Douglas Rodriguez's Latin Flavors on the Grill

Douglas Rodriguez's Latin Flavors on the Grill


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Douglas Rodriguez's Latin Flavors on the Grill by Douglas Rodriguez, Andrew DiCataldo

NOW IN PAPERBACK!Fire up the grill and get ready to mambo! Tired of the same ol' marinades and barbecue sauces? Well, Nuevo Latino king Douglas Rodriguez and sous chef Andrew DiCataldo have the recipes that grillmeisters need to spice things up and expand their repertoire. Drawing on spices, authentic dishes, and grilling techniques from over 20 Latin American countries, Rodriguez and DiCataldo share the secrets of these dynamic cuisines. True to Rodriguez's reputation for inventive Latin fusion food, these 100-plus recipes deliver exotic, seductive flavors, all married by the intense heat of the grill. Recipes range from seafood, meat, game, and poultry entr?©es to desserts and drinks (after all, tending the grill is so much more fun with a tropical drink in hand!). Douglas Rodriguez is regarded as the creator of Nuevo Latino fusion cuisine, and his books have sold more than 60,000 copies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781580085656
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication date: 03/28/2004
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 8.32(w) x 11.26(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

Award-winning chef DOUGLAS RODRIGUEZ is regarded as the inventor of Nuevo Latino cuisine. He is the executive chef of OLA in Manhattan and Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
ANDREW DICATALDO graduated from Johnson and Wales and has been the Chef de Cuisine at Manhattan'¬?s Patria since 1995. He is married and lives with his wife and two daughters in Fanwood, New Jersey.

Read an Excerpt

Douglas Rodriguez's Latin Flavors on the Grill

By Douglas Rodriguez

Ten Speed Press

Copyright © 2004 Douglas Rodriguez
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1580085652

Chapter One























CLAMS with Chipotle-Cachucha Mojo and Bacon ~ 20

MUSSELS IN BANANA LEAVES with Saffron-Lemon Butter ~ 23

ROASTED OYSTERS with Black Trumpet Mushroom Mojo ~ 24

ALASKAN KING CRAB LEGS with Farina Farfoa de Yuca ~ 24

CRAB AND CORN CAKES with Lobster--Red Pepper Vinaigrette ~ 26

SUGARCANE-SKEWERED SHRIMP with Lemongrass Mojo ~ 27

OCTOPUS SKEWERS with Black Olive Sauce ~ 28



SARDINES with Roasted Red Pepper, Olive, and Caper Salsa ~ 33

FROGS' LEGS with Mango Barbecue Sauce ~ 34




FOIE GRAS with Dried Cherry and Shallot Mojo ~ 39


BONELESS BEEF SHORT RIBS with Opal Basil Chimichurri ~ 42



Serves 8

Ocean Spray doesn't know what they've been missing; Forget cranapple. Cranguava is the best combination I've had. To scale the recipe up or down, simply increase or decrease the quantities of juices in equal proportions.

1 46-ounce bottle cranberry juice
4 12-ounce cans guava nectar
Ice, to serve

1. Mix the juices together and serve over ice.


Serves 1

With its blazing red color and bitter fruity flavor, Campari is the ultimate summer liqueur. When mixed with sparkling wine and sweet Cointreau, it assumes almost aphrodisiac properties.

4 ounces chilled cava (Spanish sparkling wine) or champagne
1/2 ounce Campari
1 ounce Cointreau
Splash of cranberry juice
Ice, to serve
Dried cranberries, to serve

1. Mix together the sparkling wine, Campari, and Cointreau in a pitcher. Add the splash of cranberry juice.

2. Pour over ice, garnish with dried cranberries, and serve.


Serves 12

When I first started working as a professional chef, I was frustrated by the lack of availability of tropical fruits and other ingredients common in Latin America. Passion fruit were one of those ingredients that I couldn't cook without, so I made it my mission to get them (and many other fruits and vegetables!) on the USDA-approved list of imported foodstuffs. Eight years later, passion fruit are found just about everywhere in fresh and even frozen pulp form. This drink always takes me right back to the hammock on the Costa Rican beach where I first enjoyed something like it.

15 fresh passion fruit
1 gallon water
1 cup superfine sugar
Juice of 5 oranges
Juice of 3 lemons
Ice, to serve

1. Cut the passion fruit in half, spoon out the pulp, and reserve.

2. In a saucepan, mix the pulp with 3 cups of the water and the sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, mix well, and strain out the seeds.

3. Combine the strained juice with the orange and lemon juice and mix well.

4. Serve over ice.

About Measurements for Drinks

The recipes in this chapter use measurements in ounces. The standard liquor jigger is 1 1/2 ounces (equivalent to 3 tablespoons), but they're also available in 1- and 2-ounce sizes.


