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The Journey of a Latina Smart Campaign w/Vid & A Guest Cuban Clam Fritters Recipe

It’s hardly believable that 14 weeks have gone by where every Monday I’ve written about and shared with you some of my intimate and personal thoughts on how my life is shaped because I am a Latina woman.

The Latina Smart campaign, which I first introduced here, has been an incredible journey of great exploration and interpretations of what being Latina Smart means to each of us involved. But, beyond what being Latina Smart means to us, it’s been a great door opener to engage other Latinas (and men!) in the conversation about preserving our rich culture and traditions. Through the Facebook Page, I read a lot of great feedback every time we ambassadors posted our weekly themes. As a die hard cubanita, it’s been exceptionally beautiful learning about the different perspectives from my hermanas hailing from other Latin-American countries. Our family traditions and practices may be different, but ultimately our language, history, struggles and accomplishments unite us.

For me specifically, as the food voice of the campaign, the hard fact that our families and community gatherings revolve around food, was underscored. I knew it wasn’t a novel idea that my crazy family has intense battless of dominoes in the middle of the kitchen. I had an unconfirmed feeling that others did it but no one’s ever shared their personal story of similar fiestas en casa until I posed a question on how impromptu things can go down in the kitchen. Many others recount hysterical moments where mami did this in the kitchen or papi tries to retell a 30-year old story.

It’s been enlightening, really.

But the most fun and worthwhile moments of being part of the Latina Smart campaign comes from the response I’ve received from men acknowledging our strength and power. Our ability to teach our children (though I’m not a mother yet) how beautiful it is to be proud of where we come from and how rich (and damn delicioso) our history is. And then of of course, the response from my my non-Latin friends and readers has been estupendo!

I essplain aqui, en este video!

Fun, right! (But, wait, did it have to capture that ridiculously silly and crazy looking still!?! Sweet Jesus!)
[preserve][/preserve]

While my non-Latino friends have been exceptionally welcoming to hearing how I remain intact with my culture in this sometimes diversity unfriendly society, one Latino friend in particular loves my “latina smarts!” Lazaro, another die hard cubano, one living in Miami, the epi-center of Cuban culture in the U.S., and a fantastic cook, often shares his adventures in the kitchen with me. His better half is also Latina so there’s plenty of our spicy cultura in his home. I’ve admire him and admitted how jelly I am of his wife for having a man that can really put it down!

One of the reasons Laz and I have clicked so well, though only virtually, is because of our mutual love affair with food. We both use food to express ourselves and to extend our delicious background with our friends and readers. His blog makes me drool. No, really! 😉

So, I asked Lazaro to share a recipe that would rep his “smarts” as a Latino. I knew he’d come up with something I’d not make for myself and something refreshingly sophisticated. Algo que representa nuestro orgullo de ser Latino. He didn’t disappoint. With that, I’m more than tickled to welcome back Laz, my cuban compadre. Say hi! Make sure to check his blog out, Lazaro Cooks!

(Pics courtesy of LC)

By Lazaro.

It’s a thrill to be on this fantastic blog again. I am a big fan of Bren and the work que esta hermosa cubana hace.

This particular dish blends many of the flavors I grew up with as the son of Cuban immigrants in Miami. I learned a variation of this recipe from my Abuela Esperanza, only she used shrimp.

Florida clams thrive in our nutrient rich waters. They are prized for their firmly textured, moist, and extra lean meat. Florida clams are available year round and a great sustainable seafood. Clams should be scrubbed and cleaned thoroughly before cooking. Clams overcook very quickly so please PAY ATTENTION to your cooking times.

This dish is sure to make you a complete superstar at your next dinner party. The clams are lightly coated in a flavorful breading, then QUICKLY fried in peanut oil, and plated on a bed of avocado, mango, red onion, and cucumber. Finished with a delightful cilantro mayo.

Enjoy!

That’s it for now…till we exchange a few words again…Peace!

** this post is part of my weekly chatter and discussion on being Latina Smart and as such, is sponsored. All thoughts, reflections and recipes offered are mine, unless otherwise noted.

