Sharing a title with that of her TV Food Network show, Ingrid Hoffman's Simply Delicioso
offers 125 Latin-American recipes that reflect her food-loving vivacity. Dishes like Tamarind-Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Salmon Crevice with Mango, and Chipotle Tamale Pie give some idea of her savory way with the traditional Latin repertoire. Hoffman also includes formulas for sweets like Dulce de Leche Cookie Sandwiches and Passion Fruit Mousse, and for and drinks, such as Tart Banana Crush. These are instantly attractive recipes that cooks should have no trouble preparing once ingredients are on hand. (Hoffman provides a handy pantry of necessary items.) She also offers anecdotes and Chica Tips; both help limn her as a happy, serious eater as well as practiced cook. With color illustrations, the book is just the thing when the urge for big flavor strikes. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
In her first cookbook, Hoffmann (star of the eponymous Food Network show) shares her take on classic Latin American dishes as well as spiced-up twists on non-Latin classics. Each recipe, she explains, takes a practical, real approach to food. Hoffmann's many chapters include a breakfast section; appeteasers, as she calls them; salads; main courses; and vegetables. Many familiar Latin recipes are included—tortillas and arroz con pollo, to name a couple. Hoffmann gives a Latin twist to basics like Eggs Benedict and Beef Noodles by adding such ingredients as chipotle chilis. Some of the recipes in this collection are appealing because of their simplicity, like the Lime Chicken with Quick Avocado Salsa, and Cumin Broiled Pork Chops. However, Hoffmann's dishes don't feel particularly inspired or original: for example, Chica tips, scattered throughout, intend to share shortcuts, yet seem silly, and Hoffmann suggests eating lots of beets before beach trips in order to get a better tan. However, the Delicioso Pantry section (a list of ingredients Hoffmann considers indispensable) is informative and includes detailed definitions of various cheeses, fruits, vegetables and seasonings. Hoffmann's recipes in the beginning of the book for classic Latin sauces such as adobo seasoning, sofrito and jalapeno salsa are also good and provide solid building blocks for tasty dishes. (Feb.)
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