December 17, 2012

Brazilian Chicken Salad

Known as Salpicão de Frango, this recipe is one of the typical Brazilian side dishes for the Holiday.

servings: 8 to 10
time: 35 minutes


Ingredients
2 large chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
1 green apple, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lemon
½ onion, cut into very thin strips
2 grated carrots
10-15 chopped olives (black or green)
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tbs. mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
crushed potato chips to garnish

Directions
1 – Mix apple and lemon juice in a pot while you chop the other ingredients.
2 – In a large bowl add onion, carrot, olives, raisins, almonds and parsley. Stir well.
3 – Add apple with lemon juice and the shredded chicken.
4 – Seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil and mayonnaise. Taste and adjust the spices to your taste.
5 – Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. After that, put in the bowl that you will use to serve and garnish with the crushed chips.

Tips and Options
  • Use different ingredients as corn, peas, celery, cabbage, potatoes, green beans or radishes.
  • Want a lighter option? Instead of mayonnaise, use 2 tablespoons of yogurt mixed with 1 teaspoon mustard.
Original recipe (in Portuguese): Salpicão de Frango.

December 10, 2012

Chocolate Nutella Cookies

Chocolate cookies + nutella = delicious!

servings: 24 cookies
time: 40 minutes


Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
2 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ to ¾ cup Nutella (or other chocolate hazelnut spread)
24 nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios...)



Directions
1 – Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick spray.
2 – In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa and salt. In a separate, larger bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until it's light and fluffy (for about 2 minutes). Add egg yolks and vanilla and beat well.
3 – Mix in flour mixture at low speed, just until combined.
4 – Turn dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and knead a few times until it is smooth and shiny. Shape dough into 24 (1-inch) balls.
5 – Arrange balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press your thumb into the center of each cookie, leaving an indentation.
6 – Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
7 – Spoon a generous teaspoonful of Nutella into the center of each cookie.
8 – Add a piece of nuts on top of each cookie.

*This recipe is adapted from RecipeGirl.com

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Cookies de Chocolate com Nutella.

December 04, 2012

Chickpeas with vegetables

Chickpeas are low in fat and are a helpful source of zinc, folate and protein. They also provide dietary phosphorus and can assist in lowering cholesterol in the bloodstream.

servings: 6 servings
time: 50 minutes


Ingredients
1 ½ cups chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
3 cups water
½ onion, finely chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
½ cup chopped leeks
1 chopped tomato
2 cups chopped vegetables (in this recipe, were used broccoli, yellow squash and green beans)
salt and olive oil to taste



Directions
1 – Soak chickpeas overnight.
2 – Discard the water and put them in the pressure cooker with 3 cups of water. Let it cook for 20-25 minutes, after the pan start to beep, and remove from heat. Before opening the pan, wait for the pressure stops completely.
3 – Throw out the water and set aside the chickpeas.
4 – Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a pan and sauté onion, garlic and leeks.
5 – Next, add the chopped vegetables and tomatoes. Cook until the vegetables are as soft as you like.
6 – Add chickpeas, salt to taste and mix well. Serve while still warm or as a salad.

Tips and Options
  • At the end, add olive oil and juice of ½ lemon.
  • Parsley, chives, thyme, curry and black pepper are also good spices to the dish.
  • Because cooking chickpeas is a bit of work, I do a larger amount (depending on the capacity of the pressure cooker) and freeze in containers with lids. Then, just remove from the freezer and use for salads, soups or with vegetables, like in this recipe.
  • If using a sauce pan, the cooking time for chickpeas is between 1 and 2 hours.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Grão de Bico com Legumes.

November 25, 2012

Farofa - Brazilian Stuffing

One of the most typical Brazilian dishes, the farofa can be used as stuffing or side dish for poultry, pork, barbecues, feijoada or stews.

FAROFA - BRAZILIAN STUFFING
servings: 5 servings
time: 25 minutes


Ingredients
5 chopped bacon slices
1 diced onion
3 mashed garlic cloves
3 eggs
1 ½ cups manioc flour*
1 diced tomato
1 grated carrot
olive oil, salt and tabasco to taste
parsley and chives/scallion to taste

Directions
1 – Fry bacon in ½ tbs. olive oil, until it's crispy.
2 – Put onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and mix well.
3 – Pour the eggs on top, without stirring. When they are cooked, mix gently, leaving large pieces.
4 – Add the flour and seasonings (salt and pepper) and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
5 – Finally, put carrots, tomatoes, parsley and chives. Leave 2 minutes and turn off the heat.

