Feijoada – Brazilian Black Bean and Meat Stew

Brazilian FeijoadaThe other week, I was scrolling through all of the posts that I have done on my blog and was surprised to see that I hadn’t done a post on feijoada. I’m still a little bit in shock that I haven’t posted it here yet, but, let’s get over that shock and dig into this absolutely amazing dish!

Feijoada or black bean stew is the national dish of Brazil and is a must-have for when you visit Brazil. It is prepared with black beans and an assortment of meats, such as salted pork, beef and any kind of pork trimmings, ears, tail and feet. Bacon, pork ribs, sausage and jerked beef are commonly included as well. The fejoada is prepared over a low heat in a thick clay pot. The beans and meat are pre-cooked, some of the meats, like the bacon and sausage may be quickly fried in the pan before adding the beans. The smells are mouth-watering and the final dish should have a healthy amount of meat with a light covering of a dark purplish-brown broth from the beans.

It took me sometime to get accustomed to this dish, but that was in large part because beans were not quite my favorite thing to eat. But, it is difficult to not like this dish and after some time I fell in love with feijoada and can’t get enough of it.

It is difficult to go wrong with feijoada. It can be made with any variety of meats, traditionally pork and beef, and you can use as many cuts of meat as you want or as little. My recommendation is to always try to have some sausage, bacon and either pork ribs or pork loin. Just those meats alone can make an absolutely delicious Saturday lunch with friends and family.

Brazilian FeijoadaFeijoada is commonly eaten with rice, collards, farofa and slices of orange to cut the heaviness of the beans and meat!

Today I will leave you with a simple feijoada recipe (you can leave out any of the meats you do not eat or do not have, and although I have put quantities, these are just indications), and for the accompaniments you can click the links below.

> Brazilian White Rice Recipe
> Sauteed Collards Recipe
> Simple Farofa Recipe or Farofa with boiled egg

COMPLETE FEIJOADA

Ingredients

1 kg black beans
100 g jerked beef
50g bacon or pork belly
70 g pigs ear or 1 pigs ear
70 g pigs tail or 1 pigs tail
70 g pigs foot or 1 pigs foot
100 g pork ribs
100 g pork loin
250 g sausage

Seasonings

2 large onions, finely chopped
1 bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
6 garlic cloves, crushed
Black pepper
Salt

36 to 24 hours before making the feijoada, put the jerked beef and any salted meats in water to remove all the salt. Every few hours change the water.

If you do not have a pressure cooker, put the black beans to soak the night before.

On the day. Cut all of the meats into rough pieces, they can be a little bit bigger than bite size, but make sure they are not too big. Pre-cook the pork loin and ribs in water. I use a pressure cooker for this!

If using a pressure cooker, put the black beans with water to cook and leave cook on pressure for 30 minutes. If not using a pressure cooker, put beans in a pan with water and cook for approximately 60 to 90 minutes or until al dente.

Using a large deep pan or a clay pot, put a little bit of oil in the pan and heat. Add the onions and sautee for a few minutes, add the garlic and sautee until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the bacon or pork belly and sautee until almost cooked. Add the sausage, jerked beef, ear, tail and foot. Sautee for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining meat ingredients. Add the beans, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and leave on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until all of the meat is well cooked. If needed, you can add some water! Lastly, add the spring onions.

Serve warm with rice, collards, farofa and slices of orange.
Brazilian Feijoada

 

Information used from:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feijoada

Easy Blender Cheese Breads (Pão de Queijo)

pão de queijoAnyone who has tried the Brazilian pão de queijo (cheese breads) loves them and knows that once you eat one you will probably eat another five…or all that are on the plate in front of you! Since the first time I tried pão de queijo I absolutely loved them and they have always been my favorite snack with a good cup of coffee.

Since learning to make pão de queijo at home I have made a lot and usually make a large recipe and freeze about 3/4 so that whenever I feel like eating one I can just pop a few in the oven and in 15 minutes I have piping hot homemade pão de queijo. Yummmmm!

When I started making pão de queijo at home I did pretty well with keeping my freezer supply fully stocked, but in the last half a year I have slacked and we haven’t had any pão de queijo at home in the freezer. So, the other day I was craving some homemade pão de queijo but I wanted to make some pretty quickly. I had heard a lot of people talking about making a pão de queijo batter in the blender and baking the pão de queijo in muffin tins. I was always pretty skeptical about this and really didn’t think that they would work or that the taste would be good. But, since I wanted quick pão de queijo I decided to give this recipe a go!

With few expectations, partly because I was using tapioca flour that was almost two years out of date (I didn’t have any newer flour in the house), I was completely surprised when my pão de queijo rose beautifully in the oven and tasted amazing. They actually tasted like the real deal. They were nice and gooey in the middle and they had a good cheese taste (although I did decide that next time I make these I would increase the amount of cheese).

pão de queijoThis recipe is wonderful because it is so easy and 100% fool proof. My previous pão de queijo recipe (you can find it HERE) is the ‘real deal’, but it is a little bit more challenging, has more room for errors and does take longer to make, but you can freeze the pão de queijo for later consumption which is one big bonus about the recipe. If you are completely new to making pão de queijo I would recommend trying these, it will be difficult to have a batch that goes wrong. This recipe is also great for if you are pressed for time and want to quickly whip-up some pão de queijo. It takes about 10 minutes to make the batter and 15-20 minutes cooking time. If you want to make pão de queijo for freezing stick to my other recipe, you will be unable to freeze these pão de queijos as the batter is completely liquid.

Happy baking and I hope you all try this recipe! Happy Eating:)!

Ingredients
makes 30

100 – 150g grated parmesan cheese (or meia cura)
1 egg
3/4 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup tapioca flour (or polvilho azedo)
A pinch of salt
Oil and white flour to grease the muffin tins

Preheat the oven to 180C or 355F. Using mini muffin tins (diameter of approx. 6cm), oil each tin well and lightly flour.

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until well incorporated and you have a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins to about 3/4 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. When baked, remove from the oven and take out of the muffin tins immediately. Serve warm!

pão de queijo

MOQUECA a Brazilian Seafood Stew

Brazilian Seafood StewThe first time I tried moqueca in Brazil, and I think the only time that I have eaten it at a restaurant here, was quite a long time ago at the beach with my husband. He had hyped-up this dish like crazy and told me how much I was going to love it. Unfortunately when our moqueca arrived we were both disappointed and I did not fall in love with it. The restaurant was a tourist trap and I did not get to experience this absolutely delicious dish. Instead, I learned to love this dish when my husband made it for me back in the USA. I couldn’t get enough of it and wanted to eat it almost all the time. While living in Boston we found a wonderful moqueca restaurant (Muqueca Restaurant, Cambridge MA) and ate there several times. It was so delicious that we kept wanting to go back for more.

Brazilian Seafood StewSo, Brazil hasn’t yet showed me the best of their moqueca but believe me this is an amazing dish and if you get the chance to try it while in Brazil definitely jump on the opportunity. If you are a fish lover like me you will not be disappointed.

Moqueca is a dish traditionally from the northern states of Espirito Santo and Bahia. It is a seafood ragout or stew made with any combination of fish and shell fish.There are countless recipes for moqueca and everyone has their own favorite recipe. Moqueca is a dish that was influenced by the Brazilian native indian, African, and Portuguese cuisines. The name comes from the native indian word POKEKAS. Traditionally, moqueca is slow cooked in a clay pot known as the ‘capixaba‘. Moqueca that is cooked in the clay pot is called ‘moqueca capixaba‘. The capixaba is a handmade pot made from black clay and mangrove tree sap and adds a beautiful flavor to the moqueca.

