Blog Posts by Lili's Latin Kitchen

  • Latin Twists on Thanksgiving Leftovers

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    PastelitosPastelitos

    While Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays of the year in the United States, it's just another day in Latin America. My family didn't celebrate the holiday when we first moved to the US, but we couldn't help feeling left out. All the neighbors and friends spent days in the kitchen preparing for this all-American holiday.

    A couple of years later, a guy from North Carolina- David- started dating my sister. When he met our family, he came upon a very joyful group where every evening was filled with dinner parties and wine-tasting nights. Since his family lived out of town, and we partied like no one else, he decided to come over on Thanksgiving expecting a big feast. You can imagine his shock when he arrived with a big, cooked turkey, and he found us in the kitchen making a simple ham and potato salad. We had no idea what a green bean casserole, sweet potato souffle or pecan pie was, let alone that these were traditional holiday

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  • Tasty Tapas: Garbanzos with Chorizo

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Garbanzo Beans with Chorizo Garbanzo Beans with Chorizo

    Growing up, my parents traveled quite often to attend educational seminars around the world. One year they attended a meeting in Madrid, Spain; while the business part of it lasted only one week, my parents decided to extend their stay and tour Europe. After what seemed like an eternity without my parents, they finally arrived back in Colombia filled with amazing culinary experiences and brand new recipes. My dad, the cook, gathered the family to try one of the dishes he enjoyed the most while in Spain. It was a blend of garbanzo beans with chorizo, bathed in a creole sauce with a thick garlic paste- a perfect blend of flavors! Unfortunately, I never bothered to ask my Dad for the recipe.

    While vacationing in Spain last Summer, I went to a small tapas restaurant and- surprise!- found the same garbanzos with chorizo on the menu. I ordered it without hesitation, and when I took the first bite, I was that little girl again, living in Colombia

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  • Abuela's Bean Soup

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Bean soup de la abuelaBean soup de la abuela

    Mi abuelita had several food traditions in her house; every morning she made her old-fashioned beaten egg whites with sugar, while every afternoon there was tea with cookies or mantecada (pound cake). On Tuesday nights, she roasted peanuts. We all helped to peel them, and put them inside a big jar so we could have snacks to munch on during the week. On Thursdays she made our favorite dish, sopa de frijoles con plátano, or bean soup with plantains.

    Her now-famous soup tradition began one Wednesday morning when she left dried beans soaking in water until late afternoon. Before going to bed, she took out her big crock pot, and put the beans in with pigs feet, a ripe plantain and water. She then left the mix to slow-cook overnight. I got up around three in the morning, only to notice an enticing smell that traveled all the way into my bedroom. I sneaked into the kitchen to taste the concoction in the pot without getting caught by abuelita, and

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  • Kids Menu: Crunchy Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Sauce

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Crunchy and healthy chicken tenders Crunchy and healthy chicken tenders

    I always wonder why the most flavorful (and popular) dishes are the unhealthiest ones.There is something about eating fried food that satisfies not only the belly, but also brings happiness to the soul. In fact, even when I eat a light dinner at a sushi restaurant, I always end up ordering a roll filled with fried shrimp tempura. I began to analyze the situation and came to the conclusion that there is something special about "the crunchy" you get when you fry food.

    A few days ago, I was talking with mi hermanita Angie, who is always finding ways to eat healthy. She's worried about her daughters- ages two and four- constantly asking for french fries and chicken tenders for lunch or dinner. Both girls eat fruits and vegetables without a problem, but they clearly love their fried favorites. So, Angie and I went on a mission: make a healthier version of chicken tenders that the kids would love as much as the fried ones. We tried different

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  • Camarones San Miguel: An Easy Shrimp Appetizer

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Camarones San MiguelCamarones San Miguel

    A few months ago, I was walking around Madrid having a hard time finding a good place to eat. It was siesta time (12:00-2:00 pm), and that meant that the majority of bars and restaurants were closed. The only cafés open were very "touristy" and definitely lacked authentic, Spanish fare.

