A Cinco de Mayo Interview: Ingrid Hoffmann

Article from: A Bull’s Eye View

You may know Ingrid Hoffmann as the bubbly host of her Food Network show Simply Delicioso and Delicioso on Galavisión. But if you ask Ingrid what she does, her answer is a bit different. “My official title on my bio is ‘professional eater’,” she says. “I never set out to become a cook. I just set out to make my loved ones and myself delicious meals.”

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, the Latin cook shared some festive and authentic recipes with us. Her mouth-watering menu is not only delicious, but also pays homage to the Battle of Puebla (when the Mexican army defeated French forces on May 5, 1862).

Before we get to her recipes, we sat down with Ingrid to chat about her early days in the kitchen and how she celebrates the holiday in her own home. Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

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When did you first start cooking?
Ingrid Hoffman: I started at a very early age in my mom’s kitchen, where she started a catering company from our little house. She had just come back from studying at Cordon Bleu in France, so I was always coming home to crazy quantities of food being prepared in our kitchen. I was a curious child, and they were always trying to shoo me out, but somehow they couldn’t. And here I am.

Has your background influenced your cooking?
IH: Living in different countries expands your palette.  I grew up in a house where we ate everything—Colombian, Mexican, Peruvian, Bolivian, Argentinian, Caribbean and Basque food. I make food from 22 Latin countries, including Spain. I do a little bit of it all.

What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
IH: I would say cilantro, avocado, quinoa and chiles.

How will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
IH: With lots of food and drinks! To me, it’s a day to make a one-pot meal. I don’t want to fuss.

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Ingrid shared three easy-to-follow recipes with us. It’s easy to fill up on the bacon guacamole and guava-jalapeño margaritas before making it to the main course: Tinga Poblana (Mexican pulled pork), but we promise it’s worth saving a little room!

“To me, entertaining is about smart menus and recipes. Place guacamole and tortilla chips next to the pulled pork and set up a great self-serve station.”

“Have all the garnishes ready for the margaritas. You can pre-make the mix and pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it, so you have a bucket of flavored ice cubes that won’t water down your margaritas. The guava-jalapeño margarita is a fun twist on your typical margarita—you’re really making homage to this incredible country with foods that represent it.”

“Tinga Poblana is a lot of bang for your buck and little effort,” says Ingrid. “You set it to boil, shred it, mix it with a few things and you’ve got your main meal done.”

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Bacon Guacamole
Serves 6

What You’ll Need:
8 to 10 bacon slices (about 1/2 pound)
3 medium Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 tomato, halved, cored, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 serrano chiles, finely chopped (seeded and ribbed for less heat)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 1/2 limes)
Salt

What You’ll Do:

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until each side is brown and crisp, about 7 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and let it cool completely. Chop the bacon into small bits and set aside.

2. Mash the avocados in a medium bowl until the texture is semi-smooth. Stir in the crumbled bacon.

3. Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel and add to the avocado mixture. Gently stir in the onion, chiles, cilantro and lime juice. Taste and add salt if necessary; the bacon may add enough saltiness on its own.

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Guava-Jalapeño Margaritas
Serves 4

What You’ll Need:
3 jalapeño chiles
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons tequila
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 5 limes), plus extra lime wedges for the glass rims (optional)
1/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons guava juice
Coarse salt or margarita salt (optional)

What You’ll Do:
1. Place 2 whole jalapeños and the tequila in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for a day.

2. Pour the tequila into a pitcher or large punch bowl and add the lime juice, Cointreau, and guava juice. Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator.

3. If you would like to have a salted rim for your margaritas, place the salt on a flat plate. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each glass, turn it upside down on to the salt, and then twist the glass in the salt to coat the rim.

4. Thinly slice the remaining jalapeño. Serve the margarita straight up in a martini glass with some jalapeños floating in the glass or slit one side of the jalapeño ring and hang on the side of the glass.

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Mexican Pulled Pork (Tinga Poblana)
Serves 8

What You’ll Need:
1 pound (about 3 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (2 to 3-pound) pork loin
1 yellow onion, chopped, plus 1/2 yellow onion left whole
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
12 ounces raw chorizo, casing removed
5 small tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, finely chopped (seeded and ribbed for less heat)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt

For serving
16 corn or flour tortillas
4 medium Haas avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

What You’ll Do:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

2. Place the pork in a large pot of water. Add the onion, garlic, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the pork is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove the pork from the water and set it aside until it is cool enough to handle (discard the cooking liquid). Using your fingers or two forks, shred the meat into small pieces and set aside.

3. Break the chorizo into small pieces and fry it over medium-high heat in a large skillet or pot, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chorizo to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the chopped onion to the same skillet and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shredded pork, potatoes, tomatoes, and chipotle chiles and cook until the tomatoes break down and release their juices, about 15 minutes. Return the cooked chorizo to the pan and stir in the vinegar, thyme, marjoram and some salt. Continue to cook over medium heat until some of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

4. While the pork cooks, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tortilla and warm for 10 to 15 seconds. Flip the tortilla over and continue to warm until the tortilla is pliable and heated through, about another for 10 to 20 seconds. Place on a plate, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside; repeat with the remaining tortillas (or simply warm the tortillas in the microwave).

5. Place pork in a serving bowl or bring it to the table in the cooking pot. Arrange the tortillas, avocado, and cilantro on a platter so guests can fill a tortilla with some of the meat and accompaniments. Pass a bowl of lime wedges around the table to squeeze over each serving.

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2 thoughts on “A Cinco de Mayo Interview: Ingrid Hoffmann

  1. Oh that all looks so good. I especially like the sound of jalepenpo margaritas what an unusual combination. A great post that I really enjoyed reading.

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