How often do you realistically cook each week? What do you do when you don’t have time to think about a cooking let alone conjure up a proper meal for yourself or family? It’s such an odd concept to admit we live in a modern world where making the time to cook is a chore. We have to work so hard to balance our responsibilities in oder to make time for a true meal. I grew up in a home where Mami cooked 3 fresh home-cooked meals, 6 days a week. I’ve said that consistently here on the blog and to all whom inquire about my love affair with food and cooking. It was just the way we knew things should be. And so in my adult life, looking to prepared foods, fast food, and even eating out is more novel than anything else. It’s more about the experience rather than lack of time. But then again I’m single and childless so my responsibilities aren’t quite the same. I mean, I AM busy but don’t have to worry about feeding a whole bunch of people at home.
But I do entertain quite a bit… and more often than not it’s unplanned and just a matter of sending a few texts out and firming up a time. And mostly that time frame is within 3 hours, leaving me no real time to conjure up fresh food for 20+ friends.
In those cases, it’s always great to run to Trader Joe’s and pile up on my favorite hot and cold food snacks and dishes. There’s just so much you can do with their selections and still create a lovely tablescape of delicious foods. Though I also find myself doctoring up most of the foods, especially the soups.
But they don’t have much in the way of Latin or Latin fusion options. So I’m stuck if that’s what I’m going for. I somehow always end up making a super simple yellow vegetable rice, but even that takes time.
So aren’t I the super lucky girl and hostess with the mostess when I came across Buen Sabor, a fabulously new frozen Latin food company offering authentic and traditional Latin food?! The kicker? Some go outside the classic recipes we know and are bona fide fusion — right up Flanboyant Eats style.
Their empanadas are rocking. That’s what hooked me first. I am one serious empanada-loving chica. I was so incredibly surprised to taste their picadillo one. Now you know picadillo is a very, very Cuban meat dish and so I’m picky about mine. It’s our staple dinner served with rice. Buen Sabor’s took it in completely different direction making it spicy and adding some Middle Eastern flare. It was really bold in flavor but the best part was the absolute perfect flaky crust. Not everyone knows how to do make an empanada, let alone a frozen one. I was impressed, I won’t lie. It was homemade style with its rustic finish. Nothing too perfect and lackluster. It was just as pretty had you made them my hand.
So there’s no picture to show you because while I should have been reserving a few to photograph, I was too busy analyzing them and ultimately found them all in my belly.
Now their rices. I’m also over-the-top particular about my rices. I am 100% for making rice from scratch. A no-no to Uncle Ben’s, par boiled, and frozen! Please slap me straight if ever. Especially if I’m hosting guests.
Oh, but did someone finally get it right. I have had wonderful 20 minute bagged rice from a Spanish company and I’d recommend it. I can’t remember the name. But Buen Sabor’s rice lineup is to be lauded with welcome arms. The varieties touch every palate. From standard yellow rice with vegetables and black beans to a sweeter yellow variety infused with a cotija cheese and nice chunks of pumpkin. The quinoa and wild rice blend with chickpeas is not an every day combination you’d see but it was extremely bold and fresh in flavor and texture. I’d not even thought of that, truthfully. It had an Indian flare to it, but since quinoa and chickpeas are both indigenous and classic to Latin culture, respectively, it worked marvelously.
This is what I love about Buen Sabor’s mission: to offer authentic, quality, and mostly fresh Latin food for the super busy kind, like myself. Even I with all my professional gigs where I can not serve frozen food, would serve this up in a heartbeat to my friends and family when there’s simply no time to pull out the pressure cooker, the frying pan, the rice cooker, the plantain masher and everything involved in making a home cooked meal.
Especially when I’m expecting 25 people in an hour.
Buen Sabor’s products are great for entertaining intimate or large parties. It’s the greatest option to serve Latin food at a casual or themed fiesta if you just don’t have time to cook yourself. Let them do it for you! Stage it on really pretty platters that contrast the vibrant colors of the food. I loved serving the rices in a 3 part split on my gorge Beatriz Ball Soho Penn platter (if you saw my giveaway for one of their pieces or my appearance on ABC Tampa, you already know how beautiful the entire collection is — but I wanted you to see them in action in mi cocina). And if I had more empanadas, I would have stacked a whole bunch on the oval pearl platter and garnished with tons of cilantro and edible flowers. Next time. Like really soon. I see a party in my future. I just need to get more empanadas… oh, because if you try to buy what you see now at the grocery store, it’s just not going to cut it. The food needs to look as pretty as what you’re serving it in and vice versa.
But the products are equally perfect for easy and quick family dinners. You won’t sacrifice flavor or integrity. 3 minutes max in the microwave for the rices and 20 minutes in a conventional oven (I love using a toaster oven) for a perfectly colored and flaky crusted empanada. Do not ever commit the sacrilegious act of nuking one. Your cooking powers will be revoked.
I still have so many packages to try but my fave was the cheese and sweet plantain empanada. It’s what’s pictured above. It’s sweet with a slight touch of savory notes. It’s a perfect starter or dessert. Even served with ice cream if you heat it long enough to have the cheese oozing.
You just have to check them out for yourself and experience the easiness. My life just got a slightly less complicated when I’m not hosting private gigs. I don’t like cooking for myself — another anecdote I’ve frequently shared here. This just makes sense for my single lifestyle!
Get your feet wet with a new, chic, and forward thinking brand… enjoy some coupons for you to try. Buen Sabor is available at most Targets nationwide.
Let me know what you think if you do try! I’m going for the tamales casserole next!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.