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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Martinez, Daisy. Daisy’s fiesta : entertaining friends and family with flavorful Latin recipes / Daisy Martinez with Chris Styler ; photographs by Frances Janisch. p. cm. Includes index. 1. Cooking, Latin American. 2. Cooking, Puerto Rican. 3. Cooking, Spanish. 4. Menus. I. Styler, Christopher. II. Title. TX716.A1M24 2010 641.598—dc22 2010026828 ISBN 978-1-4391-9923-7 ISBN 978-1-4391-9924-4 (ebook)

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D a i s y ’ s F i e s ta

Coconut and Winter Squash Soup with toasted almonds
Makes 12 buffet servings (about 8 cups)

This soup draws inspiration from pumpkin pie, with its creamy texture and familiar autumn spices, but it's given a tropical punch with coconut milk.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 large shallots, finely diced (about ¼ cup) 8 cups diced (½-inch) peeled and seeded calabaza, sugar pumpkin, or butternut squash (about 4 pounds whole) 2 cups homemade or store-bought chicken broth ½ vanilla bean 1 cinnamon stick Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper (preferably white) One 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk 1⁄3 teaspoon ground cloves ¼ teaspoon ground allspice Toasted sliced almonds (see Note)

1. Melt the butter in a 4- to 5-quart soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the
shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Keep the heat low so the shallots don’t brown. Add the calabaza and the chicken broth, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick and season lightly with salt and pepper. Adjust the heat so the broth is simmering, cover the pot, and cook until the calabaza is very soft, about 20 minutes. 2. Remove the vanilla bean from the soup, split it lengthwise with a paring knife, and scrape the vanilla specks from inside the bean into the pot. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Working in batches, blend the soup until very smooth. To avoid splattering, either let the soup cool to tepid or work in very small batches and use a folded-up kitchen towel to clamp the lid to the blender while the machine is running. Pour each batch into a clean pot as you finish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 3. Whisk in the coconut milk, cloves, and allspice. Heat the soup gently until heated through. The soup can be prepared completely in advance up to 2 days before serving. Refrigerate and bring back to a simmer, stirring, over very low heat before serving. Sprinkle a generous amount of the toasted almonds over each bowl of soup.

thanksgiving BuFFet

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Baby Spinach Salad with Melon, almonds, and Serrano ham
Makes 6 servings

¼ large (about 6 pounds) honeydew ¼ small (about 5 pounds) seedless watermelon 6 slices country bread or not too large boule ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the bread One 5-ounce bag baby spinach (about 6 cups), washed and dried (preferably in a salad spinner)

Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice ¼ cup Marcona almonds, toasted (see Note) 12 very thin slices serrano ham or prosciutto

1. Scrape out any seeds from the honeydew. (Don’t worry about removing the few tiny seeds
you will find in the watermelon.) Using the small end of a melon baller, cut both melons into balls. You will need 3 to 4 cups for the salad. Alternatively, cut the melons into ½-inch dice. Save the rest of the melons for another use. The melon balls can be prepared up to the day before serving and refrigerated. 2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and put them on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Turn once during the baking. 3. To serve: Center 1 slice of toast on each of 6 serving plates. Toss the spinach with the ¼ cup olive oil. Season the spinach with salt (go lightly—the ham will add more salt) and pepper. Add the melon balls, sprinkle the lime juice over the greens, and toss until the greens and melon are coated with dressing. Mound some of the salad over each slice of toast and sprinkle the almonds over the salad. Crisscross 2 slices of ham over the salad and serve immediately.

thanksgiving WeekenD BrunCh

note: To toast the almonds, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven,
stirring once or twice so they cook evenly, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Baby Spinach Salad with Melon, Almonds, and Serrano Ham and Guava-linis.

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D a i s y ’ s F i e s ta

Basic Rice
M a k e s a b o u t 1 0 c u p s ( 6 to 8 s e r v i n g s )

This very simple method, which I have been using since I can remember, will result in perfect rice whatever type of white rice you are preparing. Long-grain rice gives you separate, tender, fluffy grains; short- and medium-grain rice yield rice that is a little denser and with a little more chew. My rice of choice for the Arroz Mamposteado on page 107 is short-grain rice, which is also a nice change from the everyday.
¼ cup vegetable oil 4 cups long-grain, medium-grain, or short-grain rice 2 tablespoons kosher or fine sea salt

1. Heat the oil in a heavy 3- to 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the rice and salt and stir
until the rice looks “chalky” and is coated with oil. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the rice by 1 inch. Raise the heat to high, bring the water to a boil, and boil until the rice just starts to peek through the surface of the water. 2. Reduce the heat to very low, give the rice one very thorough stir, and cover the pot. Cook until the rice is tender but with a little bite, about 20 minutes. Do not uncover the pot or stir the rice while it cooks. Fluff with a fork before serving.

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’tis the season Festive BuFFet

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