A little bit of this. A pinch of that. Most traditional Latin@ recipes include these instructions for your favorite childhood dish, along with the all-forgiving ‘Yo le hecho’ disclaimer. Yet in the case where your abuela, tía or your mami are not around or you are just looking a healthy alternative to a family favorite, the web can be a great sous chef for your cooking needs.
When looking for a specific dish, typing the name of the desired recipe, with quotations in Google is the simplest way to bring a host of results. However, on those occasions where we have little clue as to what will statisfy our taste buds, a wide but targeted search is probably the best way to way to find something without getting lost in the distracting supermarket that is the Internet. So specifically searching mainstream media cooking resources like Allrecipes.com or Food.com, cable channels like the Food Network and magazines like Eating Well and Saveur.com will yield recipes and ideas dedicated to Latin American/Hispanic foods.
Another useful resource is to use the customized Google Latin recipe search engine devised by the librarians at Carnegie Mellon Library of Pittsburg. The page puts your search through 306 Latin recipe sites, but also offers links and summaries to cooking books in country subcategories that include Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
Perhaps some of the most authentic resources for the average guy or gal are those of foodies who have set up their own blogs dedicated to Latino cuisine. Web sites like the Laylita’s Recipes, Other Side of the Tortilla, Aunt Clara’s Kitchen and Hungry Sofia have gotten critical mentions in the media, but the truth is that who you like is as subjective as your palette. Mami Latino Web sites like Spanglish Baby, and Mamas Latinas offer extensive roundups of food blogs that you might want to add to your regular viewing list and RSS Reader.
Cooking is not just about having the recipes, but knowing what to do with them. About.com’s Latin Carribean Food section is a great assistant, offering tips on basic techniques and descriptive instructions on how to prepare your meals. Latin Kitchen is similarly resourceful and also offers cookbook reviews and videos from/links to some of your favorite chefs explaining their favorite traditional latin recipes.
Last, but certainly not least, visit the website of everyone’s favorite Latino brand Goya. There you can upload and store your own recipes, watch cooking videos and other content dedicated to best utilizing their products.
Buen provecho everyone!