Tips and Options
  • Add other ingredients such as chopped zucchini, bell peppers, olives, bananas, raisins, apple and/or nuts.
  • The tomatoes should be added at the end to not release to much water.

*Want to know more about farofa? Click here.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Farofa.

November 21, 2012

Baked Tilapia with Potatoes

Easy, healthy and delicious. This recipe will be one of your favorites. Write it down!

BAKED TILAPIA WITH POTATOES
(servings: 2 servings / time: 40 minutes)

Ingredients
2 large fillets tilapia
salt and olive oil to taste
1 lemon juice
1 sprig of thyme (about 1 teaspoon)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 diced tomato
½ diced onion
2 thinly sliced potatoes (and/or squash or zucchini)

Directions

1 – Season the fish with salt, olive oil, lemon and thyme. Set aside.
2 – In a baking pan, put garlic, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Sprinkle salt and olive oil and mix well (you can use your hands).
3 – Add the fish fillets and stir gently.
4 – Arrange the baking sheet, layering potatoes, fish and then the tomatoes/onion (as in the first picture).
5 – Bake in preheated oven (350°F) for 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Tips and Options

  • Mixed salad green and steamed vegetables are good sides for this dish.
  • If you want to prepare in advance, follow the directions until step 4 and refrigerate, covered. This can be done hours in advance. Just remember to take from the refrigerator ½ hour before you bake.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Tilápia ao forno com batatas.

November 12, 2012

Tortilla Pizza

Here is an easy and tasty idea for dinner. Be creative and choose your on toppings!

servings: 1 serving
time: 10 minutes


Ingredients
1 flour tortilla
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 tuna can
½ chopped tomato
3 chopped olives
1 cup grated mozzarella
olive oil and oregano to taste

Directions
1 – With the heat off, put the tortilla in a skillet pan and spread the tomato sauce.
2 – Add the remaining ingredients: tuna, tomatoes, olives, mozzarella, olive oil and oregano.
3 – Turn the heat to medium high, cover the pan and leave until tortilla is crispy and cheese is melted (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Tips and Options
Be creative and choose different toppings for this recipe: corn, shredded chicken, cream cheese, arugula, bacon, onion, pepperoni, ham...


Original recipe (in Portuguese): Pizza de frigideira.

November 05, 2012

Pork Loin Chop with Vegetables

Dinner ready using only 1 pot.

servings: 4 servings
time: 30 minutes


Ingredients
4 to 8 pork loin chops (thin cut and no fat)
1 tbs. Oil (canola or olive)
salt and Tabasco pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
juice of 1 lemon (divided)
2 mashed garlic cloves
½ thinly sliced onion
½ cup dry white wine
1 yellow zucchini
2 cups thinly sliced collard greens
1 cup thinly sliced red/purple cabbage

Directions
1 – Season the meat with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic and ½ lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
2 – In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and add the meat. In high heat, cook for 3 minutes, turn and cook for 3 more minutes, so that both sides are golden/brown.
3 – Add onions and stir.
4 – When onions start to turn golden, bring the heat to medium-high, stir, and put wine and zucchini. Let it cook for 4 minutes.
5 – Add collard greens and cabbage, mixing well, and cook until vegetables are soft (but not mushy).
6 – Taste to check the salt and pour the other half of the lemon juice.

Tips and Options
  • After turning the heat off, add chopped scallions or parsley.
  • To give a special taste to the dish, add 5 minced capers to the seasoning.
  • This recipe is already a complete meal, but you can also serve with rice or mashed potatoes as side dishes.
  • White wine is optional.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Lombinho de Porco com Legumes.

October 29, 2012

Crunchy White Cake

The basic white cake has a nice crunchy in this recipe. Check it out.

servings: 15 to 20 pieces
time: 45 minutes


Ingredients
4 eggs (separate whites and yolks)
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of hot milk
1 tbs butter
1 tbs baking powder
1 pinch of salt
180 gr. of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
1 cup chopped mix of nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pecans)

Note: melt the butter in the hot milk.