Serves 6

Raymond Mohan, who was my chef de cuisine at Aquarela, in San Juan, and is now in charge of sauces at my new restaurant, Chicama, was always trying to find new ways to quench our thirst in the searing tropical heat of Puerto Rico. One of his most delicious concoctions was this electric green limeade. Drink it as soon as it is made, because it will lose its intense color as it sits.

2 cups firmly packed culantro leaves
2 quarts ice water
1 cup superfine sugar
Juice of 5 ripe limes (about 1 cup)
Dash Angostura bitters (optional)
Ice, to serve

1. In a blender at high speed, puree the culantro leaves with 1 1/2 cups of the ice water and the sugar for about 2 minutes. Pour twice through a fine mesh strainer to remove any fibrous residue.

2. Mix in the remaining 6 1/2 cups of ice water, the lime juice, and Angostura.

3. Immediately serve over ice.


Serves 1

This reminds me of Puerto Rico, where you see many of the street vendors chopping coconut meat (cocitos frios). At the restaurant, we buy young coconuts by the case and so, naturally, we make our own coconut milk by blending the water inside the coconuts and the meat. But the staff is always eager to drink the water, so sometimes Luis Lopez, one of the guys in the kitchen, makes this refreshing cooler for them. Young, or green, coconut still has the husk on the outside, which some believe works as a "filtering agent" for people with kidney problems. Because the flavor of the lime is best extracted through mashing in a mortar, this cooler has to be made one at a time. It's a great job for a guest who wants to help!

1 lime, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 young (green) fresh coconut
Ice, to serve

1. In a mortar, thoroughly mash the lime with sugar.

2. Fill a glass with ice.

3. Crack the coconut open, pour the coconut water into the mortar, stir, and strain into the glass.


Serves 12

One of my favorite tricks is to use spices, herbs, and other flavorings, like chiles, in unexpected ways. The flavor of this drink is pure apple, but the aftertaste has a pleasing little kick from the jalapeno. Be sure to use Granny Smith apples, which have a distinctively clean, tart taste and give this drink its bracing green apple flavor.

6 pounds Granny Smith apples, cored removed (do not peel)
3 large jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded
Juice of 3 limes
2 quarts water
1 cup superfine sugar
Ice, to serve

1. In a juice extractor, juice the apples and jalapenos. Strain into a container, let rest, and remove any foam that rises to the top.

2. Transfer the juice to a pitcher. Add the lime juice, water, and sugar and stir well.

3. Serve over ice.


Serves 12

Of all the coolers, this is my favorite! Andrew and I serve a lot of coolers at our cookouts because we do not allow our children to drink sodas and we think coolers are a healthy, fun substitute for them. On occasion, however, we do adulterate the cooler with vodka and rum. The first time we did that is when this one became my favorite.

3 ripe pineapples, peeled and diced
2 quarts water
1 cup superfine sugar
6 sprigs mint
Juice of 3 limes
Ice, to serve

1. In a juice extractor, juice the pineapples and reserve.

2. In a large pitcher, combine the water, sugar, mint, and lime juice. Add the pineapple juice.

3. Serve over ice.


Serves 8

I was never crazy about kiwis until I had kiwi juice for breakfast each morning on a trip to Hawaii. The juice quickly became something to look forward to, and I have included this drink in my repertoire ever since. Surprisingly, the slightly sweet and sour flavor of the kiwi juice is evened out by the tart apple juice.

25 kiwis, skin removed
25 green apples, cored (do not peel)
Ice, to serve
1 quart seltzer water

1. Chill glasses.

2. In a juice extractor, juice the kiwis and apples.

3. Mix the kiwi and apple juice well.

4. Fill chilled glasses with ice. Pour in the juice to fill the glasses halfway, then top with seltzer.


Serves 12

My introduction to tamarind goes back to my first chef job at the Wet Paint Cafe in Miami's South Beach district. The block behind the restaurant was lined with tamarind trees, and I never knew it until Bobbi, one of the prep cooks, brought in a bag full and made a "fabutastic" (as I like to say) drink with them that I have never forgotten. The addition of seductively aromatic vanilla is my touch.

1 (6-ounce) package tamarind pulp with seeds
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 gallon water
3 vanilla beans, pulp scraped out
Ice, to serve

1. In a saucepan, combine the tamarind pulp, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil and stir well to break up tamarind. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir well.

2. Strain into a pitcher and let cool.

3. When cool, stir in the vanilla pulp.

4. Serve over ice.


Serves 12

When we were kids, my brother, Frank, and I went to Miami Beach for summer vacation every year. One year our hotel room was on a high floor, and we remember sitting on the balcony slurping away on watermelon hunks and spitting seeds over the railing to rain down on the people walking along the street. Now that we have our own children, Frank and I make this cooler to give them a seedless version to enjoy--and hope that they won't resort to our antics!

