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Publishers WeeklyMarred by poor design and an overreaching need to impress, this attempt from Floridita executive chef Rose to spread the gospel of Cuban cuisine falls short. Though his reverence for the island's culture and food is laudable, impractical, epic appetizers like Ropa Vieja of Duck Confit and Jalapeno Creme Fraiche; and Diver-Caught Scallops, Smoked Eel and Spanish Pancetta with a Puree of Celeriac and Apple and Grain Mustard Salsaare are better consumed at Rose's restaurant than attempted at home. The same goes for show-stopping mains like Roast Suckling Pig and Braised Rabbit Cannelloni, Sweet Potato and Chorizo Sausage. Better choices can be found among standards like Caesar Salad, Beef Carpaccio and Paella, as well as comfort foods like Roast Chicken with Sour Orange Mojo, black beans and rice (Moros y Cristanos) and Cuban Burgers, made with ground beef, pork and chorizo. Determined readers will have to contend with a murky design scheme meant to look well-weathered, but brief interludes on Cuba's past and present prove informative and entertaining. Though it contains a few keepers, anyone new to the cuisine will find this volume frustrating.
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