I think many of us in the UK are familiar with Mexican food like fajitas, tacos, and chilli con carne (I know these make a regular appearance in our family’s meal rotation!), but what about some of the other culinary delights from Latin America?
Have you heard of Arroz con Coco y Chile? What about Albóndigas? Neither had I until Santa Maria recently told me about their new Latin American Kitchen range! We’ve been trying out some of the products at home, and they’ve been a big hit!
Read on to find out more about these tasty Latin American dishes!
Latin American Dishes
Latin America is expansive and diverse, covering a region that includes South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Latin American food is bold, and full of flavour, and thanks to Santa Maria, we can make these dishes easily at home with their fantastic range of sauces, rice, seasonings, tortillas, toppings, and sides.
The Latin American Kitchen range is BIG! There are 10 delicious cook-in sauces which can be used with meat, fish, or vegetables;
5 flavours of rice which are designed to complement the sauces;
6 seasonings which can be mixed and matched with one of the
5 sides, or 10 toppings!
We are very excited to try more from the range, which is rolling out to stores nationwide over the summer, beginning in Morissons. RRPs: sauce £1.79, rice £1.85, and seasoning mixes £0.95.
The products which we received from Santa Maria provided us with 3 simple to make Latin American Dishes, which were on the table in no time at all! While I love to cook from scratch, there are just times when I need a helping hand in the kitchen, and boy have I needed it recently. Things are quite chaotic for my family at the moment, so dinners that are quick to prepare are at the top of my list. This also means that I served everything up quite simply – with two dishes over rice, and the third wrapped up in flour tortillas. I had wanted to get really creative and add a twist to this already exciting range, but chaos loomed and I just didn’t have the time. But do keep an eye on the blog as I will update! While you’re waiting, why not check out my Secret Ingredient Chicken Fajitas – they won me a years supply of Santa Maria products a few years ago, and they’re definitely a winner for my family!
Cuban Chilli Sofrito Sauce with Arroz Rojo
Santa Maria Cuban Chilli Sofrito – sofrito (different from the Italian Soffritto), means ‘lightly fired’ and is used in many dishes across Latin America. Each country has its own way of doing sofritos and in Cuba they commonly use bay leaf. This is a spicier version of the classic sauce.
Santa Maria Arroz Rojo – or Red Rice – is very popular in Latin America. Its colour comes from the mix of chilli and mild spices used for flavour and this plump short grain rice adds texture.
The cooking instructions on the back of the packet of sauce suggested to use chicken (or steamed or stir-fried vegetables if a vegetarian), but we ignored all that and used pork! We had some which needed to be used up, and I’m pretty sure Santa Maria wouldn’t mind! The rice was cooked in its packet in the microwave and was done in 3 minutes. You can also cook it on the hob if you wish. The sauce had a warming kick to it – my husband said it was really spicy, whereas I didn’t think it was! I ended up using lettuce leaves as wraps when we had this dish for dinner.
Caribbean Pineapple & Chilli Sticky Sauce with Arroz con Coco y Chile
Santa Maria Caribbean Pineapple & Chilli Sticky Sauce – typical of Chinese–Caribbean fusion cooking. In the 19th century, workers were brought in from southern China and India to work on the sugar plantations. Their culinary traditions mingled with local ingredients, creating fantastic new recipes like this sweet and sour cooking sauce, which tastes fresher and less sweet than its Chinese cousin. A great culinary legacy!
Santa Maria Arroz con Coco y Chile – or Coconut & Chilli Rice – is based on a classic recipe used in many countries across Latin America (Colombia, Venezuela and Panamá to name a few), where rice is cooked with coconut milk. Santa Maria have added with chilli flakes to complement the flavour and bring a bit more carnival spirit to your table.
As the name of the sauce implies – this is a sweet and sticky sauce. Again, we used pork instead of the suggested chicken (or veggies as in the Chilli Sofrito Sauce). I didn’t find the chilli overpowering at all, and it paired so well the rice. My husband is not a fan of coconut, so didn’t try the rice. There was a fragrant coconut flavour, but not so overpowering that it was all you could taste. Some plantain chips would go great with this!
Argentian Barbacoa Beef Steak Rub
Santa Maria Argentinian Barbacoa Beef Steak Rub – Argentina is world famous for its delicious beef and the Argentinian barbacoa – also known as ‘asado’ – is very popular. The word “barbecue” came to us from Latin America. Santa Maria’s seasoning mix gives beef the typical smoky tones of the asado and enhances its natural umami flavour. Simple, delicious and looks amazing!
Wow! This seasoning was delicious! If I had to pick one thing from everything we tasted from the Latin American Kitchen range so far it would be this steak rub! It tasted so good, and you could really taste the smokey flavour. It really helps too if you buy good quality steaks – the seasoning deserves it! There was some of the steak leftover, so I made burritos for lunch the next day by placing the beef strips, rice, and some salad onto a flour tortilla, and then wrapping up. Kind of wished I’d had some slices of avocado to go in there too! Again, so good!
Overall we have enjoyed the Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen range, and cannot wait to try more of the sauces, and sides! Until then, here is a full list of this exciting range, and make sure to check out the Santa Maria website for recipe inspiration!
Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen Sauces: Cuban Sofrito Clásico, Caribbean Pineapple & Chilli Sticky Sauce, Brazilian XinXim Peanut Sauce, Costa Rican Fiery Fruity Sauce, Peruvian Garlic & Tomato, Guatemalan Smokey Chilli Bean, Costa Rican Coconut Adobo, Colombian Albóndigas, Cuban Chilli Sofrito, Venezuelan Coconut & Lime.
Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen Rice: Arroz con Coco y Chile, Aroz Rojo, Arroz Jardinero, Arroz Amarillo, Arroz y Frioles.
Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen Seasonings: Rio Grande Fajita Mix in Mild & Medium Spice, Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites Seasoned Corn Coating, Havana Curried Pork Seasoning, Argentinian Barbacoa Beef Steak Rub, Brazilian Minced Beef Mix, Caribbean Creamy Chicken Curry Mix.
Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen Sides: Mini Coconut & Black Pepper Tortillas, Garlic & Herb Tortillas, Tortillas with Whole Wheat, Corn & Wheat Soft Tortillas, Plain Flour Tortillas (large and standard).
Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen Toppings: Hot Chilli & Lemon Topping, Chipotle Mayo Topping, Barbacoa Topping, Medium Salsa, Hot Salsa, Guacamole Style Topping, Soured Cream Topping, Green & Red Jalapenos, Spicy Refried Beans, Chipotle Cooking Paste.
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