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More Gourmet Recipes  

¡Festival de Comida Fabuloso! (July 29, 2014)

Ecuadorian Soupy Coastal Shrimp Cebiche
Peruvian Chicken Sopa de Quinoa
Platillo Moros y Cristianos
Aztec Chicken
Stuffed Pork Loin with Coconut Milk Gravy
Strawberry Tamales (Tamal de fresa)
Tres Leches de Miami

The Pan American Food Festival is on again in Toronto over the weekend of August 8 to 10, and we can't wait! The featured country this year is Peru, who will be joined by twenty other Latin American countries all coming together in one international spot to show off their food and beverages, art, culture and history, plus everything else that gives this part of the world such a spicy zing!

We're thrilled that star chefs from these countries will be on hand demonstrating their talents. From Peru you'll meet Latin American TV star and owner of the much-lauded Sushi restaurant, Chef Roger Arakaki, as well as Chef Norman Van Aken from Miami, plus Paola Solorzano, Mexico; Cookie Martinez, Colombia; Eleni Herrera, Peru; Cristian Heise, Chile; Rossy Earle, Panama; Carlos Fuenmayor, Venezuela; Daniel Holloway, Canada; and others from Jamaica, Haiti, Brazil and the USA.

We're drooling already, and can't wait to savour it all, starting with the Totalmente Tamales contest. This fun demonstration features tamal makers who will vie for "most delicioso" tamales in a friendly competition; you'll be the judge as samples are available. But wait, it won't be an easy choice; from Colombia and Chile to Venezuela and Panama, you'll find different styles of tamales with various fillings and even wrappers- each imparting their particular sabor, or taste. Hosted by the delightful Canadian/Colombian food and travel writer Mary Luz Mejia, who also organized and curated the entire food component of the festival, it's an event guaranteed to be entertaining and scrumptious as well. For more on tamales, take a look at Norman Van Aken's take at Oh, Yum!

And there's lots more. What a weekend! We promise "¡El placer y la diversión serán suyos!" – "The pleasure and fun will be yours!" For more information on the Pan American Food Festival, go to

If you can't make it this year, tan triste…but you can have your own fiesta at home with help from some of the best Latin cookbooks available today. At the top of the list is Gran Cocina Latina, by the Gran Dama of Latin American food, Maricel Presilla. This 900-page tome unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean; it's a comprehensive collection of more than 500 recipes from this vast region gathered by Presilla over 30 years of travel to each country. Presilla covers the full range of Latin cooking from traditional adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake. A must-have for the armchair traveller, curious chef and passionate foodie. No wonder Gran Cocina Latinawon the 2013 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year!  

South Florida is called the Capitol of the Caribbean Nation, and it's where you'll find Chef Norman Van Aken's restaurants in Miami, Coral Gables and Key West. His memoir, No Experience Necessary, is a hilarious joyride; it spans twenty-plus years and nearly as many jobs – including the fateful job advertisement in the local paper for a short-order cook with "no experience necessary."

In the beginning in Key West, Van Aken faced hurricanes, economic downturns, and mercurial moneymen during the decades when a restaurant could open and close faster than you can type haute cuisine. From a graveyard shift grunt at an all-night barbecue joint to a James Beard–award finalist for best restaurant in America, Van Aken helped transform the American culinary landscape along the way. His other books include Norman's New World Cuisine, New World Kitchen, My Key West Kitchen, Recipes and Stories and Norman Van Aken's Feast of Sunlight. Below you'll find one of his signature recipes, courtesy Bon Appetit magazine.

For South American food, we always go back to Nirmala's Edible Diary: A Hungry Traveler's Cookbook with Recipes from 14 Countries, by Nirmala Narine. This travel/recipe collection is a delicious adventure by the "Indiana Jones of Spices", as she scours the South American countryside in search of the perfect spices for her thriving business, Nirmala's Kitchen. Narine grew up in a tiny village in Guyana with no running water or electricity. She was born on the kitchen floor on top of an empty wheat-flour bag that had been lovingly washed repeatedly to make a soft bed sheet. Her first meal. was not her mother's breast milk, but mashed-up rice pudding spiced with cloves and Indian long pepper prepared by her grandmother as an offering to the Hindu gods. Of course she grew up fascinated by flavours and food combinations!

