Brazilian Rice with Carrots and Nuts

Those of you who regularly follow my blog will know how important rice is for Brazilians and how there are tons of different rice dishes here. Brazilians do not just eat white rice, on the contrary, they like to flavor their rice in as many ways possible. When it comes to rice in Brazil, almost anything goes in terms of flavoring and enriching your white rice!

This is something I absolutely love about Brazil and has opened up a world of kitchen exploration for me. I often like the simple things in cooking. I usually find that it is the simple recipes that I like best, have the most fun making and are the things that will most likely get repeated often in my kitchen. Rice is one fo those things. I make rice almost on a daily basis and after a few days of eating just plain white rice we like to add some different flavoring to our rice for some diversity. Often I will mix brown and white rice or will simply add lentils to my rice. But, there are times when I like to add nuts or other vegetables.

A few weeks ago I had a lot of carrots in the house and decided to use them in my rice together with some brazil nuts. I grated some carrots and roughly chopped up about a handful of brazil nuts. After quickly frying some garlic I add the nuts and carrots to my pan, then added the uncooked rice, water and salt. I let everything cook together until all of the water had evaporated. The rice turned a beautiful orange and was delicious with meat and collard or eaten just on its own.

This recipe is a little bit different from my rice and lentils recipe as the carrots and nuts are cooked together with the rice. By cooking the carrots and nuts together with the rice it adds much more flavor to the rice.

Brazilian white rice with carrots and nutsBrazilian White Rice with Carrots and Nuts

Ingredients

2 cups of white rice
4 cups of boiling water
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup of grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped brazil nuts
Salt

Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clean, set aside to dry.

Grate the carrots and chop the brazil nuts.

In a medium sized pan add approximately 2 tbsps of olive oil. Heat the olive oil and add the crushed garlic. Fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the carrots, nuts and washed rice. Fry for another minute, stirring constantly. Add 4 cups of boiling water and the salt. Lower the heat and cover the pan, leaving just a little opening. Cook until all the water has evaported. Once all water has evaported, remove from the heat, stir the rice well. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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English-Style Pork Pie

English-Style Pork PieI absolutely love pies. I have always liked making them, but I especially like eating them. Pies have never really been a cooking strong point for me, but they are one thing in the kitchen that I have never given-up on making. For me, the biggest challenge has always been the crust, either the crust is too flakey or is too tough, or it doesn’t roll out properly! Whatever the problem, pie crust has always been something that I have struggled with, until I learnt about hot water pastry. This was a pie crust life-saver for me. Firstly, it is easy to make and a beautiful pastry to work with (while still warm). Secondly, it is perfect for meat pies or any pie that is chocked full of delicious ingredients. It is a recipe that every pie lover should have in their recipe arsenal!

A little while ago I wanted to make an english style pork pie. I had been watching some english cooking show and they mentioned some deep dish meat pies, immediately I was taken by this idea and began researching different english style pork pies. Along with the deep dish meat pies I learnt about hot water pastry. I knew that I needed to try both of these and as soon as I came across some good recipes I tried it out.

The pie was really easy to make and turned out beautiful. I loved the idea of cooking the meat in the pie (not pre-cooking) and using boiled eggs in the center of the pie! The hot water pastry was a success. The pie crust turned out perfect, the pastry was easy to use, it did not break from the weight of the meat and held the deep pie shape perfectly once removed from the tin!

For the pie I used my own pork and made a gelatin broth by boiling one pigs foot for approximately 60 – 90 minutes with onion, garlic and carrots. I did not use any sausage (as indicated in the recipe) instead I just used pernil or pork leg, keeping any fat on the meat!

Today I am sharing the original recipe that I used, but I for the pie that I made I did not use the same meats as indicated in the recipe. I think you can use any kind of pork meat for this pie, just make sure to include a little bit of fat as this will give extra flavor to the pie.

This recipe is for one large pork pie, but you can also use this same recipe to make small individual pies. I haven’t yet made the individual pies, but plan to make some in the near future so that I can freeze them and just pull them out of the freezer when I want a quick meal! If making small pies, use quail eggs instead of chicken eggs:)!

