Brazilian Caipirinha

Brazilian Caipirinha

Of all things Brazilian, you’ve probably heard of the Brazilian Caipirinha, our heraldic emblem and one of Brazil’s greatest contributions to the food and wine world. Refreshing, cool, sweet, and relaxing, caipirinha is Brazil. And if caipirinha is Brazil, then cachaça is our national shrine.

The spirit was invented in the mid 1500s in Brazil, when Portuguese colonizers began to cultivate sugar cane. Back then, somewhere in a sugar mill around São Paulo some stems of rough cane were forgotten, left to sit around and yielded a foamy, non-alcoholic juice that naturally fermented. The drink had a strong effect on the body, frequently used as a painkiller, and served to slaves at the time.

Watch a video of the Brazilian Caipirinha in the works.

Eventually the Portuguese decided to distill and age it, creating a new type of aguardente (spirits distilled from fruits or vegetables) and named it cachaça. There are many different kinds of wood (oak, cherry, and jequitiba rosa among them) used for aging the spirit, each leaving different traces of taste; some with a more floral flavor, others with a hint of vanilla or cinnamon.

Cachaça was considered a poor man’s drink, and the disdain lingered for quite some time. But in Brazil in the current wave of “waking up” to our own ingredients, the culture has changed a lot, and today cachaca couldn’t be more in vogue and caipirinhas have reached a global audience.

In the US, cachaça is also called Brazilian rum and the distillation process is quite similar indeed. The difference however, is that rum is distilled from molasses (which also comes from sugar cane) while cachaça is distilled from the fresh sugar cane juices. Good cachaça has an intense aroma and flavor of fresh sugar cane.

Essentially, caipirinha is a simple cocktail based on a mixture of mashed lime with sugar, ice, and cachaça. As elementary as it is, there are a few variables that could make all the difference in your drink.

The lime should be cut into medium-sized chunks. It is then mashed with sugar by a wooden muddler until the lime releases its oils. Transfer this mixture to a shaker, add some ice, cachaca, shake it, and pour. Done!

I like my caipirinha on the lighter side, although it’s very common to use a bit stronger dose then suggested here.

Another important point is that caipirinha is not the type of drink to serve out of a pitcher. It’s also not the type of drink you can prepare in advance. For the sake of great taste, each must be prepared individually, shaken individually, and immediately poured into a wide sturdy glass. Of course, this creates catering obstacles. Once I bought the biggest shaker I could find and when I needed to serve a large group of people, I could assemble 2 to 3 caipirinhas at a time. On the other hand, making caipirinha doesn’t take more than a minute per cocktail, and part of the fun is making them.

 

Brazilian Caipirinha

Makes 1 drink

2 limes

1 tablespoon sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons cachaça (adjust amount to taste)

Ice cubes

  1. Cut the two ends of the lime and cut lime into medium chunk wedges.
  2. Using a muddler, mash the lime with sugar, making sure to squeeze all the juices and to dissolve the sugar in the juice.
  3. Transfer the lime mixture to a shaker. Add the cachaca and ice cubes. Shake well (about 8 to10 times) and pour into a large (but not tall) sturdy glass.

 

 

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Barreado recipe

Barreado, Brazilian Beef Shank Stew

Barreado is the name of a typical dish from the state of Parana, in the south of Brazil. It’s a Brazilian Beef Shank Stew and consists of meat delicately braised with bacon, onion, and spices at low temperature in a clay pot that is hermetically sealed with a starch paste made of manioc flour. The dish’s name comes from the term barrear a panela, meaning to seal the pot with this manioc paste. It’s typically served with manioc flour, banana, oranges, and pepper sauce.

Barreado
Barreado, served with banana, oranges and manioc flour.

 

I tasted barreado on a trip to the south a few years ago, more specifically in Morretes, a city in the state of Parana that claims paternity of the dish. Mention Barreado to any Brazilian in other parts of the country, and you might draw a blank. But go on to name some classic recipes from the south to anyone from the region, and chances are you’ll draw an expression of pleasure when thinking of Barreado.

 

 

Barreado Receita
Barreado from Morretes, Parana

 

There is no doubt that Barreado can be prepared with different cuts of meat such as london broil, bottom round, or rump. Tasting the authentic version in Brazil and then in the kitchen of Monica Justen, a Brazilian friend from Curitiba who loves to cook, I concluded that beef shank produces the best Barreado recipe.

