April 2012

The Latin Tongue: Manana Restaurante and Pupuseria

People keep asking us, "How long are you going to keep doing this?" I'm not sure if they are surprised at out resilience, persistence or appetites, but here we are...another week, another new Latin eatery. This past week as we sat down to sup at Manana, in the Dayton's bluff neighborhood of St. Paul, we were anything but discouraged. Owner, Balmore Paiz certainly made sure that we were both well fed and well informed.


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The Spice Odyssey


Salt, pepper, and parsley, otherwise known as the “holy trinity,” were the dominant spices found in the kitchen where I spent my formative years. Fast forward from childhood to present day- I have traveled a bit of the spice route and collected a number of new spice friends along the way. Although it will take me a lifetime to truly master the art of spice I want to share a few facts and common uses for spices in food, starting with nutmeg and mace.

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The Savory Side of Cooking with Fruits. Recipe: Chicken Pochero.

Salt may be the ultimate flavor enhancer, but sugar is no slouch when it comes to balancing flavors in savory dishes, and one of the best ways to do so is by cooking with fruits.

Using fruit in savory dishes is not new fashion. In fact, it’s downright old hat - if we’re talking about botanically-correct fruits that are more commonly considered ‘vegetables’, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplants, to name a few. As for the sweet varieties of produce that are not as ambiguous, they have also found their way into main courses. From succulent pork loin paired with spiced apples to roast turkey dressed with cranberry sauce, a bit of fruit can add another dimension to full-flavored recipes.

Perfect Pairings

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The Latin Tongue: Cocina Latina

When we started this adventure to eat Latin foods, you might remember that we wanted to find out why we drive by all of these interesting places without stopping. We wanted to finally go in and see what we were missing. (Read our intro article for more) This could not be more true for my family than with the restaurant called Cocina Latina on 38th and Nicollet. We pass by this establishment probably three or four times a week and know nothing about what is inside. This almost criminal neglect had to end and it is only fitting that on this occasion, I was to go with my family.


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