English-Style Pork PieENGLISH-STYLE PORK PIE

For the filling

300g/10½oz good-quality sausages, such as Lincolnshire, skins removed
300g/10½oz pork mince
150g/5½oz cooked ham hock, cut into roughly 1.5cm/½in pieces
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
salt and white pepper
1 chicken stock cube (optional)
150ml/5fl oz boiling water (optional)
2 leaves gelatine (optional)

For the hot water crust pastry

450g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g/3½oz strong white flour
75g/2½oz unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
½ tsp salt
100g/3½oz lard, plus extra for greasing
1 free-range egg yolk, beaten

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Grease a 1kg/2lb 4oz loaf tin (measuring about 10x20cm/4x8in across the base) with lard, then cut one long strip of baking parchment, the width of the tin, and place it in the tin so that there’s an overhang of parchment at each end, which will help you remove the pie later.

  2. First make the filling. Put all the ingredients, except the hard-boiled eggs, into a large bowl and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Mix together thoroughly using your hands. Cook a little nugget of the mixture in a frying pan and taste it to check the seasoning. Add more seasoning, as necessary, to the remaining filling. Put the mixture in the fridge while you make the pastry.

  3. To make the pastry, combine the flours in a bowl, add the butter and rub in lightly with your fingertips. Heat 200ml/7fl oz water, the salt and lard in a saucepan until just boiling. Pour the mixture onto the flour and mix together with a spoon. Once cool enough to handle, tip onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough.

  4. Working as quickly as you can (the pastry will become more crumbly as it cools), roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use it to line the prepared tin, leaving any excess hanging over the edges.

  5. Press half of the meat filling into the pastry-lined tin. Take a thin slice off the top and bottom of each boiled egg (this helps them sit next to each other and makes slicing the pie easier), then place the eggs lengthways down the middle of the pie. Add the remaining meat filling and pat it down.

  6. Brush the overhanging pastry edge with egg yolk. Roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid and place over the pie. Pinch the pastry edges together to seal and trim the edges neatly. Make three steam holes in the top of the pie and brush with more egg yolk.

  7. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for a further hour. Leave to cool completely in the tin.

  8. When the pie is cooked, set aside to cool for 10 minutes. If making the jelly, dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water. Soak the gelatine in a little cold water until soft then squeeze out excess water and whisk into the warm chicken stock.

  9. Pour the gelatine mixture into the hole in the top of the pie until the hollow cavity within the pie is filled. Allow the pies to set in the fridge overnight.

 

Recipe taken from:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raised_pork_and_egg_pie_32033
http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/small_pork_pies_with_11074

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

Profiteroles with a Brazilian twist

profiterole1It has been quite sometime since I made these profiteroles, but they are so good, that I decided to dig this post from my drafts and share it with you. I am sure you will all enjoy it!

I went through a phase of wanting to learn how to make choux pastry, it is one of those challenging pastries to make, but so satisfying and tasty when you get it right. Choux pastry is really a simple recipe and is quick to make. But the challenge is getting the right consistency. The biggest challenge is that the mixture cannot be too runny or too thick, and all of this depends on the addition of eggs. Eggs range in many different sizes and therefore no recipe can give you the exact number of eggs you will need to use. So, it all results in careful analysis of your mixture and only experience can really teach you when you have the perfect mixture.

The next challenge with choux pastry, and more specifically profiteroles, is filling them once they are done baking. If you have done everything correctly, you will have beautiful even shaped balls of choux pastry with an inside that is evenly hollow. The goal with profiteroles is to carefully and evenly fill the empty cavern with a tasty filling. Unfortunately, this part can lead to the filling oozing out of the place where you tried to fill the pastry, or, as happened in my case, parts of the pastry splitting and resulting in a mess of filling oozing out of every side.

I wasn’t going to be deterred by the challenges of choux pastry and I went ahead with it anyway! The result…..it was amazing. My first batch turned out a little overcooked and a few too many holes in the bottom of the choux pastry. But, the pastry was delicious, light, and airy. The filling was successful, even though I had many profiteroles that were oozing filling out instead of holding it inside. Confident that I would get it right the next time, I set to work on a double batch of choux pastry the next morning. This batch turned out magnificent, a golden color, perfect balls of pastry, and only minor spillage of filling.

But the real trick to my second batch of profiteroles was the Brazilian twist that I gave them. Instead to filling them with chantilly cream I used doce de leite, sweetened milk that is slowly heated to create a taste derived from the caramelization of the product. Doce de leite is extremely popular in Brazil, and any opportunity to use it is a MUST! Did I turn my profiteroles Brazilian? I would have to say that I did as all of the them were consumed within hours.

Without further a-do here is the recipe to my Brazilianized Profiteroles (incase you cannot get a hold of doce de leite or would rather stick to the more french profiteroles I have included the recipe for chantilly cream….but I recommend you stick to the doce de leite….you will not be disappointed). In the USA you can find doce de leite under the spanish name of dulce de leche.