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!

Enjoy


CUBAN CLAM FRITTERS

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Organic egg
  • 4 tbs Mineral Water
  • 1 cup Galleta Molida – Cuban cracker meal
  • 1 tsp Smoked Pimenton
  • 1 tsp Fennel Pollen
  • 1 tsp Chervil
  • 1 tsp Marjoram
  • 16 Clams – shucked & well drained
  • Peanut oil
  • Avocado – small dice
  • Cucumber – small dice
  • Mango – small dice
  • Red Onion – small dice

Sherry Vinaigrette 

  • Vinagre de Jerez
  • Avocado oil
  • Lime juice
  • Sea salt
  • White pepper
  • Honey 
Method:
  1. Whisk the egg and water in a glass bowl to combine. Combine the galleta molida, smoked pimenton, fennel pollen, chervil, and marjoram in a Magic Bullet. Process to a finely medium consistency. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Dip the clams in the egg mixture and then the seasoned galleta molida. Shake off excess. Heat the peanut oil in a heavy bottom pan to 350 F. Drop the clams into the oil and cook for 1 minute. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
  3. Make a bed of cucumber, avocado, mango, and red onion.  Lightly dress with Sherry Vinaigrette.  Lay the clams and garnish with Cilantro mayo.

Cilantro Mayo

  • 1 small shallot – chopped
  • 1 garlic clove – chopped
  • 3 tbs fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro – stems & leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil mayo
  • 1 organic egg yolk
  • Sea salt
  1. Put the shallot, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro in the Magic Bullet. Pulse to make a paste. Add the mayo and egg yolk. Process to make a smooth sauce. Season with sea salt.

52 thoughts on “The Journey of a Latina Smart Campaign w/Vid & A Guest Cuban Clam Fritters Recipe

  1. First off, love the video! I was lmao @ Chrystal for saying she could act like she was domenicana! haha!!! Love it! And, I love this whole LatinaSmart campaign! It’s great because like you said we all have our distinct particulars, but in the end are very similar, especially when it comes to food!
    Lazaro, thanks for sharing this amazing recipe. Clams, avocados, mangoes, cilantro are all things I love! I haven’t eaten any breakfast yet (PST:11am) and just looking at the pix, my stomach is growling up a storm! Yumm!
    Cheers!
    xoxo

  2. hahahahhahaha! Not my shout out! I hope I didn’t sound ignorant. In addition to being labeled Ghanian or Nigerian, I’ve actually had people ask if I was Colombian (this woman insisted I was), Domenican and even Irish. I’ve had them all! I will rock my bag proudly and smartly through the LA streets. If I receive a new nationality nod, I’ll let you know. 🙂 What a great campaign for the Latina ladies out there. You guys repped it well!

  3. Latina Smart is a great campaign, glad you were included. The vid is great!!

    Love Lazaro, his recipes burst with freshness and always feature sustainable foods. wonderful clam fritters, lovely plating and combing of flavors.

  4. Thank you sooooo much for sharing so much about your Cuban culture and tradiciones with us. I feel honored to call you my Latina sister and could not have thought of a better Latina ambassador for this campaign. MUAH! Besitos 🙂

    And Chrystal – I’ll adopt you as my Dominican sister any day 🙂

  5. A wonderful campaign!

    That recipe is great! I’ve never had clams, but I’m sure I’d love that dish.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. B,

    Thank you for sharing your stage with me once again. You are an immense talent that is certainly going places. However, more important, you are one cool chica. You make all Latina’s proud.

    Thanks to all for checking out the recipe and for the kind words.

  7. By the way, I was having a tough time typing this comment due to excessive salivary gland function. Got it, thanks!

  8. Kudos to you you both! Your latino-smart radius spreads all over the cyberspace and I admire it. Bren, I love your video – that really shows me who you are and your personality.

    Oh yeah for the food, I’m a fan of both of your food and fascinate with how you incorporate your culture through food!

