To me, Latin American food is all about using fresh ingredients that are cleverly combined to create intense and deliciously unforgettable flavors. In many of our Latin dishes, sauces play a big role. I am a lover of sauces and condiments as I think they help mix things up and can vary the way poultry, meat, fish and vegetables are cooked. From Adobo, to Mole, Huancaina, Chimichurri, Mojo, Sofrito and, the countless sauces from across Latin American countries, will give a bright flavor to any meal.
The above was the essence of a cooking demo and tasting I delivered a week ago in my local farmers market. Yes, you heard it right I was given the opportunity to cook and serve my food to hundreds of visitors during the market Chef’s Day series. My objective with the demo I prepared was to show that even though some Latin American sauces can be more complex than others, there are many easy ways of delivering maximum impact with the use of minimal ingredients through some simple Latin sauces and condiments like: Argentinian Chimichurri, Cuban Mojo or Mexican Red Pickled Onions.
This live public demo was a first for me but definitely something that came natural and that I can’t wait to do more of. With this post I want to take you through my demo experience plus share the recipes that everyone got to taste.
Live Public Cooking Demo at Rochester, NY Public Market
I go to present to a crowd and gave them tips on how to cook with a Latin flair through the use of simple Latin American sauces and condiments that do not require special ingredients or cooking techniques.
I loved interacting and answering questions. Everyone was engaged and so interested in what I had to say which made me very proud of our Latin flavors and cuisine.
I served the sauces over grilled chicken and tortilla chips. I offered visitors those two options so that they could see how the sauces can transform a simple chicken or chip.
Even little ones sampled my food. Can you believe I handed out 150+ servings?
The demo experience exceeded my expectations. I had fun and I could not stop smiling all the time. I have to say this one is going down in the books for one of my greatest experience. I was even on our local newspaper before the demo day (twice!), as the organizers promoted the event. See me on the huge, full color newspaper ad here.
Meeting so many people and hearing how much they loved what I cooked was a great nudge of the one above telling me that I am doing the right thing following my passion and exploring this great world of food.
I want to thank everyone that stopped by and has visited the blog. Many of you have left comments or emailed me asking for the recipes so finally I am posting them for you to try at home. Remember they are easy and packed with flavor so go ahead and transform your everyday meals. Keep in mind they can all work as sauces or marinades.
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients making sure onions are well covered with oil and vinegar.
- Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Toss all of the ingredients in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Be careful as pan will sizzle. Cook, constantly stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated and the onions are still crisp but slightly tender. Onions should be translucent and turn a bright hot pink color.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
6 tablespoons crushed garlic (about 20 cloves)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon salt
- Crush garlic with salt as the salt crystals help break down the garlic into a paste.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil to a medium temperature. Add garlic and stir just for 2 minutes until garlic becomes fragrant without burning the garlic as it will then tats bitter.
- Add lime juice and orange juice turning up the heat until mixture comes to a boil.
- Turn down heat to low, add cumin and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Take pot out of heat, bring it to room temperature and serve.
3 chopped handfuls parsley
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
4 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1/4 tablespoon black pepper
½ tablespoon salt
2 cups olive oil
- Place all ingredients in a food processor.
- Pulse until a paste is formed or until your desired consistency.
- I prefer chunky when accompanying cooked meats or very smooth when marinating a meat before cooking.