Narine's culinary education was shaped and nurtured by her grandfather, an Ayurvedic scholar and Hindu priest, and various schoolteachers who were descendants of African slaves and native Arawak Indians, numerous Chinese, and assorted Javanese and Portuguese cousins, dotting the South American landscape! No wonder Nirmala's Edible Diary is such a yummy read! She knows and understands this vast continent, and gives us the culinary treasures and cooking techniques that are all but unknown to the rest of us.

Roberto Santibañez is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and the chef/owner of Fonda restaurant in Brooklyn and Manhattan. A native of Mexico City, he is the President of Truly Mexican Consulting and a member of The Culinary Institute of America's Latin Cuisines Advisory Council. We love his book, Tacos, Tortas, and Tomales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Streetside kitchens of Mexico and you will too. For more information on Roberto, go to

One of our favourite food writers, Camilla Saulsbury, has pulled together 500 Best Quinoa Recipes, which has to be the final word on this super food! She should know, as Saulsbury is also a recipe developer, cooking instructor, cooking competition winner and fitness trainer. She also holds a PhD in sociology with a specialization in food studies. If you've never tried quinoa, or seem stuck on one recipe, this is surely the book for you!

The Guys are back! You may remember them from previous columns, Three Guys from Miami Celebrate Cuban Food, with more than 100 great recipes for Cuban entertaining. The authors are three brothers-in-law and not really all in Miami all the time, and only two are Cuban born. Glenn Lindgren grew up in Minneapolis and first came to Miami in 1984 – and fell in love the city, its culture and the food! Raúl Musibay is a native Cuban and a full-time resident of Miami, and is known for his love of fishing, his great parties and his mastery of the Cuban pig roast. Jorge Castillo came to the US from Cuba via the Mariel Boatlift in 1980 and – get this – he left Miami after three months to live in Iowa, where he learned to love corn on the cob, root beer and mid-American barbecue. Nevertheless, their recipes are authentic and wonderful; what's not to love with this trio!

On this week's menu:

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Ecuadorian Soupy Coastal Shrimp Cebiche

Ecuadorian Soupy Coastal Shrimp Cebiche

We first tried cebiche on the SS Iguana enroute from Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands, and have had a passion for it ever since! Fresh raw or barely done seafood is "cooked" when marinated in limes juice and seasonings; the tangy result is unlike any dish you've had before! We loved this version from Gran Cocina Latina; author Maricel Presilla describes it: "The people of coastal Ecuador prepare a shrimp cebiche so liquidy that it is often eaten with a soup spoon. The shrimp are blanched in a seasoned broth that is later added to the cebiche base of onions, hot pepper and cilantro. Adding a touch of ketchup and often mustard at the table is traditional." We add, "Ron, please open me another of those Doggerlander Bongo's IPA beers!"

Serves 6

  • 1 large red onion (12 ounces), finely slivered lengthwise
  • Salt
  • 3 cilantro sprigs
  • 1/2 small white onion (8 ounces), halved
  • 1 pound medium shrimp with shells
  • 1 fresh or frozen Ecuadorian hot red pepper, or 1 fresh cayenne pepper or jalapeño, preferably red, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro

Purge the red onion with 1 Tbsp salt (see below). Drain and set aside.

Place 5 cups water, 2 tsp salt, and the cilantro and white onion in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and let cool.

Peel and devein the shrimp.

Place the drained red onion in a bowl and toss with 1 tsp salt, the hot pepper, and the citrus juices. Add the shrimp and toss to mix. Add the reserved cooking liquid and the chopped cilantro.

Refrigerate until well chilled.

Serving: This cebiche is downright soupy, so serve in bowls with spoons for people to eat the juices. Also encourage guests to add dollops of ketchup and mustard to the cebiche and stir well before eating. Serve with small bowls of popcorn and plantain chips.

