Sonhos Portuguese Doughnuts

Sonhos (Portuguese Doughnuts)

Over the years, I’ve tried a myriad of Christmas desserts, from chocolate cakes to tiramisu, puddings, and pies. One treat I haven’t tried in a long time is Sonhos (Portuguese Doughnuts), from my native Brazil. You find a little fried doughnut, or something similar in most international cuisine, like Beignets in France, Bomboloni in Italy, Berliner in Germany, Churros in Mexico, and Sufganiyot in Israel.

The frying aspect makes for a crispy and satisfying pastry, a small bite of joy. You prepare what is essentially pate-a-choux, then employ the Sonhos trademark: little doughnuts that are light and airy on the inside, crispy and caramelized on the outside. See short video of these babies frying. These sonhos are a revelation when served with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, jam, or even plain, just coated in cinnamon sugar. The biggest challenge about making these? Not eating them as you do so.

Especially this time of the year, making Sonhos invokes a sense of nostalgia for a time when I used to eat them in Brazil at padarias (bakeries) where they’re sold. In fact, it’s hard to remember the last time I made Sonhos (Portuguese Doughnuts) from scratch. It was probably when I was still living in Brazil, exploring our baking repertoire.

The urge to make them hit me when a client asked me to teach them in a cooking class. She wanted to make them with her family with that in mind: bringing everybody together with fun kitchen projects over the holidays.

Days before printing the recipe, I went to the kitchen to test it out making them with water, with milk, with butter, sonhos without butter, with eggs, and fewer eggs. Man, I love my job.

Moments like these fill my heart with joy as I cook, bake, test, write, style, take photos and videos. Who knew that a whole progression of culinary production would unfold from those pastries? Yes, I take pictures, lots of them, as the art of photographing food and making videos gained a whole new meaning in today’s era of social media.

But the culmination of happiness happens when you cook with others and gather with family in the kitchen over Christmas, bonding over a meal prepared by many hands. This cooking class happened in person. The first since the start of the pandemic. We chopped, braised, assembled, fried, cooked, and cooked some more. Our class was a mix of beautiful recipes and family team collaboration.

Despite covid numbers rising, I’m so glad we did it. As I followed the news, I was afraid they would cancel the class. They were worried I was going to cancel as well. None of us did, which tells me that we all urge for this activity, and for togetherness.

The word Sonhos translates to dreams, the fuel for our souls. Welcome family, welcome memories, welcome friends, and welcome dreams! I don’t know what the future holds for us, for the world, or for the current Covid situation. Who knows what social media will be here 10 years now? All I can say is one thing I know for sure: I am a dreamer and, as long as I’m alive, I’ll keep on dreaming.


Sonhos Brazilian Recipe


Sonhos (Portuguese Doughnuts)

Makes about 20 doughnuts



For the Batter:

1 cup water

1 stick (115g) unsalted butter

pinch salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs


For the Sugar Coating:

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ cup sugar


Canola Oil as needed for frying


Prepare the Batter: In a saucepan, combine the water, butter, salt, and sugar, and bring to a boil.

Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the flour, all at once.

Return the saucepan to the stove and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for approximately 2 minutes over medium heat, to dry out the paste. (You dry it out by moving it from side to side, in the saucepot, with a wooden spoon.)

Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat at low speed, letting the steam escape.

Add the eggs, one at a time, until the batter is nice and smooth. Don’t overbeat it. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Prepare the Coating: In a shallow bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar.

Fry the Sonhos: Fill a medium saucepan with oil to a depth of about 3 inches (about 3 cups) and heat the oil to 350˚F. Using a small ice scream scoop or a small spoon, scoop a few balls and drop them into the hot oil. Work in batches and don’t crowd the pan. Adjust the heat and temperature of the oil as needed. Cook until the sonhos as nicely golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sonhos directly from the oil to the sugar coating, rolling each in sugar all over. You want to roll them in the sugar while hot so the sugar sticks. Repeat with all the dough. Let them cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve them with chocolate sauce or caramel sauce.



