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Cuba!: Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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"One of the most exciting cookbooks of the year."
—Alex Beggs, Bon Appetit
"Now that Cuba is more open to the U.S., the opportunity to visit and indulge in the culinary soul of the country is ripe. Until the actual journey, though, here are some delightfully bold recipes from ¡Cuba! Recipes and Stories From the Cuban Kitchen that will give you a first taste and, hopefully, inspire a smile and a warm heart."
—Brooke Bobb, Vogue
About the Author
Dan Goldberg is an award-winning commercial photographer specializing in food photography. His work has been recognized by the London International Advertising Awards and he’s been listed as Archive’s Best 200 Advertising Photographers. When not taking photographs, you can find him seeking out the best food and drink in town, fly-fishing, and traveling the world with his wife, Casey and daughter, Dylan.
Prop stylist and art director, Andrea Kuhn’s work has appeared in national magazines and ad campaigns, as well as numerous cookbooks, including The Girl in the Kitchen, the James Beard-nominated Spiaggia, Cookie Love and Fat Rice. When not on set, you can find Andrea perusing flea markets (near and far) looking for that perfect prop, enjoying a good cup of coffee, and hanging at the dog park with her doodle, Finley. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Jody Eddy is a food writer and the author of Come In, We're Closed and the IACP Award-winning North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland. She is also the former editor of Art Culinaire. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, Jody has cooked at Jean Georges, Tabla, and The Fat Duck. She lives in Chicago where she enjoys running, gardening, and planning tomorrow’s next culinary adventure.
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After a nod to true Cuban cooking—with authentic recipes for rice and beans, lechon, black bean soup, a great mojo recipe, an equally great picadillo—this cook book soon evolves into the authors’ “takes” on Cuban cooking: Squid ink empanadas with a filling of lobster; black bean burgers on soft hamburger buns; a take on a jibarito sandwich from a Chicago Puerto Rican restaurant, and many more.
What? Did these three authors deem that true recipes and stories from Cuban kitchens would be too dull? After all, despite the rise of “Organoponicos”, (organic farmers providing specialized/unique ingredients to compliment what is traditionally at hand), the backbone of Cuban cooking is not spice-laden. Beans, rice, chicken, fish, goat, onions, garlic, bay leaves, marjoram, cumin is what it’s really all about in the Cuban kitchen.
Seems that most of these recipes could be found in Cuban restaurants—for visitors—and not in the normal Cuban home kitchen.
The stories that I read in this book are not the stories of Cuban residents, they are the travel stories of the three trips these three people took to Cuba……Not quite what I expected….. But I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the pictures. (Too bad there are no captions!)
While I appreciated the creativity, I would have loved to have seen the use of true Cuban ingredients. For instance, there aren’t scallops readily available to the Cuban locals, are there? Why a Shrimp and Scallop Seviche recipe, when a dolphin fish seviche recipe would have been more appropriate?
Besides some creative, new combinations of ingredients, there are some “old hat” recipes thrown in, too: Langoustines with chile, garlic and lime; sugarcane skewers; jicama slaw; grilled octopus, to name a few.
Paella recipe is baked in an oven, not over fire, (quite a disappointment for me…..).
The Pots & Pans chapter contained the largest proportion of worthy recipes in the book. A chicken stew with sour juices, corn, garlic, capers and olives, is quite good.
Pureed Plantain Soup is worthwhile—except for the ridiculous idea of being able to substitute parsnips for plantains….. That idea made me think that these authors really do not understand Cuban ingredients.
I would have expected to see more goat recipes. An average goat stew recipe is included.
The Cuban Fried Chicken recipe is a keeper; so is the Crispy Twice-Cooked Lamb.
The cake recipes and the drinks at the end of the book are quite good, too.
Page layout is easy enough to follow. Instructions could be somewhat clearer in places. Ingredient lists leave questions. Index is decent.
*I received a free, temporary ARC copy of this book from the publisher.
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Author: Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn, Jody Eddy
Publisher: Ten Speed Press