Cooking with Santa Maria

A few months ago I was asked to take part of the  Latin Kitchen Supper Club; the dinner was to showcase the new range of sauces, rice, seasonings, tortillas, toppings and sides by Santa Maria.  Having been writing recipes for a few years now, I was looking forward to trying the new range and to produce recipes for three canapes, a palate cleanser and the dessert using some of the new Santa Maria range, as well as two cocktails to go with the appetisers.  The starters and main dishes were designed and incremented by Luiz Hara, the London Foodie.

This range is quite comprehensive of 39 Latin American influenced products sold in pouches and jars to keep in the cupboard making it easy to make fast and impromptu mid-week meals. Included in the range are the typical dishes from Cuban Chilli Sofrito Sauce, Argentinian Smoky Asado Sauce to Colombian Arroz y Frijoles (three bean rice) and the typical Costa Rican and Mexican staple Corn Tortillas. The range: 10 cook-in sauces, 5 unique flavoured rice variants, 7 dry seasoning mixes, 6 tortillas and wraps, and 11 toppings and sides to personalise any dish.  The whole range is very versatile, and they are now available in stores nationwide.

Here are my recipes for the very successful and exclusive Supper Club which took place back in June and was attended by the UK media.  Enjoy!


*Vegetarian Mexican Taquitos*

Queso fresco version

canape size:  5cm diameter
makes: approx  64 canapes

1x pack of Santa Maria  8 corn and soft wheat tortillas
400ml of frying flavourless oil, 2 cups
3x cans of Santa Maria refried beans total of 600g
2x Santa Maria mild Guacamole style topping 600g
500g Queso fresco  (fresh cheese)
1 recipe for Pink Pickled Onions below

decoration: Coriander  and lime slices


1. Start by cutting the tortillas with the help of a round pastry cutter ring (5cm diameter). Reserve.
2. Heat a medium heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil (you may need to add more, depending on how many you fry), fry the tortillas in batches for about 10-30 seconds on each side, until lightly browned
3. Place a paper towel on a shallow plate, rest the fried tortillas on it and continue the process. Add another layer of paper towel as you fill the dish. Reserve the fried tortillas in a warm place.
4.Tip the refried beans into a pan and heat it gently according to the package instructions.
5.To assemble the canapes, put the tortillas presentation plate, spread the refried beans layer on the tortillas, next squeeze the guacamole, top with pickled onions (recipe below) and crumbled queso fresco.
6.Decorate with coriander and slices of lime.

Pickled red onions:
Makes a jar of approx 300ml

1 Peeled and thinly sliced large red onion
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp caster sugar, 45g
1.5 Tbsp salt, 25g
½ tsp peppercorns
1 cup white vinegar, 200ml

1. Slice the red onion finely and wash it with warm water over a colander in the sink. Let it cool completely.
2. In a medium bowl dissolve the white sugar, salt with 200ml of white vinegar.
3. In a jar glass or ceramic,  add the onions and the liquid, lastly the peppercorns.  The onions will transform into a shade of vivid pink after about 30 minutes.  It can be stored in the fridge best consumed in the first week.

Pulled pork version

* Patacones*


Makes about 20-24 patacones

5 green plantains (do not use yellow, or yellowish green)
Vegetable oil for frying
Pinch of salt
Santa Maria Chipotle mayonnaise

1.Peel the plantain, and cut crosswise into 1 1/2 cm wide circles
2.Immerse the slices in salted water for 1 hour
3.Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet at 190C
4.Patch dry the plantain and fry the pieces on both sides for about 3 minutes, or until the pieces are slightly golden.
5.When they are golden, remove from the pan and place onto a plate covered with a paper towel.
6.Gently flatten the fried plantain with the help of bottom of a glass.
Place the pieces of plantain one at a time between 2 pieces of waxed paper, and flatten with hands or bottom of a glass
7.Place the plantain back in the hot oil and fry until both sides are golden brown
8.Drain on a fresh paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt
9. Serve immediately with Chipotle mayonnaise