All the luscious marrow of the shank is part of the appeal when cooking meat on the bone. In this recipe, the meat is cooked separately from the bone, and the two met again in a later stage in the recipe—a fascinating approach compared to other classic braised dishes like Osso Buco, Short Ribs, or Lamb Shanks, where meat and bones are cooked together.

 

Barreado Recipe
Beef Shank

 

All the luscious marrow of the shank is part of the appeal when cooking meat on the bone. In this recipe, the meat is cooked separately from the bone, and the two met again in a later stage in the recipe—a fascinating approach compared to other classic braised dishes like Osso Buco, Short Ribs, or Lamb Shanks, where meat and bones are cooked together.

 

Barreado Parana Brazil
Beef Bones

 

Speaking of Osso Buco, this dish is a great alternative at a much better value. Osso buco might run up to US$24.99 a pound depending on where you shop, while the beef shank is only US$3.99 a pound at Stew Leonards, a grocery store in Connecticut ( with a few stores in New Jersey and New York state as well). A bit less glorified in its reputation for sure, but this recipe for Barreado might have you look at beef shank in a whole different way.

Fun Fact: We don’t have the verb “to braise” in the Portuguese language. If you google the translation, you might find words like assar na panela, or estufar. I heard a few chefs in Brazil saying a word that doesn’t exist in Portuguese called “Brasear”, the Portuguese pronunciation for Braize. I think the Portuguese dictionary should add “Brasear” to our vocabulary, don’t you think?

 

Barreado

Brazilian Beef Shank Stew

Adapted from Monica Justen

 

Serves 6

 

6 bone-in beef shanks

Kosher salt ad freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 oz bacon, diced (about 4 to 5 strips)

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 medium onions, coarsely chopped

3 fresh bay leaves

Freshly ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons tomato paste

 

Side dish:

2 cups manioc flour

2 bananas

1 orange cut in segments

¼ cup freshly chopped parsley

 

  • Heat the oven to 325˚F and place a rack on the lower third set.
  • Prepare the Bone Stock: Cut the meat separating it from the bones. Heat a large stockpot and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bones and cook them until lightly browned, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Pour 6 cups of cold water, bring to boil, then adjust the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid has thickened and flavored, about 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cut the meat into 1–inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large Dutch oven pan add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon until it just starts to crisp, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat, add the garlic, and cook until it just starts to golden about 1 minute. Add the onion, bay leaves, nutmeg, and cumin, and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the mixture gets soft and tender for about 6 minutes. Add the beef cubes and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is browned. During this step, the meat will release its juices moistening the mixture and turning it into a delicious kind of refogado (sofrito). Add the tomato paste and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Strain the broth; you should have about 5 cups. Pour over the meat and bring to a boil. Cover the pan, and transfer to the oven. Braise until the meat is super tender, about 2½ hours, checking often to make sure simmering is at a gentle boil and liquid level is right. You can always add another ½ cup water if necessary. (In a traditional barreado, the manioc paste helps prevent some evaporation. Here, you need to check more often.)
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest at room temperature, covered for 30 minutes. Using a large spoon, smash the meat to shred everything into thin threads. At this point, the dish looks more like a soup than a stew.
  • To serve, place about 3 tablespoons of manioc flour on the bottom of a plate in a circular motion. First, add some of the liquid from the barreado to form a paste, then add the meat. Garnish with banana, oranges, and chopped parsley.

 

 

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Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin Flan

Talk about flan to any Brazilian and we jump at it, for our love for Pudim de Leite is too strong.  Combine the love of flan with the flavors of fall and this recipe for Pumpkin Flan is perfect for any dinner party or holiday occasion. I first got my hands on this recipe years ago, through the pages of the Gourmet Magazine (I still can’t get over) and have been making it for years.

I remember the many incredible recipes from that magazine. The work they produced wasn’t just delicious—they were memory made edible. It’s history in a bite. And the meal isn’t only about what’s on the table, it’s about the people sitting around it, and the meals that came before it, and the ones that will follow. It’s about tradition, which means that there are things that matter more than how it tastes. Although when recipes are as perfect as this one, it’s an Olympic gold medal at the table!

Pumpkin Flan
Photo by Rodolfo Sanches

 

While I try to add variations to every Thanksgiving table, I always come back to this Pumpkin Flan. The recipe is just so perfect, so tested, so good and so reliable.

When making the caramel, be sure to tilt the ramekin so that it covers the entire dish.