5 pounds watermelon
5 pints strawberries, washed and hulled
Ice, to serve
2 quarts seltzer water
Tiny watermelon wedges and/or lemon wedges, to garnish

1. Cut the watermelon into pieces. Cut the rind off, slice the flesh into long, thin pieces, and remove the seeds.

2. In a juice extractor, juice the melon and strawberries and pour through a strainer

3. Fill each glass three-quarters full with the juice, add the ice cubes and seltzer water, and stir

4. Garnish with watermelon and/or lemon wedges and serve.


Serves 12

Egg cream originated here in New York, but I couldn't resist Latinizing it with two classic South American flavors: chocolate and coffee. When I have the time, I also like to jazz up the presentation by coating the rims of the glasses with a mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, and a little finely ground coffee. It's the best way I know to enjoy coffee on a hot summer day.

4 cups strong coffee, brewed and refrigerated until cold
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 pint heavy cream, ice cold
1 quart seltzer water, ice cold

1. Combine the coffee, vanilla, sugar, and chocolate syrup in a pitcher. Mix well with a spoon until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream and seltzer

2. Serve immediately in chilled glasses.


Serves 1

This is a 1950s classic cocktail that my dad enjoys making and serving (even though he doesn't drink them himself!).

2 ounces Bacardi Limon
1 ounce lime juice
1 teaspoon Simple Syrup (see page 176)
1 dash grenadine
Lime slice, to garnish

1. Combine the rum, lime juice, simple syrup, grenadine, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.

2. Garnish with the slice of lime and serve.


Serves 1

With the rise of Latin restaurants everywhere and the country's new love affair with all things Cuban, everyone has reinvented this classic Cuban drink. But no one has recreated it the way my cousin John Hernandez did. I loved his version instantly because it's like a mojito-martin-margarita--three of my favorite drinks!

Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
6 mint leaves
3 ounces Bacardi Limon
2 ounces club soda
1 scoop ice
Lime juice and sugar, to serve (optional)
Lime slice, to garnish

1. Combine the lime juice, superfine sugar, mint, rum, club soda, and ice in a blender and blend at high speed for 1 minute.

2. Rim martini glass with lime juice and sugar. Pour in cocktail and garnish with lime slice.


Serves 6

We developed this daiquiri to mark the end of another long day of recipe testing The drink is based on the Kiwi Cooler (page 9), to which we added rum until it took on a life of its own. The full flavor of the kiwi dominates the rum, so it's easy to overindulge on these potent drinks.

25 kiwis, skin removed
10 ounces Bacardi Limon
4 tablespoons superfine sugar
Juice of 3 limes
4 ounces Midori
Ice cubes
1 lime wedge
Green decorator's sugar, to garnish (optional)

1. With a juice extractor or in a blender or the bowl of a food processor, juice the kiwis. (You should have 2 cups juice.)

2. Combine the kiwi juice, rum, sugar, lime juice, and Midori in a blender Add ice to fill and blend well.

3. Rim glasses with juice from lime wedge and sugar

4. Pour into chilled glasses and serve.


Serves 2

This refreshing drink is best served when the guest list is short because it's difficult to get the intense tangerine flavor out of the skins when mixing more than two at a time.

1 tangerine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
Ice, to serve
8 ounces Cachaca

1. Dice the tangerine with the skin on. Put half into a tall glass (bar glass) and add the sugar.

2. With a muddler or teaspoon mix the tangerine and sugar together so that the tangerine skins release their oil and the sugar dissolves.

3. Add the ice and Cachaca and divide into two glasses.


Serves 6 to 8

The combination of eggplant, tomatoes, and cheese in the filling makes this a tasty vegetarian quesadilla. The filling is delicious in empanadas, too. If you do not like goat cheese, substitute another soft cheese, such as farmer's or ricotta. Enjoy these quesadillas while still warm, along with a simple green salad.


1 medium-size eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1/4 cup Red Chile Oil (page 150)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. To make the filling, brush the eggplant with the olive oil. In a small bowl, mix together the ancho powder, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the eggplant slices, coating them evenly.

3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the canola oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant slices. Pan roast, turning the eggplant with a spatula until the slices are dark brown on both sides. Transfer the eggplant to a shallow baking dish. To the same skillet, add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, stir, and cook for 3 more minutes.

4. Spoon the tomato-onion mixture over the eggplant slices and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

5. When cool, transfer the eggplant slices to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Combine the chopped eggplant-tomato mixture in a bowl with the goat cheese and toss with parsley.

6. Prepare a medium-low fire in the grill.

7. To assemble the quesadillas, divide the eggplant filling into six portions, spreading them over one-half of the tortilla. Fold the tortillas over to form half circles. Brush the top and bottom of each tortilla lightly with the chile oil.

8. Carefully place the quesadillas on the hot grate and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tortillas are toasted and the fillings are hot.

9. Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and cut into quarters.


