Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Scannone Challenge: Simplify and Dukanize Traditional Venezuelan Cuisine - Caracas Style!

Armando Scannone is to Venezuelan Cuisine as Julia Childs is to French American Cuisine. His "Mi cocina" (My kitchen) recipe book, is considered by many a Venezuelan Cuisine bible. It contains a vast array of traditional Venezuelan dishes cooked Caracas style.

I got my red book as it is sometimes affectionately called by many Venezuelan cooks in 1995 - the year I left Venezuela to study abroad. It was given to me by a good friend of my mother's who wanted me to keep my traditions and passed them along to everyone I met in my travels. Since that day, the book has been always close to me. I use it more as a reference book vs. a book to follow recipes to the letter. Why? well because, although his dishes turn out perfectly delicious all the time, I always find that his methods are complicated and take a long time and in general the dishes are not suited for losing weight!

I have set myself a challenge to simplify and dukanize (make them low/zero carb) some of his recipes, so I can get more delicious Venezuelan dishes to my diet. I am planning to reduce as much as possible their cooking times as well as replace all starches and carbs with dukan approved alternatives.

Now I would love to do a Julie and Julia idea and cook a recipe a day, but I need to be realistic with my time and will strive or 2 to 3 recipes a week. I will choose a good variety of proteins and vegetables, and I will also listen to your suggestions. If there is a dish you like just let me know in a comment and I will try to make it for you.

So who is Armando Scannone anyway?

Armando Scannone - Picture from
Mr. Scannone was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1922. An accomplished engineer, he enjoyed eating when young and started compiling a list of his mothers recipes into a leaflet that he printed and shared with his relatives. He then got interested in Venezuelan cuisine and continued to compile, test and perfect Venezuelan recipes, Caracas style as that was why he was more familiar with. He printed the red book in 1982, followed by the blue book in 1994. Apparently there is also a lighter cooking Green book- I have not had the pleasure to read that yet! Mr Scannone, founded the Gastronomy Academy of Venezuela.

Tonight, I am making my first recipe: Pork Shoulder with a Creamy Mustard Sauce. Keep an eye on the blog for the recipe!


Sazón Boricua said...

Me gustaría conseguir ese libro!! voy a buscar online a ver si lo puedo comprar ;)

Party Artist said...

Lo puedes conseguir en - de verdad es amazing!!!! muy buenas recetas.

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