*Santa Maria Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites*


Makes about 40 pieces

400g chicken breast cut into small cubes (2cmx2cm)
200g plain flour
2 medium eggs, beaten
2-3 packs of Santa Maria Colombian Crunchy season
Oil for frying

1.Beat eggs with a pinch of salt in a bowl,  place the plain flour in a medium bowl and Santa Maria Colombian Crunchy seasoned corn coating in a third bowl.
2.Working with one piece at a time, gently press chicken into the flour to coat and shake off the excess flour. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash and then press the pieces onto the  Santa Maria Colombian Crunchy seasoned corn coating evenly. Reserve the coated chicken on a shallow plate while working on the rest; do not stack.
3. Heat the frying oil in a large skillet over medium heat at 180C.
4. Fry the chicken pieces until thoroughly cooked and place on a paper towel.
5. Served with slightly warm Santa Maria sticky pineapple & chilli sauce.

Palate cleanser: 

*Pineapple with mint and jalapeno  sorbet*

Makes 1L

600g of pineapple ready peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
300g white sugar
300ml of water
10-15 leaves of mint
1 heap teaspoon of Green Jalapeno Sta. Maria drained, patch dry and chopped

1. Make a simple syrup with sugar and water. Place the sugar and water in a medium pot and let it simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Reserve.
2.Blend the pineapple, mint and Jalapeno until smooth,  strain the liquid and add the simple syrup.
3.Churn in an ice-cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions. Place in a container and freeze. Alternatively, tip the mixture into a large shallow container and freeze until it just about to set, then every hour or so break up the ice with a fork.


*Bom bocado* – coconut custard slices

find the  recipe here: Bom bocado


*Chipotle Dark Chocolate ice cream with cocoa nibs*

Make: 700ml

500ml of good vanilla custard
200g good quality Dark chocolate, 70%
shot of strong coffee
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
40g Organic Cocoa nibs
1 tablespoon of chipotle paste, 15g (add more if more heat is required!)

1.Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (hot water bath), make sure not to overheat it.
2.Mix the custard (room temperature) with the melted chocolate, the shot of strong coffee, vanilla extract, chipotle paste and stir well to combine. Let it cool completely. Place the mixture covered in the fridge.
3. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions.  In the last 10 minutes of churning, add the cocoa nibs. Place in a container and freeze. Alternatively, tip the mixture into a large container and freeze until it just about to set, then every hour or so break up the ice with a fork.

The Cocktails

*Peruvian Classic Chilcano*

Pisco, lime, Canadian Ginger Ale, angostura bitters
Make: 1 serving

50ml of Peruvian Pisco
1/2 lime
110ml of Canadian Dry  ginger ale
2 drops Angostura Bitters
lime round for garnish
*15ml of simple syrup – optional

1.Mix the Peruvian Pisco,  juice of 1/2  lime and the simple syrup (optional) in a tall glass.
2.Add cubes of ice, and top off with ginger ale.
3.Add 2 drops Angostura bitter, stir, and garnish with a round slice of lime


*Peruvian Chicha Morada*

makes: 3L
Time: 5 hours

3L water
500g package dried purple corn (maiz morado)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of cloves
5 large lemons, juiced
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 300g
1/2 fresh pineapple, chopped
1 apple, chopped

1. In a large pan bring the water to a boil with the corn, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Reduce heat to simmer for 50 minutes.
2.Remove from the heat and strain the liquid through a mesh strainer.
3.Stir the lemon juice and sugar into the chicha until the sugar has dissolved and cooled completely.  Place in the fridge.
4.Add the chopped pineapple and apple just before serving over ice.




  1. Chrissy
    July 31, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    This looks absolutley delicious! Can't wait to try it out, have a blessed day!

  2. Sus Davy
    July 31, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    What a fantastic selection of dishes! The sorbet looks incredible!