need many different courses to serve, so I constantly find myself flipping through the cookbook trying to find what main dish I want to make.  It would have worked much better for me if the recipes had been listed in a more traditional way, though I appreciate what Garcia was trying to do with this unique approach.

The recipe I chose to make was Creamy Lemon Bow Ties with Shrimp, and I’ll admit it had me very curious.  What was this Italian sounding recipe doing in a Latin cookbook?  The recipe was simple to make, didn’t have too many expensive ingredients, and was definitely delicious.  It was creamier than most lemon pastas I’ve made, which I appreciated.  Both my husband and I enjoyed this dish quite a bit, and upon reading the introduction to the chapter, I learned that Italian culture is important in Venezuela – so it’s not completely strange having an Italian dish in a Latin cookbook!

Despite the fact that I cooked an Italian dish, there is a lot of Latin goodness within the pages of Lorena Garcia’s New Latin Classics.  My mouth is watering at the idea of making many of the recipes in the book.  Some of the ones I’m most looking forward to are Lomo Soltado with Grilled Papayas, Spinach and Goat Cheese Empanaditas, Black Bean Soup with Bacon Sofrito, and Wild Mushroom and Steak Risotto. I really appreciate that Lorena Garcia is trying to create something fresh and new out of traditional Latin dishes, and I am really looking forward to the amazing meals I’m going to create out of her cookbook.

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Comments

  1. A good index can help overcome a more unusual cookbook organization. I love Latin flavors, so I’ll look for this one.

  2. A good index can help overcome a more unusual cookbook organization. I love Latin flavors, so I’ll look for this one.

  3. I was interested to learn of the Italian influence in Venezulean cuisine. This cookbook looks good, and I like that she includes a section of stocking a pantry for Latin cooking.

  4. I was interested to learn of the Italian influence in Venezulean cuisine. This cookbook looks good, and I like that she includes a section of stocking a pantry for Latin cooking.

  5. I don’t have a good Latin cookbook, though I do have one International one that does cover some basics. I think this would be a great addition to my shelf, and might inspire me to make some new things that might become favorites. I have to admit that the recipe you tried sounds delicious, and like something that I bet my family would love. For some reason, I have been sticking to easy meals over the past few weeks, and I am dying to get into the kitchen and try something new! Great review, Swapna! This is a book I will be seeking out!

  6. I don’t have a good Latin cookbook, though I do have one International one that does cover some basics. I think this would be a great addition to my shelf, and might inspire me to make some new things that might become favorites. I have to admit that the recipe you tried sounds delicious, and like something that I bet my family would love. For some reason, I have been sticking to easy meals over the past few weeks, and I am dying to get into the kitchen and try something new! Great review, Swapna! This is a book I will be seeking out!

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