When it came time to renovate the kitchen in her downtown Miami condo, Ingrid Hoffmann had one priority: marble countertops. "I wanted to use noble materials," says the Colombian-born chef, 47, who wanted the feel of an Italian palazzo. "It's going to get stained, but that will build character." She also doubled the size of the fridge, added a second oven and installed custom-made cabinets. The overhaul "turned an apartment kitchen into a semi-professional one," she says. "I can crank out 10 recipes a day now." The new kitchen has also sharpened her hosting skills. "People are always dropping in," says Hoffmann, who keeps her pantry stocked with olives, capers and beans. "I'll mix tuna fish with a tapenade, a can of white beans, arugula and cherry tomatoes—it's a meal. To me the only reason to cook is to be able to share with others."
Ingrid's Tomatillo Shrimp
TANGY TOMATILLO SHRIMP
Serves: 4 to 6
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. (about 3 to 4)
fresh poblano chilis, seeded and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 lb. tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
1½ tsp. salt, plus extra for the shrimp
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 lbs. large shrimp
Freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chilis and ½ of the garlic and cook until the chilis start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatillos and 1½ tsp. salt, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatillos begin to break down and release some liquid, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer the tomatillo sauce to a blender. Puree and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, a little salt and pepper and the remaining garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatillo sauce and simmer until the shrimp become opaque, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the cilantro.
TABLET BONUS VIDEO Ingrid's entertaining tips