Beef Tamales

Beef Tamales

Cooking food inside plant leaves is a practice made in many cuisines. Grapes, banana, and corn leaves (or husks) make for a fascinating cooking technique and charming presentation. Watch a video of these Beef Tamales in the works.

There are many versions of tamales throughout Latin America, and they don’t need to be done with only corn—although corn tamales are the most popular tamal. They can be done with yucca, beans or other vegetables. In fact, in Brazil, one very famous tamal is the Abará, made from black-eyed peas (feijão fradinho in Portuguese), seasoned with dried shrimp, onions, ginger, and palm oil. In Brazil, we use the name Pamonha instead of tamales.

Oh, can we talk grammar for a second? One tamal. Two tamales.

Tamales can be filled with various fillings, from chicken, beef, turkey, or fish. Tamales can be an appetizer, side dish, or a full meal, depending on the recipe. I like to garnish tamales with sauce, queso blanco, cilantro, and avocados. What sauce? I save some of the cooking liquid from the braised beef and use that as the sauce for the recipe below. You can also make chimichurri or tomato salsa as alternative sauces. Use your imagination and feel free to garnish with sour cream, grated cheese, etc.

Many cultures prepare tamales with fresh corn, while in Mexico, it’s more common to use corn flour or masa harina, which can be easily found in grocery stores on the Latin Island.

Masa Harina
Masa Harina

 

Making these beef tamales is a labor-intensive project; you have to prepare the filling, the dough, assemble the tamales and then steam them. The advantage is, you can make them up to one week ahead of time or freeze them if they are well wrapped.

 

Steaming X Boiling

In Brazil, we boil the pamonhas or tamales. In Mexico, we steam. Personally, I find that no matter how well wrapped or tied up, when boiling them directly in water, it always finds a way to get in touch with the tamales. For that reason, I prefer steaming.

 

Fresh Husks X Dry

In Brazil, we use fresh corn husks. In Mexico and Latin markets all over the U.S, it’s easy to find dry husks. If you soak them for 10 minutes in hot water, they’re OK to use.

 

Encasing the Beef Tamales

Some cuisines call for multiple leaves, wrapping each tamal and tying them with a string. Others simply fold the husk tight enough that the dough will stay inside. It’s up to you how to wrap them. There is no right or wrong. At the end of the “assembling party,” if you run out of husks but still have dough and filling, you can always use aluminum foil for the last ones. True, they don’t have a charming presentation, but it can be done.

 

Dough Thickness

It’s important to make a dough thin enough to allow the filling to shine but not so thin that the tamal becomes too fragile. About ¼-inch should be good. When using masa harina, it’s crucial to have a good proportion of corn flour, plus lard and broth to moisten the dough.

 

 

Beef Tamales

Makes about 25 Tamales

 

For the Beef Filling:

2½ lbs beef stew, cut into 1-inch cubes

5 garlic cloves

2 onions, peeled and quartered

1 dry guajillo chiles, seeds and stems removed

1 dry ancho chile, seeds and stems removed

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon ground cumin

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

 

For the Tamales Dough

¾ cup (130g) lard (or vegetable shortening or coconut oil)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cold water

1 teaspoon baking powder

3½ cups (530g) masa harina (instant corn masa flour)

3½ cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

 

To Assemble the Tamales:

25 dried corn husks, soaked in hot water

 

For Garnish:

Feta cheese

Avocado, cut into small cubes

Cilantro, chopped

Equipment: large pan and lid with steamer that fits inside

 

Prepare the Beef Filling: In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine all the ingredients except cayenne, chili powder and paprika. Add cold water, just enough to cover the entire food, cover the pan and bring to boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat, open the lid slightly to cover partially, and cook until the meat is very tender, between 1-2 hours, skimming off the foam occasionally.

Transfer the meat to a bowl and let it cool, then shred it with your fingers (I like to use kitchen gloves to do that). Discard the bay leaves and transfer the garlic, onion and chiles to a blender along with the cooking liquid. Blend until smooth. You will have a lot of sauce. Add just enough to make the beef nice and moist and save the rest of the sauce to serve with the tamales. Taste the meat and adjust the seasoning with the cayenne pepper, chili powder and paprika, salt and pepper if needed. Save the meat and sauce separately. You can prepare them up to a week ahead before assembling the tamales. You can also freeze for one month.

Prepare the Dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment place the lard,

salt and water and beat for 1 minute until light and fluffy. Add the baking powder and then alternate adding the harina flour and chicken broth alternating a little at a time. Continue beating until the dough is homogeneous and as fluffy as can get.

For the Corn Husks: Soak the dried corn husks in hot water for at least 10 minutes or until they are pliable. Drain them in a colander.

Assemble the Tamales: Lay out a corn husk with the pointy end towards you. Spread about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dough into an oval shape, about ¼-inch thick, leaving a border of at least ½-inch on the sides. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the dough.

Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa starts to swaddle the filling) and fold the sides to one side, rolling them in the same direction around the tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk, with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open. Alternatively, you can also fold the top end and make a little package with the tamales. Some people like to wrap it in a string to secure the package.

Set a pan fitted with a steamer inside and fill with water. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks as protection. Assemble all the tamales and place them inside the steamer either with the open end on top or if you folded the top as well, lay them flat. You can pile them up. Cover with the lid and cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks. Remove all the tamales from the steamer. Serve with hot sauce saved from the meat and garnish with feta cheese, avocado and cilantro.

 

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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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Beef Brodo

Beef Brodo

If you are reading this page, you are probably considering making beef brodo at home. Congratulations! Your cooking will never be the same! When I worked in restaurant kitchens, I used to prepare stocks and brodos that would simmer for 10 to 12 hours or overnight. In my home kitchen, it’s pretty hard to deal with this large number of bones, so I work with smaller batches and simmer for 1-2 hours. That’s enough to yield an incredible broth. I use it for everything, and it’s so good that it doesn’t last long.

Watch this quick video of Beef Brodo in the works.

Broth or Brodo? Brodo or Broth? What about stock? What’s the difference between them?

Good question. Brodo is more of a drinkable “tea,” and broth is the term used for cooking purposes. Broth and stock are two terms for the same thing. Brodo is seasoned; the broth is unseasoned for stews, sauces, soups, and many purposes.

Can you use brodo for cooking purposes instead of broth? Of course, you can; just be sure to taste the recipe as you cook and adjust the seasoning accordingly. You might need to go lightly on the seasoning if you use brodo.

What about consistency? Do they have the same texture?

It depends on who is making it. I like to give brodo a bit more body than broth, simply because the broth will probably be reduced in cooking recipes. In contrast, the brodo is the final product.

Brodo is considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat/drink. It helps your body function better, improves digestion, strengthens joints and helps the body absorb protein. Speaking of protein, brodo is loaded, about 10 grams per cup of beef brodo.

Brodo is a fantastic meal replacement. It is very satisfying and will give you a sensation of a full meal. I have documented my own brodo drinking experiences. Whenever I drink brodo for dinner, I notice that it fills me up. Maybe that’s just me. I’d love to hear your experiences when drinking brodo.

About the bones: You can start with raw bones and roast them. I like to make many short ribs stews during the wintertime, so if I have leftover bones, I’ll save them for brodo. That was the case when I made this video. You can see in the video that the bones are from short ribs and not raw beef bones. Can you use veal bones instead of beef? Absolutely! Use this same recipe and proceed to make veal brodo. This brodo will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months and it’s one of the easiest frozen dinners you can make.

One last note about Beef brodo, I’m not against recipes (obviously), but some things in the cooking world really don’t need them. Brodo (or broth or stock) is one of them. The recipe below is just a guidance, feel free to go with your instincts. Get in touch if you have any questions. Happy to help, always and forever!

 

Beef Brodo

Makes about 3 quarts

 

6 pounds beef bones

3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

2 onions, peeled and quartered

2 stalks celery

5 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked

3 to 4 bay leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F. Place a large roasting pan in the oven. Place the beef bones in the roasting pan with the vegetables. Try not to overcrowd the pan so they have lots of space to brown evenly. Drizzle the olive oil and toss well. Roast until they are medium brown all over, about 30 minutes,
  2. Transfer the bones to a large stockpot (about 10 to 15 quarts) with the vegetables and cover them with about 4 to 6 quarts of cold water. The water should be 1 to 2 inches above the bone level. Cover the pan and cook over high heat just to bring to a boil, about 15 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to low, and cook at a very gentle simmer, skimming occasionally for fat and foam. Do not try to rush the process by raising the heat and boiling. You want very small bubbles at the most. The longer you cook your stock, the more viscosity and complexity it will have.
  3. When the bones have cooked for about 30 minutes hours, add the peppercorns and bay leaves. Continue to simmer the stock for another hour, skimming occasionally.
  4. After about 2 hours, the stock should be very gelatinous and medium to dark brown. Remove the big bones from the stockpot with a slotted spoon and strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer. This moment is gold! Discard the bones and vegetables.
  5. Place the brodo over an ice bath then chill in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours – chilled is the best way to judge the quality of the stock. The more gelatinous, the better. Carefully remove any fat that accumulates on the top and discard it. Divide the stock into several small plastic containers, label them, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

 

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Leticia

 

 

 

Chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate Sheet Birthday Cake

Let’s talk about Chocolate Sheet Birthday Cake. What do you do when a firm asks you to prepare a birthday cake in a one-hour virtual cooking class? We all know that any birthday cake takes way more than one hour to bake, right? When making a cake, it’s not just the baking part that you have to prepare; it’s baking, cooling, icing, filling, covering, and assembling. It takes a lot of time.

