Amanda Torres, from The Curious Coconut, has written a new cookbook, Latin American Paleo Cooking. Now, this isn’t your everyday Paleo cookbook; it’s the definitive Latin American cookbook that even those who do not follow a Paleo or gluten-free lifestyle will enjoy. Even better, many of the recipes are AIP-friendly or AIP-adaptable. Yes, a Latin American cookbook that is AIP!
What you’ll find in Latin American Paleo Cooking:
- Over 80 traditional recipes made Paleo, with over 90% being AIP or easily adaptable
- All recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free. All but one are egg-free and two recipes use white rice (but have grain-free options for both of those).
- The countries represented include: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, and Brazil, each marked with that country’s flag for easy reference.
- Platos de la Familia (Family Dinners) includes recipes meant to feed a crowd, and many of these recipes are great for batch cooking.
- Comida Fiesta! (Party Food!) includes Paleo versions of Latin recipes that people get ridiculously excited about, like pupusas, pandebono (“cheese” buns), empanadas, arepas, plantain sandwiches, and more.
- Rapido y Facil (Quick and Easy) includes recipes that are, like the name says, quick and easy to prepare. Some are still great for batch cooking, too, extra bonus!
- Accompañantes (Sides) includes many ways to enjoy tropical starches like yuca, malanga, boniato, and plantains PLUS both a starchy and non-starchy rice replacement AND starchy and non-starchy BEANS replacement!
- Un Poco Dulce (A Little Sweet) is a short but delicious desserts chapter
- Lo Esencials (The Essentials) includes cooking bases, sauces, marinades, condiments, broths, and more, which are used throughout the book.
- While over 80 recipes are written, Latin American Paleo Cooking cookbook comes with numerous suggestions and options to create dozens of other recipes using different combinations of meats/fillings/breads/pastry shells/condiments/marinades.
Tostones from Latin American Cooking:
Green plantains that are fried, smashed and fried again are called tostones in some parts of Latin America and patacones in others. To make preparing these crispy bits of starchy deliciousness much easier, I recommend spending a few dollars on what is called a tostone press, which you can order online or pick up at your local Latin American grocery store. You can also use a sturdy glass or jar or even a flat meat mallet, too. Tostones can go well with just about any main dish or can be eaten as an appetizer or snack—think of them as hearty chips.
- 2 green plantains
- 4 to 6 tbsp (56 to 84 g) fat of choice (coconut oil, lard, or avocado oil)
- Coarse sea salt
- 1 to 2 tbsp (1 to 2 g) chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Slice the tips off the plantains with a knife, then cut 1 or 2 slits in the skin down the length of
the plantain. If the peel does not lift off easily you can loosen it by soaking the plantains in
a bowl of water with about 1 tablespoon (6 g) of salt for 10 to 15 minutes.
Slice the peeled plantain crosswise into disks . to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) wide.
In a large skillet, heat your fat of choice over medium heat until shimmering, 3 to 5 minutes.
Carefully add the disks to the heated fat, cooking on each side for 2 to 4 minutes, or until
they have turned a darker, more golden color. Do not allow to brown.
Remove the disks from the oil and flatten, using a tostone press (recommended) or a
sturdy glass/jar or flat meat mallet. If using a tostone press, place the disk in the recessed
circle and then clamp down the lid on top.
Return the flattened plantain disks to the hot oil and fry for an additional 2 to 3 minutes
on each side, or until crispy and browned. You will likely need to work in batches to fry
the flattened disks.
- Add extra cooking fat as needed, because these will absorb quite a bit of fat as they cook.Top with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt and a garnish of cilantro and serve immediately.tostones do not reheat well. Serve with your favorite main dish.
Please note: Reprinted with permission from Latin American Paleo Cooking by Amanda Torres with Milagros Torres, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017. Photo credit: Toni Zernik