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8 of Richard Sandoval’s Latin Recipes to Make at Home

He has over 30 restaurants across the world, and now you can bring home a taste of chef Richard Sandoval's contemporary Latin dining from his cookbook, Latin Flavors.

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Guacamole

Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS
2 ripe Hass avocados, coarsely chopped
1 plum tomato, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1/4 cup (40 g) finely chopped white or yellow onion
1/2 jalapeno, or 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
Tostaditas (see page 50) or store-bought tortilla chips, for serving

Mash the avocados, tomato, onion, chile, and lime juice together in a medium bowl with a large serving fork or a potato masher. Be sure to keep the guacamole chunky. Season it generously to taste with salt. Serve it immediately, with the chips. (The guacamole can be covered with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly on its surface and refrigerated for up to 8 hours.)

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Carnitas Sliders with Sriracha Mayonnaise

For the Slow-Cooked Mexican Pork Shoulder
Two 1½-pound (680-g) boneless pork shoulder roasts, cut in half lengthwise to make 4 pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1½ pounds (680 g) store-bought lard (see Note), melted (about 3 cups), as needed
Vegetable oil, if needed

For the Sriracha Mayonnaise:
1/2 cup (120ml) mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie
2 teaspoons Sriracha or other Asian hot red pepper sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced

For the lime-pickled onions:
1 small red onion, cut into thin half-moons
1/2 habanero chile, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Kosher salt
1 long, narrow orange-fleshed sweet potato, cut into twelve 1/4-inch rounds
2 cups Slow-Cooked Mexican Pork Shoulder
12 potato dinner rolls or slider buns, split

1. The day before cooking, season the pork all over with the salt. Wrap it loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 12 to 18 hours.

2. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat it to 300ºF (150ºC).

3. Rinse the salt off the pork under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels. Place the pork in a small Dutch oven or deep heatproof casserole just large enough to hold the pieces. Add enough melted lard to barely cover the pork, adding vegetable oil if you run out of lard. Cover it with a lid. Transfer it to the oven and bake until the pork is fork-tender, about 2½ hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let it partially cool in the fat for about 1 hour.

4. Remove the warm pork from the fat and transfer it to a carving board. Transfer about ¼ cup (60 ml) of the warm fat from the pot to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate it for reheating the pork. Discard the remaining fat. Using two forks or your fingers, shred the pork into bite-size pieces, discarding any excess fat. (The carnitas can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat it with the reserved lard before using.)

Note: You may find refrigerated small-batch lard sold at some Latin supermarkets and specialty butchers. This beige product has much more flavor than the typical supermarket lard, which is stored at room temperature and is white and highly processed. Even so, you can use the white lard in a pinch.

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Grilled Chicken with Mole BBQ Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

For the Mole BBQ Sauce:
1 cup (315 g) tomato ketchup
1/4 cup (50 g) packed light brown sugar
2 ounces (55 g) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely grated
1/4 cup (60 ml) mesquite-flavored liquid smoke
4 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, with clinging sauce, coarsely chopped, or more to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon pure ground ancho chile
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt

For the Ancho Rub:
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pure ground ancho chile
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
Two 4-pound (1.8-kg) chickens, cut into 4 drumsticks, 4 thighs, 4 wings, 4 breast halves, and 2 backs
Olive oil, for coating the chicken

1. Make the BBQ sauce: Bring the ketchup, 1 cup (240 ml) water, the sugar, chocolate, liquid smoke, chipotles with adobo, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho, paprika, mustard, cumin, oregano, and pepper to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Season it with salt and let it cool. PureÅLe the mixture in a blender, adding more chipotles, if you wish.

2. Make the rub: Mix the salt, ancho, mustard, cumin, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a small bowl.

3. Arrange the chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet and brush it all over with oil. Season it on both sides with the rub. Let it stand at room temperature while heating the grill. (Or cover and refrigerate the chicken for up to 12 hours; let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.)

4. Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect cooking over medium-high heat. For a charcoal grill, let the coals burn until they are covered with white ash and you can hold your hand about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the cooking grate for about 2 seconds. Leave the coals in the center of the grill. For a gas grill, preheat the grill on high. Turn the burner(s) off on one side of the grill, and adjust the heat to 450.F (230.C).

5. Brush the grill grates clean. Arrange the chicken pieces on the empty areas of the grill, placing them around the coals in the center of the charcoal grill, or on the off side of the gas grill. Cook them, with the lid closed as much as possible, flipping the chicken occasionally, until the chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced at the drumstick bone, 50 minutes to 1 hour. For a charcoal grill, after 25 minutes, add six to eight more pieces of charcoal to maintain the heat. During the last 10 minutes, occasionally turn the chicken and generously brush it on all sides with about half of the BBQ sauce.

6. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve it hot, with the remaining sauce passed on the side. (The remaining BBQ sauce can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Mexican City-Style Corn on the Cob

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
Kosher salt
6 ears of corn, husked
3/4 cup (180 ml) Chipotle Aioli (page 182)
3/4 cup (105 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chili powder or pure ground ancho chile
Lime wedges, for serving

Special Equipment:
Six 1/2-inch (5-mm) thick bamboo food skewers (see Note)

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn and boil until it is tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the corn.

2. Insert a wooden skewer into the stem end of each ear of corn. Spread each ear with 2 tablespoons of the aioli, followed with 2 tablespoons of the cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of the chili powder. Serve them immediately, with the lime wedges for squeezing onto them.

Note
Pointed thick bamboo skewers for food (such as corn dogs and candy apples) are available at craft stores and online at www.amazon.com. These are thicker and sturdier than the common bamboo skewers. You can also poke a slit in the cob end of each ear with a small, sharp knife and insert a flat wooden frozen pop stick.

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Grilled Tostada with Beef Salpicón

Serves 6

For the Salpicón Dressing:
1/4 cup (60 ml) distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons minced red onion
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (180 ml) olive oil

For the Grilled Tortillas:
6 corn tortillas
Canola oil, for brushing

For the Salpicón:
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded
1/2 seedless (English) cucumber, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
4 radishes, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) dice
1/2 cup (90 g) drained nonpareil capers
1/4 cup (5 g) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 ripe Hass avocados, thinly sliced
3 cups (645 g) Shredded Beef Filling with Tomatoes and Chilies (see below), at room temperature

1. Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, lime juice, onion, oregano, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil.

2. Grill the tortillas: Prepare an outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. For a charcoal grill, let the coals burn until they are covered with white ash and you can hold your hand about 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the cooking grate for about 3 seconds. For a gas grill, preheat it on high, then adjust the heat to 450.F (230.C). Or preheat a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat.

3. Lightly brush the tortillas on both sides with oil. Place them on the grill and cook, with the lid closed as much as possible, turning them occasionally, until they are crisp and lightly charred, about 2 minutes. Remove them from the grill.

4. Make the salpicón: Toss the lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, capers, and cilantro with the dressing in a large bowl.

5. Place a tortilla on each of six dinner plates. Divide the lettuce mixture among them, topped by the beef. Top them with the sliced avocado and serve immediately.

For the Shredded Beef Filling with Tomatoes & Chillies:
Makes about 4 cups (910 g)
2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more as needed
One 2½-pound (1.2-kg) beef brisket, fat trimmed to 1⁄8 inch (3 mm)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce (785-g) can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
¼ cup (5 g) finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon mesquite-flavored liquid smoke (optional)

1. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat it to 350ºF (175ºC).

2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the brisket all over with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place it in the Dutch oven, fat-side down, and cook it, turning after 5 minutes, until it is nicely browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the brisket to a plate.

3. If needed, add another 1 tablespoon oil to the Dutch oven. Add the onion, jalapeños, and garlic and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring them occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices with the oregano and bring them to a boil. Return the brisket to the Dutch oven and add enough hot water to come about three-quarters up the side of the meat. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

4. Cover the Dutch oven and transfer it to the oven. Bake until the brisket is fork-tender, about 2½ hours. Transfer the brisket to a carving board, tent it with aluminum foil, and let it stand for 10 minutes. Set the cooking liquid aside.

