Sweet Farofa Recipe

sweet farofaA little while ago I received an e-mail from one of my favorite blogs (O caderno de receitas) with a recipe for sweet farofa. For anyone wanting to try a new farofa recipe this one is perfect. It goes really well with pork or turkey. If there is anything in the recipe that you do not like or don’t have at home, you can simply leave it out.

Enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients
80g bacon, cubed or chopped finely
Olive Oil
½ onion, grated or chopped finely
50g prunes, chopped
50g raisins
50g chopped brazil nuts
50g chopped walnuts
250g breadcrumbs or farinha de mandioca

Put some olive oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and fry on a low heat. When beginning to brown add the onion and continue to fry. When the onion begins to soften and brown, add the prunes, raisins, brazil nuts and walnuts, continue to fry, mixing regularly. Add the breadcrumbs or farinha de mandioca a little at a time, mixing well after each addition to make sure that everything is well incorporated. If the breadcrumbs or farinha de mandioca begin to get dry you can add some more olive oil (you want the flour to be humid, but not wet). Serve warm or at room temperature together with meat, rice and beans!

Thank you to ‘O caderno de receitas’ for this wonderful recipe!

Photo credit: http://ocadernodereceitas.com.br/2015/12/29/farofa-doce-da-minha-mae-sugestao-para-o-ano-novo/

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.

Rural Brazil – Summer Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant lasagnaWe know it is summer when we can finally make our yummy eggplant lasagna. Because I live at a high altitude the weather is much colder than most of Brazil, nights are cold all year around and we actually have some seasons or at least there is a distinct difference between our winter and summer. All of this means that we cannot grow specific vegetables throughout the whole year. Mainly it is the fruits that we cannot grow such as tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and eggplant.

We begin seeding our summer fruits in august, get the transplants in the ground by mid October and begin harvesting cucumber and zucchini by late November or early December. Tomatoes we can harvest by the end of December and pepper and eggplant only in January. By April it already begins to get too cold to continue planting. We are able to harvest into mid May, but by June all of  our summer fruits are finished.

So, a lot of the year we eat the basic vegetables such as collards, beets, carrots, escarole and spinach. But, when summer starts we go crazy in the kitchen with all of our summer dishes. We make a lot of antipastos, turn a lot of our tomatoes into sauce that usually lasts us the whole year and we make one of our all time favorite dishes: eggplant lasagna.

We love eggplant and when we have it we eat as much as possible. Our eggplant lasagna usually makes it into our menu on a weekly basis. It is so simple and we actually make this without pasta, so it is gluten-free!

We know that summer has really started when we can make our eggplant lasagna. So, yesterday was the first day I made eggplant lasagna and although it is unseasonable cold we know that summer is here!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you want to add pasta, you most definitely can!
Eggplant lasagna

Ingredients

2 large eggplants or 4 small
2 large jars/cans of tomato sauce
1 recipe of white sauce or bechamel
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Parmesan cheese or mozzarella

Slice the eggplant as thinly as possible, length wise. Place in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Let rest for approximately 10-15 minutes.

Make one recipe of white sauce or bechamel. I do not use measurements, so if you do not have your own recipe you can follow this one HERE!

Preheat oven to 250C/480F.

To assemble the lasagna begin by spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Place a full layer of eggplant on top of the tomato sauce, cover with the white sauce and next add the tomato sauce. Continue in this manner until you have finished all ingredients or reached the top of your pan. Top with cheese.

Cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 45-60 minutes. When almost baked through, uncover and allow the top to brown.

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!