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  • Chicken tamales

    Tamales are parcels of corn dough wrapped in corn husks or leaves such as plantain or banana, then steamed. We've made the dough with white corn masa flour, which has a wonderful toasty corn flavour - look out for the Maseca brand. A typical condiment served with tamales is a green or red hot sauce - here we've gone with a green salsa (green tomatoes are a fine option in place of canned tomatillos). Many different fillings and garnishes such as olives, boiled egg, raisins, currants and capers make it more of a party. In lieu of corn husks, use baking paper to wrap the parcels. 
  • Flan de queso

    Flans of all kinds are served all across Latin America. This version is something of a cross between a creme caramel and a cheesecake, dense with cream cheese and rich with amber caramel. It can be made a day or two ahead, although the temptation to sneak a spoonful will be almost overwhelming.
  • Black bean soup

    Black turtle beans are widely used in Latin American dishes, from Brazil's feijoada to the simple bean soups of Cuba and Mexico. We've taken the latter approach, simply adding cumin and oregano to the soup base. A good pinch of dried epazote, a Mexican herb, would add another savoury note; it's available online from good Mexican shops such as Monterey Foods and Fireworks Foods. Finish the soup with a good scattering of feta, which is similar to queso fresco, the fresh cheese used in Latin American cooking, and a few slices of ripe but firm avocado. 
  • Cuban sandwiches

    The Cubano, or Cuban sandwich, is like a ham and cheese sandwich on steroids, made with roast pork as well as ham, and pickles and mustard. The Cuban bread, pan Cubano de manteca, is enriched with lard and baked with steam produced in the oven by spraying in water to form the typical light, shiny crust. Our recipe is inspired by Maricel E Presilla's in her book Gran Cocina Latina; bought ciabatta makes a workable substitute. Start this recipe a day ahead to prove the bread. 

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