Directions
1 – Beat egg whites until they are very firm.
2 – Add the egg yolks, one by one, and put the sugar. Beat until the mixture is light yellow.
3 – Add flour and salt, alternating with the milk mixed with butter.
4 – Put the baking powder and stir lightly.
5 – Pour batter into greased and floured baking sheet.
6 – On the top, sprinkle the chocolate and nuts mix.
7 – Bake (in a preheated oven) for about 35-40 minutes at 350°F.

Tips and Options
  • Use the nuts you like the most to make the crunchy. The mix can be made with almond, Brazilian nuts, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts or pecans.
  • Another option to make the cake even more crunchy is by using chocolates bars like Toblerone or Crunch.
  • For a little variety, add 1 package shredded coconut (unsweetened) to the batter.
  • The chocolate can be milk, semisweet or white.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Bolo Crocante.

October 23, 2012

Chinese beef with broccoli

Bring some Chinese taste to your dinner.

servings: 4
time: 25 minutes


Ingredients
1 lb. beef cut into strips or cubes (tenderloin or sirloin)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of ground ginger
1 tbs. canola or olive oil
1 onion, cut into very thin strips
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. roasted peanuts, chopped
1 tbs. sesame seeds (optional)
chopped chives to garnish


Directions
1 – Season the meat with salt, pepper and ginger.
2 – Heat the oil in a large pan and add the meat. Fry well (without stirring) for approximately 3 minutes.
3 – Mix and let it cook for another 3 minutes.
4 – Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally.
5 – Once the onion is golden, put the broccoli, soy sauce, peanut and sesame seeds, mixing well.
6 – Cover the pan and set the fire to medium-high and let it cook for about 5 minutes (or until the broccoli is cooked to your taste).
7 – Turn off the heat and add the chives.

Tips and Options
  • If the bottom of the pan starts to dry too much during the preparation of the dish, add a little warm water.
  • This recipe can also be made with chicken breast.
  • Spice up the dish with other vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, eggplant or cabbage.
  • Ginger can be used powdered or natural, grated (in this case, use only 1 teaspoon).
  • White or brown rice and green salad are great side dishes.
  • If you want to serve in Chinese style, place the rice in individual bowls and add the meat on top.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Carne chinesa.

October 15, 2012

Grilled Vegetables

Your barbecue days are going to be healthier, tastier and fancier with this easy recipe.

servings: 6
time: 25 minutes


Ingredients
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into thick slices (about ½ inch)
1 sliced onion (also cut in ½ inch)
1 zucchini, sliced
12 stalks of asparagus
2 large bell peppers
6 large fresh mushrooms
6 thick cheese slices (can be fresh mozzarella or tofu)
6 to 12 basil leaves
salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste
6 stalks of rosemary to decorate

Directions
1 – The bell pepper is the one who has different preparation and should be grilled whole. To grill, let it be black on all sides. Then, place it in a sealed plastic bag. After a few minutes in the bag, will be easier to remove the skin and seeds, which are not used. Cut them into 3 pieces and set aside.
2 – Cut all other vegetables and place them on the grill. Cook until you can see the grill marks and turn the vegetables.
3 – When they are cooked to your taste (more or less soft), place them in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
4 – To plate, start with the eggplant or peppers as the base (since they are the largest) and then add the other ones, alternating with cheese and some basil leaves.
5 – On the top, put 2 stalks of asparagus crossed (as the picture shows) and drill a hole right in the middle (with the help of a barbecue stick), putting a stalk of rosemary for decoration.
6 – Sprinkle the seasoning of your choice (I used olive oil and balsamic vinegar) and serve.

Tips and Options
  • To prevent the onions to fall apart while grilling, attach the slices with a toothpick.
  • Any other vegetable can be used (or replaced) in this recipe: potatoes, green beans, carrots... The only thing that changes is the cooking time for each one.
  • To make that a complete meal, add grilled chicken to the layers.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Legumes na churrasqueira.

October 08, 2012

Salad with Sesame Salt

Sesame + sunflower seeds are excellent helpers for weight loss.

servings: 1
time: 20 minutes


Ingredients
Salad

2 collard greens leaves
3 cabbage leaves (white or purple)
3 radishes
1 can tuna
½ tbsp (tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbs sesame salt*

*Sesame salt
1 cup white sesame seeds
1 cup black sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbs sea salt





Directions
Salad
1 – In a bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon and sesame salt.
2 – Add the tuna and stir well.
3 – Put collard greens, cabbage and radish, chopped to your preference.

Sesame salt
1 – Place all ingredients in a dry pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.
2 – Grind the mixture coarsely, using a blender or food processor.
3 – Store in a dry pot, with lid.

Tips and Options
  • Add parsley or chives to the salad.
  • Instead of collard greens and cabbage, use other leaves such as lettuce, spinach or napa cabbage.
  • For a lighter recipe, use tuna in water.
  • Chicken breast or turkey are also good options for this salad.
  • The sesame salt can be used as a salt substitute for salad dressing, rice, soups, vegetables and meats.

+ about sesame salt
Also known as gomashio, the sesame salt is a Japanese condiment. The mixture is an excellent option to reduce the amount of salt consumed, reducing body water retention. Sesame seeds help to reduce cholesterol, contain antioxidants, manganese, copper and calcium. Sunflower seeds are source of vitamin E, calcium and phosphorus and has anti-inflammatory action.
How to use: Prepare food as usual and use the sesame salt as topping.

*This sesame salt recipe is from my sister-in-law, Fernanda Sansone, who is a nutritionist.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Salada com Gersal.

October 01, 2012

Strawberries & Nutella

Easy & yummy

STRAWBERRIES & NUTELLA
20 strawberries / time: 5 to 10 minutes (Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese)

Ingredients
20 strawberries, washed and dried
3 to 4 tbs. Nutella

Directions
1 – Put nutella in a bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir well.
2 – Dip the strawberries in nutella, one by one, covering only one side.
3 – Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Tips and Options
  • Strawberries should be washed and dried thoroughly.
  • If the nutella begins to harden while you are dipping the strawberries, microwave again (10-15 seconds).
  • Sprinkle nuts or chocolate sprinkles on top of the strawberries.
  • Keep the strawberries in the refrigerator. Preferably, in covered bowl.

September 24, 2012

Penne with Salsa Verde and Grape Tomatoes

Quick and tasty dinner fix!

servings: 5 to 6 / time: 20 minutes
Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

Ingredients
1 package of penne pasta (1 lb.)
20 grate (or cherry) tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 and ½ cup chopped parsley
1 ½ tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped capers
olive oil and salt to taste

Directions
1 – Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, prepare the salsa verde.
2 – Mix chopped shallot and vinegar in a bowl and let sit.
3 – Chop parsley, thyme and capers and add them in the bowl with the shallot and vinegar. Add olive oil and salt to taste and mix well.
4 – Once the penne is done, mix it with the salsa verde and add the tomatoes.
5 – Taste. If necessary, add more salt and olive oil.

Tips and Options
  • Substitute the vinegar for juice of 1 lemon.
  • Add diced fresh mozzarella.

September 17, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Irresistible and easy to prepare. There will be no leftovers...

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE 
(servings: 10 to 12 / time: 45 minutes)

Ingredients
Batter
6 eggs
6 tablespoons chocolate milk powder
2 tbs. butter
8 tbs. sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3.75 oz. shredded coconut (100 grams)

Topping
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbs. cocoa powder
2 tbs. sugar

Directions
Batter
1 – In the blender, beat eggs for about 2 minutes.
2 – Add chocolate, butter and sugar and beat 3 minutes more.
3 – Put the mixture into a bowl and add the grated coconut and baking powder. Mix gently.
4 – In a preheated oven, bake it for about 30-40 minutes (in a greased pan) at 350-400°F.

Topping
Heat all ingredients in a saucepan. From the moment it begins to start bubble, count about 5 minutes.

Tips and Options
  • Add nuts, apple and/or raisins in the batter (in step 3).
  • This topping is also good for different kinds of cake.

Original recipe (in Portuguese):
Bolo de Chocolate (sem farinha).

September 10, 2012

Crispy Golden Potato

Crispy outside, soft inside. Yummy...

CRISPY GOLDEN POTATO
servings: 6 / time: 30 minutes (Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese)

Ingredients
12 medium yellow potatoes
salt to taste
enough oil for deep frying

Directions
1 – Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them in half.
2 – Cook them in salted water until tender, but still firm.
3 – Remove from pan and drain.
4 – Fry in hot oil until well gold (approximately 8-10 minutes).
5 – Put in a plate with paper towel. If necessary, add a pinch of salt.

