How to snack like a local at the Rio Olympics

If you have travelled to Brazil for the Rio Olympics you will definitely find the time to enjoy the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. While meandering through streets, walking along Copacabana beach or visiting the pão de açucar, at some point, you will need something to snack on. The culinary delights that Brazil has to offer are endless, but what should you eat for a quick snack? And, how do you order it?

(If you are enjoyng the Rio Olympics from the comfort of your own home you can make some of these delicious snacks for everyone to enjoy!)

A common place to stop for a snack is a lanchonete, snack bar. Or, one of the many beach stands. Anywhere you go, you are likely to find the same snacks. Here are some MUST-TRY snacks.

Caipirinha
Everybody has heard of the Brazilian drink, caipirnha, probably your local bar is now serving it. But, while in Rio you HAVE to drink at least one. Grab one at Copacabana or Ipanema beaches, breathing in the salty sea air, squishing your toes in the sand and brushing off the constant bombardment of beach vendors.

The traditional capirinha is made with cachaça and lime, but nowadays there is a myriad of different caipirinha options. You can have it with vodka or cachaça, lime, passion fruit, pineapple, strawberry…the list goes on. So, how do you order the traditional caipirinha?

how to order caipirinha in portuguese

I suggest you stick to the cachaça. If you want a different fruit just substitute the limão with: abacaxi (pineapple) or morango (strawberries) or maracuja (passion fruit).

And, if one capirinha is not enough (which, it is likely not to be). Just say: “mais uma, por favor.”

CLICK HERE for the traditional recipe! And HERE for one made with blackberries!

Pão de Queijo
These are all the rave in the USA at the moment. But, you have to try the real deal. Anywhere you go in Brazil you will find pão de queijo. Any lanchonete, padaria or beach stand will serve them. Sometimes you will find large single serving pão de queijo and other times they will be small bite-sized. There is no difference between the two in flavor, just the way you order.

Brazilian Cheese Bread

If there are large pão de queijo being sold you will ask for how many you would like, um, dois, tres or quatro.

You: Eu queria um pão de queijo, por favor. (I’d like one pão de queijo, please).

OR

You: Eu queria dois/três/quatro pães de queijo, por favor. (I’d like two/three/four pães de queijo, please).

Now, if the padaria or lanchonete is serving bite-sized pão de queijo, you will need to order by weight. Remember, in Brazil we use the metric system, so you will be ordering in grams. Don’t panic, it is not that difficult. Let’s see how it is done.

You. Eu queria 100g (cem gramas) de pão de queijo, por favor. (I’d like 100g of pão de queijo, please).

Simple, right? 100g of bite-sized pão de queijo will be about 10 units. Think of each one as weighing 10g.

Now you’re ready to go onto the streets of Rio and order pão de queijo like a local.

CLICK HERE for recipe #1! And HERE for the blender recipe!

Empadinha de frango
Finally, we have a popular Brazilian snack that you may not have heard of. The empadinha is a small, cupcake sized, pie. Popular fillings are frango (chicken), palmito (hearts of palm) and queijo (cheese). You will find this common snack anywhere. Brazilians like to eat it with an expresso or cappuccino. Let’s learn how to order an empadinha and how to find out what the filling is.

Chicken Pie

How to ask what the fillings are:

You: Essas empadinhas são de quê?

And ordering:

You: Eu queria uma empadinha de frango/palmito/queijo, por favor.

Now go out, grab an empadinha and a coffee!

CLICK HERE for my delicious recipe!

Coxinha
Another popular coffee time snack: coxinha. Translated this means ‘little thigh’. You will be able to easily identify it in any display window as it is shaped like a chicken thigh. This is a deep-fried chicken and potato snack. Shredded and seasoned chicken is wrapped with pureed potato, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. What could be tastier than that? Sometimes you will find the whole drumstick wrapped in pureed potato, but I recommend going for the more common one with the shredded chicken.

How to order? Just ask for a coxinha as we have practiced with the other snacks.
Brazilian Coxinha

Pudim
If all of these savory snacks are getting a little bit too much for you, head over to the sweets section and pick out this delicious dessert. Pudim is a Brazilian staple and is a must-have. It is a flan-like dessert made from condensed milk, milk and eggs. Accompanied with a delicious caramel sauce, it is eaten cold.

condensed milk pudding

CLICK HERE for the recipe!

Pastel com caldo de cana
If you pass-by anywhere that is selling pastel STOOOOOOOOOOOP! You will want to go and get one of these popular Brazilian street foods. Commonly, pastel is sold at the neighborhood vegetable street markets or feiras.

So, what is pastel? Well, it is a light, deep-fried, pastry that is filled with any kind of filling you can imagine, cheese, ground beef, hearts of palm, escarole, pumpkin, jerked beef, just to name a few. You can even mix and match. Anything goes.

Pastel com caldo de cana

And, there you have it, some tasty snacks that you will find anywhere in Rio de Janeiro during the summer Olympics. Or snacks which you can make at home while watching the Rio Olympics on TV. And, you now know some portuguese!

Want some more snacks for all of you Rio Olympic watching? Here are some more suggestions:
Fried Manioc Balls
Feijoada (Brazilian Bean and Meat Stew)
Broa (Sweet corn breads)
Avocado ice-cream
Fried Rice Balls
Passion Fruit Mousse
Brigadeiro

Blackberry Mousse – Mousse de Amora

Blackberry MousseOne of my favorite deserts is Passion Fruit Mousse. Whenever I am in a rush to make a desert or just want a quick and simple dessert I usually make passion fruit mousse. This dessert is so simple, it takes five minutes to make and everybody absolutely loves it. There really is no way you can go wrong with this dessert.