You can choose to make it in a large ramekin as I did, if you’re serving a large group, or in individual ramekins if you prefer.

Pumpkin Flan Recipe
Pumpkin Flan can also be prepared in individual ramekins.

 

Cooking time will change slightly if you use individual ramekins, bake for 45 minutes instead of 60 plus minutes. Whether using a large or individual ramekin, be sure to use a water bath as it protects the custard from direct heat, and it helps to cook more evenly.

Wrapped in plastic film, the flan will keep for a good 7 days in the refrigerator. But once you unmold, it’s best to enjoy the same day.

 

Pumpkin Flan 

Serves 8 to 10

For the Caramel and Flan

2 cups sugar

1½ cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

5 whole large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

1 (15oz) can sold pack pumpkin puree ( I used Trader Joe’s)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

 

For Garnish:

1 cup roasted and salted pumpkin seeds

Equipment: one 2-quart souffle dish or a round ceramic casserole dish and a water bath set up

 

Make the Caramel:

Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350F.

Cook 1 cup sugar in heavy saucepan over moderate heat undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep caramel.

Pour over the dish, tilting it to cover the bottom and sides. Keep tilting as the caramel cools and thickens enough to coat, then let harden.

 

Make the Flan:

Brink cream and milk to a bare simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat.

Whisk together whole eggs, yolk, and remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl until combined, then whisk in pumpkin, vanilla, spices, and salt until combined.

Add the hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking well.

Pour custard over the caramel in dish, then bake in a water bath until flan is golden brown on top and it’s somewhat firm when you jiggle the ramekin, about 1¼ hours.

Remove dish from the water bath and transfer to a rack to cool at room temperature, then chill flan in the refrigerator until cold, at least 6 hours. Flan can be kept in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic film up to 7 days ahead of time.

Bring the flan to room temperature 20-30 minutes before serving. Run a thin knife between flan and side of the dish to loosen. Shake dish gently from side to side and when flan moves freely in dish, invert onto a large platter with a lip to catch the caramel.

Holding the dish and platter securely together, quickly invert and turn out flan onto platter.

Caramel will pour out over and around flan. Allow all the caramel to run down before lifting the dish.

Sprinkle the flan with pumpkin seeds just before serving.

 

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Brazilian Quentao Recipe

Brazilian Quentão Recipe

I wasn’t exactly in a cozy room when I tried the Brazilian Quentão Recipe, a spiced tea made with chachaça, but I quickly immersed myself in the excitement of this rich drink while sitting in a snack bar in Teresópolis, a mountain town about one-hour away from Rio de Janeiro.

Teresópolis allows us, Cariocas (people born in Rio), a fake-winter excuse to wear warm sweatshirts and boots, while sitting by the fireplace with a coffee cup, as the local weather is at least some 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than Rio itself.

 

Teresopolis
Photo by Ricardo De Mattos

 

In Portuguese the word quente means hot and the superlative quentão means super-hot. By tradition, the tea is prepared with flavorful spices such as cinnamon stick, lemongrass, ginger, cloves, star anis, and some sugar, and finished with cachaça.

Brazilian Quentao Ingredients
Sugar, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, lime, star anise and cloves.

 

Quentão is known to Cariocas as the typical drink from Minas Gerais. I was happy to try it from the hands of an expert, Mr. Ernani Antonio de Oliveira, who learned to make quentão in Minas and has been offering it for years at his restaurant Caldo da Piranha in Teresópolis.

Caldo da Piranha
Mr. Ernani Antonio de Oliveira

 

“Quentão combina com o clima de Teresópolis”(Quentão goes with the climate of Teresópolis), said Mr. Oliveria.

The appeal for Quentão in cold weather may just be simple thermodynamics: weather a bubbling stew or a hot tea, it generates heat, never a bad thing in winter. Or perhaps, its power lies in its own recipe. If Quentão promotes cozy feelings in the mild winters of Teresopolis, imagine what fantasies it would promote during a snowstorm in the American north-east? Its warmth, balanced by a lingering peppery sweetness surely promises happy endings­­ – or at least, to ease the winter blues. This recipe is inspired by Mr. Ernani Antonio de Oliveira.

