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Memories of a Cuban Kitchen Paperback – May 9, 1996


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Memories of a Cuban Kitchen + A Taste of Old Cuba: More Than 150 Recipes for Delicious, Authentic, and Traditional Dishes + Sabor!: A Passion for Cuban Cuisine
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (May 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028609980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028609980
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Most Cubans will tell you that we have two food groups: party food--made up of snacks--and real food, built around fish, stews and soups," write menu consultant Randleman and editor Schwartz. "We seem to consume more of the former." In 1957, when Randleman herself was 10 years old, her prosperous family emigrated to Miami from Cuba. Her memories of pre-Castro life and eating are filtered through a golden haze of childhood recollection: cousin Pepe entertains his family at meriendasic (afternoon tea), in which "steaming trays began appearing from the kitchen, borne by a parade of indulgent maids and cooks," and glamorous Aunt Titi drives the young Randelman to the Havana Yacht Club for incomparable freshly fried potato chips and croquetassic "filled with smoky creamed ham and splashed with lime juice." The Cuban national cuisine as it emerges here is a fusion of Spanish, African, Chinese and Portuguese elements, as one sees in a dish such as okra stew with plaintain dumplings ( guiso de quimbombo ), containing root vegetables, sherry, bacon and Cuban beef stock, always seasoned with cumin.92 Lime juice is used liberally, both as marinade and flavoring. Desserts are largely custards, flans and puddings.250 The book is a personal yet comprehensive introduction to a cuisine perpetuated more in South Florida than in its native island.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"The best foreign cookbook honors go to Memories of a Cuban Kitchen. The book rings wonderfully true, both in its recipes and its evocations of pre-Castro Havana as recalled by author Mary Urrutia Randelman with heartfelt affection. This beautiful book is a memory piece as much as a cookbook."—The Washington Times "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen will be an added treasure in any cook's library and a must in the kitchen of any American of Cuban heritage or anyone who's interested in exploring Cuban cooking more fully at home." — The Miami Herald A Sampling of Remembered Dishes
  • Bistec de Palomilla (Cuban Fried Steak)
  • Moros y Cristianos (Black Beans and Rice)
  • Ajiaco Criollo (Cuban Creole Stew)
  • Pargo Relleno (Stuffed Red Snapper)
  • Ensalada de Aguacate y Mango (Avocado and Mango Salad)
  • Flan de Coco (Coconut Flan)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The recipes are easy to follow.
Rita Izaguirre rizag@aol.com
Memories of a Cuban Kitchen has so many good recipes that my Cuban friends already cook and now I can cook these for my family.
JD
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a cuban cookbook.
cubancracker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Elena Hernandez on October 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My father is Cuban and I grew up learning to love Yuca con Mojo and Guayaba. There is this thing about Cubans and food, and it is remarkable how people that left the country 45 years ago still talk and eat the cubano way. As a professional Chef, I have used this book to develop new dishes and flavors in my kitchen. Yes I have a Cuban grandmother and lots of aunts that gave me great recipes, but this book is a very complete collection of the most traditional recipes, and of all the cuban cookbooks I have looked at, I would say this is the best.

From the famous Ajiaco Criollo, to the delicious sandwiches (Pan con Lechón, Medianoche, Elena Ruz), to the delicious Pastel de Pollo (Chicken Pot Pie) that I absolutely love and have prepared many many times, the Arroz Congri (Cuban Red Beans and Rice), to all the Flans and Puddings and my father's favorite Guava Tart (Pastel de Guayaba). You will never get tired of this book. Every single recipe we have tried in our family, according to my father,closely resembles his own mother's home cooking. I absolutely love it and would definately recommend it.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Reviewer on June 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While not of Cuban descent myself, I fell in love with Cuban food during my travels in Miami, Tampa, and Latin America. As a student of traditional cuisines of the world (particularly of the Mediterranean and Caribbean), I own over 100 cookbooks and this one is easily in my top five. It is traditional, authentic, and contains many great recipes. As mentioned by a previous reviewer, Cuban cooking is not the same as Mexican. Mexican cooking is basically a Native American Indian cuisine, with some European Spanish influence. Cuban cooking is a blend of European Spanish and Afro-Caribbean traditions, and the Spanish influence is somewhat stronger than in Mexican cuisine. Cuban cooking does not make use of chile peppers or tortilla flat breads. It does use lots of garlic, olive oil, onions, and some Caribbean crops such as plantains. Both are great cuisines, just different. The recipes in this book are generally straightforward and not too difficult. We find that the ingredients are usually easy to find at our local grocery store. As to our favorites: "Mom's black bean soup" is the best we've had, anywhere (We don't puree ours, just add enough water to get the right consistency). The sandwiches are also excellent: Pan con lechon is perhaps the greatest sandwich ever devised by Man. Marinated, slow-roasted pork on crusty bread, which is first slathered with Mojo sauce: a sauteed mixture of olive oil, garlic, onions, and orange, lemon, and lime juice. The sandwich is then lightly toasted. The Sandwich Cubano is also very good, as are the many seafood recipes: garlic shrimp is a favorite. Also try the avocado salad as an accompaniment: we're addicted to it. Enjoy.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A. Barrett on March 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was born in Cuba and was used to Cuban cooking with minimal ingredients. Once we moved to this country, my mother was able to cook our food the way it was intended to be cooked. I have re-discovered these wonderful flavors all over again by following the author's recipes. Although I am too young to have experienced the "real Cuba", as my mother called it, I was enthralled by the author's experiences in our homeland. This book has been a blessing. My not so Cuban husband has loved every recipe that I have taken the time to make.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By O. Palacio on December 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
WOW!!!!
Unless you get recipes from your Cuban grandmother there is nothing better than this book. The writer's lovely descriptions of her days as a little girl in Cuba and the can't miss recipes are what make this book a true gem. I was happy to see recipes for dishes that I grew up with but never knew how to make. If you have the time and calories to spare make the Pastel De Pollo it is divino!!!
The recipe for Mojo Criollo was great, I made it with Yuca for Thanksgiving and my entire Cuban family thought it was my grandmother's recipe.
Gracias Mary your book will be treasured in my home.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. McMullen on October 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have purchased and have been given 8 Cuban cookbooks over the years...and this is the only one I use. My parents are both Cuban. I grew up in Miami and now live in LA. Unfortunately my mother never taught me to cook her amazing Cuban dishes while I was growing up. It is difficult to get her recipes over the phone because it's always a pinch of this and dash of that. This cookbook is amazing. I have made arroz con pollo, picadillo, carne con papas, ropa vieja, arroz con lentejas and they have all come out the way I know they should. Most importantly, the recipes in this book do not request ingredients that I know my mother never had in the kitchen. I purchased this cookbook as a Christmas present for my brothers and sisters and they agree!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ProudBookWorm on August 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was born in Cuba, of Cuban parents whose great-great grandparents were Cuban/Spanish, and grew up entirely on Cuban food. I was too busy doing other things to watch my mother as she cooked, and she has never measured an ingredient in her life, she just knows how much to use. Now living in Ohio, where Cuban cuisine is routinely confused with Mexican (Note - Cuban food does NOT use hot chile peppers or cayenne, only onions, garlic, green/red peppers, salt & black pepper)I long for Cuban food. This book lets me prepare AUTHENTIC Cuban food my entire family enjoys.
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