  9. Hi Bren!!! It is so lovely to meet you! 🙂
    Laz just told me about your site & how happy I am that he did!! It truly is a fabulous spot.
    I thoroughly enjoy learning about other cultures and their cuisines- it is one of the many things I love about blogging. You have started brought a wonderful campaign to life.

    Laz, the fritters look beautiful, but that comes as no surprise- you’re like the Michelangelo of food! Everything you create leaves me inspired (& hungry). I would love to give one of your recipes a try for my family & friends sometime, and this recipe may just be the one!

  10. QUE RICAS SE VEN ESAS FRITURAS LO VOY A TRATAR DESPUES LES DEJO SABER SI ME QUEDAN TAN RICAS COMO SE VEN ESAS GRACIAS

  11. Emme: Ha. thanks for watching the video… fun doing it. I hope I was able to relay my true feelings about the campaign. And yes, super thanks to Laz for sharing his yummy creativity with us!

    Marcela: ¡Gracias!

    DuoDishes: hahahaaha! I had to! You were awesome for saying that! And of course you didn’t sound ignorant–it’s just what’s most commonly depicted on tv. Rock your bag, girl! Rock it with pride!

    Bonnie: Thanks, Bonnie. It was great being a part of it and I’m looking forward to another engagement with them! Laz is great! He knows he’s invited anytime.

    Eliana: no!!! Thank YOU for reading and supporting and doing your part in repping us Latinas. We are one strong, proud and gifted group of women. You and Chrystal would hit it off big time!

    Rosa: Thanks, Rosa! Ur awesome.

    Laz: gracias a ti for being supporting and encouraging. you’re so talented and i’m glad to share your work with my readers. and ur cuban, so you get special love! And how good was your drool? Really? Share.

    Tamantha: wow. thanks so much. we appreciate it. i couldn’t have picked a better person so share my thoughts on Latina Smart campaign with. He’s a gentleman and knows how to recognize our capabilities. He’s a very proud Latino that loves his Latin woman! 🙂 Thank your for visiting. Hope you’ll be back!

    Tammy: Nice to mee you, too! He’s great isn’t he! Blogging has brought me so much joy, among them, meeting great people that have delicious things in common! Please do come back and visit! Lots of culture, life, travel and food here!

    Mami: verdad que si! sabes que no como clams pero me imaginio que deliciosos son! luv u!

  12. Wow! These look bien ricos! I have never liked clams, but if I had some that looked like these, I would definitely try them. Thanks, Bren!

  13. Yum! This recipe looks terrific. I love clams but I have never try them like that. Thanks for the video and the recipe!

  14. This was such a fun campaign! And those fritters look friggin delicious I am literally drooling.

    Can’t wait for manana’s cafe con leche y el pan con mantequilla!

    Best,
    Li
    @LaLicenciada
    @HerDeepThoughts

  15. I’m allergic to shellfish but your pictures of this recipe have me drooling! Bravo! Not an easy feat. Will share this recipe with my shellfish-loving friends and family 🙂

  16. We love-love-looved your blog! Your photos are amazing and it’s so cool that you share the recipes with everybody!

    As we told you, feel free to share them on our Facebook wall, it’s so cool to share recipes with all latinos!

  17. Love! Love! Love! Everything! You have three posts dialoguing: your soulful post summing up what the campaign meant, your passionate vlog, and Laz’s delicioso recipe. Just more proof that Latinas are innate multi-taskers, with an uncanny ability to have several crystal balls in the air. Each one will land, without as much as a crack on it.

  18. The dish looks positively scrumptious — I love fritters of ANY kind — and the video was great. Always good to see you sharing about the Latina Smart campaign and what your culture means to *you*! We can all rock it…. 😉

  19. Bren, this look fabulous the clams on top of the cucumber, mango and avocado and topped with the cilantro mayo…delicioso!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week chica 🙂

  20. Exquisite! As always a creative and exciting exploration of texture and taste…wonderful!
    Bren, thank you for sharing Laz with us here 🙂

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