Botanical by William Meppem [free books to read]

  • Full Title : Botanical: Inside the Iconic Brasserie
  • Autor: William Meppem
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Hardie Grant Grp
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2007
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B004GEC5KY
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format: mobi


Botanical is a dazzling collection of more than 100 recipes by award-winning chef Paul Wilson from the iconic Botanical restaurant.




low calorie recipes for weight loss, side of beef, keto plan, coffee basket, sweet red wine, pizza express delivery, keto diet meal plan, black forest cake, ketone bodies, a grill is a grill, coffee cart, vegan society, italian dessert recipes, chinese recipes, malbec wine, pasta sauce recipe, cakes by design, nutrition pyramid, cakes by design, bbq pork tenderloin recipes,
ans, 101,000 Argentinean Americans, 92,000 Panamanian Americans, 70,000 Belizean Americans, 69,000 Chilean Americans, 48,000 Venezuelan Americans, 38,000 Bolivian Americans, 22,000 Uruguayan Americans, 7,000 Paraguayan Americans, and Americans with roots in Jamaica, Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana were up to in the kitchen. We wanted to talk to as many of these home cooks as we could to learn about the origins of some of their dishes and to see if the recipes have changed in a multicultural American environment or if they have remained intact.

At first we were struck by all the differences we found in Latin kitchens. We discovered a multitude of dishes unique to particular cultures. For example, most Americans with Latin American roots are not familiar with chilate, the Salvadoran drink of ground corn simmered with allspice berries, or with the malagueta chile, the favorite pepper of Brazilian Americans. We discovered that a quesadilla is a tortilla filled with melted cheese (and sometimes stewed meat) to Mexican Americans, while to Salvadoran Americans it is pound cake. And what Guatemalan Americans call an enchilada, Mexican Americans refer to as a tostada. Chicharrones are deep-fried pork skins to Mexican Americans, but to Americans with roots in Central America they are deep-fried chunks of pork (which Mexican Americans know as carnitas). Yet the more we sifted through recipes and tasted new dishes in restaurants and private homes, the more apparent it became that Latin American cuisines may all have unique features, but they also have a lot in common. Their menus all stress flavorful salsas (sauces) and marinades for roasted or stewed pork, beef, poultry, fish, and shellfish. They use various root vegetables, beans, and rice, and include desserts based chiefly on milk products, like flan.

Another common theme that runs through all Latin American cooking in the United States is loyalty to tradition despite such obstacles as the unavailability of some authentic ingredients. Historically speaking, most Americans of Latin American descent—except, of course, those Mexican Americans whose families have lived within the boundaries of the present-day United States for centuries—are new immigrants, and that makes the majority particularly partial to hanging on to the old traditions. Large numbers of Puerto Ricans migrated to the U.S. mainland only after World War II. Cuban, Dominican, Costa Rican, and Colombian Americans began to reach American shores in significant numbers in the 1960s, and the rest of the Latin groups began immigrating to the United States in or after the 1970s. As “new” Americans, they depend heavily on ethnic markets, known as bodegas, and many tend to alter a recipe only by necessity. Mexican American home cooks of northern New Mexico, many of whose ancestors inhabited the state before the West was won, also prize authenticity to an extraordinary degree and replicate with pride the dishes handed down through generations. It is not by accident that the Albuquerque–Santa Fe area is leading the way in the preservation of heirloom (native nonhybrid) beans and chile peppers.

Another unifying theme in Latin American cooking in the United States is transformation. Change in the kitchen is inevitable when first- and second-generation Americans, who live with one foot in the old country, give way to a third and fourth generation with both feet planted firmly on American soil. These later generations add innovative ingredients to traditional family dishes to conform to popular taste and to take advantage of the enormous array of foods available in American markets. They also tend to do away with dishes that replay the same tired ingredients or are considered exotic by their fellow Americans (like roasted guinea pig). They also mix and match dishes from a whole variety of cuisines. We have dined at Nuyorican (Puerto Rican New York) tables where spaghetti is served with traditional pernil asado (marinated roast pork). In Los Angeles we have watched Peruvian American children wash down burgers and fries with imported Inka Cola. We have been to a Mexican American vegetarian birthday party in Chicago, where sweet corn tamales were served alongside tabbouleh and hummus.

Yet no matter how much they have assimilated, Americans of Latin American descent seem always to have a place in their hearts for an authentic meal. In Seattle we once met a Cuban American graphic artist who confessed that she flies to Miami once a year for the roast pork and yuca con mojo at the legendary Cuban restaurant Versailles. We know a doctor in Santa Barbara, California, who drives over one hundred miles to his mother’s house in Los Angeles on weekends for traditional Colombian ajiaco bogotano, a marvelous chicken and potato stew. We also met a Mexican American on Wall Street who lunches regularly at the Hudson River Club, but for dinner makes his favorite enchiladas with the flour tortillas he gets by FedEx from Léona’s de Chimayó in Chimayó, New Mexico.

Food suppliers have been capitalizing on Latin culinary allegiances for some time. For several decades Goya Foods, Inc., has been catering to Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other Caribbean Americans on the East Coast, who, no matter how long their families have been in the continental United States, have still not weaned themselves from island cooking. Recently Goya expanded its operations to the western states, where it hopes to win over Americans with roots in Mexico and Central and South America. Supermarkets in regions of the country that boast sizable Latin populations have also been paying keener attention to their customers’ habits and have been turning over more and more shelf space to Latin American products. Some are geared almost entirely to a Latin audience, such as the Mexican American Fiesta Mart chain in Houston and the Tianguis chain in Los Angeles.

One of the countless Puerto Rican botánicas in New York City’s Spanish Harlem, where practitioners of the Afro-Caribbean Santería religion dispense extracts, soaps, candles, and other items believed to heal, bring good luck, and bless the home

The greater preponderance of Latin American products on supermarket shelves has also been fueled by the non–Latin American public, which since the 1980s has been leaning away from the muted flavors of the Old World and toward the explosive tastes of Asia and the Pacific Rim, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. In this age of multiculturalism and global awareness, Americans are as eager to navigate uncharted gastronomic territory as they are cyberspace. Consider how many are apt to ask not whether it will be steak or spaghetti for dinner tonight, but whether it will be Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, or Indian. In big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, they have the luxury of asking whether it will be Cuban, Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Nicaraguan, Brazilian, Argentinean, or Peruvian tonight. Americans everywhere now crave Mexican flavors to such a degree that sales of salsa have surpassed ketchup, and jalapeño bagels and scones and matzo quesadillas come as no surprise. Cooks are putting their own spin on Mexican classics, serving up goat cheese enchiladas, and there are tofu burritos, pesto tamales, and whatever else imaginable. Our experience zigzagging across America for this book tells us that as with Mexican food, Caribbean, Central American, and South American dishes will eventually make the leap from the “exotic” to the everyday. Pupusas, patacones, and pasteles may soon cross over to mainstream America in the way of salsa, enchiladas, and burritos.

Another theme that unites Latin American cuisines in the United States is the nuevo phenomenon. In the late 1980s and 1990s, chefs of Latin American descent and Latinophiles were part of the movement to elevate regional American cooking, a trend that gave rise to Nouvelle cuisine, California cuisine, and Louisiana Cajun cuisine, among others. Professional cooks created New Florida cuisine by refining the recipes of Caribbean Americans in Florida and Southwestern cuisine by updating Mexican American cooking of the southwestern United States. When American chefs in the 1990s cast their nets afar and invented Fusion cuisine by combining ingredients and methods from gastronomic traditions around the globe—particularly those of Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim—Latin and Latinophile chefs and restaurateurs followed suit.

For example, New Mexican chef John Sedlar of Abiquiu, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, was instrumental in creating Modern Southwest cuisine (also known as New Southwestern cuisine and Nouvelle New Mexican cuisine) by applying ingredients from the world’s larder to a Mexican American canvas. His Flying Lobster Dude Ranch Sushi (New Mexican sushi of lobster with habanero vinaigrette and Japanese cucumber salad) is at once Mexican American, Japanese, and French. Many chefs followed suit. In New York City, the Arizona Cafe introduced New Yorkers to New Southwestern, with dishes like Curried Chicken Tortilla with Coconut Rice, Cucumber Raita and Spicy Peanut Sauce. Meanwhile, in Miami, Cuban-born chef Douglas Rodriguez of Yuca (a tropical tuber not to be confused with yucca, an evergreen plant with white flowers, and an acronym for Young Upwardly Mobile Cuban American) gave the world Nuevo Cubano by jazzing up Cuban classics. Later Claude Troisgros broke new ground by mingling Brazilian and French cooking at C.T. Restaurant in Manhattan.