Tips and Options
  • Sprinkle fried garlic, bacon, cheese or chives after frying.
  • Serve with cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise or ketchup.
  • These potatoes are a good side dish for meats and pastas, but can also be served as an appetizer.
  • If you are using a small pan, don't fry all the potatoes at once.

September 03, 2012

Beef Risotto

How about a risotto for dinner? Try this recipe that has top sirloin and broccoli.

BEEF RISOTTO
(servings: 4 / time: 40 minutes)
 
Ingredients
2 cups arborio rice
4-5 cups beef broth
2 tbs. olive oil (or 1 tbs. butter)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 lb. top sirloin cut into cubes
1 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup chopped broccoli, chopped (optional)
½ cup chopped green onions or chives
salt and black pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese to garnish

Directions
1 – In a large saucepan, bring the beef broth to a boil and keep it warm.
2 – In another pan, heat olive oil and add top sirloin, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown (about 3 minutes).
3 – At medium high temperature, add rice and stir for 3 minutes.
4 – Add wine and stir until the liquid is completely absorbed. Add the broccoli.
5 – After that, add about 3/4 cup of the boiling broth and stir until the liquid is almost gone.
6 – Repeat the process until rice is al dente (this will be about 18 minutes, counting from the moment you pour the wine).
7 – Turn off the heat, add cheese and chives and stir.

Tips and Options
  • Instead of butter or cheese, typically used to finish risottos, use 1 tablespoon of cream cheese.
  • You can also add any types of vegetables in this recipe: mushroom, zucchini, carrot and/or squash.
  • Good side dishes: potato chips and green salad will give a crisp touch to the dish.
  • If you know how to make it, is preferable to use a homemade beef broth. It will be tastier and healthier.

Original recipe (in Portuguese):
Risoto de Carne.

August 27, 2012

Easy Chicken

Made in the oven, this is a quick, easy and tasty recipe.

EASY CHICKEN
servings: 5 / time: 30 minutes (Click here to see the recipe in Portuguese)

Ingredients
2 pounds chicken thigh, skinless and boneless
salt to taste
3 crushed garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon rosemary
2 cups chopped broccoli
½ cup chopped green onions or chives

Directions
1 – Season chicken with salt, garlic, lemon and rosemary.
2 – In a baking sheet, put in preheated oven at 350ºF and bake for 20 minutes.
3 – Remove from the oven, add broccoli, mix well and return to oven for 5-10 minutes.
4 – Garnish with green onions and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Good side options for this dish: white rice and/or green salad.

August 20, 2012

Pizza Bites

Your guests will love this snack – and you too!

PIZZA BITES
(servings: 10 to 15 / time: 15 minutes)

Ingredients
10 medium flour tortillas
5 tbs. tomato sauce
3 seedless tomatoes, chopped
1 can sweet corn
½ finely chopped onion
grated Mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)
salt and oregano to taste
olive oil

Directions
1 – In a bowl, combine tomatoes, corn, onion and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
2 – Spread tomato sauce in each tortilla and add the mixture from the bowl.
3 – Cover with cheese, sprinkle oregano and a drizzle of olive oil.
4 – With a pizza cutter, slice tortillas into 4 parts.
5 – Bake at medium-high (350-400°F) for about 8 minutes or until cheese is melted and dough is crisp.

Tips and Options
  • Pizza and tortillas are good with a variety of combinations and this recipe is no different. Be creative and invent different versions: shredded chicken, tuna, pepperoni, olives, basil, Canadian bacon, bacon, mushrooms...
  • For toppings, you can also use other types of cheese such as mozzarella, cream cheese, cheddar, feta, fontina or even make a mix more than one type.
  • One more option is put ingredients in separate bowls and let each guest assemble their favorite flavor.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Pizza Aperitivo.

August 13, 2012

Creamy Cheesy Chicken

You can't go wrong with chicken + cream + cheese!!!

