Richard Sandoval’s New Latin Flavors: Hot Dishes, Cool Drinks offers bold Latin-style cuisine with a twist. Sandoval has reinvented and simplified restaurant style dishes for the home cook while still keeping the flavors that are sure to impress.You will find over 125 recipes inspired by countries throughout Latin America, from the Peruvian Classic Ceviche to Mexican Corn on the Cob and Spanish Potatoes Bravas. Some recipes even have a notable Asian influence, such as the Thai Chicken Empanadas, Venezuelan Egg Rolls, and Chicken Skewers with Nikkei Glaze.
Richard Sandoval was born in Mexico City and started cooking at a young age in the kitchen with his grandmother. His father was also a restaurateur in Mexico. Sandoval was originally a professional tennis player. He switched careers, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, and opened his flagship restaurant, Maya, in New York City in 1997. This has led to dozens of restaurants in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New York, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Dubai, Hong Kong, Mexico, Qatar, Tokyo, and Serbia.
Chapters are divided based on course: The Latin Kitchen; Tapas, Appetizers and Snacks; Salads, Big and Small; Ceviches and Tiraditos; Seafood; Poultry; Red Meat; Vegetables and Side Dishes; Desserts; Basics; and The Latin Bar.
Sandoval begins the book with tips on home entertaining and building a menu. Many of the ingredients used in the recipes are readily available in larger supermarkets, but he provides a summary of ingredients that require a special trip to the international food market. In the back of the book, there is a list of sources available to purchase Latin American ingredients online. He also provides ideas for substitutions when available.
There are tips scattered throughout the pages on specific cooking techniques, such as deep-frying and preparing fresh herbs. Every recipe includes a headnote with information on the dish. Menu guides are also provided.
In addition to wonderful collection of food recipes, Sandoval has an entire section devoted to alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. He mentions in the introduction that food is just one part of entertaining. Drinks are important as well. As someone who often neglects drinks, this is something I have definitely been trying to work on. He begins with a guide on how to stock your bar and includes sections on tequila, mezcal, rum, pisco, cachaça, beer, nonalcoholic drinks, and sangria.
Beautiful photographs are provided by Penny De Los Santos. Photos of the finished product, usually full-page, accompany some of the recipes (50 photos total).
Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. I particularly liked that the names of the recipes were listed in English and Spanish.
New Latin Flavors is best for those who enjoy Latin American cuisine and are looking for new recipes. Many of the dishes are fusion (often with Asian ingredients) or offer a new twist on the classics. So, this may not be the best pick if you are looking for a book with 100% traditional recipes. There is plenty to offer for those interested in entertaining. Be aware that many of the dishes take time to make (though the ones with multiple components can often have parts made in advance), but are not overly complicated.
I have made a few variations of Horchata in the past, but never the classic Mexican Horchata. Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk are flavored with raw white rice, almond flour, and cinnamon overnight. It is strained, then served chilled over ice with ground cinnamon for garnish. Of all the recipes I tried, this one was Chad’s favorite (of course it happened to be the easiest one).
While the mixture does require 12-24 hours of refrigeration, actual prep time is less than 5 minutes.
In Mexico, it is especially popular with children.
If you want to make it alcoholic, add rum to taste.
I also made Potatoes Bravas with Smoked Romesco and Chorizo (Patatas Bravas con Romesco Ahumado y Chorizo), Venezuelan Corn Pancakes with Savory Tomato Jam and Cheese (Cachapas con Mermelada de Tomate y Queso), Shrimp Ceviche with Tomato-Habanero Broth (Ceviche de Camaron con Caldo de Tomate y Habanero), and Strawberry and Basil Agua Fresca.
Potatoes Bravas are made by combining crisp roasted potatoes with diced Spanish chorizo and covering them with a spiced sauce. Instead of deep-frying, Sandoval roasts the potatoes and pairs them with a Spanish Romesco sauce. The piquillo-chipotle-charred tomato sauce can be made up to three days ahead of time. While I haven’t personally tried the traditional Patatas Bravas, I absolutely love this combination. I used assorted fingerling potatoes for a variety of colors.
While mine didn’t come out as beautiful as the photograph, the Venezuelan Corn Pancakes were still delicious. The pancake base is made with the addition of pureed masarepa (precooked corn flour) and fresh corn kernels. They are topped with Oaxaca cheese and a jalapeño-chipotle spiced tomato jam. The spice from the jam was tempered perfectly with the cheese and slightly sweet corn pancakes. The pancakes were on the delicate side and took a little finesse to flip (though pancakes also aren’t my strong suit). I ended up making them a little darker so they were more sturdy.
Sandoval offers numerous Ceviche recipes in his book. For those wanting to avoid raw fish for personal or health reasons, the Shrimp Ceviche is an excellent choice. The shrimp are briefly boiled then chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use. The citrus broth is also made ahead of time and requires no cooking. Right before serving, the shrimp and chilled broth are divided among serving bowls, then topped with avocado, tomato, orange, cilantro, and red onion. Note- I forgot to add the orange slices to the bowls until after the photos were taken. This is my favorite recipe from the book so far. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and I loved the pairing with the citrus broth.
I made the Strawberry and Basil Agua Fresca on a whim the day I received the cookbook since I had all the ingredients on hand. Strawberries and Basil are pureed with ice cubes to create a slush (loved this texture). It was refreshing for a hot summer day.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Stewart, Tabori & Chang in exchange for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
Horchata (Mexican Cinnamon Rice Milk)
Adapted from Richard Sandovals New Latin Flavors: Hot Dishes, Cool Drinks
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons raw long grain white rice
2 tablespoons almond flour
4 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
In a medium pitcher, whisk together condensed milk, evaporated milk, and water until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the rice and almond flour. Add the cinnamon sticks. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours.
Use a fine mesh sieve to strain the mixture, pressing with a spoon to release all the liquid. Discard the solids and return the liquid to the pitcher. Fill four serving glasses with ice and pour in the horchata. Serve immediately sprinkled with ground cinnamon.