Simple Food, Big Flavor

Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours

Photographer Michael Harlan Turkell / With JJ Goode
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About The Book

From Aarón Sánchez, chef, restaurateur, co-star of Food Network’s Chopped, and host of Cooking Channel’s Emmy-nominated Taco Trip, comes a fabulous, Mexican-inspired cookbook themed around fifteen unforgettable flavor bases.

Aarón Sánchez’s passion, commitment, and creativity have placed him among the world’s leading contemporary chefs. In Simple Food, Big Flavor, he brings us more than seventy-five fun and accessible recipes for home cooks of all skill levels.

Rather than overwhelm with complex, intimidating dishes, Sánchez starts small, showing how one simple but amazing “base” recipe—think Roasted Tomato Salsa, Cilantro-Cotija Pesto, and homemade Dulce de Leche—can become many fantastic dishes.

Take Garlic-Chipotle Love, a blend of roasted garlic, canned chipotles in adobo, cilantro, and lime zest that keeps in the fridge for weeks or the freezer for months. With this in hand, you’re just a few steps away from mouthwatering dishes like Chipotle-Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Bean and Pumpkin Picadillo, and Mussels with Beer and Chipotle.

Sánchez also provides detailed yet easy tips for using each sauce in everyday meals, whether you spread it on hamburgers, turn it into a marinade for easy grilled chicken, or stir in a little oil and lime for salad dressing with a kick. With his warm and engaging style, Sánchez equips home cooks with the skills and knowledge they need to come up with their own simple, flavorful meals every night of the week. Your kitchen will be en fuego!

Excerpt

Simple Food, Big Flavor garlic-chipotle love
This is one of my favorite sauces on the planet, something I’d swim in if I could. And it’s dead simple, too: you roast some garlic and blend it with canned chipotles in adobo (an incredibly delicious product available in major supermarkets, not just bodegas), cilantro, and a little lime zest. Then, papi, you’ve got a foolproof sauce that I call Garlic-Chipotle Love because it’s a distillation of one of my favorite flavor memories. The mellow sweetness of slow-roasted garlic paired with the smoky, spicy punch of these chiles always takes me back to my mom’s kitchen.

When my mom’s doing the cooking, those two fantastic flavors come together in a more traditional way. I remember watching her patiently toast the chiles and roast the garlic on a flat pan known as a comal, wondering why anyone would spend time doing this instead of watching Knight Rider. But by the time she was done, the whole house would smell, well, like love. We’d sit down to a simple dinner of, say, beans and chicken, and whatever salsa she had made with those chiles and garlic would make every bite explode with this comforting, ridiculously delicious love.

My version is built on hers and distills the same powerful flavors and aromas—with about a quarter of the effort. You could spread this sauce like butter on bread if you want, and you’ll be loving life. Even better, this easy condiment, which will keep in your fridge for weeks or in your freezer for up to a month, can become multiple dishes that everybody at your table will go crazy for, even if my mom shows up for dinner.

About The Author

Photograph © Michael Harlan Turkell

Aarón Sánchez is chef/partner of Johnny Sánchez, with locations in Baltimore and New Orleans. He is the co-star of Food Network’s hit series, Chopped, and the host of Cooking Channel’s Emmy-nominated Taco Trip. He is also the host of two Spanish-language TV series on FOX Life: 3 Minutos con Aarón and MOTOCHEFS. The son of celebrated Mexican cooking authority Zarela Martinez, Aarón’s passion, commitment and skills have placed him among the country’s leading contemporary Latin chefs. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, singer/songwriter Ife Sanchez Mora, and two children.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (February 2016)
  • Length: 208 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501141812

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Raves and Reviews

“Aarón Sánchez is one of America's best Latin chefs. His knowledge and passion for authentic Mexican dishes and traditions shines through in this beautiful book. Perfect for the home cook!”

– Marcus Samuelsson, author of New American Table, chef-owner of Red Rooster Harlem, and founder of FoodRepublic.com

“Aarón welcomes you into his kitchen and shares his rich Mexican traditions and dishes with home cooks around the world. Informative, inspiring, and user-friendly. The flavor foundations in each chapter that allow you to create hundreds of recipes are pure culinary gold.”

– John Besh, author of My Family Table, host of John Besh's New Orleans, and chef-owner of Besh Restaurant Group

“Aarón Sánchez’s flair for living lives in his food. The recipes in Simple Food, Big Flavor are filled with passion, humility, unbridled love, and respect for his culture and family.”

– Roger Mooking, coauthor of Everyday Exotic: The Recipes and cohost of Heat Seekers

“Aarón brings his effortless, sexy style into your kitchen with these quick, easy and mindblowingly delicious recipes. His how-to tips come in real handy, too, making this book an absolute must-have for your culinary library. My only complaint was my uncontrollable craving for a frozen margarita while I tried the recipes...I may have to head over to Centrico for one of those!”

– Daisy Martinez, author of Daisy: Morning, Noon, and Night

"Sánchez presents 15 'magical' culturally inspired Mexican sauces, pastes, toppings and salsas. To each, the author adds an explanation of how they are best incorporated into dishes, alongside suggestions for alternate uses that leave home chefs a lot of room to mix, match and substantially shake up the dinner table...For Sánchez fans and those unafraid to fire up their taste buds like a pro." —Kirkus Reviews

– Kirkus Reviews

“An inspiring and concise take on Mexican cuisine.”

– Publishers Weekly

"Though there are only 15 sauce/puree/paste recipes, the ideas for using them and the tips he offers in his witty voice are what make the book especially valuable...you'll be on your way to what Sanchez calls a 'whoa' moment."

– Chicago Tribune

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