5. Using a sharp knife and your fingers, shred the brisket with the grain. Roughly cut the shredded beef across the grain into bite-size pieces. Transfer it to a bowl. Skim off the fat on the surface of the cooking liquid. Stir in about one-third of the cooking liquid to lightly moisten the shredded beef. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and liquid smoke, if using, and mix it again. Season the beef to taste with salt and pepper. (The beef can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat it before using.)

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Shrimp Ceviche with Tomato-Habanero Broth

Serves 4

For the Shrimp:
Kosher salt
1 large lemon, sliced
1 pound (455 g) extra-large (26 to 30 count) peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed

For the Tomato-Habanero Broth:
Grated zest of 1/2 orange
2 3 cup (165 ml) fresh orange juice
1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 ripe plum tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 habanero chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil
Kosher salt
1 ripe Hass avocado, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1 small plum tomato, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1 navel orange, cut into segments, each segment cut in half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
12 Pickled Red Onions (page 182) or raw red onion rings

1. Make the shrimp: Bring 2 quarts (2 L) salted water and the lemon slices to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn opaque, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse them under cold running water. Transfer them to a bowl and refrigerate until they are chilled, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

2. Make the broth: Process the orange zest and juice, lemon juice, tomato, onion, garlic, habanero, and honey in a blender until smooth. With the blender running, gradually pour the oil through the hole in the lid to make an emulsified broth. Season it to taste with salt. Pour it into a medium nonreactive bowl, cover, and refrigerate until it is chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Whisk the broth well before using.

3. To serve, stir the shrimp, avocado, tomato, orange, and cilantro into the broth. Divide the shrimp and broth equally among four wide soup bowls. Top each with three pickled onion rings and serve them immediately.

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

Green Apple & Manchego Empanadas

Serves 6

For the Filling:
2 green apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
1 3 cup (75 ml) agave nectar
11/2-inch (4-cm) piece cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup (55 g) shredded Manchego cheese

For the Empanada Dough:
1 cup (130 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick; 115 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes
1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon ice water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for assembly and glazing
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Special equipment:
A 5-inch (12-cm) round cookie cutter or saucer for cutting out the dough

1. Make the filling: Bring the apples, agave, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, and salt to a simmer in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer everything, stirring often, until the apples are tender and have absorbed the agave, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the filling into a bowl and let it cool completely. Stir in the cheese.

2. Meanwhile, make the empanada dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and toss to coat it with the flour. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces. Whisk the cream, ice water, and lemon juice together in a small bowl. Stir enough of the cream mixture into the flour mixture so the dough holds together when pressed. If the dough is too dry, add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time. Gather up the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Shape the dough into a thick disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it until the dough is lightly chilled, about 30 minutes. (This dough is easiest to work with if it is not chilled until hard.)

3. Have ready 6 pieces of waxed paper to separate the dough disks. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll them into balls. (A kitchen scale comes in very handy to divide the dough equally.) On a lightly floured work surface, dust a ball with flour and roll it out into a disk about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. Using a 5-inch (12-cm) round pastry cutter or a saucer, cut out a pastry disk, discarding the trimmings. Transfer it to a plate and top it with a piece of waxed paper. Continue with the remaining dough, layering the rounds with waxed paper. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate them again until they are chilled, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

4. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. For each empanada, brush the edges of a round with some of the egg yolk mixture. Leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) border, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cooled filling on the bottom half of the round. Fold it in half and seal the edges closed with the tines of a fork. Transfer the empanada to the baking sheet and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Refrigerate the empanadas for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate the remaining egg yolk mixture.

5. Lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with the remaining egg yolk mixture and sprinkle them with the pecans.

6. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 375.F (190.C). Bake the empanadas until they are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Dust them with confectioners’ sugar. Serve them warm or let them cool to room temperature.

Latin Flavors

For more delicious recipes, pick up Latin Flavors on Amazon.com.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest