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. Among the pages are 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. I will also be sharing his recipe for Horchata following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Stewart, Tabori & Chang in exchange for this review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
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.
Richard Sandoval’s New Latin Flavors
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 items that may 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.
In addition to wonderful collection of food, 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.
The 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). Tips are 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. 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 a twist on classic recipes. There is also 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 often have parts that can be prepared 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. The mixture 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 also happened to be the easiest one).
While the Horchata does require 12-24 hours of refrigeration, actual prep time is less than 5 minutes. If you want to make it alcoholic, add a splash of run or two to taste (21 or over in the United States, please drink responsibly).
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 beautifully as the photograph, the Venezuelan Corn Pancakes were still delicious. A 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.
Horchata (Mexican Cinnamon Rice Milk) Recipe
- 1 can (14 ounces/ 390 g) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 ounces/335 g) evaporated milk
- 2/3 cup (165 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons raw long-grain rice
- 2 tablespoons almond flour alos called almond meal
- 4 (3 inch/7.5 cm) cinnamon sticks
- Ground cinnamon for garnish
- Whisk the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 2/3 cup (165 ml) water together in a pitcher, making sure to completely combine the two canned milks. Add the rice and almond flour and whisk again. Add the cinnamon sticks, cover, and refrigerate for at least 12 and up to 24 hours.
- Strain into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Discard the solids. Return the milk mixture to the pitcher. Divide among four tall ice-filled glasses and sprinkle each with ground cinnamon.