NEW YORK (WLNY) — There are simple ways to prepare healthy, traditional Hispanic dishes without sacrificing the flavor.

Chef Leticia Schwartz, author of “The Brazilian Kitchen”, who’s taught at the best culinary arts institutions in the world visited us to make Black Bean and Sausage Soup.

Black Bean and Sausage Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 turkey or chicken sausages (about ½ lb)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Half onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 scallions (white and green parts), chopped
2 plum tomatoes, peeled seeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cup chicken stock
1½ cups cooked black beans (or ½ lb or 1 cup dry black beans)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

1-    In a skillet over medium low heat, warm the olive oil. Remove the sausage from the case, and add in chunks to the pan, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage all the way through, until it just starts to brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and cover to keep moist.
2-    Using the same pan, add a little bit more oil if necessary, add the garlic and cook until it just starts to turn lightly golden brown, then add the onion and scallions, and cook until soft for about 5 minutes.
3-    Add the tomatoes and oregano, and continue cooking, over low heat, until the mixture looks soft and flavorful. Season lightly with pepper.
4-    Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Add the beans, sausage, and juices that have accumulated in the bowl; bring to a boil again, and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer.  Taste and adjust the seasoning. Partially cover and cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.

Nutrition information (1 serving)
Calories269; Fat14 g; Saturated fat1 g; Cholesterol36 mg; Sodium738 mg; Carbohydrates21 g; Fiber7 g; Protein16 g

Arroz Con Leche

Serves 10

Two 3-inch (8 cm) cinnamon sticks
4 cups (1 L) whole milk, divided
½ cup (100 g) Arborio rice
2 tablespoons (30 g) sugar
One 14-oz can (396 g) sweetened condensed milk
2 yolks
Ground cinnamon to garnish


1.    Punch the cinnamon stick on a cutting board with the flat side of a chef’s knife to break it up lightly.
2.    In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups of the milk, rice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, making sure none of the rice is stuck on the bottom, until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3.    In another saucepan simmer the sweetened condensed milk and the remaining 1 cup milk.
4.    In a medium bowl whisk the yolks. Pour a little of the condensed milk to temper, whisk well, then return everything back to the saucepan. Cook on low heat, stirring slowly and constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture just begins to boil, about 5 minutes. Gather the mixture from the two pans and continue to cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, without letting it come to a boil, another 5 minutes.
5.    Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl. You’ll be tempted to taste it now, but if you do, the rice will seem slightly sweet and too loose. Chill for at least 6 hours. The cinnamon stick will continue to impart flavor, remove it just before serving. Pour the pudding into a serving bowl, or divide among individual bowls, lightly sprinkle ground cinnamon on top, and serve.

Nutrition information (1 serving)
Calories 247; Fat 7 g; Saturated fat 4 g; Cholesterol 57 mg; Sodium 84 mg; Carbohydrates 38 g; Fiber 0 g; Protein 7 g

Pineapple and Manchego Skewers

Ingredients (yield: 5 servings)
½ pound fresh pineapple, peeled
6 ounces Manchego, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon water
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
20 small bamboo skewers

Nutrition information (1 serving)

Fat16 g
Saturated fat10 g
Cholesterol49 mg
Sodium291 mg
Carbohydrates8 g
Fiber0 g
Protein7 g

Cut the pineapple into ½ inch cubes using a serrated knife.
Cut the Manchego into cubes about the same size. You should have about 20 pineapple cubes and 20 Manchego cubes.
Place the sugar in a small skillet and add 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over high heat until it turns into a light amber caramel color, about 2 to 3 minutes (since this a very small quantity it can be easily overcooked, so watch carefully).
Add the butter and whisk well.
When the butter is well blended with the caramelized sugar, turn the heat to low and add the cinnamon and chipotle. Cook the caramel until it gets a little thicker, about 2 minutes.
Add the pineapple squares and swirl the pan around, allowing the pineapple to caramelize in the sauce and become lightly golden brown, but being careful not to let it get too mushy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the pineapple and sauce onto a flat plate.
While the fruit is still hot, place a piece of pineapple on the skewer then a piece of Manchego (the pineapple should top the cheese).
Place the skewers on a serving plate and serve immediately, while the pineapple is still warm

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