    I finally ran into the Mercado de San Miguel near the Plaza Mayor, right in the middle of downtown Madrid. I immediately realized this place was tapas heaven; it's a beautiful and colorful indoor fresh market with little stands that sell everything from gazpacho to roasted oysters and, no doubt, the best paella in Madrid. The market is specifically designed to allow customers to sample a variety of small and delicate, yet elegant dishes without spending a fortune. After sampling the gazpacho, paella, oysters, meat skewers and delicious bruschetta, I found Valero, a charismatic Spanish chef who offered samples of fried boquerones (anchovies) at the very edge

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  • A Spooky Anise Cocktail for Your Halloween Party

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Anise Halloween Drink Anise Halloween Drink

    Halloween calls for creative costumes, decorations and fun gatherings. I love to host a good costume party and, of course, I always try to make a drink to suit the occasion. With temperatures dropping, I make sure to have a drink for warming up by the fireplace or out on the porch.

    Our traditional liquor in Colombia is Aguardiente, an anise and sugar-based drink with a very unique and strong flavor. Some people drink it straight up, but in many bars and restaurants it is mixed in cocktails and hot drinks. Another typical beverage is the Agua de panela con limon. Panela is the final product of unrefined whole cane sugar. It is used in drinks, desserts, and some abuelas even use it to give their beans a sweet kick. So, I combined panela and anise liquor to make the perfect Halloween-inspired hot beverage. I took some pumpkin-shaped buckets and turned them into my serving cups. For a fancier, autumn presentation, serve the drink in an Irish

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  • How to Mix the Perfect Margarita Step by Step

    Shine Latina sat down with Colombian mixologist Gabriel Orta to discover the secrets of mixing the perfect cocktail and get the recipe for a luscious pineapple-lime margarita.

  • Warm Up with a Cilantro and Plantain Chicken Soup

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Plantain-Cilantro-Chicken soup Plantain-Cilantro-Chicken soup

    My brother in law, David, went to culinary school about 10 years ago. While my college homework consisted mostly of writing papers and studying for exams, David's included cooking recipes for the entire family. We always managed to find one or two nights during the week to gather around the kitchen to watch him working on recipes for school. One of his famous, signature dishes is a Cilantro and Plantain Chicken soup that the entire family has enjoyed since the moment he first made it. We kept asking him to make the soup and to make enough to last for a few days. Now, more than a decade later, we still make the soup during family gatherings and lunches. The big difference is that while we used to cook and eat whenever we wanted, now we have to consider a new generation. We have kids that range from seven months to five years old running around the house during the day, with parents trying to get them into bed early so they can make it to school

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  • An Authentically Rich Rum Flan

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Flan de leche y ron Flan de leche y ron

    Living in Miami you have the luxury of feeling closer to Latin America than in any other part of the country. With the blend of cultures, it is very easy to find a Cuban, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, Colombian or any other type of Latin restaurant, and chances are they will all serve scrumptious food. I love a good Cuban cafeteria, because they simply make the best flan on earth. Flan de leche (milk flan) is a type of custard that is very soft and creamy but not overpowered with sugar. It resembles the flavor of a crème brulee, but it has a thicker consistency with a softly melted caramel over the top rather than a crunchy exterior.

    My sister and I found a recipe for this dessert I dare say is just as good as what you'll find in any Cuban restaurant. This version, though, is even more authentic with the addition of rum which blends beautifully with the caramel and milks. It may take some time, but all good things come to those who wait. And

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  • Potato Salad Colombian-Style

    By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina


    Chorizo Potato SaladChorizo Potato Salad

    Back in Colombia, my parents hosted most of the family gatherings in our finca or farm. None of my relatives ever missed coming over to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and special holidays. To make things easier the day of the party, my mother would often start cooking the night before the gathering. Usually, if she made something ahead of time, it was her famous chorizo potato salad. The smell of the cooked chorizo was so irresistible that I had to steal a piece or two, making sure to run away before she caught me. My mom's ensalada de papa became a family food tradition, and we still make it for holidays and parties,

    My sisters and I recently cooked together and prepared this delicious dish; we try to make everything fresh, and make sure all the ingredients are cooked right away. Sometimes we serve the potato salad hot if we don't have time to cool it down, but generally we make it and leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes

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