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!)
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)
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.
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.
Follow the sexy & delicious fun on
CUBAN CLAM FRITTERS
- 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
- Vinagre de Jerez
- Avocado oil
- Lime juice
- Sea salt
- White pepper
- 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.
- 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.
- Make a bed of cucumber, avocado, mango, and red onion. Lightly dress with Sherry Vinaigrette. Lay the clams and garnish with 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
- 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.