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Firing up Latin Flavors


On the following pages you’ll see evidence of the far-flung menu influences of Latin cuisine. From Spain comes paella, the hearty entrée rich with shellfish and meats. Ceviche is a South American contribution to our appetizer menus today, made with the freshest fish marinated in lime and other citrus juices. Arepas (corn meal griddle cakes) are an adaptable Colombian appetizer. Other Latin influences include ingredients such as chipotle chiles, jicama and specialty cheeses, as well as old standbys like potatoes and corn, which are indigenous to the Americas.

Among this month’s recipes: potato paella, from Kinkead’s in Washington, D.C.; tropical ceviche from Asia de Cuba in San Francisco; and grilled corn con queso from Café Habana in New York City. Chef Harry Olsen of Burgundy Bistro in Olympia Fields, Ill., shares his recipe for baked halibut atop chipotle mashed potatoes with avocado lemon cream sauce. And from Tierra Restaurant in Atlanta comes the recipe for papas rellenas (potato cakes stuffed with a beef picadillo and topped with a red onion garnish). We’re also providing ideas for grilled avocado and steak arepas, and a Havana spiced-turkey sandwich. Look for seafood inspirations that range from chili lime crab cakes to rainbow trout fajitas, and more.