Bronx native Tania Lopez has spent hundreds of hours in a frog costume during the last three years.
As Coqui the Chef, the amphibious ambassador of healthy eating that Lopez created, she educates New Yorkers—especially in the city’s Puerto Rican community—about healthy cooking and how to avoid diet-related diseases, like obesity and diabetes.
Now Lopez is doffing her frog suit and launching a web-based cooking show starring a puppet-size version of her amphibious alter ego. The show will feature New York–based chefs, nutritionists and other guests cooking with Coqui. Lopez hopes the show, aimed at children, will reach a wider audience.
But first Lopez has to raise funds to produce the first six episodes via a Kickstarter.com campaign that ends Dec. 28. Pledge rewards include an array of Coqui the Chef–branded apparel and cookbooks, like Coqui’s “Holiday Menu Cook Book,” which contains recipes for festive Caribbean fare, including this one for traditional Puerto Rican codfish salad (ensalada de bacalao).
Codfish Salad Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
1 pound codfish (bacalao), cooked and shredded
1 large potato, boiled and cut into chunks
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
3 medium eggs, hard-boiled and sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, julienne cut
1 medium yellow bell pepper, julienne cut
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
½ cup champagne vinegar or cider vinegar
1½ cups olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
* In a large bowl, combine the fish, potato, onion, avocado, eggs, all the bell peppers and the tomato.
* In a separate bowl, combine the vinegar and the oil to make the vinaigrette.
* Toss the vinaigrette with the salad.
* Season with salt and pepper.