A Look at Richard Sandoval’s New Cookbook
Last week we were invited to attend a book-signing and reception in honor of chef Richard Sandoval’s new cookbook, Richard Sandoval’s New Latin Flavors: Hot Dishes, Cool Drinks. Many recipes are inspired by his restaurants including Masa 14, Zengo, Ambar, Toro Toro and El Centro D.F. in D.C., and feature a lot of fusion takes on classic dishes. The event was held at Toro Toro at 1300 I St., where attendees were treated to samples of a handful of dishes and cocktails from the book as well as a chance to get their copy signed by the chef himself.
Showcasing contemporary Latin flavors with a unique spin, passed items included ham croquettes with Chinese mustard dip, beef and corn anticucho, Thai chicken empanadas with mango-red curry sauce, corn pancakes with savory tomato jam and cheese, piloncillo pots de crème and crispy shrimp lettuce wraps with tamarind sauce. Between munching on the appetizers, we sipped on spiked watermelon agua fresca and classic margaritas. Not only were the drinks refreshing, but the recipes are easy to follow which is always a huge factor when I consider what drinks to serve at any gathering I host. You can never have too many easy cocktail recipes handy, so I’ve included both at the end of the post.
The ham croquettes were one of my favorite dishes of the night. Crispy, flavorful and the perfect finger food size.
Another favorite, the Thai empanadas had a great kick to them and I enjoyed the fusion of Thai and Latin flavors.
Spiked watermelon agua fresca
2 1/2 oz fresh watermelon juice
1 1/2 oz homemade sweet and sour mix (reference book for recipe)
1 oz 100 percent agave tequila blanco
1 oz triple sec
1 lime wedge, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker and highball glass with ice. Add the watermelon juice, sweet and sour mix, tequila and triple sec. Cover the shaker and shake it well. Strain into the highball glass and garnish with the lime wedge.
4 lime wedges
Kosher salt, for garnish
2 1/2 oz homemade sweet and sour mix (reference book for recipe)
1 1/2 oz 100 percent agave tequila blanco
1/4 oz agave nectar
1. Lightly rub one lime wedge around the outside rim of a highball glass; save the lime wedge. Pour a few tablespoons of salt into a saucer and roll the rim of the glass, shaking off excess salt. Fill the glass with ice.
2. Squeeze the remaining three lime wedges into a cocktail shaker. Add the sweet and sour mix, tequila and agave. Fill the shaker with ice, cover and shake well. Strain the margarita into the glass and garnish it with the reserved lime wedge.