Partying with Daisy Martinez

March 6, 2010

Last night Rachel and I were privileged to attend the launch party for Daisy Martinez’s new cookbook, Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes.

This book is a bit of a departure from her previous and excellent cookbook, Daisy Cooks! in that the dishes are more oriented towards entertaining and she’s really put a serious creative spin into it. The previous book was more of a foundation or introductory type book to Latin American cuisine — this one really makes it take off like a supersonic jet blaring reggaeton music on its way into the stratosphere.

The party occurred at Don Coqui, a brand-new and massive  high-end Puerto Rican restaurant in New Rochelle, New York owned by Jimmy Rodriguez, who is among the most prominent Latino chefs and restauranteurs in the country. Jimmy has opened several Latino restaurants over the last ten years, including Sofrito restaurant in New York City. Rodriguez has now devoted his energies entirely to Don Coqui, and rightfully so.

I never thought a Puerto Rican place would be a destination restaurant in the burbs of the New York metro area, but there it is. It’s also got an entire floor and kitchen dedicated to catering, so it’s a great place to have parties.

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July 18, 2009 Updates: Havana’s Cuban Cafe, Tenafly Farmer’s Market

July 18, 2009

Havana's Cuban Cafe Collage by you.

Crack open a Hatuey or an Ironbeer, Havana’s Cuban Cafe in Edgewater has an expanded dining room and is serving some of the best Caribbean Latino food in the entire area.

Tenafly Farmers Market Collage by you.

Sunny Organic Treats abound in late July at the Tenafly Farmers Market.


Jason goes to Puerto Rico: Guavate, Thanksgiving-Land

November 24, 2008

jason-small by you. As Ricardo Montalban in his famous role as Mr. Roarke used to say, SMILES everyone, SMILES!, it’s Daisy’s buddy Jason Perlow again, and you know what that means — welcome back to Boriqua Island. Sorry, no Tattoo.

Last post, we talked about seafood and all the myriad of ways Puerto Ricans like to eat them. But I would be amiss if I didn’t talk about a very special place on the Island — a land where its Thanksgiving and Christmas 365 days a year. The place I’m talking about is GUAVATE.

Guavate, Puerto Rico by you.

A view of the Guavate mountain and forest region in Puerto Rico from a popular Lechonera.

Guavate is an area that is designated as a district as part of the larger town of Cayey, which is in South-Central Puerto Rico. Its a mountainous, forested area that has become known over the years as a favorite recreational spot for Puerto Ricans — and as a result, has created an entire culture dedicated to eating traditional holiday foods, such as Lechon (Roast Pork) and Pavochon (Roast Turkey  — see Daisy’s Recipe). A single road which passes through the town, Highway PR-184, also known as as the “Pork Highway” has many restaurants which specialize in these two dishes and all their accompaniments. Which one is the best? It’s hard to say, but Rachel and I visted two of them and if we picked the two worst ones, then I can’t imagine what the two best taste like. Your best bet — and our overall strategy — was to see which parking lots are the busiest and have the most amount of people eating there.

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Who says Latinos only eat carbs?

June 17, 2008

My Brooklyn homegirl Daisy Martinez prepares some nice Latino salads on the CW11. Click on the photo to view the video.


Steak Boriqua

February 28, 2008

Nothing, and I mean nothing, satisfies a man’s appetite like a good steak. But one of the problems of trying to lose weight is learning that “a good steak” is also by definition, high in fat content and also high in cholesterol. So what do you do? Well, one option is to go for the cuts of meat that are the lowest in fat content, such as Flank or London Broil. However, both of these cuts really need serious marination and flavor boost. I can think of no better preparation for these versatile economy cuts than to employ a few tricks from the Latino community. Specifically, the Puerto Ricans, or as they like to call themselves, La Comunidad Boriqua.

Adobo Marinated Flank Steak with “Boriqua Slaw” and Arroz con Gandules, yellow rice with pigeon peas.

Want to learn how to make steak the Boriqua Way? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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