But this particular client celebrated 146 years in business and wanted to gather everyone in the office, spread across the globe, to bake a cake in their own kitchen virtually. And so, we did it, an easy Chocolate Sheet Birthday Cake.

We assembled a different kind of cake. Instead of going for a traditional round cake, we went for a sheet pan version. Imagine a chocolate cake flat as a brownie, sitting on a puddle of chocolate sauce with a mound of whipped cream on top.

chocolate cake recipe
Before the whipped cream comes in…

 

That was the more than approved recipe we all prepared and celebrated for the occasion. You can see a video of this recipe on my YouTube Channel— and don’t forget to subscribe today!

What’s different about this recipe is not only the shape and individual presentation, but the contrast of textures and complementing flavors from the chocolate cake, the chocolate sauce, which I use in every dessert in need of a sauce, and whipped cream, which you can use in a million different ways.

This cake is for anyone who appreciates the refined taste of dark chocolate, as it shines in the cake part with a dense fudge-like texture to it. The idea came from my own birthday celebration at Estela, one of my favorite New York City restaurants. As I played with the recipe, it evolved into something of my own—the very reason why I love tasting and exploring the food world out there.

It’s great to have this kind of recipe in your back pocket, especially during the colder winter months. There is something about chocolate cake in December that feels perfect. Not to mention that everything can be prepared ahead of time and just assembled before serving.

 

Modern Chocolate Sheet Birthday Cake

 

Chocolate Sheet Birthday Cake

Serves 12

 

For the Chocolate Sheet Cake

1 pound chocolate, semisweet (85%), chopped

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

½ pound plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

6 large eggs

 

For the Chocolate Sauce:

1 cup whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup sugar

10.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

 

For the Whipped Cream:

2 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons Confectioner’s sugar

 

Cocoa powder for dusting

Equipment: One 9 X 13-inch baking pan, greased, lined with parchment paper, and greased again.

 

Make the Chocolate Sheet Pan:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Place the chopped chocolate into a large bowl. Set aside.

In a medium pan, combine the sugar, water, and butter and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and stir to melt.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs by hand until light and fluffy. Fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs and whisk again until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 27 minutes, rotating once during baking time. Remove the cake from the oven and let the cake cool at room temperature. You can bake the cake and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, transfer the cake with the parchment paper to a cutting board. Use a hot knife to make clean cuts and cut 12 equal pieces, cleaning the blade after each cut.

Make the Chocolate Sauce:

Pour the milk, heavy cream, butter, and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. When the mixture boils, add the chocolate and whisk well to melt the chocolate. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and whisk constantly until the consistency of the sauce becomes dense and fudgy about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a bowl without scraping the bottom of the pan.

You can prepare the sauce up to 5 days ahead of time and reheat gently in the microwave when ready to use.

 Make the Whipped Cream:

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer or a balloon whisker, beat the cream and sugar together just until the cream starts to thicken. Be careful not to overbeat it, or the cream turns into “butter.”

Assemble the Cake:

Place a spoon fool of the chocolate sauce on each plate and spread in a circle with the back of a spoon. Place a piece of cake on top of the sauce and cover with a generous amount of whipped cream. Dust with cocoa powder and serve at room temperature.

 

 

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

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

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

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.

 

 

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

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

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

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

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube.

And of course, tell your friends about it.

I’d love to connect with you on social media

Instagram @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz,

Twitter @ ChefLeticia

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Linked In 

See you next time,

Leticia

Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yes, another post about cookies. Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies this time. Of course! Me love cookies! We all love cookies! I have probably written so many cookie recipes and taken so many cookie photos. But I don’t count the numbers. They keep on coming. And especially now, this time of year, with the pandemic lingering, cookie consumption is rising like crazy. The only thing that can make me stop writing about cookies is a deadline, and as we have the holidays approaching and you are dying to try another amazing cookie recipe, I got my deadline right here.

If you’re participating in cookie swap for the Holidays, the possibilities are endless: chocolate chip cookies, chocolate crackle cookies, ginger cookies, peanut cookies, almond cookies—just to name a few. Suddenly, you realize the world of a cookie is infinite. There will always be another delicious recipe, another irresistible cookie, another ingredient that is worth exploring.

There are cookies from all over the world. Moroccan cookies, Italian cookies, Brazilian cookies, French cookies, and we can go and on. Some cookies have conquered the world. Some cookies are still undiscovered. But one thing we must agree on: American cookies rock! They are all mighty. They ignited a cookie mania all over the world. And when I say cookie, of course, we can include brownies, bars, small little madeleines, and other cousins in the bucket.

This recipe and method are inspired by Sarah Keiffer who literally bans her cookies many times during the baking process, forcing the batter to spread around in the sheet pan, therefore creating a crunchy texture of the outside while the center is still moist. There is a lot to cover in this baking process. It’s good to watch the video on my YouTube Channel.

Have fun baking these! Can’t wait to hear how you like them!

 

 

Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired By Sarah Kieffer

 

Makes 10 large cookies

 

2 cups (285g) all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

½ lb (227g) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 ½ cups (297g) sugar

¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

6 oz (170g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces, averaging ½ inch with some smaller and some larger pieces.

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Line a baking sheet with silicone matt.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy.

Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined.

Add the chocolate and mix at low speed into the batter.

Using a large ice cream scoop, form the dough into 3½ ounce (100g) balls and place them on a sheet pan. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes or up to 3 months. I like to leave them in the freezer and bake as I need.

Place a couple of cookies in a sheet pan with plenty of space (between 3 and 4 inches) in between them. Bake for 10 minutes until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. In a superfast operation, remove the cookie from the oven (shut the door) and bang them onto a steady hard surface. I know this will feel wrong, but don’t worry, it works. Return to the oven. After the cookies puff up again, repeat banging them and returning to the oven a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown, but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Let them cool for 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack.

 

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Leticia

 

Quindim Recipe

Quindim Recipe

Please help me celebrate this milestone for Brazilian cuisine, when Quindim recipe made it to the cover of Food & Wine (issue May 2021), through the writings of Dr. Jessica B.Harris, a historian, journalist, and author of 12 critically acclaimed books documenting the foods the African Diaspora.

I met Dr. Harris at a food conference and when she started to speak fluent Portuguese with me, I flipped out! She loves Brazil, and has written extensively about my country, including the 1992 cookbook Tasting Brazil: Regional Recipes and Reminiscences. It’s hard to explain how wonderful it feels when an American falls in love with your country so deeply that they travel extensively, document their discoveries, and publish their findings.

I remember in the 80’s and 90’s growing up in Brazil, and meeting internationals who adopted Brazil as their new country was absolutely common. That movement had another wave up around 2010, when Brazilian economy was booming, and new oil was discovered on the coast of Rio.

I yearn for the days when Brazilian cuisine will be as popular as Indian, Italian, or Chinese. I can only imagine about a Brazilian cooking revolution that exists in my dreams. Brazilian cookbooks are my legacy and that’s a mission of joy and love. This Quindim recipe embellished the pages of Food & Wine (issue May 2021) and restored my senses and hopes for Brazilian cooking. Thank you, Dr. Jessica Harris! Thank you, Food & Wine magazine!

You can watch a video of this recipe on my YouTube Channel here.

Quindim Recipe at Food &Wine Magazine

 

Quindim

Adapted from Food & Wine May 2021

Recipe by Dr. Jessica B Harris

 

Serves 12

Ingredients:

12 large egg yolks

1 ¾ cups granulated sugar

6 oz frozen unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the greasing muffin

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 large egg whites

Hot water as needed

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 12-cup standard muffin tin with softened butter and set aside. Using a rubber spatula, press egg yolks through a fine wire mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Set aside.

Stir together sugar, coconut, melted butter and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add egg yolks in 4 additions, stirring well after each addition. Whisk egg whites in a separate medium bowl until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold whites into coconut mixture. Divide coconut mixture evenly among prepared muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each). Place muffin tin in a large sturdy roasting pan. Add hot water to the pan to come halfway up sides of muffin cups. Carefully transfer to preheated oven. Bake until quindims are set and tops are golden brown, 34 to 38 minutes. Carefully remove quindim from the oven. Leave the oven on. Remove the muffin tin from the pan; leave water in the pan and set aside.

Let que quindim cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. During the last 10 minutes of cooling, return roasting pan with water to oven, you’ll use the hot water to help loosed the quindim from the muffin tin.

Remove the pan with water from the oven. Run a small offset spatula around the sides of each quindim to loosen from muffin tin. Carefully dip muffin tin into hot water for 5 seconds to loosen quindim. Invert muffin tin onto a baking sheet and tap on counter to release quindim from tin. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

 

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

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

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

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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Leticia

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.

 

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

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

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

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

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube. And of course, tell your friends about it.

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Leticia

 

 

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.

 

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

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

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

You can find more about my work on Chef Leticia.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

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube. And of course, tell your friends about it.

I’d love to connect with you on social media

Instagram @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz,

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See you next time,

Leticia

 

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.

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

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

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

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

The easiest and most impactful thing you can to support is subscribe to my newsletter and to my channel on YouTube. And of course, tell your friends about it.

I’d love to connect with you on social media

Instagram @LeticiaMoreinosSchwartz,

Twitter @ ChefLeticia

Facebook @ChefLeticia HealthyCooking

See you next time,

Leticia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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