Savory pollo guisado is just a sampling of the Latin recipes Elena Carlo posts on her blog, The Posh Latin Cook. (Photo courtesy Elena Carlo)

Food blogs we love: The Posh Latin Cook

Who’s blogging:  I’m Elena Carlo and I was raised in Brooklyn, New York in a household of eight. With a Puerto Rican/Ecuadorian/Colombian background and mixed family, I absorbed a fusion approach to Puerto Rican cuisine.  I remember being four years old around the holidays when my mother thought I was old enough to start “guayando” yautía, green guineos and platanos verdes for the pasteles she’d make for our traditional holiday events. At 5, my kindergarten graduation present was learning how to make “moro,” a traditional blend of rice and beans. Since I was the oldest, I held rank and I always cooked with my mom. I might not have loved it then but I thank her and I love cooking now!

Explain your blog name: The name, The Posh Latin Cook was pretty easy to come by. I have been blogging on fashion blogs since about 2004. I am widely recognized throughout the fashion blog sites.  The day I decided to start my blog, I was standing in my kitchen with a spatula in my hand getting ready to make brunch. I was supposed to head out after with some friends after to hit the city,  so I was standing in my kitchen in my favorite Gucci skirt and Louboutin heels. My very Italian husband walked in and whistled “Man, Posh has nothing on you. I’m lucky to have a hot little Posh Latina cook all to myself!”  It was like a lightbulb went off and that’s how The Posh Latin Cook was born.

Blogger Elena Carlo

Blogger Elena Carlo

Blogging since: I have been food blogging since mid January 2012. I do a lot of entertaining at home. Christmas with all our friends and family are exclusively held at my house and once a month my friends and I alternate dinner parties. They love when it’s my month to cook because they get to enjoy a little Latin fusion in my home. One day, one of my best friends suggested I start a food blog so she could learn how to cook my Latin recipes. I didn’t know much about food blogging and I had no experience in photography.  The pictures for my first blog post was taking with my trusty iPhone 4. Unhappy with the results, I decided to purchase my Sony DSLR A330 the following day. I was so excited, I went straight home and started taking pictures of just about everything I cooked.

Blogging from: I blog from my home or office in New York. If I have the pictures ready I will forget about the lunch hour at the office and dedicate that hour to a post. Sometimes it’s very difficult juggling home, a business and two kids but I make it work. I’m very fortunate to live in a city where you can visit your local market and happily find all your ingredients for my next post. I’m very picky, a natural eater. I don’t like pre-made sodium-filled packets. I make all my Latin condiments from scratch, down to my homemade version of Adobo and Sazon!

Most popular post: Surprisingly enough, my most popular post is a Latin staple: Pollo Guisado – Puerto Rican Braised Stewed Chicken. It was one of the first Puerto Rican recipes I posted on the blog. A close second is my recipe for Saffron & Honey Buffalo Drumsticks, which have been featured on a couple of sites.

What you’ve learned about food while blogging: I have learned to be spontaneous and not get ahead of myself. I don’t pre-plan my meals anymore. Whatever is in my fridge and cupboards provides the inspiration for my next project. Also, if you don’t like the outcome of a recipe, don’t fret. Changing an ingredient can do wonders to a recipe. Take for instance my Tuna and Plantain Escabeche recipe. It is originally an Ecuadorian recipes made with cassava ‘yuca.’ I just can not for the life of me eat cassava – to me it tastes like a slimy gooey potato. When I was in my teens, my mother was making this recipe on a special Sunday and I asked her if I could make something other than cassava. At first she wasn’t happy. One not to take her children complaining about her cooking, she allowed me this little change in exchange for her own request… For me to make the escabeche MYSELF! Oh goodness I was happy. I used plantains instead of cassava and everyone loved it, even my mom. The only downfall to that plan was that whenever she planned on Sunday escabeche I would have to make it myself while she sat pretty watching her favorite Latin programs on her TV!

Where do you get inspiration for your posts: I get inspiration from my daughters. I refuse for my children to forget their culture.  I cook whatever Latin specialty they crave! If my daughter sees a banana leaf in the freezer and asks what it’s for, I will ask her to help me make something like a banana-leaf-wrapped Creole red snapper. My daughters are 100 percent  hands-on in the kitchen with me. They also inspire me to take a healthier approach to cooking.

What you’ve learned from blogging? I have learned that no stone goes unturned on the internet. I keep a map app on my blog, “Revolvermaps,” which tags a pin when someone logs onto my blog. It will show me the state and mark a pin. My blog audience amazes me! My blog visitors are from all over the world. All 7 continents and just about someone from every country has visited my blog. People are out there trying to connect, get information and we as bloggers have the duty to provide valuable recipes and maintain relationships with those out there supporting what we do.

Where else can we find you online? I am on Facebook, TwitterPinterest and Foodbuzz. I am also an active community leader on Chef Daniel’s Neighborhood Blog Watch. 

What are your favorite food blogs? My favorite food blogs are Great Food 360, another Puerto Rican-born blogger that bring us Latin sazon from her kitchen. Other favorites are College Culinista, Griffins Grub, Chef Daniels, Brown Sugar, and The Healthy Foodie.

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