To purge the onion: Place the onion and salt in a medium bowl. Add tap water to cover, stir and allow the onion to stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with your hands. Place the onion in a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain thoroughly.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Riesling Kabinett, off-dry Ontario Riesling or Australian Riesling



Peruvian Chicken Sopa de Quinoa

Peruvian Chicken Sopa de Quinoa

Quinoa is member of the spinach family and was known to the Incas as the mother-seed, the source of all life. As such it was one of the two grain foods – the other being amaranth – targeted as unacceptable by the Hispanic colonizers for religious as well as political reasons. It survived only among the people of Bolivia's Altiplano, where it thrives at altitudes above 9,850 feet (3000 metres). It's come back in a big way these days, as 500 Best Quinoa Recipes attests.

Author Camilla Saulsbury tells us that "Variations of chicken and quinoa soup can be found throughout Peru, from street vendors and fine dining establishments alike. This version features several other New World ingredients: peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes and corn. The sum is a spectacular celebration of quinoa in a bowl.

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 1½ cups chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened natural peanut butter
  • 2 cups diced peeled yellow-fleshed potatoes (such as Yukon gold)
  • 1½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups diced zucchini
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots; cook stirring for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, cumin and paprika, cook stirring for 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in tomatoes with juice, broth and peanut butter; bring to a boil. Stir in potatoes, corn and quinoa. Reduce heat to medium, cover, leaving lid ajar, and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are very tender but not falling apart.
  3. Stir in chicken, cilantro and lime juice, simmer for 5 minutes to heat through and blend the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Dry Oloroso or Palo Cortado Sherry



Platillo Moros y Cristianos

Platillo Moros y Cristianos

Three Guys from Miami Celebrate Cuban Food give us the quintessential Cuban signature dish, a dish that Cubans eat at just about every meal, a side dish that no real Cuban ever gets tired of, a dish that, as the Guys said, "We worship and glorify!" Say no more, here it is.

Serves 8

  • 2½ cups dried black beans
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 1½ cups chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, and mashed with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dry Spanish wine
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Olive oil
  1. Cover dry beans with water and let stand covered overnight. Drain and discard water.
  2. Place the cleaned black beans in a large 6-quart saucepan. Add water and olive oil – this will prevent the beans from foaming. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
  3. Do not add salt to the beans while they are cooking. Salt at this stage of the game will make your beans very tough.
  4. You may also cook the beans in a pressure cooker. Follow the manufacturer's directions for exact times, but our pressure cooker takes about 20 to 25 minutes to cook the beans completely.
  5. Whichever method you use, do not drain the water from the cooked beans.
  6. Meanwhile, chop onion and green pepper. Mash the garlic with salt and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.
  7. Sauté the onions and green pepper in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add mashed garlic and sauté another minute or so.
  8. Add the cooked beans, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, vinegar and wine (see note below). Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf.
  9. Some cooks – including us – like to thicken the beans by taking about 1 cup of beans and mashing them to make a thick paste. Mix the mashed beans back into the pot.
  10. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the sugar; then drizzle a couple of Tbsp. of olive oil over the beans. Immediately cover the pot, remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve the by now fantastically prepared black beans over white rice.

The Guys say, "You may garnish the beans with cilantro and chopped white onions. Not only do they look good presented this way, they taste even better than they look."

Note: additions of ham hock or cooked cubed sliced bacon are always welcome.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Sauvignon Blanc or Viura



Aztec Chicken

Aztec Chicken

Bon Appétit | September 2003 by Norman Van Aken

Van Aken has been described as "legendary, visionary and a trailblazer". He is known as the founding father of New World Cuisine, a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors, and credited for introducing the concept of Fusion to the culinary world. This recipe sums it all up with its combination of black olives, capers and avocado! Serve with an herby quinoa side, and you'll be shouting ¡Olé!

Makes 6 servings

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled butter
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pitted oil-cured black olives
  • 1/4 cup drained capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Sherry
  • 1/3 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Melt 2 tablespoons butter with vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add all onions; cook until deep brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add sugar and sauté until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup vinegar; sauté until almost all liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Transfer to small bowl.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix salt, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and pepper in small bowl. Rub chicken breasts all over with spice mixture. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken breasts, skin side down. Sauté until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to baking sheet. Keep warm in oven.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 20 seconds. Add caramelized onions, 1/4 cup vinegar, tomato, olives, capers, and Sherry. Cook until liquid reduces slightly, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1½ teaspoons cumin, chicken broth, lime juice, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Add avocado; cook until sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 4 tablespoons butter and stir until blended into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Place 1 chicken breast on each of 6 plates; spoon sauce over.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Unoaked Chardonnay or Chablis