 

Brazilian Quentão Recipe

Serves 8

 

1 L (4 cups) water

1 large piece of fresh ginger (about ¼ lb), peeled and roughly chopped

2 limes cut into 4 pieces

3 to 4 cinnamon sticks

1 lemongrass, roughly chopped

6 cloves

3 star-anise

1 cup sugar

I bottle (750 ml, or about 3 cups) cachaça

 

Place all the ingredients except the cachaça in a large sauce-pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil turn off the heat and cover the pan with a tight lid. Let it steep for 20 minutes. Add the cachaça, mix well, and strain the liquid. Serve hot. Keep the left over in a plastic container in the fridge and re-heat before serving.

 

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Pão de Queijo

Pão de Queijo

Pão de Queijo is legend in Brazil. The mere mention of them evokes images of a good smelling kitchen, or a grandmother rolling the dough and serving to their grandchildren. Pão de Queijo is addicting, and nobody can eat just one.

Watch Pão de Queijo Reel HERE! 

A golf-sized little roll that is chewy, cheese, steamy, and almost succulent, Pão de queijo is the result of yucca alchemy.

It’s the national snack. With a cafezinho (small coffee) on a side in the middle of the afternoon this is one of the most traditional habits.

But when it comes to making them, the sad truth is that many people, especially Brazilians, don’t. Why? Why are so many tropical souls intimidated by a little piece of cheese roll? The main reason is that Pão de Queijo is very easy to buy frozen. But so are chocolate chip cookies! That doesn’t stop millions of Americans to head into their kitchens with a good cookbook on a side and prepare batches and batches of the American classic while they still might have a bucket of Nestle Toll House dough in their fridge, which they use as well.

It also doesn’t stop magazines and cookbooks to continue publishing new versions of it repeatedly, stimulating the former action. So, let’s take it from the beginning and make it from scratch, shall we?

Pão de Queijo
Photos on this post by Rodolfo Sanches

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Makes 35

(Watch Pão de Queijo Reel HERE! )

 

3½ cups (630g) povilho azedo

1 cup (250ml) water

1 cup (250ml) whole milk

1 cup oil

3 teaspoon salt

2 whole eggs

227 g Parmesan, finely grated

Freshly ground nutmeg

Few twists of freshly ground pepper

 

  1. Place the manioc starch in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Set aside.
  2. Place the water, milk, oil, and salt in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour the hot liquid mixture in one stroke into the starch and turn the machine on at low speed. Mix until the dough is smooth and starch is all incorporated, about 2 minutes. Pause the machine and add the eggs. Continue to paddle at low speed until the dough develops structure and turns pale yellow about 5 minutes. The dough will feel sticky.
  3. Add the cheese and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Season to taste with nutmeg, cayenne, and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Wet your hands with olive oil (alternatively, you can flour your hands with manioc starch) and use an ice cream scooper to make 1-inch balls, rolling them with your hands. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving about 1½ to 2 inches between each (you can freeze them at this point by storing them in a zip-lock bag for up to 3 months).
  8. Bake the cheese rolls in the oven until they puff up and look lightly golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. To ensure even baking, rotate the pan once during baking time.
  9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the rolls in a basket lined with a nice cloth. Serve immediately while they are still at their warmest and chewiest.

 

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You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook, I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

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See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

Caipirinha

Caipirinha

Caipirinha
Photo by Hollie Bertram

 

Refreshing, cool, sweet, and relaxing, Caipirinha is Brazil. And if Caipirinha is Brazil, then cachaça is our national shrine.

In the US, cachaça is also called Brazilian rum and the distillation process is quite similar indeed. The difference between them is that rum is distilled from molasses (which also comes from sugar cane) while cachaça is distilled from the fresh juices of sugar cane. Good cachaça has an intense aroma and flavor of fresh sugar cane. Essentially, caipirinha is a simple cocktail based on a mixture of mashed lime with sugar, ice and cachaça.

 

Caipirinha

Makes 1 drink

2 limes

1 tablespoon sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons cachaça (adjust amount to taste)

Ice cubes

  1. Cut the two ends of the lime and cut lime into medium chunk wedges.
  2. Using a muddler, mash the lime with sugar, making sure to squeeze all the juices and to dissolve the sugar in the juice.
  3. Transfer the lime mixture to a shaker. Add the cachaca and ice cubes. Shake well (about 8 to10 times) and pour into a large (but not tall) sturdy glass.