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Kale Risotto

Kale Risotto

I recently realized that I love green foods. And I don’t mean plants, lettuce, broccoli, and peas (although I love them too). What I mean by green foods is any edible item that is the color green – I feel somewhat attracted to it, like this Kale Risotto. Not only because it comes with a “healthy” idea attached to it. I’m talking about the visual of the color green; in food, it translates really well. It makes the food look alive, fresh, and energetic. – the opposite of gray. It’s been a while now that gray is one of the hottest colors in home décor and interior design. I remodeled my own kitchen to make it white and gray (or gray and white). Bring gray to food. Huh??? No, let’s not do that. Gray, in the world of food, is one of the most unattractive colors. It doesn’t look good, or appetizing, or fresh!

Following that remark, I started to follow green and preparations of green food. I came across a Kale sauce recently, in which I mixed it into mashed potatoes, pasta, and then I thought, why not mix a kale sauce into risotto? Many times, I made a pesto risotto, and that too is delicious. The concept in this Kale Risotto is not that different. The taste, on the other hand, being that this kale sauce is very concentrated, mimics the essence of kale, while a pesto sauce calls for many different ingredients. Even a pesto made with basil doesn’t taste just like basil. It tastes like pesto, in which basil is one of the main ingredients. Here, the kale plays the main character, not the supporting role. The kale sauce can be done a good five days ahead of time or it can be frozen. Every time I prepare a batch of kale sauce, I double or triple the recipe and freeze part of it since it tastes so good and freezes so well. The rest of the recipe is plain risotto – classic and traditional. Garnish with some fresh parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil and you have yourself a sexy green dinner!


Kale Risotto

Serves 4


For the Kale Sauce:

Kosher Salt, to taste

¼ cup olive oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 bunch (about 1 lb) lucinato kale, thick ribs removed


For the Risotto:

4 cups chicken stock

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup (236g) Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Prepare the Kale Sauce: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil with garlic, and cook it just starts to turn golden. When it does, remove it from the heat.
  • Plunge the kale leaves into boiling water at once and cook until it’s just tender,

2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove kale from the water, letting most of the water drip onto a bowl, and place them directly into the bowl of a food processor.

  • Beat the kale, and with the machine running, add the olive oil with garlic in a steady stream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Scrape into a bowl and keep in the fridge until needed. You can also freeze this kale essence for up to 2 months.
  • Prepare the Risotto: In a medium saucepan bring the stock to a simmer.
  • In another large, heavy saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • Add the rice and stir frequently, until the grains are warm, shiny, and coated with the onion mixture, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the wine and bring to a boil until the liquid is almost absorbed about 2 minutes.
  • Slowly add one ladle of simmering stock and allow the rice to cook, stirring often until the liquid is absorbed. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Add another ladle and repeat the process. Continue adding ladles of stock only when the previous addition has been completely absorbed. Cook until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite, 18 to 20 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Fold the kale sauce into the rice. Don’t let the risotto get too thick; if the rice seems to have absorbed all of the liquid, add another tablespoon or so of stock to achieve the right creamy consistency. Taste the dish, check for flavor and doneness. Finish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and serve immediately.


If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy Kale Chips on this site.

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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,








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


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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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.

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


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Red Pepper Paste

Red Pepper Paste: My Secret Ingredient

Red Pepper Paste

I’m all fired up in the kitchen today! Got my #RedPepperPaste, got my energy, and I’m ready to work! It’s one my of secret ingredients in the kitchen. Something that I always have handy.

In Portuguese, it’s called Massa de Pimentão and there are many versions; some prepare with red bell peppers, some prepare with roasted bell peppers, but I love this version David Leite developed using two kids of paprika at his cookbook The New Portuguese Table. Throw at many recipes, use it as a condiment, a seasoning, and your cooking will improve a million points!

David Leite also wrote a beautiful memoir called Notes On a Banana, a candid, courageous and funny story about family, food, mental illness and sexual identity. I read it in about a week! Highly recommend!


Red Pepper Paste

Recipe adapted from The New Portuguese Table, from my dear friend and author David Leite.