Stuffed Pork Loin with Coconut Milk Gravy

Stuffed Pork Loin with Coconut Milk Gravy

You cannot do recipes from Latin Countries without including roast pork, and we love this one from Nirmala's Edible Diary: A Hungry Traveler's Cookbook, by Nirmala Narine. She commented on this dish, "I devoured this plateful of stuffed pork slices smothered in coconut milk, with a heap of rice on the side, while watching a cockfight in someone's backyard in the Andes. It was divine, especially since that night I ate with my hands, just like I did as a little girl. I love making this dish, and the best part is the leftovers." We add: If there are any!

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 large firm but ripe plantain
  • Sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fine chopped chorizo or other spicy smoked sausage
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs pork loin
  • Coconut Milk Gravy (recipe follows)
  1. Peel the plantain and cut into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a small saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add a pinch of salt and cook until fork-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and chop finely. Set aside.
  2. In a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring until brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside in a small bowl.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the shallot, garlic, celery and cumin and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 1 minute. Add the cooked plantain and chorizo and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Transfer the chorizo mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Let the skillet cool a bit, then wipe clean. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Using a sharp knife, butterfly the pork loin about 2½ inch deep; make sure not to cut all the way through the loin. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Spoon the plantain-and-chorizo mixture in between the two flaps of meat, fold the meat over the stuffing and secure with butcher's twine.
  7. Transfer the stuffed loin to the skillet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the loin and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Slice the pork loin, arrange on a serving platter, and serve drizzled with the Coconut Milk Gravy.

Coconut Milk Gravy

  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut milk, cumin, stock, chives and parsley. Bring to a boil, cooking until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Dry Riesling or dry Alsace Muscat



Strawberry Tamales (Tamal de fresa)

Strawberry Tamales (Tamal de fresa)

One of the highlights at the Pan American food Festival is most definitely the tamale contest, featuring variations from around Latin America! One of the highlights in our cookbook collection is Tacos, Tortas and Tamales, by Roberto Santibañez. We all know and love tacos, and in case you didn't know, tortas are hearty sandwiches filled with the usual delicious ingredients, refried beans, queso, avocado, jalapeño, and more, all piled into crusty buns called bollilos. Tamales, however, come wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaf like little presents, and author Santibañez tells us that the name is derived from the word nixtamal (dried corn and ground slaked lime to make masa) and the word tamal probably once referred to anything made from this nutritious corn mash. A universal dish across Latin America and you'll find many of the variations in this excellent book, including this lovely dessert tamal!

Makes 22 to 24

  • Generous 3/4 pound fresh ripe strawberries, tops removed and berries quartered (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 pound ripe raspberries (1 scant cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange zest
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups tamale flour (masa harina para tamales)
  • 1 scant cup powdered sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 20 drops red food coloring (recommended)
  • 22 to 24 dried corn husks, soaked in warm water for 1/2 hour and drained well

Combine the strawberries, raspberries, sugar, vanilla extract, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat, let the mixture come to a strong simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are fully softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, let it cool to room temperature, then blend it until very smooth.

Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the butter on high until it's white, fluffy and tripled in volume (it'll look like vanilla icing), 7 to 8 minutes.

Combine the tamale flower and 2¼ cups of water in a large bowl and mix with your hands until you have a homogenous dough.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the powdered sugar, baking powder and salt to the butter, then mix on medium-high speed for 1 minute or so.

Alternately add the dough, 1 ping-pong-ball-sized piece at a time, and some of the berry puree until you've added them all. Keep beating occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the dough looks fluffy and light, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the dried cherries and food coloring, if using it, beating just until well incorporated.

"Candy-wrap" and steam the tamales:

Tear a few corn husks into long, thin strips for tying. You'll need two strips per tamale.

For each tamale, put about ¼ cup batter in the center of the concave side of one corn husk and spread to flatten it evenly so it forms a rough square.

