There’s something extra rewarding about making a recipe from start to finish – especially when it’s for a big holiday meal. Chef James Tahhan agrees, and his cookbook The Homemade Chef is living proof.
The Venezuelan chef’s book features easy, efficient recipes created to make cooking comfortable, fun and innovative. Tahhan, whom you may recognize from morning show Un Nuevo Día, is known for cooking up Pan-Latino cuisine, but his heart lies in home cooked recipes, made from scratch, and served to a big family ‘round the table.
For starters, Tahhan kicks it off with a Chipotle Hummus – one thing he says he always has in his refrigerator at home. This classic recipe is one from my childhood, but I give it a twist by using chipotle chile, which adds another dimension of flavor. No doubt, this will be better than any hummus you can get at the grocery store,” he explains.
He doesn’t cut corners on the main course, either. His Pasta with Cilantro Pesto, for instance, uses only the freshest sauce. “Sauces must always enhance the flavor of the dish they are created for; they must never overshadow it,” he says. “This pasta with cilantro pesto perfectly achieves this goal, and because cilantro is very aromatic, it’s the perfect replacement for basil in pesto.”
And when it’s time for dessert, Tahhan delivers the sweet and unexpected – Yuca Cake. In the chef’s opinion, cassava doesn’t get enough credit, which is why it’s perfect to bake up for the ending of a perfect holiday meal.
All of the additional recipes – each with a Latin twist, of course – focus on taking the fear out of cooking, and brining the restaurant into your very own kitchen. Tahhan offers every necessary kitchen hack, cutting technique, and more to have you feeling like a Michelin-star chef in just a few turns of the page.
Click through for recipes from James Tahhan’s The Homemade Chef, as featured in the December/January issue of Latina Magazine.