New Cookbook Reveals The Secrets Of Colombian Cooking

From the coffee and cacao grown high in the Andes Mountains to the many tropical fruits of the Caribbean and Amazonian regions, the great cattle farms on the plains, and bountiful seafood from the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Colombia is a country of vast and exotic culinary creations. Secrets of Colombian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo (Hippocrene Books; $24.95 hardcover; ISBN 0-7818-1025-6 presents the wide spectrum of Colombian cuisine to home cooks in more than 175 inviting recipes from simple, hearty sancochos (soups and stews prepared differently in every region) to more exotic fare such as Langosta al Coco (lobster in coconut sauce) and Ajm de Uchuvas (Yellow Gooseberry Sauce).

Secrets of Colombian Cooking provides a window into the diverse cuisine of this little-known South American nation. Author Patricia McCausland-Gallo, a native Colombian, traveled throughout the many regions of Colombia to gather the most authentic dishes. With a wide range of recipes and a glossary of typical ingredients, this book acquaints cooks with the array of foods that make up Colombian cuisine, including sweet and hot peppers, plantains, tamarind, gooseberries, papayas, guavas, and tree tomatoes.

Patricia McCausland-Gallo is a nutritionist, pastry chef, and teacher born in the Caribbean town of Barranquilla. She studied at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and attended the American Institute of Baking in Kansas, as well as Ecole Lenttre in Paris. She has been a food writer for local and national newspapers in Colombia and a manager and owner of bakeries in Barranquilla and Cali. She now resides in Panama City, Panama.

Hippocrene Books, a New York-based publishing house specializing in reference and trade titles of international interest, features more than 50 cuisines in its cookbook program.

Secrets of Colombian Cooking
Patricia McCausland-Gallo
$24.95 hardcover; ISBN 0-7818-1025-6
two-color; 250 pages; 6 x 9
Publication date: August 2004
Order Dept. T: 718-454-2366; F: 718-454-1391

Hippocrene Books, Inc.
171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Selected Recipes from Secrets of Colombian Cooking

Arepas de Mamz (Yellow or White Corn Arepas)
Makes Sixteen 4-inch arepas

These are traditional arepas made from dried corn kernels, nowadays prepared that way mostly on farms. They are served with cheese on top, added after cooking. They are cooked on the grills directly over the heat, or on an asador de arepas*, a special cooking pan that is basically a flat-surfaced pan made of very thin metal, which has over it another very thin metal rack.

You can also form arepas with cheese already mixed into the dough. In that case, add about 1 cup (1/2 pound) of grated white farmer's cheese to the corn after it has come out of the grinder, and before forming the balls.

Mamz peto is what we call the corn that is dried and sold in bags at the market.

21/2 cups (1 pound) white or yellow dried corn kernels* (maiz peto)
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon salt plus more for cooking
White farmer's cheese* for serving
4 tablespoons melted butter

Day 1
1. Wash the dried corn kernels with plenty of water. Place in a bowl with enough water to cover them, and let sit for 24 hours. This will rehydrate the corn a little.

Day 2
2. Drain the corn and discard the water.

3. Place the corn in a medium pot or pressure cooker, and add 8 cups of water. If using a regular pot, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 21/2 hours; keep adding water, 1 cup at a time, if it dries out. If using a pressure cooker, cover and cook under pressure on medium heat for about 1 hour. The corn should be very soft; if not, return the pot to the stove and cook 20 minutes more. Let cool, uncover, and drain the corn; you will have about 8 cups of corn.

4. Pass the cor


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