Virgilio Martinez, Nicholas Gill and Mater Iniciativa's new cookbook is a snapshot of Latin American food.
Throughout The Latin American Cookbook, they aim to be faithful to the roots of the dishes researched. Although this doesn't necessarily mean they should be prepared in the same way as the first time they were created, or that they will taste exactly the way they do in their place of origin.
The truth is that Latin Americans often don't follow strict recipes. They like to improvise while cooking and be spontaneous.
So these recipes are just a starting point for your Latin American culinary journey.
The flat-bottomed saltea, with its stewed interior, is like the soup dumpling of empanadas. Despite its name, which refers to the Argentine city of Salta, this baked empanada actually has its origins in Bolivia. During the dictatorship of Juan Manuel de Rosas in the 19th century, a writer named Juana Manuela Gorriti, from Salta, was exiled to Potos just over the border in Bolivia and came up with the recipe as a way to make a living. People in Potos would often say go and pick up an empanada from "la Saltea", the woman from Salta. The nickname stuck and eventually the form left Potos and spread around Bolivia, with many regions creating their own versions. To add to the confusion, the city of Salta is also known for its empanadas, which in Argentina are generally referred to as empanadas salteas. The fillings are more similar to the Bolivian version than they are to other empanadas in Argentina and it's served with a spicy sauce similar to the Bolivian hot sauce llajua, though the dough is quite different and the repulgue (seam) is usually on the side rather than the top like those in Bolivia.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
For the dough
For the filling
These tiny fried empanadas come from the colonial town of Popayan, one of the hubs of Colombian gastronomy, and are common throughout the department of Cauca. They are filled with pipian, a mixture of papas coloradas, a local creole potato, with roasted and ground peanuts and other seasonings. The same filling can also be used to flavour tamales. They are usually served with aji de mani, a spicy, peanut-based sauce.
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
For the dough
For the filling
Some call arroz aguado Nicaraguan risotto. Translating as "watery rice," it's soul food for all walks of life, livened up with herbs and peppers, served for family lunches.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Dozens of cultures around the planet make some form of multi-layered cake or pastry based on a French millefeuille. Within Latin America there are differing versions, though most use some form of thin, flaky pastry layered with dulce de leche, also called manjaror arequipe.
Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus 2 hours 30 minutes resting
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.