The New York City Marathon may be 26.2 miles, but runners rack up many, many more during training. Carbo-loading, the guilt-free consumption of rice, pasta and bread in the days leading up to it, can seem like a reward for months of dedication and hard work. Done properly, you’ll have enough stored energy to see you through to the finish line. Overindulge, though, and you’ll get to race day feeling like someone’s handed you a sack of potatoes and asked you to run it through the five boroughs.
Continue Reading Fuel Your Marathon (Or Your Day): Amaranth Pancakes
Congratulations to Devour contributor Ana Sofia Peláez, whose personal blog hungrysofia.com has been nominated for one of Saveur.com‘s Best Food Blog Award 2012.
Ana Sofia covers the spectrum of Spanish and Latin American cuisine for Cooking Channel’s blog, Devour, and in her own blog. From the rich smells and flavors of the Cuban food she grew up with to modern Peruvian causas, hearty Brazilian feijodas and delicate Mexican flor de calabaza soup, she’s always looking for her next great meal.
Her blog is nominated in the category of Best Regional Cuisine Blog. Voting ends on April 26th, so hurry over to here to vote for hungrysofia.com.
And bring a bit of Latin America into your kitchen with her best recipes from Devour:
Continue Reading HungrySofia Nominated for Saveur Food Blog Award
While there are countless ways to celebrate the season, there seems to be a general consensus that sweetened milk, enriched by egg yolks, and spiked with spirit, preferably bottled, is a good idea.
Eggnog may have originated in England, but Mexican convents have perfected it as rompope, Cubans have their own sugary version called crema de vie, and Puerto Ricans took the usual blend and infused it with coconut to make coquitos. Though simple enough to make with canned or creamed coconut, there’s a unique satisfaction to cracking open your own coconut, grating the meat, blending in the rum and extracting the flavor directly from the source. Creamy and sweet, the coconut adds a smoothness that sets it apart from heavier custard-in-a-glass alternatives and brings a taste of island life to the holidays. In Puerto Rico, where the parties and observances start early and can continue well into January, there’s always an excuse for just one more.
Continue Reading Coquitos, or Puerto Rican Eggnog
Though it’s still possible to find corn, zucchini and tomatoes in the markets, it’s hard to ignore the diminishing returns in quantity, quality and most importantly, enthusiasm. As the summer season closes out, there’s more reason to try something new that you may have overlooked: Okra, hearty, versatile and available through early October, may be that thing.
Continue Reading Quimbombo: Okra Stew With Pork and Plantain Dumplings
I was determined to make tamales this summer but kept hearing that the corn piling up at the markets wasn’t the “right” kind. Sweet and bursting maybe, but not the starchy field corn needed to make traditional tamales. Though they can be made year round using cornmeal, masa harina or tamal flour specially made for the purpose, it seemed a shame to make the same tamales in July that I could have in December.
I was about to go the all-maseca route when I tried a Guatemalan tamal from a street vendor. Sweet, airy and topped only with crema and fresh cheese, it had the delicate flavor of the white summer corn crowding the farm stands. Known as tamales de elote in Mexico and Central America, humitas in the Andes, and green corn tamales in the States, these fresh corn tamales could be made with domestic corn and just a small amount of masa harina to approximate the taste and texture of starchier varieties. Though savory fillings can be added like shredded pork or chicken, they’re wonderful just on their own blended with fast melting cheese like Oaxaca or Monterey Jack and green onions. With every part of the corn, from the husks to the kernels to the cobs, imparting their own shades of flavor, you can savor everything the season has to offer while it lasts.
Continue Reading How To Make Fresh Corn Tamales
Though increasingly rare, it’s always exciting during the summer to come across an old-fashioned push cart making granizados, the shaved ice cones drenched in an array of bottled syrups in supernatural colors. It’s hard to match the evenly textured, disappearing flakes that street vendors can pull from a single block of ice in a rickety cart on a sweltering corner. But granizados can be made at home, with any combination of pureed fruits and juices: spiced, spiked and sweetened to taste just like an Italian granita.
Instead of breaking up chunks of ice or burning out a blender, the flavored liquid is set to chill in a shallow baking pan then broken up as the ice crystals form; it is redistributed until the mixture is uniformly slushy and all around refreshing. This weekend I tried a few variations but my favorite was a combination of mango and passion fruit, sweet and sour with a brush of mint for a last bite of cold. If you’d rather leave the serious shaving to professionals, American snow cones, Mexican raspados, Puerto Rican piraguas, and even Korean patbingsu can be sought out, but you’ll miss the fun of coming up with your own favorite flavors and textures.
Continue Reading Granizado de Mango y Maracuyá, or Mango Shaved Ice