“Elise! Have you seen this month’s Gourmet magazine?” asked my friend Maria excitedly, adding, “You must go out and get it right now! It has the food of my people, the recipes I grew up with. It’s the real deal. Their cream cheese flan is almost exactly like mine!” A Puerto Rican who has never been at a loss for words, Maria is a fabulous cook, and a contributor of many of the recipes on this site. I never pass up a dinner invitation if she’s cooking, so when she says go out and get this magazine, I go get it.
I read this September 2007 issue cover to cover and was completely blown away. It’s a “Special Collector’s Issue” and explores in wonderful detail Latino food, from the best taco trucks across the country to Dominican food in NYC, Cuban black beans in Miami, El Salvadoran pupusas in Los Angles, to Colombian chicken stew. The folks at Gourmet have struck a chord with this issue. Latino food has been making its way all across America, for years now. Just this weekend I had El Salvadoran pupusas (mentioned in the Gourmet issue with recipes, they are thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and other fillings, topped with crisp coleslaw) at the Des Moines, Iowa farmers market, of all places. The line was longer there than any other stall; people couldn’t wait to get their hands on them. If you have an interest in Mexican or other Latino cuisines, I highly recommend running out and getting this issue now, while there are still copies available.
If you are a regular reader of Simply Recipes you know that we love Mexican and Latino food. My mother is Hispanic from Tucson, Arizona, so a lot of what we cook would more accurately be classified as “Tex Mex”. But we do have many classic Mexican and Latino recipes on the site, several for which a version can be found in the special Gourmet issue. Here are a few of our favorites: