Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Latin Twist Book Tour + News

Vianney and Yvette having fun before their first signing. Photo: @sweetlifebake/instagram

Thanks to everyone in San Antonio and Houston for showing your support and of course love of cocktails! 

Photo courtesy of Herdez Traditions/Instagram 

Here's a behind the scenes look at a private party sponsored by Imperial Sugar at Paloma Blanca. With fresh and delicious cocktails in hand the ladies mingled with readers, foodies, reviewers, and friends.    

at Melissa Guerra Latin Kitchen Market
Photo courtesy of @ediblesa/Instagram 

On Saturday morning Yvette and Vianney went over to the historic Pearl Brewery Center. Farmers and vendors were there in the early hours setting up for the Pearl Farmers Market and our authors set up for their book signing. Fellow Latin Kitchen contributor Melissa Guerra hosted Vianney and Yvette at her store, Latin Kitchen Market, where they enjoyed meeting their fans and signing books.

Then, our dedicated authors hopped in the car and headed to Houston for their next stops: Thinking Girls Boutique and Sweets by Belen. Thank you to host Alicia at Thinking Girls Boutique, Sweets by Belen, Juan from Juan of Words, and everyone who came by.

Subscribe to Vianny's blog, Sweet Life, for lively recipes and follow her Instagram for more behind the scenes insights. Keep up with Yvette by subscribing to her blog, Muy Bueno, and learn about traditional Mexican cuisine. Also, check out her YouTube channel for great how-to videos.    

Latin Twist  is the first book to celebrate signature cocktails of 18 Latin American countries and Spain in one volume.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrate Easter Sicilian-Style on Pasquetta

Author Giovanna with her finished scaccia.

This year, take a Sicilian approach to your spring or Easter celebrations with a recipe by Sicilian Feasts author, Giovanna Bellia La Marca. Her Sausage and Ricotta Roll is certain to satisfy appetites after a day filled with Easter egg hunting!

Pasquetta ("little Easter") is celebrated on the Monday after Easter which extends the Easter holiday in Italy. This Sausage and Ricotta Roll is a filled bread recipe made for Pasquetta,  a special day when families and friends gather in their summer houses or plan a picnic to share delicious food that everybody prepares and brings for the occasion. Slices of this scaccia are filling finger food, and equally delicious hot or cold.

This is admittedly a rich dish and is traditionally made with lard in the dough and filling, as a sort of reward after weeks of fasting during the Lenten period. Although Crisco is used here you can choose the more traditional method if you celebrated Lent, or if you just want to enjoy a very hearty meal! 

Sausage and Ricotta Roll
Scaccia cu' ricotta e sausizza 

Prepare the dough:

4 cups flour
1 tbsp SAF Instant Yeast
4 tsps KA Bread Improver
2 ozs Butter Flavored Crisco
1 cup warm water

Assemble the roll:

Risen dough (above)
1 1/2 lbs fresh Italian Deli ricotta
1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage
2 ozs lard at room temperature,
1 egg, beaten for glazing

Giovanna rolls out the dough.

Place a tsp of King Arthur bread improver in each measuring cup, fill with flour, even out the top and place in the food processor. Add the yeast, salt, and shortening, and process until the shortening breaks down and mixes into the flour. Add the water and process until the dough forms. Remove to a counter, shape into a ball, coat with a few drops of olive oil, cover with an inverted bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Roll out the dough into a long rectangle. Spread the lard on the surface, dot with ricotta and sausage in a checker board pattern along the center length of the rectangle.
Filled and ready to start folding!

Fold the two short ends over the filling, then fold one of the long sides towards the center, brush with beaten egg, and fold the second side over the first.

Cover the filling with one side, brush with egg, fold the other side over the first. Shape into a horse shoe, place in a baking pan seam side down. Then brush with beaten egg, prick the surface with a fork along the two sides, and bake in a preheated 375ยบ oven for 50 minutes, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cover with a towel and let cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Buona Pasqua!

For more recipes like this one, purchase Sicilian Feasts on our website, or your local bookstore. For updates on upcoming cookbook releases, as well as recipes and information on our current catalog connect with Hippocrene Books on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest

Giovanna Bellia La Marca was born in Ragusa, Sicily. She came to the United States at the age of 10, and has since then kept alive her love of the island with frequent trips there. Retired after a career as an art and Italian teacher, she now teaches cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and leads culinary tours of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. La Marca is author of Language and Travel Guide to Sicily and The Cooking of Emilia-Romagna, both published by Hippocrene Books. She resides in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.  

For a Sicilian dessert for your Easter or spring celebrations, find Giovanna's recipe for a sweet and colorful Cassata Siciliana. 

Learn Sicilian!
Here are a few terms in the Sicilian dialect. 

Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter!
formaggio cheese
pane bread
pasta ri pani bread dough
Pasquetta little Easter
primavera spring
sausizza sausage

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Giveaway with a Latin Twist!

Spring is finally in the air, and warm weather means cool drinks. We are very excited that Latin Twist, our first ever cocktail book, is available for pre-order! Latin Twist: Traditional & Modern Cocktails was written by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack (who co-authored our delicious Mexican cookbook Muy Bueno) and Vianney Rodriguez of the Sweet Life blog. It explores the national drinks of 18 Latin American countries and Spain, from beloved classics like the Mojito and Sangria to exotic specialties like Passion Fruit Caipirinha and Rosa de Jamaica Cooler.

As a thank you for preordering Latin Twist, you'll be entered to win a prize pack filled with goodies perfect for your next event! We'll also send you a special "sneak peek" including four recipes to keep your thirst quenched and your taste buds refreshed until your beautiful hard copy of Latin Twist arrives! The prize pack includes:
  • Le Creuset 8-Quart Stock Pot in your choice of color
  • Princess House Beverage Dispenser with Stand
    • Plus Matching Set of 8 Footed Glasses
Fill the infuser center with ice or colorful fresh fruit.

A Le Creuset stock pot can be used for hot punches and homemade infusions.

Preorder Latin Twist on Amazon.com before midnight March 22nd. If the price drops between now and publication, you'll receive the lowest price. Save your order number to enter the giveaway.

Already ordered? Enter the giveaway!


Monday, June 23, 2014

Brazilian Game Day Bites

We are still reeling from last night's down-to-the-wire play and subsequent tie score (USAvPOR, 2-2)! Inspired by the FIFA World Cup, our intern, Tayler, has provided us with three delicious hand-held bites that offer a sampling of Brazilian cuisine. Here’s Tayler on how to make them:

The World Cup is an immensely diverse sporting competition that encourages viewers to learn about cultures that are generally unfamiliar or different from their own. The best way to do that is, of course, through food! Brazil is this year’s host country of the World Cup and the buzz is on them as many people are getting the opportunity to learn traditions and customs about this unique country, and you can too. Foodies and sports fanatics alike, get cultured this Thursday while watching USA vs. Germany and bite down on some seriously savory and sweet Brazilian treats that are perfect for game day!

Cheese Pastel  

1 pack Goya frozen dough discs
1 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
Canola oil

1. Defrost dough. Once defrosted, coat dough lightly in flour.
2. Place mozzarella in one half of the inside of the dough. Fold dough over like a half moon and close tightly with fingers. Then, press down the edges to seal the dough.
3. Fill a deep pan with canola oil halfway and heat until it bubbles lightly.
4. Fry pastels on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Note: Brazilian pastels can contain a variety of other fillings, including minced meat, chicken, or shrimp.

Coxinhas (co - shin - yas)

1 cooked rotisserie chicken, cut into strips or cubes
4-5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. paprika
6 black olives, diced

1. Boil potatoes in pot of salted water on high heat (about 30 minutes or until soft). Drain water and mash potatoes in a ricer.
2. Fry the diced onions in a pan with oil until light brown. Add salt, pepper, paprika and olives. Pour onion mix on the mashed potatoes and combine the two.
3. Get a spoonful of the mashed potato and place a bit of chicken inside the spoonful. Close up into a crescent-like shape (as large as desired).
4. Dip in flour, egg and breadcrumb, and then fry until golden brown.
5. Serve warm or room temperature.

Note: Coxinha translates to "little chicken thigh," which is why they are commonly molded into a shape that resembles the leg of a chicken.

Brigadeiros (bri - ga - der - oos)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
Chocolate sprinkles
1 pack of mini cupcake cups (optional)

1. Melt contents of condensed milk, butter and cocoa on low to medium flame. Stir constantly until mixture thickens; approximately 25 minutes.
2. Let cool and place in fridge overnight.
3. Roll a spoonful of the cold, hardened mixture into a ball, then roll the balls on to a plate full of sprinkles.
4. Once fully coated, place the balls into mini cupcake cups for decoration and serve.

Note: Brigadeiros are a popular dessert at birthday parties. They are commonly served cold or room temperature when eaten by hand, however you can serve them warm and eat them with a spoon if desired.

If you'd like to discover more about Brazilian culture, check out our post on our Language & Travel blog on how to learn Brazilian Portuguese!

Monday, June 2, 2014

SPICES & SEASONS Blog Cookoff, Week #3

It's finally here--week #3, giveaway week! We know you've been itching for a chance to get your hands on your very own copy of SPICES & SEASONS. Now you have 7 ways to win!

See each blog for details on how to enter, and don't forget to do the extra entries! Best of luck and happy cooking.

1. Susan,  The Wimpy Vegetarian

2. Helene, La Cuisine d'Helene  

3. Joi,  Get Cooking   

5. Laura,  The Spiced Life

7. Trish,  In Fine Balance

You can find all the recipes in one place if you follow our Pinterest board! You can find more information about Rinku Bhattacharya on her blog cookinginwestchester.com, and see our Facebook page for her event schedule in the Hudson Valley area.

If you missed last week (week #2), each blogger picked a recipe to try. Such a great selection!

1. Well-Seasoned Potato and Mint Salad

In week # 1, the bloggers all tried an Indian restaurant staple: Classic Green Mint Chutney. See post...