Paladares Cookbook Review

Paladares Cookbook Review

Title: Paladares: Recipes from the Private Restaurants, Home Kitchens, and Streets of Cuba
Author: Anya von Bremzen
Published: November 14, 2017, Harry N. Abrams
No. of Pages: 352
Cover Price: $40.00 Hardcover, $16.79 Kindle

Anyone familiar with award-winning cookbook author Anya von Bremzen will be excited to pick up Paladares: Recipes from the Private Restaurants, Home Kitchens, and Streets of Cuba . Cuban food is one of the most notable food trends, and when von Bremzen writes a cookbook, she not only includes recipes, but also invests in countless hours of research and gives readers and cooks enough background, history, and facts that while cooking they actually feel that they are part of the culture. She has teamed up with Megan Fawn Schlow, an accomplished photographer to make this cookbook good enough to belong in every cook’s personal collection; readers will find themselves reading for hours.

This cookbook includes all of the well-known Cuban dishes such as Ropa Viejo, tostones, and a classic Cuban sandwich. It also has dozens of mouthwatering dishes that aren’t so well-known, but are just as good. The first recipe in my queue was Picadillo a la Habanera with white rice and Sweet Fried Plantains. My whole family loved it. Although the classic Ropa Viejo is delicious, I really loved the Pork version with raisins. After preparing several recipes, I found that the recipes are easy to follow – the instructions are perfect for both beginning and experienced cooks – and the photographs make it so it’s easy to know how the recipes are supposed to turn out. Cuban food is quite simple, and every recipe I have tried so far has turned out picture perfect.

Cuban Polenta has become a family favorite, and is a cold-weather comfort food. I found that I could substitute pork tenderloin for the ribs, since I had it on hand, and it was fabulous. Other dishes in the queue are Plantain Fufú with Pork, Adobo Chicken, Arroz Frito, and Fried Chickpeas with Chorizo. Of course there are several good bean recipes as accompaniments to the main dishes. Desserts include classic Flan, rice pudding, and Guava and Cheese Pasteles to name a few.

You absolutely can’t go wrong with this cookbook. It is nice enough and has enough excellent photographs of both Cuba and food, that it’s suitable for a coffee-table book. It would also make a good gift for a Cuban food aficionado. This cookbook has everything and is highly recommended.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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