Fold the long sides of the husk to enclose the filling in the batter, then one end at a time, gather the ends and tie each one tightly with a strip of husk to form a shape that looks like a large piece of candy. Repeat with the remaining batter, filling and corn husks.

Steaming: Fit the tamales in a dedicated tamale steamer or deep steamer basket of a pasta pot. Fill the pot with about 2 inches of water, and place a coin in the pot so you can tell if the water has evaporated (you will hear the coin start to jiggle when the water boils and you'll know you need to add more water when the jiggling noise stops). Bring the water to a boil.

Place the tamale-filled steamer basket in the pot, then cover the tamales with additional corn husks and a tight fitting lid. (Covering the pot with two layers of heavy duty foil, instead of a lid will do, too.)

Steam the tamales, adding more boiling water if you no longer hear the coin jiggle, until you can easily and cleanly peel the husk from the tamal, about 45 minutes to 1¼ hours. Leave the tamales in the covered pot with the heat off for 15 minutes before serving.

Tony's wine recommendation:
Banyuls, Moscato d'Asti or Beaumes de Venise



Tres Leches de Miami

Tres Leches de Miami

Once you've tried tres leches you're hooked. A sturdy, porous panatela-style cake is soaked with three "milks": cream, condensed milk and evaporated milk. In Gran Cocina Latina author Maricel Presilla notes that "The wildly enthusiastic acceptance of this simple concept by American diners and chefs has made me rethink my ideas of what constitutes a great dessert... We admire (in tres leches) ease of execution and simple, harmonious flavors that seduce."

Can't say it any better, and you'll love Presilla's easy recipe for this divine concoction!

Serves 8 to 10

Perfect Sponge Cake for Latin Trifles

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8×12-inch glass baking dish or a 9×2-inch round cake pan. Or, butter the pans and line them with parchment paper, then butter and flour the parchment. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Beat the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer at low speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat another 7 to 8 minutes on medium speed, until the whites are glossy and the sugar is dissolved. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the yolks. Scrape down the bowl again, lower the speed to medium-low and beat in the sifted flour and milk.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cake is lightly browned, springs back when gently touched, and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before proceeding with any recipe.

Tres Leches

  • 1 sponge cake, still warm
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup light corn syrup

While the sponge cake cools, mix together the cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk. Prick the top of the cake all over at 1-inch intervals with a toothpick and slowly pour the milk mixture over the cake (prick more holes in needed). Be sure to include the edges and corners. The cake will absorb all the milk. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer and briefly beat at low speed, then increase the speed to medium and beat until soft peaks form. Slowly pour the corn syrup into the whites and continue beating for about 7 minutes, until still and glossy. Either spread the meringue over the cake or invert the cake onto a serving platter that can hold the mild sauce and spread or pipe the meringue over it. Cut the cake into slices or squares and serve cold.



We wish to thank the following for permission to publish material and photographs: and Bon Appétit Magazine, September 2003, for Norman Van Aken's Aztec Chicken recipe and photograph.

Raincoast Publishing, Vancouver, and Gibbs Smith, Publisher, Layton, Utah, for Three Guys from Miami Celebrate Cuban by Glenn Lindgren, Raúl Musibay and Jorge Castillo. Text © 2006 Glenn M. Lindgren. Photographs © Marty Snortum.

Raincoast Books, Vancouver, and Chronicle Books, San Francisco, for Nirmala's Edible Diary: A Hungry Traveler's Cookbook with Recipes from 14 Countries, by Nirmala Narine. Food photographs by Diana DeLucia. Copyright © 2009 by Nirmala Narine.

John Wiley and Sons, Inc., Hoboken NJ and Toronto, for Tacos, Tortas and Tamales by Roberto Santibañez. © 2012 Roberto Santibañez. Photographs © 2012 Todd Coleman.

Robert Rose Inc., publisher, Toronto, for 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury. Text © 2012 Camilla V. Saulsbury. Photographs © 2012 Robert Rose Inc.

W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. New York, for Gran Cocina Latina by Maricel E. Presilla. © 2012 Maricel E. Presilla. Photographs © 2012 Gentl & Hyers.


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Happily enjoyed by Helen Hatton and Ron Morris.

Helen Hatton and Ron Morris at Le Caveau des Gourmets in Gigondas




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