Like many of my wanderlust-ridden friends and family, I'll travel anywhere for the promise of good food. I once went to Thailand in pursuit of traditional massaman curry and Spain for authentic patatas bravas — neither of which let me down.
What usually ends up being the biggest letdown is coming home to miss the traditional, local cuisine. It may not have quite the same ambiance, but trying to cook authentic dishes at home can increase appreciation for the craft and culture behind them.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, making our favorite dishes from Hispanic countries has been top of mind — not to mention if you're anything like me, you've been looking for an excuse to eat more chilaquiles and arroz con maíz.
We could likely find hundreds of recipes online, but digging through the weeds to find one only to realize after you've bought the ingredients and cooked it to find out it's not turned well at all is one of the biggest culinary disappointments.
The recipes below are tried and true favorites from a blend of Hispanic countries, all paying homage to the culturally rich places they come from:
Naturally gluten-free, cheesy bread, think of it like Argentinian pizza.
The fried, stuffed, spicy dough can be easily adapted for vegan or vegetarian diets as a side or main dish with a variety of sauces.
Rice, fried plantain, and meat smothered in savory garlic and cumin.
Spicy beans stewed in a soothing blend of pumpkin, corn, and paprika make this the ultimate fall comfort food.
Cornflour-based pancakes fried and smothered in cheese make the perfect dinner party snack.
These buttery shortbread cookies with a tangy lime twist are begging to be dunked in some warm milk or tea.
Deep-fried carbs fit any mood, but these in particular pair idyllically with a garlic parsley dip or some seasoned rice.
The soul-soothing potato-based soup tastes so good, your guests will have no idea how easy it was to make.
The indulgent, creamy pancakes have a basis of crunchy potatoes blended with cheese, then fried and dunked in a savory peanut sauce.
This fluffy, bean-stuffed masa cake topped with fermented vegetables tastes so good, you won't believe it's actually super healthy, too.
These deep-fried sweet peppers stuffed with your choice of filling are made even more indulgent with the creamy tomato sauce you'll drizzle on top. Pair with some seasoned rice to make it a complete meal.
A fluffy, cookie-like pastry made from corn flour, rosquillas are a naturally gluten-free sweet-salty snack lover's dream.
These dough, fluffy balls are a coconut lover's dream
The beloved Mexican breakfast dish has been replicated many times over, but this recipe, in particular, is super authentic, right down to the seasonings and Mexican cream.
Creamy, tangy, and rich, this soup has an incredible depth of flavors with just a handful of ingredients you probably already have at home.
A traditional rice and beans dish eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Nicaragua, it's all about the seasonings with this one, often paired with eggs or steak and topped with cotija or a drizzle of tangy crema.
Soft potatoes smothered in a luxuriously creamy yet spicy cheese sauce, topped with an egg, you'd be crazy not to lick the plate — plus, you'll find yourself pairing the addictive sauce with nearly everything that comes out of your kitchen.
Probably everyone's go-to tapas dish at any Spanish restaurant or bar, this recipe, in particular, has a spicy brava sauce so good, you may want to double that part of the recipe.
The crispy, fried dough is so dangerously easy to whip in a couple of minutes, once you learn the recipe, you'll have to physically restrain yourself from making it all the time.
The preparation and ingredients of tamales vary in every region — Venezuelan hallacas are renowned for their tender filling, filled with a plethora of spices from cumin to cooking red wine served on fragrant plantain leaves.