CREAMY CHEESY CHICKEN
(servings: 6 / time: 1 hour 30 minutes)

Ingredients
Chicken:
1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves garlic
1 can corn
2 chopped tomatoes
1 can hearts of palm, chopped (or 1 can artichoke)
½ cup chopped parsley and chives
½ cup chopped green olives
2 tbs. cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cream:
2 egg yolks
2 cups milk
2 tbs. cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream o(r 1 can table cream)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste
6 to 8 slices mozzarella cheese

Directions
Chicken:
1 – In a large saucepan, heat oil and saute onion and garlic.
2 – Add shredded chicken, tomatoes, corn, hearts of palm, olives, salt and pepper. Mix well.
3 – Finally, add cream cheese and parsley/chives. Stir and set aside.

Cream:
1 – Dissolve the cornstarch in a little bit of the milk.
2 – Put egg yolks, milk, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Mix well and turn the heat to medium-high.
3 – Stirring constantly, cook until the cream is very consistent (for about 10-15 minutes).
4 – Turn off the heat, add the cream and mix well. Set aside.

Assembly:
In a large baking dish, spread out half of the cream.
Add the chicken and make a layer of mozzarella.
Cover with the other half of the cream and sprinkle grated cheese.
Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes.

Tips and Options
  • Serve with green salad, white rice and potato chips.
  • To make it crunchy: mix the grated cheese with 1 cup bread crumbs. Sprinkle over and bake as directed.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Fricassê de Frango.

August 06, 2012

Shrimp Broccoli Pasta

Easy and quick, this pasta will be a hit on your table!

SHRIMP BROCCOLI PASTA
(servings: 5/ time: 25 minutes)

Ingredients
1 package long shaped pasta (e.g. spaghetti, fettuccine, angel hair)
1 lb. shrimp, clean
1 tbs. oil (vegetable or olive oil)
4 crushed garlic cloves
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 diced tomatoes
1 tbs. butter
salt to taste

Directions
1 – Cook pasta according to the package directions.
2 – In another saucepan, heat oil and add garlic, shrimp and salt. Let simmer for about 3 minutes.
4 – Add broccoli and tomatoes and mix well. Cook for 3 minutes, covered.
5 – Place the cooked pasta and butter. Mix for about 2 minutes.
6 – Taste to check the salt, adding more if necessary, and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Instead of broccoli, use eggplant or zucchini.
  • Add lemon zest, or mix it the juice of 1 lemon, just after turning off the heat.
  • Garnish with parsley, chives or thyme.
  • If you like, add other seafood to this recipe (squid, mussels and/or octopus).

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Macarronada com Camarão e Brócolis.

July 30, 2012

Turkey Cheese Sandwich

Crispy and super easy to prepare. You are going to love this snack.

TURKEY CHEESE SANDWICH
1 serving / 10 minutes (Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese)
 
Ingredients
2 slices of bread (white, brown or sourdough)
½ tbs cream or cottage cheese
2 mozzarella slices
5 thinly sliced deli turkey breast
½ sliced tomato
chopped lettuce and cabbage
olive oil
salt and oregano to taste
potato chips

Directions
1 – Prepare all the ingredients needed to assemble the sandwich.
2 – Season lettuce and cabbage with salt and olive oil.
3 – Bake the bread in the oven (at 350°F) for about 4 minutes, approximately.
4 – Once the bread is starting to get crisp, remove from oven and start to layer: bread, cheese, mozzarella, turkey breast, tomato, oregano and salad.
5 – Serve with potato chips.

Tips and Options
  • Instead of turkey breast, use salami, tuna, ham or bologna.
  • If you are a vegetarian, use more than one type of cheese like provolone, fontina, cheddar, etc..
  • In the salad, add grated carrot.
  • Use lemon or vinegar to season the salad.

July 23, 2012

Beef stew, rice, and vegetables

Food doesn't have to be fancy to be good!


BEEF STEW, RICE, AND VEGETABLES
servings: 5 / time: 1 hour (Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese)

Ingredients

Stew
2 pounds sirloin cut into cubes
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbs. vinegar
1 tbs. canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup dry red wine (optional)
1 teaspoon wheat flour
1 teaspoon butter

Rice
2 cups rice
4 cups water
3 minced garlic cloves
½ chopped onion
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
salt (about 1 teaspoon)

Vegetables
2 carrots cut into strips
20-25 stalks of asparagus
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbs olive oil
salt to taste

Directions
Stew
1 – Season meat with salt, pepper, vinegar and garlic.
2 – In a saucepan, heat the oil and add meat to fry. Leave for about 3 minutes, stir and cook for 3 more minutes.
3 – Add onion.
4 – Once onion is cooked and has released water, put wine (or ½ cup of water) and flour. Stir constantly to avoid lumps, for about 5 minutes. Should form a creamy broth.
5 – Add butter and mix well. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.