Brazilian Seafood StewAgain, moqueca is one of those Brazilian dishes that can be made hundreds of different ways and as long as you have the basic ingredients you cannot go wrong!

Some asides about this recipe and what to eat moqueca with:

  • Moqueca is traditionally made with cilantro, but since there are some people who absolutely hate the taste of cilantro (my husband) you do not need to use it. I always substitute cilantro with parsley and it works perfectly.
  • This dish can be made with ANY type of fish. I generally use a simple white fish like tilapia and shrimp. But feel free to use any fish you have at home or would like to use instead!
  • Make sure that the coconut is not too strong. You want to have an equal blend of tomato and coconut.
  • Once the fish has been added DO NOT STIR.
  • I eat moqueca with rice and farofa. I make a very simple farofa usually just with onions, but again, any farofa recipe works perfectly.
  • Most importantly: have fun with this recipe!

Brazilian Seafood StewIngredients

1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5tbsp tempero caseiro (substitute for onions & garlic)
olive oil
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
16oz can of crushed or diced tomatoes
8oz can coconut milk
400g/880oz shrimp
500g/1lb tilapia, or other mild white fish
1 cup parsley or cilantro
1-2 tbsp chili flakes
salt

Prepare all of the vegetables: chop the peppers, onions, garlic, and parsley or cilantro (if using tempero caseiro measure required quantity). Place a the capixaba, clay pot, or cast iron pan over medium heat and warm-up the olive oil. When oil is warm add the onions and garlic (or tempero caseiro). Sauté until fragrant, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the pepper and sauté for another 6-8 minutes or until slightly tender. Add the crushed or diced tomatoes and leave to simmer with the lid off for approximately 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stir well, and bring to a boil. Add the salt, chili flakes, and half of the parsley or cilantro to taste (you do not want the dish to be too spicy). Lower heat and keep mixture at a low boil. Prepare the shrimp and tilapia; take off the shrimp tails and cut tilapia into medium sized chunks. After mixture has boiled for approximately 10 minutes add the fish. Once the fish has been added do not stir the mixture anymore. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Add the remaining parsley or cilantro. Serve with rice and farofa!

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!Brazilian Seafood Stew

Truckers Rice – a great variation to white rice

Arroz CarreteiroSo Brazilians seem to have a variation to almost everything, and rice is no exception. Plain white rice is just not enough! Mixing rice with all kinds of goodies makes for an even more elaborate and tasty dish. That is just what arroz carreteiro (ah-hoyz ka-hay-tay-ro) or truckers rice aims to do. Primarily found in the south of Brazil, arroz carreteiro is almost a meal in-itself with vegetables and meat adding beautiful flavors to an already fragrant white rice.

I don’t make arroz carreteiro on a regular basis. I usually make it when I want my rice to have just a little bit more to it or I don’t want to make beans. This week I decided to make arroz carreteiro to accompany grilled pork chops and farofa. There are many different recipes for arroz carreteiro and I am not quite sure which is the original or best one. But never mind, I am going to share with you my recipe for arroz carreteiro and lucky me it has past the approval test of Brazilians from Rio Grande do Sul (the south of Brazil where it is commonly found).

Ingredients

2 cups basmati or jasmine white rice
4 cups boiling water
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 tblsp tempero caseiro (substitute for onions, garlic, & salt)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup bacon chopped
1/2 cup carne seca, dried meat (optional)
1/2 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Wash the rice until water runs clear and set aside to dry. Boil enough water for four cups. Chop the onions and garlic. If using tempero caseiro measure out the necessary quantity. Finely chop the peppers, bacon, carne seca (optional), and parsley. Place a medium sized pan over medium heat and heat-up the olive oil. Fry the onions and garlic, or tempero caseiro until fragrant, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the bacon and carne seca and fry for an additional 5 minutes. Add the pepper and fry for another 4-5 minutes. Add the parsley and rice together and fry for an additional 5 minutes, making sure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the boiling water and salt and cover to cook for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to low and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the water has evaporated. If the rice is not properly cooked add a little bit more water and cook until done!