Latin chefs took the next logical step by developing fusion repertoires incorporating all of Latin American cooking, a style that has been christened Nuevo Americano, Pan-Latin, and Nuevo Latino Cuisine. Douglas Rodriguez, who by this time was working in New York, unveiled Nuevo Latino in 1994 with the opening of Patria, on Park Avenue South. Patria’s menu ranges across Latin America, but most dishes spring from a single cuisine, be it Ecuadoran, Cuban, Peruvian, Venezuelan, or Colombian. For instance, Rodriguez’s Cuban Tamal, with its unorthodox combination of shredded pork, hearts of palm, and garlic broth, may be rooted in Cuban cuisine, but it is a dazzling original. And his Caramiñola, Colombian-style yuca stuffed with cheese in mushroom broth and spinach, is as much a surprise to a Colombian immigrant as it is to an Irish American.

Douglas Rodriguez and Patria started a Nuevo Latino craze that has spread across Manhattan and America. At Inca Grill in SoHo, where South American Eggs Benedict with Chorizo and Arepa is a popular brunch specialty, the menu epitomizes Nuevo Latino. In Houston, Nicaraguan-born chef Michael Cordua of the restaurant Americas weaves Italian elements into his Nuevo Latino menu with such dishes as Chilean Salmon with Portobello Risotto and Champagne Sauce. Cuban-born restaurateur Xiomara Ardolina and chef Patrick Healy of Oye! in Pasadena, California, have been pivotal in introducing Nuevo Latino to southern California with dishes like Cuban Black Bean Soup with Okra Croutons and Plantain Dumplings. Mark Miller of the Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe has added an interesting dimension to Nuevo Latino by cross-pollinating Latin flavors in a single dish, as in his Cuban Sandwich—a Cuban-Mex collaboration of roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, black bean spread, and guacamole.

In creating and refining Nuevo Latino, these chefs (and others) have played a critical role in initiating non–Latins into the vast world of Latin American cooking in the United States. Armed with a new vocabulary and awakened tastebuds, Americans have been exploring the roots of Nuevo Latino. They may venture just to the corner supermarket, with its special Latin section, or perhaps even visit the many ethnic enclaves. In so doing, they are partaking with their neighbors of Latin American descent in the Nuevo Latino adventure that is but the latest chapter in the rich gastronomic history of America.

When we traveled back to the roots of Nuevo Latino on our odyssey across the U.S.A., we uncovered a world of home cooking rich with flavors, colors, textures, and intoxicating aromas. We could never have imagined some of the foods we would find, like chuños (freeze-dried Andean potatoes that can be stored forever on the shelf), Nicaraguan chocolate milk thickened with white rice, Peruvian Chinese fried rice, Argentine ñoquis (gnocchi), and Brazilian dendê oil (bright orange palm oil). Some we fell in love with, like Bolivian pukas (feta cheese and olive pastries), Chilean pastel de choclo con pollo (chicken pot pie with corn crust), and Salvadoran salpicón (marinated beef with mint and radish). The incredible richness of all these dishes is the result of the convergence of diverse civilizations in the Americas over the course of many centuries—Mayan, Incan, Taino, West African, Spanish, Portuguese, British, Dutch, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, East Indian, and many others. But that is a long story.

A Goya Foods, Inc., float in one of the many Puerto Rican parades held annually in the Northeast

We also could never have imagined the delight that families experienced when they shared a recipe and memories with us or prepared their favorite dish right before our eyes. So here is the result of that journey, and we hope we have done justice to the recipes given to us, as well as to the invaluable cooking tips, personal stories, and shared memories. It is only fair to warn you that when you try a recipe from this book, you may be powerfully seduced—and driven to refuse all other foods as bland or hopelessly ordinary. Eventually you may begin experimenting and even adding your own ethnic twist to these dishes in an act of fusion cooking. Have fun! This is America, after all.

Chicken Soup with Yuca, Plantains, and Potatoes

“Latin from Manhattan” Chicken Noodle Soup

Tortilla Soup

Cream of Potato Soup with Chicken, Sour Cream, and Capers

Tripe and Hominy Soup

White Bean Soup

Shrimp Chowder

Crab Soup

Chilled Roasted Sweet Red Pepper and Coconut Soup

Orange-Scented Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Gringo Potato-Cheddar Soup

