Hip-hop listeners have heard her friendly voice on Miami’s 103.5 The Beat, but when New York City radio personality Angie Martinez is away from the mic, she puts her hands to work — in the kitchen.
The Brooklyn-born celebrity interviewer teamed up with Top Chef season 7 contestant Angelo Sosa for the cookbook, Healthy Latin Eating: Our Favorite Family Recipes Remixed (Kyle Books; $22.95), based on the foods they cherished growing up, with a new-millennium spin. Think Quinoa con Pollo, a modern makeover of the classic Arroz con Pollo.
We caught up with Martinez, who flies into town from NYC to partake in a panel discussion as a lead-up to Thursday’s 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards at BankUnited Center. She will partake in a book signing from 5-5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, 1 Lincoln Road.
Talk to us about “Healthy Latin Eating.”
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It’s my passion project. I was always searching for healthy foods with Latin flavor so I just felt like we needed to create a cookbook with recipes to share with others.
Is it possible to pick a favorite dish in the book?
I have to say the Kidney Bean Sancocho. Sancocho is a Dominican comfort food that typically has a lot of beef. We lightened it up and replaced the meat with beans. I love it because it still gives you that Latin comfort and fills you up.
What recipe would you recommend for people who are lacking in culinary skills?
I’m not a trained chef so all of meals are pretty easy. Whether you cook with your family or by yourself, there is something for everyone. Salads aren’t hard, and they have so much taste. Right now I have been making the Cucumber & Serrano Chile Salad. My coauthor Angelo is brilliant at balancing flavor; he has taught me all about mixing sweet and sour and this salad has peppers and pineapple, giving it an exciting new twist.
How do you juggle all that you do plus cooking?
As a mom and career woman, every day is very busy, but I always find balance. I will cook a few meals in one day and freeze them so they can last for the week; that way there is always food in the house for my family. We have a great routine so that helps.
What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up and help my son Niko get ready for school. After I drop him off, I have a few hours to do what I need for myself — gym, emails, conference calls, meetings, business lunches — then I head into work and prep myself for guest interviews on my radio show for that day. Once I wrap up, I like to go home and cook with Niko, but some nights I have events to host, or I spend an evening out with my friends.
What’s one ingredient you don’t like to work with?
I’m not a huge fan of beets.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
French fries! I can’t watch someone eating fries and not want to grab one.
Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
I love a good paella, especially when I’m at a place where I know the seafood is fresh.
What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
A blender is essential, especially for creating sauces, smoothies and purees.
Where will you eat in Miami?
Whenever I am in town I try to stop by Joe’s Stone Crab, Prime 112 and Fifi’s.
What’s your favorite late-night snack?
I’m obsessed with guacamole. Angelo created an amazing recipe with pomegranate seeds. We actually have a few more really tasty, nontraditional guacs in the book.
A must-have at your last supper?
That’s a tough one, but if it was my last meal, I would definitely need a margarita to go along with it!
More info: www.billboardevents.com