Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cook the Books July: Gran Cocina Latina

I love love love Gran Cocina Latina!  This book is huge, no literally it is enormous, and has 912 pages.  The author, Maricel Presilla, did some wonderful research and really did a great job with this book.  There are lots of recipes in each section that are very interesting and fairly simple.  The recipes are easy to follow and most ingredients are easily found at my local grocery store and mercado.  I liked that the foods were fairly colorful and interesting.  I use canned tomatoes when it's not tomato season at the farm so in most cases I just substituted with them and things turned out great.

So glad I cooked the book this month...!

I made:

Coconut Chicken from Artenga

As you can see I made this on the grill in a cast iron pan.  I can't believe there would be a tastier way to make this dish.  And now I'm super excited about cooking everything this way all summer!!!!

Mango and Hearts of Palm Salad

Different and delicious and super easy to make. Followed the recipe exactly. 

Avocado Watercress Pineapple Salad

This is the time of year I could find watercress but my garden was full of spinach and arugula. I substituted these and it was fantastic.  Personal preference I would have liked more avocado.  This would be a wonderful side to take to a BBQ. 

Chicken Fricassee

Yum yum yum!  I've actually said that about all these dishes.  So far this cookbook is super yummy.  I liked this and used Viognier wine instead of beer.

Sorry I don't have pictures but I had a dinner party and made the mexican rice and coconut shrimp.  For the rice I used canned diced tomatoes with their juice and just threw everything in a rice cooker.  The coconut shrimp was cooked outside on the grill in my huge cast iron pan.  The garden isn't being super generous with tomatoes yet so I again used a can of diced tomatoes with their juice rather than tomato sauce, and fresh tomatoes.  I'm sure it's better with freshies so that will give me an excuse to try it again.  This dinner was probably my ** favorite** of all the recipes I tried.

Have I said I love this book.  This is one of my favorites so far!  Right down my alley. Oy!!!!!

** Public Library Plug:  I am a big proponent of public libraries and so far in Baltimore County they have either had these books or have purchased them after I requested them.  The great thing is that I don't have to store them and can get them whenever I want.  

I wish you enough!


  1. That sounds like a GREAT book! Now I want it, too. I'm thinking about adding it to my wedding registry. Yay! The coconut chicken looks fabulous!

  2. All looks delicious. I do like see photos of what everybody made since there aren't a lot in the book itself. The coconut chicken from Cartagena looks UH-mazing!