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!

Brigadeiro: The sweet that everyone will love

BrigadeiroFinally I am taking the plunge and sharing my recipe for brigadeiro. I still need to keep practicing my brigadeiro-making skills, but, I feel pretty confident that I can at least make brigadeiro  that is not too hard and will hold together to form a ball. If you remember a while ago I was getting exasperated with trying to master the art of making brigadeiro and instead I decided to make avocado ice cream. I ended-up giving my brigadeiro making quite a long break and just picked it up again the other day. Phew, I needed that break! Now that I have finally managed to make the traditional chocolate brigadeiro I can maybe start making different flavors. But, don’t let me get ahead of myself.

Before giving you the recipe for brigadeiro I need to tell you a little bit about what it is. As you might have guessed this is one of those Brazilian sweets that is made with sweetened condensed milk. My new friend, sweetened condensed milk makes everything so much sweeter. Brigadeiro is made with sweetened condensed milk, chocolate powder, and butter. Simple, simple, simple, or so it seems until you try to actually make it and need to learn when the exact point is that you can roll perfect balls that will hold together. Cooking too little will give you brigadeiro mole, soft brigadeiro, and cooking too much will make it hard and inedible. There are only a few seconds while cooking that it is at the ponto, point. This means that you need to know exactly when the brigadeiro is ready to take off the stove to give you beautiful balls that will hold together and will not be hard as rock! Trust me, this is not that easy.

BrigadeiroBrigadeiro is one of those sweets that everyone in Brazil loves. Everyone will have stories to tell you about how their mother made them when they were young, or that they remember how many brigadeiros filled the table on their birthdays! Brigadeiro are commonly served at children’s birthday parties, and it isn’t just one type of brigadeiro that is served, it is usually a whole mountain of them. To me this seems like the best way to make sure the kids run around like crazy and have a great time, hopped up on sugar!

So yes, brigadeiro are commonly served as a children’s sweet, but that doesn’t mean adults don’t enjoy them too. In fact, almost all adults in Brazil love brigadeiro and will take any excuse to eat them. I have joined their ranks and absolutely love brigadeiro and can never get enough of them. I am always eager to try different flavors and, believe me, there is no shortage of different brigadeiro flavors: lavendar, whisky, scotch, pistachio, etc. I can’t wait to make all the different flavors!

BrigadeiroIn theory making brigadeiro is very simple. All you need to do is put the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate powder, and butter into a pan, mix together well and then place over a low heat. Once over the heat all you do is stir and wait until it reaches the ponto where it is perfect for rolling those beautifully tasty balls of sweetened condensed milk and chocolate. But, the process of the cooking is not all that easy. But don’t sweat it, after a couple of tries you will get it and won’t want to stop making them. Are you ready to learn how to make brigadeiro? Ok, let’s do it!

Take a look at my post on beijinho and look at the video to learn exactly when is the right time to take the mixture off the heat. Beijinho and brigadeiro follow exactly the same process, but for some reason I just have a bit of a harder time with making brigadeiro!

Ingredients

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
4 tbsp chocolate powder
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Chocolate or colored sprinkles for decorating
30 mini paper candy cups

Place the condensed milk, chocolate powder, and butter in a stainless steel or aluminium pan. Mix all ingredients together. Place on low to medium heat and stir until the mixture falls all together to one side of the pan. Test this by lifting the pan off the heat and tipping to one side. If the mixture slightly sticks to the bottom of the pan cook a little bit more. If the mixture glues together and does not stick to the pan when slightly tipped, the mixture is ready! Pour mixture into a little greased baking dish and leave to cool for approximately 1 hour. When mixture has completely cooled roll into balls, cover with chocolate or colored sprinkles.

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!

Brigadeiro