Chilled Avocado Soup with Mango-Cilantro Salsa


* * *

Sancocho de gallina

Sancocho de gallina (Chicken Soup with Yuca, Plantains, and Potatoes) is one of the most delicious chicken soups ever conceived. It starts out as an ordinary chicken soup, with chunks of chicken, onions, and garlic, but halfway through the cooking in goes a wonderful medley of vegetables—nutty yuca (also known as cassava), mellow red-skinned potatoes, and slightly tart yellow plantains (actually a fruit)—that lends character and texture to the soup in just the right balance. The broth is very subtly spiced with cumin (it is barely discernible) to deepen all the flavors, and it is invigorated with lemon juice to create a perky backdrop for the vegetables. This soup is a marvelous introduction to yuca and plantains, since nothing more is required of the cook than peeling them, cutting them into chunks, and cooking them just like the potatoes in the soup. Versions of sancocho abound among the various Latin groups. Some are made with beef, veal, or pork in place of chicken, and some are so thick they are classified as stews rather than soups (see Dominican American Stew with Taro, Calabaza, and Yellow Plantains). This version happens to be Colombian American, and it follows tradition rather closely.

Do not cook the soup longer than directed, as the vegetables will begin to disintegrate and lose their integrity. As soon as the soup is cooked, be sure to remove the pot from the burner. If you are serving it later, warm it just before ladling it into bowls. The first step in the preparation of this soup—making the broth—can be done ahead of time. Then all there is to do is cook the vegetables in the broth, starting about an hour before the meal will be served.

1 chicken (3½ pounds)

3 quarts water

2 small yellow onions, peeled and minced

4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

¾ pound fresh or frozen (defrosted) yuca (cassava), peeled (see this page for information on yuca and this page for directions on peeling yuca)

2 medium red-skinned (new) potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks

⅛ teaspoon ground cumin

2 yellow plantains, cut into ½-inch rounds and peeled (see this page for information on plantains and this page for instructions on peeling and cutting plantains)

⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 medium scallions, root ends removed and minced

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro

Rinse the chicken under cold running water. Put the chicken, water, half of the minced onions, 2 cloves garlic, and the salt and pepper in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, covered, over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer the chicken, covered, for 1½ hours.

Remove the chicken from the stock to a large plate. Bone the chicken breasts and cut into bite-size chunks. Return the chunks of chicken breast to the pot. Reserve the rest of the chicken meat for another use.

Cut the pieces of yuca in half lengthwise, cut away the fibrous core in the center of each piece with a paring knife, then cut the yuca into ½-inch chunks. Add the yuca, potatoes, the remaining onions and 2 cloves garlic, and the cumin to the stock. Bring to a boil, covered, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Add the plantains and lemon juice to the soup, and continue simmering until the plantains are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, and stir in the scallions and cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve at once.

Serves 8 to 10 as a first course and 4 to 5 as a main entrée


* * *

Sopa de pollo con fideos “Latin from Manhattan”

When winter takes up residence in New York City, the Big Apple seems to run on chicken soup, as millions seek out its steaming golden broth to fend off the cold and find comfort. Certainly more chicken soup (brimming with wontons, or egg drops, egg noodles, vermicelli, capelli d’angelo, semi di melone, tortellini, dumplings, matzo balls, kreplach, or rice, etc.) is ladled into bowls on a frosty day in New York City than in any other metropolis. The Puerto Ricans of New York City, known as Nuyoricans, have contributed to making the city a mecca of chicken soup with their Sopa de pollo con fideos (chicken soup with fideos)—the fideos being Caribbean-style capelli d’angelo sold as long, brittle threads wound into neat little bundles that resemble bird’s nests. (Fideos originated in Catalonia, Spain, where they are shaped into one-inch curved strands as fine as angel’s hair or as thick as tagliolini. Mexican fideos resemble the Spanish, while Caribbean ones are always long and fine.)

“Latin from Manhattan” Chicken Noodle Soup starts out as a fragrant broth that combines a good New York Jewish penicillin (some Nuyoricans buy it at Jewish delis or shops, like the famous David’s Chicken on the Upper East Side, that specialize in roast chicken and matzo ball soup) and a few tablespoons of Puerto Rican sofrito, a spirited blend of sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes, and bell peppers. All of these flavors are artfully woven together as the broth slowly simmers. Then chunks of potatoes and chicken are added to lend the soup body and texture. (Some cooks fortify the soup with garbanzo beans or pepperoni or Spanish-style chorizo, but these are strictly optional.) In the final minutes, in go the fideos. (Puerto Ricans are passionate about fideos, which are available in supermarkets all around the town, and they will rarely use another noodle.)


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