Sometimes though, I like to change the flavor of the mousse and usually I will opt for a blackberry mousse. A lot of times when I make a blackberry mousse everyone gets pleasantly surprised and absolutely love the change from passion fruit mousse.

If you like passion fruit mousse, definitely give this recipe a go. If you have fresh blackberries this recipe is a must!

ENJOY!

PASSION FRUIT MOUSSE

Ingredients

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can cream
1 cup of blackberry concentrate or fresh blackberry juice without seeds

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend together well for approximately 3 – 5 minutes or until the mixture is well incorporated and thick. Pour into a bowl, decorate with fresh blackberries, and leave in the fridge for an hour before serving.

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.

Brazilian Blender Pie – Torta de Liquidificador

Torta de liquidificafor - Blender PieHands down this is one of my all time favourite Brazilian recipes. Really, this dish is nothing special and definitely nothing to rave about. However, I love it because it is quick and easy to make and it is a wonderful way to use leftovers or odd vegetables or meat that either you don’t have enough of for a big dish or you don’t know what to do with. Secondly, you really can’t go wrong with this recipe.

This pie is often a life-saver for me on busy days and within 20 minutes I can have it in the oven!

Brazilians love anything that can be made in the blender and this pie is no exception, hence the name. The batter for this pie is made in the blender and all you need to do is pour it over the pie filling and pop it in the oven. It is really that simple!

Traditionally this pie is made with tuna fish, but here at home we try to stay away from tuna fish and therefore I make it with bacon, sausage, minced meat or chicken. I always have bacon and sausages in my freezer so they are the two meats that I usually use. If you are vegetarian you can easily leave out the meat.

So, the basis for this pie is a batter that is very similar to a cake mix. The rest is up to you. Be creative! Use leftovers, use different vegetable combinations and have fun!

Anything goes for this pie. If you don’t have much at home you can use less filling, if you want to beef up the pie with lots of filling, go ahead, it will definitely be super tasty and extra hearty!

My go to filling is some combination of spinach, escarole, leeks, onions, bacon and sausage! I stir fry all of this before hand and then mix with the batter.

The only thing that needs to be measured accurately for this recipe is the batter, the rest is completely up to you. Enjoy!

Ingredients 

Filling:
1 head of escarole
200g or 1 bunch of spinach
1 onion
1 sausage

Batter:
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
2 cups white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt

For the Filling:
Chop all ingredients and stir fry. If you are using leftovers that are already cooked there is no need to heat them up. The important thing for the filling is that all ingredients are cooked and seasoned and that there is non to very little water or liquid.

For the Batter:
Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. This is a thick batter, so if you prefer not to use a blender you can simply mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Preheat oven to 180C  (355F). When the filling and the batter are prepared, pour a small amount of batter into a prepared baking dish. Make sure the batter covers the bottom of the dish. Spoon the filling into the baking dish making sure to remove any liquid. Pour the remaining batter ontop of the filling. If you would like the filling to be fully incorporated into the batter take a spoon and lightly mix the batter and filling together. If you would like more of a sandwich effect, do not stir.

Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Torta de liquidificador - Blender Pie

Torta de Limão

Lemon PieWhen I decided to start writing this blog and learning to cook Brazilian food my husband was quick to tell me that I had to make torta de limão. He told me that he used to make this pie as a child and absolutely loved it. Obviously I had to make this childhood delight of my husbands.

Lemon PieTorta de limão translated to english means lemon pie but this is more what americans would consider a key lime pie with a twist. Although it is called a lemon pie in Brazil it is actually made with what we know as limes in northern europe and north america. Limes are actually just a different variety of lemon and are called limão or limão tahiti in Brazil.

When I finally decided to take the plunge and try to make this pie I was hoping that my husband would give me the directions for how to make the pie. It turned out that he had forgotten how to make it and only remembered the ingredients that went in: sweetened condensed milk and lime. So, I started on my mad hunt to try to find the right recipe that would recreate my husbands torta de limão. The hunt for the perfect recipe proved to be more difficult than usual. None of my recipe books had this recipe and all the recipes that I found online seemed to have completely different ideas for how to make this pie. In the end, as I seem to always do, I found about three or four recipes, combined the aspects of each that I liked the most, and hoped that my pie would turn out fabulous.

Lemon PieTo my great surprise this pie turned out absolutely amazing. It tasted delicious, held together surprisingly well, and was not that much work to make. I loved every part of this pie and if I wasn’t worried about gaining too much weight I would eat it every day.

If you like key lime pie this is a recipe that you cannot pass up the opportunity to try. It is disgustingly easy, tasty, and beautiful.

Luckily for me I managed to bring back some childhood memories for my husband, even though he never made his torta de limão with the meringue topping!

Lemon PieIngredients

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 – 3 limes (depending on how strong of a lime flavor you would like)
3 egg whites
200g biscoito maria or any simple cookie for making the pie crust
200g butter
5 tbsp sugar

Crumble the biscoito maria or other cookie of your choice until very fine and resembles bread crumbs. Melt the butter and add to the crushed cookies. Mix together until it holds and forms a ball. Add more melted butter if needed. Place cookie and butter mixture into a pie dish. Spread thinly over bottom of the dish and on the sides. Press down firmly making sure it holds in place. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and lime juice in a blender and blend well. Use a spoon to make sure that all of the lime juice is well mixed with the sweetened condensed milk. In a standing mixer combine the egg whites and sugar. Beat until the egg white holds together and forms peaks when the mixer is lifted. Pour the condensed milk and lime mixture into the pie dish. Spread the egg white mixture on top. Place in a preheated 180C/355F oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the meringue mixture is a light brown on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before eating.

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!
Lemon Pie