Rice
1 – Fry onion and garlic in oil.
2 – Add rice and salt and mix well.
3 – Put water and let cook over high heat until the liquid has almost evaporated completely (about 15 minutes).
4 – Cover the pan, lower the heat to low and let simmer until rice is soft and dry.

Vegetables
Cook carrots and asparagus until they are al dente (it can be steaming or in a pot with water). In a bowl, place carrots, asparagus and tomatoes and season with salt and olive oil. Mix well and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Add parsley and/or green onions to the meat.
  • Use other types of vegetables.
  • Instead of salt, use beef broth to prepare the rice (2 cups broth + 2 cups water).
  • Serve with beans and lettuce salad.

July 16, 2012

Tri-color Fusilli with Vegetables

Healthy, tasty and easy to do... everything a recipe needs to be!

TRI-COLOR FUSILLI WITH VEGETABLES
servings: 6 / time: 30 minutes (Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese)

Ingredients
1 package (1 pound) tri-color fusilli pasta
3 minced garlic cloves
1 chopped small onion
2 carrots cut into strips
2 chopped zucchini
½ sliced cabbage (white or purple)
2 tbs. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
thyme and oregano (½ teaspoon of each)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
1 – Cook pasta according to package directions.
2 – In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and add onions (let it cook for about 3 minutes) and then out the garlic.
3 – Add carrot and zucchini, stir and cook for 3 minutes.
4 – Put cabbage and seasonings (lemon juice, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano). Mix well.
5 – Add the cooked pasta and stir. Taste to check if needs more salt. Serve.

Tips and Options
  • For variety, use other types of vegetables such as eggplant, peas, corn, hearts of palm, broccoli, spinach and napa cabbage.
  • Olives and leeks can also be used as a seasoning for this dish.
  • At serving time, add a tablespoon of butter and mix well.

July 09, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Cake

Impossible to resist to this combination of chocolate, strawberries and creamy coconut...

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY CAKE
(servings: 20 to 25 / time: 2 hours and 30 minutes)

Ingredients Batter:
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites (whisked into snow)
½ cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups warm milk
2 tbs baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda

Syrup:
1 cup milk
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbs butter
4 oz. shredded coconut
strawberries, washed and chopped (about 12 to 16 oz.)

Ganache:
1 ½ cups heavy cream
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Batter:
1 – In the mixer, put butter and sugar and beat for 5 minutes.
2 – Add the egg yolks and continue mixing until creamy and light yellow.
3 – Gradually, add the flour and cocoa powder (both previously sifted), alternating with milk (a bit of flour and chocolate, a bit of milk). Blend for about 3 minutes.
4 – Turn off the mixer.
5 – Mixing gently with a spoon, add baking powder, baking soda and snow eggs.
6 – Pour in a greased and floured baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes at 350-400°F.

Syrup:
In a bowl, stir all ingredients. Use the syrup to “wash” the cake layers and keep moist.

Filling:
1 – Mix condensed milk, butter and grated coconut in a saucepan and bring it to a medium heat. Keep stirring until it thickens enough that you can see the pan bottom.
2 – Add heavy cream and cook for 2 minutes. Turn it off and set aside.

Ganache:
1 – Put the heavy cream in a saucepan on medium-high heat. When begins to boil, turn off the heat and add chocolate. Do not stir.
2 – After 5 minutes, stir until it is consistently, bright and creamy.

Assembly:
1 – After baking the cake, let it cool, remove from baking sheet and cut it in 2 layers.
2 – Spread syrup in both layers to moist.
3 – Add the filling and strawberries.
4 – Place the other cake layer on top.
5 – Add the ganache and the garnish (walnuts or pecans).

Tips and Options
  • To garnish, use walnuts, pecans, nuts or shredded chocolate.
  • Batter, filling and ganache must be cold for assembly.
  • Store in refrigerator in a covered container.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Bolo Tentação de Morango.
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