Serves 4

This is one of the easiest appetizers you can make for a grill party. You just pile all the ingredients in an earthenware dish and set it over the hot coals while you prepare something else. In this version, I use cheeses you are likely to have on hand, but anything goes. Really. And you can add in different types of sausage, chiles, vegetables--whatever you like. I like to scoop up this spicy, gooey cheese dip with tortilla chips or raw veggies.

2 roasted poblano chiles (page 179), peeled, seeded, and finely diced
6 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely diced chorizo
1/2 cup finely diced plum tomatoes
1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Tortilla chips or cut-up raw vegetables, for serving

1. Prepare a medium fire in the grill, piling all the coals to one side or heating only one side of a gas grill.

2. In a large bowl, toss together the chiles, cilantro, chorizo, tomatoes, and cheese. Mix well and pour into an earthenware dish.

3. Place the dish on the grate over the side of the grill opposite the heat source for indirect heat. Cover the grill and roast for S minutes. When the cheese begins to bubble (which may take up to 8 more minutes), remove the dish from the grill.

4. Serve immediately with the chips or vegetables.


Serves 6 to 8

This flavor combination first appeared as a pizza topping at the Wet Paint Cafe in Miami, where I had my debut as a chef, in 1986. It just goes to show that a flavor combination will stand the test of time when it's really good.

2 sweet (Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla) onions, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 pound Brie cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 pound cooked lobster meat, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Smoky Corn Salsa (page 170) or your favorite tomato-based salsa, to serve

1. In a saute pan over medium heat, combine the onions with the butter and oil and saute until the onions are dark golden brown and caramelized. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2. Prepare a medium-low fire in the grill.

3. To assemble quesadillas, divide the onions among the tortillas, spreading them over one half of the tortilla. Next, lay the Brie over onions, followed by the cooked lobster meat, and fold over to form half circles. Brush the top and bottom of each tortilla lightly with olive oil.

4. Carefully place the quesadillas on the grill and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tortillas are toasted and the cheese is melted.

5. Transfer the quesadillas to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Serve with the salsa.


Serves 6 to 8

Don't turn the page because this recipe looks involved. If you grill the onions and make the vinaigrette in advance (like the night before you entertain), the rest of the preparation comes together quickly. Be sure to buy and grill a few extra clams--they are completely irresistible hot off the grill, and you are bound to lose a few to hungry spectators.


3 tablespoons thyme leaves, picked from stem
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
48 littleneck clams, scrubbed
2 Spanish onions, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
1 pint very small cherry, grape, or teardrop tomatoes
1/2 cup finely diced celery

6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 pound shredded queso blanco or
Muenster cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
Sour cream, to serve

1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.

2. Make a vinaigrette by combining the herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper.

3. When the coals are ready, place the clams on a baking sheet, set on the hot grate, cover with the lid, and grill for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and discard any unopened clams. Recover and grill for 2 more minutes. Remove the clam meat from the shells, reserving it with all of the clam juice. Discard the shells.

4. Toss the onion slices in a small amount of the vinaigrette. Place them on the hot grate and grill until soft and browned, 7 to 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, then dice and add to the clam meat with the remaining vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, and celery. Season to taste.

5. To assemble quesadillas, divide the clam mixture among the tortillas, spreading it over one half of each tortilla. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over filling. Fold the tortillas over to form half circles. Lightly brush the top and bottom of each tortilla with olive oil.

6. Allow the fire to burn down to medium-low heat. Carefully place the quesadillas on the hot grate for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula and grill for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tortillas are toasted and the cheese begins to melt.

7. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges. Serve at once with a dollop of sour cream.


Serves 6 to 8

Here is a Latin-style version of clams casino that utilizes one of our favorite chiles, the cachucha, or ajicito. It is a mild chile pepper from the Dominican Republic, very fragrant with citrus overtones. Imagine the flavor of a habanero without the heat. Clams, such as littlenecks or cherrystones, are recommended for this recipe--anything bigger will become too tough. If you like the mojo here, try it with poultry, steak, pork chops, and any grilled fish.


1/2 chipotle chiles, toasted and minced
1/4 cup stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped cachucha peppers
2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped scallions,
white and green parts
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tablespoons light olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces bacon, finely diced
4 dozen clams, scrubbed

1. To make the mojo, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.

2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in the grill.

3. Place the bacon in a saucepan and cook until crisp on the grill or on the stove. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Discard the bacon fat.

4. Arrange the clams on the hot grate and grill for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the shells open.

5. Transfer the clams to a serving plate and discard any clams that did not open. Spoon a teaspoon of mojo into the shells and sprinkle with crisp bacon. Serve immediately.


Excerpted from Douglas Rodriguez's Latin Flavors on the Grill by Douglas Rodriguez Copyright © 2004 by Douglas Rodriguez. Excerpted by permission.
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