Latin American Cuisine and Adobo Spice Rub Recipe

Along with the sheer fun of preparing our Italian meal for guests this week, we still continued our journey of exploring flavor profiles from various world regions in class.

Sadly, we are quickly approaching the end of Culinary Arts training. Sadly only in that I love it so much I could continue as a perpetual kitchen student indefinitely…  except for the net financial loss, which is an unfortunate inevitable result of school. But literally, there aren’t any other downsides. We’ve covered such a broad range of classic French techniques to this point that we’re now in the fascinating final chapters of applying those techniques to different cultures’ unique foods and spices.

So let’s explore a bit of Latin American cuisine. Seviche (or ceviche) is a preparation of raw seafood marinated in an acid mixture. Acids, such as vinegars and citrus, will coagulate proteins in seafood producing a texture that mimics that of cooking with heat. Scallop seviche… with fresh lime, onions, jalapeños, avocados, tomatoes and cilantro…

Fried yucca chips with cilantro salt and jalapeño garnish functioned as handy ‘scoopers’ for the seviche…

Escabeche is Spanish for “brine” or “pickle” and was developed in Mexico as a means of preserving foods by pickling them in vinegar mixtures. Today the technique has remained more for its flavor than for the need to preserve. Here we brined the salmon, but also grilled it and served accompanied by onions, garlic, tomatoes and jalapeños picked in cider vinegar with a hint of toasted cumin, allspice and lime.

Another classic flavor of Latin America comes from rubbing meats and game with an adobo spice blend. This simple adobo blend can be made in any quantity and stored: 15 parts powdered ancho or pasilla chiles, 2 parts salt, and 1 part each of dried oregano, ground cumin and black pepper. Two venison loins and a rack of antelope got the delicious adobo treatment…

Hope you enjoyed our little Latin excursion, and we might just venture to the Mediterranean soon. Baklava or tagine, anyone?

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14 thoughts on “Latin American Cuisine and Adobo Spice Rub Recipe

  1. I’m so glad I have my lunch as I’m reading this otherwise I’d be gettingmighty hungry! The Yukka chips, are they made from potato or plantains? Either way I’ve not heard of those varieties here in Aus. As for the ceviche and the adobo spice rub, delicious! I’ve of course tasted venison before (but wasn’t sure) of the difference with antelope? I love how pink and gorgeous the meat is though, exceptionally tender judging by your piccies 🙂

    Yes please to tagines and Morocco!

    • Yay! I’m glad this made you hungry 🙂 The yucca chips are made from the root of a yucca plant… you guys may not have them. It’s a plant that grows well in dry, desert climates and survives with little water. The plant has long, thick, pointed ‘leaves’ that send up a single stalk with flowers once a year; the root is starchy similar to a plantain when still green or a potato and has a taste similar to a potato. Because of the climate, it’s commonly used in Central and South American cooking, and we can usually find it at the grocery 🙂
      Antelope are game animals similar to a deer but usually smaller and are one of the fastest animals we have. Funny, I just searched antelope and the first line says they aren’t found in Australia 🙂 and that the pronghorn antelope we prepared isn’t technically part of the Bovidae family of antelope. Learn something new everyday 😀 Some pics of these critters here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope
      Morocco coming up, just for you 😉

  2. You will Always be a perpetual kitchen student, so don’t fret, there is always new things, food, or new techniques to learn! I know your enthusiastic love of this field will carry you to bigger and better things, and congratulations, you are almost done! PS. I like how you’re exploring different regions of cooking and the ways of marinating meats and seafood. It’s funny how the acid breaks them down and creates a tender dish!

    • Thank you, thank you P&E!! That was such a good reminder… we’ll ALWAYS be kitchen students 🙂 The beauty of this field is the constant learning and exploring and creating… like a chiffon PIE 😉
      And yes, acid and protein are a fun science phenomenon that works well on a plate 😉 Thank you so much for your comments… makes my day every time!

  3. Wow! More yummy looking food. When I was growing up we used to eat antelope on occassion, but never the whole rack. I’d try it now though – I’m game. (sorry about that – couldn’t resist) I can understand why you are sad that your program is coming to an end. I am too! Terri

    • Terri! You’re hilarious 😀 I just laughed out loud. Hard. In my condo; just me 😉 That’s pretty funny! It’s fun that you ate antelope growing up- was someone in your family a hunter? I think this was very possibly my first time for antelope.

      • My dad used to hunt for many years, until finally he decided he’d killed his share of critters (deer, antelope, moose). That may have been about the time I started ranting about how hunting would only be fair if the animals were allowed to carry guns too.

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