Makes about 1 cup


2 tablespoons sweet paprika

2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika

¼ cup dry red wine

8 to 10 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoons tomato paste

1 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice

7 sprigs fresh cilantro

5 sprigs fresh parsley

1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup olive oil


  • Dump both types of paprika, the wine, garlic, bay leaves, tomato paste, lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper, into a food processor or mini chop and pulse until the garlic and herbs are minced Scrape down any chunky bits from the sides of the bowl.
  • While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil and continue whirring until the paste is slick and homogeneous, 1 to 2 minutes. Use the mixture immediately, or spoon into a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. The paste will keep for up to a month in the refrigerator.


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

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Contact me!

And remember always,

Cook up!! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!





Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

A Pie from the Sky: Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

In praise of summer, this Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart is the dessert of now!

it’s a pie in the sky, adapted from Nick Malgieri’s cookbook Bake! (Kyle Books 2010)

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart


Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart

Makes a 10-inch or 8 to 10 servings

The dough is enough for 2 tarts

Cookie Dough Tart Crust

¼ cup (52g) slivered almonds

¾ cup (108g) confection sugar

2 ½ cups (405g) all-purpose flour

pinch salt

2 sticks (227g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Almond Crumb Topping

1 ¼ cup (190g) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (65g) organic sugar

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

¼ cup (35g) slivered almonds

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

1 lb (454g) cream cheese, softened

1 cup confection sugar (more for garnish)

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 lb strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and halved (or quartered if large)


  • Prepare the Dough:Combine the almonds and confection sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse repeatedly until finely ground, about 1 minute. No visible pieces of almond should remain. Use a spatula to scrape the bowl.
  • Add the flour and salt and pulse a couple of times to mix. Add the butter and pulse well. Add the yolks and vanilla and pulse until the dough form a a ball.
  • Invert the dough onto a floured surface. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, or at least 1 minute. You can prepare the dough u to 5 days ahead.
  • Bring the dough to room temperature at least 20 minutes before handling. Flour the surface and dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a round disk, adding pinches of flour under and on top of the dough as needed.
  • Warp the dough on the rolling pin, lift it onto the tart pan, and unwrap. Fit the dough into the pan, making sure it’s flat against the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim away the excess.
  • Plate the tart pan in the refrigerator and chill for at least 20 minutes before blind baking.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F. Line the crust, bottom and sides with a parchment paper and fill with dry beans. Bake until the crust is dry and looking set, about 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return the tart to bake until the crust is evenly lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Cool the crust on a rack.
  • Prepare the Almond Crumb:In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the almonds and butter. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes then use your fingers to break the mixture into ¼ – to – 1/2-inch crumbs. Spread the crumbs onto a sheet pan and bake in the oven until deep golden brown.
  • Prepare the Cream Cheese Filling:Place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the confection sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla and continue beating until lightened, about 1 minute.
  • Assemble the Tart:Spread half of the cream cheese filling on the bottom of the tart crust and arrange the berries on it, cut side down. Spread the remaining filling over the berries. Scatter the crumb topping over the filling. Right before serving, dust the top with confection sugar.
  • Unmold the tart and slide it off the pan base to a platter and serve.

Dulce de Leche and Coconut Roulade


Dulce de Leche is present in all of cuisines of Latin America. From Chile to Venezuela, Argentina to Brazil. In fact, there is an unofficial rivalry between who invented dulce de leche: Argentineans from the region of La Paila claim the glory, and we Brazilians, also fight for the title. It is true, especially to the state of Minas Gerais, in the heart of Brazil’s dairy country. As I am from Rio, I never paid that much attention. Perhaps, this kind of competition matters very little to most cooks—myself included—as it is what you can do with dulce de leche that matters most. Like this Roulade! Indulge!

Serves 6 to 8

For the Cake:

5 eggs, separated

Pinch salt

¾ cup (105g) flour, sifted

½ cup + 1 tablespoon (125g) sugar


To Soak the Cake:

1 cup coconut milk, heated and cooled (to soak the cake)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Filling:

2 cups (600g) store bought dulce de letche

½ cup (40g) unsweetened grated coconut


For the Glaze:

½ cup heavy cream

5.3 oz (150g) (about ½ cup) dulce de leche


Equipment: 12X18X1 inch sheet cake pan greased with butter, lined with parchment paper and greased again (do not let the paper go up the sides of the pan). Have a clean kitchen towel and sugar handy.