 

 

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I’d love to know what you think about this article. Please send an e-mail

You can find more about my work on ChefLeticia.com;

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Falafel Recipe

Twin Fritters: Falafel in Israel, Acarajé in Brazil

As a Jewish girl born and raised in Brazil, I can’t help but compare, cherish—and cook Falafel, one of the most iconic foods of Israel, to Acarajés, one of the most iconic foods of Brazil. They are first-degree cousins! Better yet, they are twins. Twin Fritters! Well, non-identical of course. One lives in Israel, one lives in Brazil.

Twin Fritters Falafel and Acaraje
A young Baiana frying Acarajés in there sweets of Bahia, Brazil.

 

Falafel is made with raw chickpeas; Acarajé is made with raw black-eyed beans.

They are both soaked in water for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator but never cooked. The beans will cook when they fry but not before then. In fact, if you cook the beans or use cooked canned beans—for both, the batter will simply melt away in the oil and you end up with a disaster. But don’t worry, once the beans are soaked and pureed in the food processor, they fry beautifully, and they hold quite well.

Twin Fritters

For both Falafel and Acarajé, the beans are pureed with raw onions.

In Brazil, we season the Acarajé with salt, pepper, cayenne, and a bit of paprika.

In Israel, we season the falafel with salt, jalapeno, cumin, and coriander—and fresh herbs, very important—giving that bright green color and fresh taste to the batter. Sesame seeds and garlic also go in the falafel mixture.

When seasoning, I encourage you to try lots of combinations and know that these little twin fitters can stand up to lots of hot seasoning.

In Israel, falafels are rolled and shaped into a walnut-size ball and stuffed in pita bread along with hummus, Israeli chopped salad, and Tzatziki sauce made with yogurt and/or sour cream and dill.

Acarajé looks like a big meatball and there is no bread around it. The acarajé is a vessel for the stuffing. When fried, the baianas split them in half with a serrated knife and ask what kind of filling you would like. The options are chopped salad, very similar to the Israeli chopped salad of tomatoes and cucumbers, although in Brazil you’ll see bell-pepper as well;

Vatapá (a mixture of fish, shrimp, peanuts, cashews, bread, coconut, and palm oil)

Vatapa Twin Fritters
Vatapá

 

or Caruru (made with okra, dried shrimps, coconut, cashews, and peanuts).

Caruru
Caruru

 

Falafel is fried in canola or vegetable oil. Acarajé is fried in palm oil (iconic foods), yielding that reddish-orange vibrant color on the fritter.

Acarajes
Acarajés frying in palm oil.

 

You can find the recipe for Acarajé in my cookbook The Brazilian Kitchen (e-mail me if you’d like more info).

To the Twin Fritters, Lechaim (in Hebrew) and Saúde (in Portuguese)!

 

This recipe for Falafel is adapted from Adeena Sussman’s cookbook Sababa.

You might also like other recipes from Sababa’s cookbook and other Israeli dishes on my website.

Eggplant and Tomato Galette

Short Ribs with  Eggplant, Silan and Nigela Seeds 

Tahini Caramel Tart

 

Falafel

Makes about 24 falafel balls

 

Ingredients:

2/3 cups dried chickpeas

1 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves

1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

½ onion, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves

½ small jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Canola or Vegetable Oil for Frying

 

Prepare the Chickpeas: Place the chickpeas in a bowl, cover with 4 inches of water and soak in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, place them in the bowl of a food processor, and process until they’re pulverized into large crumb-like pieces, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the parsley and cilantro to the processor with the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and 2 tablespoons of water and pulse until a unified and bright green mixture is formed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, 20 to 30 seconds (add an extra tablespoon of water if necessary).

In a small bowl, combine the salt, cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds. Just before frying the falafel, add the spices to the food processor and pulse until incorporated, 10-15 pulses.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until it reads 350˚F on a candy thermometer, or a small piece of white bread begins to sizzle and brown immediately when dropped into the oil.  Set a colander over a bowl or line a plate with paper towels. Using two spoons or a small ice cream scoop, shape the falafel into balls the size of small walnuts. Fry in batches, making sure not to over crowd the skillet or let the oil temperature drop below about 340˚F, until deep golden, 1-2 minutes but no more. Serve hot, seasoning with more salt if desired.

 

 

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Make sure to share this story with someone who cares about this topic.

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You can find more about my work on ChefLeticia.com;

You can buy my cookbooks on Amazon: Latin Superfoods is my latest cookbook, I’m also the author of The Brazilian Kitchen and My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.

