Two for Tuesday: Ingrid Hoffman’s Latin D’Lite

Ingrid Book Cover

Ingrid Hoffman stars in Food Network’s Simply Delicioso, also the title of her first cookbook.  Her latest cookbook, Latin D’Lite, Delicious Latin Recipes with a Healthy Twist, is available today, April 2, 2013 from Celebra, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

When it comes to Latin cuisine, I don’t know very much.  Luckily, I live in Manhattan where I have access to many different types of ethnic cuisine, and right in my neighborhood, there are Mexican, Cuban, Brazilian, Peruvian and Argentine restaurants.  Last year, I tried empanadas for the first time and found out what I had been missing! 

Like any unfamiliar cuisine, Latin American cooking is a little intimidating to me with ingredients I’m not used to using, like adobo seasoning or chiles.  What I like about Ingrid’s book is that she uses these ingredients to create recipes that are easy for the home chef.  I also like that she represents many of the diverse Latin cultures, lightening up traditional dishes like huevos ahogados, or drowned spicy Mexican eggs, and aguadito de mariscos, or Peruvian seafood soup. 

In addition to her healthy recipes, she has a feature she calls “Indulge!” where the recipes are fuller fat versions for the days you want to indulge.  Mexican corn soup with heavy cream sounds delicious.  I’d love to try the creamy chipotle mashed potatoes made with cream cheese and the plantain fritters with avocadolicious dip. 

This Two for Tuesday includes two recipes I made from Ingrid’s Latin D’Lite this Sunday for Easter.  Torrijas, or French toast, is a traditional Easter dish in Spain.  Last year, I had torrijas for dessert at the Spanish restaurant, Gastroarte, which was my first introduction to torrijas.  Ingrid says the classic version is fried in olive oil.  Her lightened version uses just cooking spray to fry.  The accompanying banana-yogurt mixture is a pleasant addition to the torrijas.  This healthy breakfast is quick and easy enough to make on a weekday.

torrijas

I also made her mom’s creamy fruit salad for Easter.  This was very fun to make!  I have never toasted coconut flakes before and didn’t realize it was so easy to do.  The salad is like a healthy ambrosia salad with a bit of dark rum.  I used my favorite Kraken spiced rum.  It adds a sweet, spicy flavor that complements the fruit.  The mint adds a refreshing kick to this creamy and sweet salad.  (I didn’t use cantaloupe or honeydew because I’m not a big fan, but they weren’t missed.)  This salad is going to be my go-to summer salad for cookouts and potlucks.

mom's creamy fruit salad

I’d like to try salt and vinegar kale chips and baked plantain chips.  I think both of these would be great snacks to bring to work.  The hibiscus flower and ginger agua fresca sounds like the perfect refresher for summer parties.  I’ve been looking for recipes to cook calamari without frying them, and the Catalan noodle paella (fideua) cooks them unbreaded in a saffron-based broth.  Her shrimp and mango adobado salad has a grapefruit-lime-sweet paprika marinade, yum!  It’s served with her creative salsa, roasted corn-red onion-avocado-pepper.  Roasted corn salsa is definitely getting me in the mood for summer!  I look forward to making these recipes from Latin D’Lite.

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