This is a great little video to help you know when the mixture is just right. Click here for the video!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by WOMAN'S WEEKLY / Rex Features ( 387629D ) PROFITEROLES VARIOUS RECIPES

Ingredients

makes 25-30

80ml (1/3 cup) water
40g butter, at room temperature, cubed
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour, sifted
2 eggs, at room temperature
Vegetable oil, to grease

Place water and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and mixture just comes to the boil. Add all the flour to the butter mixture at once and use a wooden spoon to beat until well combined. Place over low heat and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture forms a ball and begins to come away from the side of the saucepan. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, then add it to the flour mixture, beating well with a wooden spoon. Gradually add a little of the reserved egg and beat until the mixture just falls from the spoon but still holds its shape. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush a baking tray with oil to lightly grease. Spoon 25-30 teaspoonful of the mixture onto tray, about 3cm apart. Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a 1.5cm-diameter plain piping nozzle to pipe the profiteroles onto the baking tray (I found this method to be the easiest and best). Brush the tops with a little of the remaining egg. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the profiteroles are puffed and golden. Remove from oven and turn the oven off. Using a skewer or a small knife, pierce the base (or top) of each profiterole to release the steam. Return the profiteroles to the oven and leave them for 15 minutes to dry out. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

When the profiteroles have cooled add the filling (for doce de leite click here to order online, and for chantilly cream click here for recipe). Place filling into a pastry bag (if you don’t have a pastry bag, check out this video for how to make one at home with parchment paper), insert tip into side of profiteroles and inject. You will know the profiterole is fully filled when the filling oozes out slightly, or it become difficult to push more in! If you do not want to use a piping bag you can cut the profiteroles in half and add the filling making a little profiterole sandwhich.

To finish you can top the profiteroles with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, or leave plain.

Credits
Recipe taken from www.taste.com.au
Photo #1 www.gdaysouffle.com/2013/07/24/profiteroles-with-custard-cream-and-chocolate-sauce/
Photo #2 www.specialfoodrecipe.com/chocolate-profiteroles

Manjar Branco Recipe Update

Some time ago I posted a recipe for Manjar Branco, one of my favourite deserts. The first time I made this desert it worked beautifully and I didn’t find it too difficult to make. Unfortunately, I never really managed to recreate my first successful attempt and after several failures I gave-up trying to make it.

A little while ago I stumbled across a new recipe for Manjar Branco and decided that I had to give it a go again. This new recipe I found takes much more cornstarch, so this makes it a pretty fool-proof recipe. My previous recipe works well, but you need to have patience. Because of the low cornstarch content it takes longer for the milk mixture to reach the thickness you need in order for the pudding to properly set in the fridge. In general, my previous recipe took close to 30 minutes to reach the right thickness. This new recipe takes 10 minutes!

Although this recipe works really well, I do need to warn you that it can go too fast, and therefore you need to watch the mixture very closely as it begins to thicken. You do not want the mixture to be too thick as it will then be difficult to place into the prepared tin or bowls and will result in a  heavy dessert.

In my recipe I recommend a measurement between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cornstarch. If you want to use the full 1/2 cup of cornstarch in your recipe the mixture will come to thickness very fast. If you use the lesser amount it will take a bit longer, but there will be less chance of it becoming too thick!

Instead of making a caramel sauce with prunes I made a sweet blackberry sauce to accompany my Manjar Branco. If you don’t have blackberries you can make a simple fruit salad with mango, papaya, pineapple and oranges. Just make sure to add a nice amount of orange juice to the fruit salad so that there is some extra liquid to accompany the Manjar Branco.

DSC_0062-001Ingredients
(6 portions)

1/4 to 1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk (395g)
200ml coconut milk
100g coconut flakes
1 cup fruit salad or blackberry sauce

Dissolve the cornstarch with a bit of milk in a bowl. Mix well, making sure that there are no lumps. Add the remaining milk, condensed milk, coconut milk and coconut flakes in a medium pan. Add the cornstarch mix. Bring to a boil on low to medium heat, stirring constantly; approximately 10 minutes. Once mixture is boiling allow to thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat and pour into 6 small dessert bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to cool.

When you are about to serve, spoon the fruit salad or blackberry sauce on top.

Blackberry sauce
To make the blackberry sauce, place approximately 300g of blackberries in a pan, add about 1/4 cup of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling add 1/2 cup of white sugar and allow to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not crush the fruit. Allow to cool and serve with the manjar branco.