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Secrets of Colombian Cooking (Hippocrene Cookbook Library) Hardcover – March 1, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...fills a void for the delightful, little-known and vibrant cuisine of this South American nation. You will be thrilled by the ethnic diversity and originality of the dishes passionately and thoroughly gathered by native chef Patricia McCausland-Gallo." --Jacques Pepin

"Colombian cooking usually is tossed into general South American cookbooks and too rarely receives an entire mention apart from the rest of the region: enter Patricia McCausland-Gallo's Secrets of Colombian Cooking, providing the much-needed focus on Colombian dishes alone. . . . Author McCausland-Gallo is both a nutritionist and pastry chef born in the Caribbean: her culinary back- ground lends to a clear survey of classic Colombian fare." --The Midwest Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Patricia McCausland-Gallo is a nutritionist, pastry chef, and teacher born in the Caribbean town of Barranquilla. She studied at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and attended the American Institute of Baking in Kansas, as well as Ecole Lenôtre in Paris. She has been a food writer for local and national newspapers in Colombia and a manager and owner of bakeries in Barranquilla and Cali. She now resides in Panama City, Panama.

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Product Details

  • Series: Hippocrene Cookbook Library
  • Hardcover: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781810256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781810258
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Elena Hernandez on May 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The best thing about "Secrets of Colombian Cooking" is the fact that it is written by a native Colombian. Patricia McCausland -Gallo is originally from Barranquilla, a city on the northern coast of Colombia. She traveled extensively throughout the country researching for the best recipes for this book. Secrets of Colombian Cooking is a magnificent and very complete collection of the best dishes of Colombian cuisine.

I am lucky because Patricia now lives in Panama and I was able to attend a cooking class that showcased recipes from this book. In this class the author prepared 5 dishes: "Arroz con Coco y Pasas Titoté" - this is a rice prepared with coconut milk and raisins - the coconut milk is left to reduce in a cast iron pot - until only the coconut oil is left and it begins to stick to the sides of the pot and change to a brownish color - this is Titoté - add the raisins and let them sit for a few minutes until they begin to puff - add rice and fry it in the Titoté and then cook the usual way - the result is an ultra delicious rice dish fragant with coconut and with the sweetness of raisins added.

Chef McCausland also prepared a very famous little bread in Colombia called "Pandebonos" - they are very similar to Popovers but these are prepared with yuca flour and cheese - a very easy and quick recipe made in only a few minutes. One of the other typical Colombian dishes prepared were the "Patacones Pisaos" - giant ultra crispy green plantains fried and served with just a little salt sprinkled on top.

But, the one recipe that blew our minds and left every single person in that class crazy for Patricia Mc Causland's Colombian cooking, was the "Cazuela de Mariscos al Coco" or "Crustacean Chowder" on page 90 of the book.
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Format: Hardcover
"Secrets of Colombian Cooking," by Patricia McCausland -

Gallo is by far the best Colombian cook book on earth! Author McCausland - Gallo includes hundreds of food preparations from all over Colombia. Moreover, she blends her own intimate knowledge of Colombia throughout the book...giving the text a special page by page narrative.

This comprehensive (251 pages) cook book includes instructions for simple and exotic culinary creations. The food types include; breakfast foods and snacks; soups; meats & poultry; seafood; rice; side dishes; salsas and sauces; sweets; and drinks (including cocktails). McCausland - Gallo has a clear and concise writing style. She also provides high-lighted side bars with exact specifications for ingredients...a helpful guide for advanced cooks.

This book breaks new ground and is a gold mine for cooks at all levels. The author details how to make the staples like "Arroz con Pollo," "Flan de Leche," "Chicharrones," "Chorizos," and my favorite, "Empanaditas de Carne." Don't worry there are an abundance of recipies for arepas, coconuts, typical soups, rice and plantains. And being a good Colombian she does not fail to include something special for Aguardiente.

On the downside...the photos in this cook book are small and unimaginative. Nevertheless, the power of this book is in the instructions (which will help cooks at all levels) and in the broad array of recipes from all over the country. Trust me...this book has it all...from beef stew to seafood. It also has a very good glossary and index. Highly recommended.

Bert Ruiz
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Format: Hardcover
As a Colombian-born U.S. raised child and young adult I spent the summer months in Barranquilla and other places in Colombia visiting family. The lasting sensory memories of the foods, fruits (!!!) and beverages that I ate and "experienced" there still evoke strong feelings of love and nostalgia for them that for the most part I have been unable duplicate here (in Oakland, CA). I have tried using the cookbooks given to me by my mother, "Cartagena de Indias en la Olla", (by Teresita Roman de Zurek, Amparo Roman de Velez and Olga Roman Velez, Editorial Bedout, 1967), and by my aunt, "La Buena Mesa", (by Sofia Ospina de Navarro, 1989). These are cookbooks written by and for Colombian women who aspired to an elegant and classy (and cosmopolitan) dinner table. They have many recipes but they were somewhat imprecise about quantities and the availability of and a familiarity with all of the ingredients is assumed. Not too helpful for a Gringa-Colombiana living in Oakland.

Serendipitously, I ran across this title and on a lark ordered it (I am not a chef or even a great cook.) It is a Gem! A little jewel of a cookbook! Patricia McCausland-Gallo incorporates cultural and personal information into the chapters and individual recipes of this book, she is specific about amounts and directions and explains all ingredients and it is a pleasure to read and use. I first made the recipe for "Sobrebarriga" (a braised meat, I used skirt steak) and it was delicious. It was a huge hit.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Colombian cooking.
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Format: Hardcover
It is a great book for anyone, not in Colombia, who wants to cook Colombian food. It provides easy to follow instructions and the best part of all, it describe the ingredients and gives the names of how you will find the ingredients in the US (or an equivalent). The only thing I did not like about the book, it has very few pictures...
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