  • Prepare the Cake: Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add a pinch of salt and start beating until the whites start to foam and rise. Gradually add the sugar and beat until they become a firm meringue reaching soft peaks, about 4 minutes.
  • In another bowl, lightly whisk the yolks together. Gently scoop one third of the meringue and fold with the yolks. Now scrape the lightened yolks onto the meringue, and fold everything together using a large rubber spatula. Mix in the flour, and fold carefully, rubbing the sides and the bottom center of the mold, making sure there are no pockets of flour. The cake will deflate a little—that’s normal, but it should still look fluffily.
  • Pour the cake batter onto the prepared sheet pan, and spread out evenly with an off set spatula. Bake in the oven until it looks very lightly golden brown, and uniformly puffed, about 12-16 minutes. (Attention: If you over bake, even by a few minutes, the cake will dry out and become un-rollable.)
  • Meanwhile, Prepare the Coconut Milk: In a small saucepan bring the coconut milk to a low boil then let it cool completely. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest 2 minutes inside the pan while you prepare the wet towel: wet a kitchen towel completely, twist, and remove excess water. Stretch on a clean counter. Invert the cake onto the towel, remove the pan, and carefully peel off the parchment paper. If the edges are slightly dry, trim it. Let it cool at room temperature.
  • Soak the Cake: Brush the cake with coconut milk.
  • Spread the Filling: In a bowl, mix together the dulce de leche with the coconut.
  • Using an off set spatula, spread the filling across the entire cake.
  • Roll the Cake: Using the towel to help you, gently lift and roll the cake, starting with the long side farthest from you and finish so that the seam is on the bottom. Trim the two outer sides to make a clean cut. Transfer to a rack.
  • Glaze the Cake: Put the dulce de leche in a bowl. In a medium saucepan heat the heavy cream; pour onto the dulce de leche and whisk well. Pour over the rolled cake and carefully transfer to a rectangular plate. Serve at room temperature.



Step by Step Chicken-Stuffed Beef Roulade

Step by Step Chicken-Stuffed Beef Roulade


Chicken Stuffed-Beef Roulade
Chicken Stuffed-Beef Roulade

Meat stuffed with chicken, a specialty from Goias. Wait. What? At first, it seems like an odd combination but when you taste, you’ll love it! The roulade is slowly roasted and presents a spectrum of textures: crusty and flaky meat around the edges and moist ground chicken stuffing packed with aromatic flavors in the center, this roulade is succulent and rich.

Truth be told: this is not the easiest of dishes, and it needs to rest in the refrigerator for a day. Yet, it is my kind of dish. There is some work and technique involved, especially when it comes to butterflying and tying the meat. I must confess I have never mastered the butcher’s way of using twine, and the two endings of this meat log always suffer from my poor tying skills (I am working on it!). Even though I don’t make the most perfect embroidery, once roasted, it looks gorgeous and tastes sublime.


Serves 6 to 8


1 flank steak (around 1 ½ pounds)

3/4 pound ground chicken (mixed from white and dark)

2 scallions (white and green parts), finely chopped (about ¼ cup)

1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)

Half red onion, chopped (about ½ cup)

Half yellow bell pepper, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

Half red bell pepper, finely chopped (about ½ cup)

1 small carrot, finely diced (about 1/3 cup)

4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 chicken bouillon cube, grated into powder