Visit my YouTube Chanel @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz

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See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

 

 

Rhubarb Soup

Chilled Rhubarb Soup

We often associate rhubarb with pie, tarts and crumbles recipes, but it was OMG at first sight when I saw this bunch at the farmer’s market and used it as an inspiration for this gleaming new recipe for Chilled Rhubarb Soup. Think Pink! Sweet and sour, it subtly glimmers for an occasion that blends easy elegance with a casual spirit.

Characterized by a unique tangy taste, each slurp of this soup celebrates your hand in the kitchen. The soup’s distinctive taste is created by slowly cooking rhubarb and some ginger in a sugary syrup. The result is one of the most gorgeous foods you’ll ever create. I’m not kidding! Look at the color of this soup! Rarely we see recipes as photogenic as this.

We are entering rhubarb peak season during the months of May, June and July.

Think Pink! Think Rhubarb!If any association with celery comes to mind, yes, look for crisp, refreshing stalks. You’ll see shades of green turning to shades of pink and it’s that passage of color in this unique vegetable that makes rhubarb so unique in taste and appearance.

When buying rhubarb, choose a bunch as you would celery. You’re looking for crispy stalks. I like to wrap the ends of the rhubarb in a wet paper towel and keep it well wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. It should last a good two weeks in the fridge.

This soup is so refreshing from the ground up! After many winter months, a new season feels like a miracle and rhubarb has the power to transform an entire menu, whether it’s creating a healthier neutral base or taking center stage as dessert. For a modern spin, garnish the soup with strawberries pistachios and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Every year I like to explore rhubarb in a variety of different recipes. You might like this recipe for Rhubarb Strawberry Pie here on the site and boy, oh boy, oh boy, this recipe is dreamy!

 

Chilled Rhubarb Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Adapted from The Last Course by Claudia Fleming

Simple Syrup

1 ½ cups sugar

1 ¼ cup water

6 ½ cup sliced, trimmed rhubarb (about 2½ pounds untrimmed)

1 ½ ounces fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced into 12 quarter size slices

For Garnish:

Serve with some quartered strawberries or raspberries in the soup.

Chopped pistachios

Green Yogurt

Procedure:

In a large saucepan over medium high-heat combine the sugar and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer gently for 1 minute, then turn off the heat.

Add the sliced rhubarb and ginger to the pan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break down the rhubarb. Do not let the soup boil or the foam will turn bitter. Force the soup through a medium sieve discarding the solids. Pour the soup into a bowl and let it cool completely. Chill the coup until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. To serve, scoop a small mound of Greek yogurt in the middle and ladle each into chilled bowls or soup plates and garnish with strawberries and pistachios.

 

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Brigadeiros

How To Make Brigadeiros

What’s that? A truffle? A fudge? You want to know the recipe everyone is talking about, clicking, pinning, and drooling over the internet more than any other this week? BRIGADEIROS! Silky, chewy, fuggy, and chocolaty, brigadeiro, is an undiscovered candy from Brazil waiting to become your next vice.

I’m over the moon and beside myself to tell you some awesome news:

Thanks to Bon Appetit, now anyone who loves chocolate can make brigadeiros!

Just think about all the occasions we have for giving a gift; a bridal shower, housewarming, mother’s day, father’s day—this holiday season!

Tangible expressions of caring and love can be wrapped and given in so many ways. And now, you can add Brigadeiros to the list.

Because a handmade gift, especially a food gift like Brigadeiros, represents creative energy and time spent in the kitchen—like a homemade hug!

Find the article here.

Brigadeiros
Photos on this post are a credit to Bon Appetit. Photo by Laura Murray, Food Styling by Micah Morton

 

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Leticia

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Here’s to the New Year Cleansing, with an inspiring drink: Avocado Spinach Smoothie!

Avocados were considered a guilty pleasure decades ago, but now it gained status as a nutritional powerhouse. Feat fat no more! Healthy fats are good for you and a wonderful choice in our diets. Avocados are a great source of potassium, folate and vitamins C and K.  They also have lots of fiber, which helps with digestion.

Let’s cheer to 2022! Because juices and smoothies are high on the list to fuel all of my hopes and dreams!

 

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie:

½ avocado

1 cup spinach

¾ cup almond milk

¼ teaspoon honey

Few drops lime juice

½ cup crushed ice

 

Procedure: Beat everything in a food processor until nice and smooth.

Drink and enjoy!

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

If you prepare any of the recipes on the site, snap a photo and send it to me!

Follow my food adventures on Instagram !

Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

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