Cookbook: Nuevo Latino

I received this copy of Nuevo Latino, which was first published in 1995, when I visited Douglas Rodriguez's former Aqualina restaurant in the San Juan Hotel, Puerto Rico. It was a press junket, and I got the book for free -- price says $29.95. The 168-pager has lots of Rodriguez's signature recipes, ranging from his famous plantain-coated mahi-mahi to Ecuadorian and Peruvian ceviche to an extremely complicated how-to for the "smokeless cigar." I've tried a handful of recipes over the years, and they all worked out well; the guava-glazed barbecue ribs are especially good. The photos are quite pretty as well. Yet this is not only a useful cookbook but also an important one: the first collection of Nuevo Latino recipes. Down the line, when American demographics have heavily shifted Hispanic, this book might be looked at as the starting point for our country's dominant cuisine.

Following the jump: A recipe for pan d bono, the yuca/mozzarella bread from Colombia which diners at OLA clamor for. D-Rod is also chef/partner at D. Rodriguez Cuba at Hotel Astor.

Pan d Bono

1 pound yuca flour

1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated

5 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch salt

Preheat the oven to 450F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, cheese, eggs, milk, sugar, and

salt with an electric mixer. Roll the dough into little rounds the size

of gold balls and place about 3 inches apart on a greased and floured

baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and turn out onto wire racks to cool.

While baking, watch the rolls carefully, because they can burn on the bottom even when they're just browned on the top.

Yield: 1 dozen rolls

Nuevo Latino is written by Douglas Rodriguez with John Harrisson.

Photography is by Dennis Galante. It is published by Ten Speed Press.

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