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Using a boning knife or a very sharp paring knife, trim any excess fat and silver skin from the flank steak. Carefully butterfly the meat, working across the grain and trying not to tear it. Start through one of the long edges and slowly cut deeper into the meat. Keeping the meat flat and the knife blade horizontal at all times will help with the job. When you reach the center, stop and open the meat as if it was a book (If you know a good butcher, don’t be shy to ask him to do it for you). Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
  2. Place the ground chicken in a large bowl. Stir in the scallions, celery, red onion, bell peppers, carrot, garlic, parsley, one tablespoon of the olive oil, the soy sauce, and bouillon cube. Mix well. To check the seasoning, pinch off an egg-size piece and cook it in a hot skillet with a dash of oil. Season the rest of the filling with salt and pepper as necessary.
  3.  Place the ground meat mixture inside the opened flank steak, cut side up, and spread throughout the surface of the meat. Make sure to leave a 2-inch edge on all sides. The amount of stuffing may vary slightly, depending on the size of your flank steak.beef chicken roulade
  4. Carefully roll the flank steak making sure to fold some meat over the ends to avoid ground meat from escaping.chick beef roulade
  5. Tie the roulade with a string, making a knot in 5 to 6 places. Don’t worry if the ends are a little messy; as long as you tie it well, the dish will hold its shape.  Wrap the roulade in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for 1 day (or up to 2 days) so that the flavors have a chance to blend. Make sure to bring it to room temperature at least 30 minutes before proceeding.img_1509img_5523
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 225˚F.
  7. Warm the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add the roulade and cook, rotating every 2 minutes until it forms a nice brown crust all over, about 8 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  9. Wrap the roulade in aluminum foil and seal the edges very tightly. Place seam side up pm a baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Cook for about 2 hours, until you reach a 155˚F internal temperature. Save any juices that render and accumulate.
  10. Remove from the oven and let rest with the foil wrap closed, for about 15 minutes.
  11. Open the foil, pour any juices into a bowl, and place the meat onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knife cut ¾ -inch thick slices. Serve with the juices drizzled on top.
Asparagus with Shallot and Parsley Sauce

Asparagus with Shallot and Parsley Sauce


Simple recipe to take advantage of the last days of summer!

Treat asparagus like flowers, and keep them in a vase under water, covered with a loose plastic around them to protect the tips.

In this recipe I like to boil the asparagus, but you can also grill or roast them. You can serve this recipe either as an appetizer, or as a side dish.  And I always buy an extra bunch to add to my breakfast omelet the next day!


Serves 4


1 pound asparagus, about 1 bunch

3 tablespoons salt for boiling water

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 slice of bacon, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons

2 small shallots, finely chopped, about 1/3 cup

1 cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  • Cut the woody bottom off the asparagus and peel it, leaving the flower part intact.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and baking soda. Submerge the asparagus in the water and cook until they just become soft. Immediately transfer them to an ice bath and then let them cool completely. Remove from the ice bath and let them dry on paper towels.
  • In a medium sauté pan, add the olive oil and bacon and cook over medium heat, until lightly crispy, about 2 minutes.
  • Lower the heat and add the shallots, stirring occasionally, being careful not to brown them, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Lift the saucepan a few inches above the heat and add the cold pieces of butter. Shake the pan back and forth until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the asparagus to the pan and reheat over very low heat, being careful not to boil the sauce (if you boil a sauce that contains butter, the sauce will break). Add the parsley.
  • Transfer the asparagus and sauce to a plate and serve with the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Cashew Fruit Sorbet

Cashew Fruit Sorbet

Picking fresh cashew fruit at Rio's farmer's market
Picking fresh cashew fruit at Rio’s farmer’s market

Don’t think that cashew is too exotic of a fruit. Buying the frozen pulp is as easy as any other frozen pulp and making this recipe at home is a great way to invoke a carioca getaway!

Cashew Fruit Sorbet
Cashew Fruit Sorbet

Makes 1 quart of ice cream


¼ teaspoon gelatin powder

1 tablespoon plus 1 cup (250 ml) water

1 ¼ cups (265g) sugar

2 tablespoons (50g) light corn syrup

2 cups (500ml) cashew fruit pulp

Few drops of lime or lemon juice

  • In a small bowl mix the gelatin with 1 tablespoon of water and soak for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the remaining 1 cup of water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan and bring to boil. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin. Allow the syrup to cool at room temperature.
  • Whisk in the cashew fruit. Taste and adjust with a few drops of lemon juice. Chill overnight.
  • Run the mixture through an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it becomes creamy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the ice cream into a plastic container (take the time to enjoy some now, freshly out of the machine is my favorite time to eat ice cream). Cover with a tight lid and reserve in the freezer for up to 1 month.


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