February 27, 2012

Dulce de Leche Cupcake

For those who have a sweet tooth...

(24 servings / 1 hour)

4 eggs
1 tbs butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 cup boiling milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Filling / Topping
2 cups dulce de leche mixed with 1 cup table cream (or heavy cream)
chopped walnuts to decorate

1 - Beat egg whites until foamy white and double in volume in a large bowl.
2 - Add egg yolks and sugar and beat until the batter is light yellow.
3 - Using a spoon, add flour and milk (with melted butter in it), gradually, and continue stirring to form a homogeneous mixture.
4 - Mix vanilla extract and baking powder, mixing gently.
5 - Put in the cupcake pan (filling 2/3) and bake for about 20 minutes in preheated oven (to 350°F).
6 - After baking, make a hole in the middle of each cupcake and add dulce de leche.
7 - Garnish with walnuts.

  • Instead of walnuts, use almonds, peanuts or pecans.
  • Add lemon zest to the batter.
  • This recipe is a basic Brazilian 'sponge cake' batter. Use your creativity and try other fillings and toppings.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Cupcake de Doce de Leite.

February 20, 2012

Leek Risotto

This basic risotto recipe is a good side dish for any kind of meat.

(5 servings / 45 minutes) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

4 cups arborio rice
8-9 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
1 tbs. butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups leeks, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup green onion, chopped

1 - Put chicken broth in a saucepan and keep boiling on low heat throughout the risotto preparation.
2 - In a large saucepan, melt butter and put garlic. Cook until garlic is white.
3 - Add leeks, mixing well, until the leeks begin to soften.
4 - Put rice and stir for about 3 minutes.
5 - Put a cup of boiling broth and mix gently so that the broth is completely absorbed.
6 - When the liquid is almost all evaporated, pour wine and mix again until all incorporated to the rice.
7 - After that, repeat the process (1 cup broth + stir until absorbed) until the rice is done, al dente.
8 - Turn off the heat, add cheese, salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
9 - Finish with green onion.

Add celery to this recipe.
You can use beef or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Risotto's cooking time is usually 18 minutes, start counting when you add the first cup of broth. Still, keep proving until the rice is al dente or good for your taste.

February 12, 2012

Pork Loin Chop with Mushrooms

Tired of beef and chicken? Try this pork loin recipe today!

(2 servings / 30 minutes) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

4 thin pork loin chop
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs. olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp. chopped thyme
salt and Tabasco pepper to taste
½ chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 chopped tomato
2 tbs. chopped parsley

1 - In a bowl, season the meat with salt, garlic, olive oil, thyme, ½ lemon juice and Tabasco pepper. Let it rest in refrigerator for about 1 hour.
2 - After that, heat olive oil in saute pan and put the pork. Let browned for about two minutes, turn and let it cook for more 2 minutes.
3 - Add onion and saute.
4 - Put mushrooms and tomatoes.
5 - Cover the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.
6 - Finish with the parsley and the other half of the lemon juice.

  • I prefer pork well done but not dry. Therefore, I find it easier to cook well when the meat has a thin cut. But the cooking time and the thickness of the meat will depend on your taste (just remember that eating raw pork is not recommended).
  • To serve, green salad and steamed vegetables.
  • Another side dish option: rice and beans.

February 06, 2012

Angel Hair with Garlic and Broccoli

Needing a hand with dinner? This pasta recipe is quick low calorie.

(5 servings / 30 minutes) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

1 pkg (1 lb.) Angel Hair pasta (also known as Capellini)
about 2 tbs. olive oil
4 mashed garlic cloves
salt to taste
3 cups steamed and chopped broccoli

1 – Bring a large pot with water to boil and add 1 tablespoon of salt.
2 – Follow the pasta package instructions to determine the amount of water and cooking time.
3 – Mash garlic and mix well with a pinch of salt.
4 – When pasta is cooked, heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a sauce pan.
5 – Add garlic and cook just until it begins to turn white.
6 – Turn off the heat, add pasta and broccoli. Stir well.
7 – Add more salt, if necessary, and serve.

  • Use zucchini or eggplant instead of broccoli.
  • Palm hearts or mushrooms also go well with this dish.
  • Serve with baked tilapia with tomatoes (photo), chicken breast or tuna.
  • Garlic should only be heated in oil. If they overcook, the taste of burned garlic will overwhelm your recipe.

Grape Mousse

Quick, easy and yummy: this dessert takes 5 minutes to prepare and it's very tasty.

(8 to 10 servings / 5 minutes)  / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

1 can condensed milk
1 can table cream
1 cup (8 fl. oz.) natural yogurt
4 packets powder drink mix (grape flavor) – (or quantity enough to prepare 8 cups of drink)

1 – Put all ingredients into the blender and mix for about 5 minutes.
2 – Pour mixture in a large bowl (or individual pots) and place in the refrigerator.
3 – Serve well chilled.

  • Use different flavors of drink mix, as lemon, strawberry or raspberry.
  • If you prefer, replace drink mix for fresh or frozen fruit (use about 1 or 2 cups of chopped fruit).
  • To serve, add a bit of jelly (or liquor) – of same flavor as the fruit you chose.
  • Pieces of fruit chosen are a good garnish too.

*this recipe was sent by one of our readers, Priscila Volpato Nascimbeni.

Shrimp Risotto

Dinner will be ready in less than 1 hour with this Shrimp Risotto recipe.

(6 servings / 45 minutes) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

3 cups arborio rice
6 to 7 cups chicken broth
1 pound shrimp
1 tbs. olive oil
1 lemon
1 medium diced onion
3 mashed garlic cloves
1 cup white wine
2 diced potatoes
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tbs. butter
½ cup minced green onion (or chive)
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese to serve

1 – In a pan, bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep it in medium heat during all risotto's preparation.
2 – In a pot sauce, heat olive oil and add shrimp, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
3 – Cook for about 4 minutes and remove shrimp. Set aside.
4 – At the same pot, saute onion and garlic, until it gets soft (onion should be translucent).
5 – Put rice and stir well for 3 minutes.
6 – Add ½ cup of the chicken broth and stir until liquid is adsorbed.
7 – Add wine and stir until liquid is adsorbed.
8 – Put potatoes and mix.
9 – Repeat this process: ½ cup chicken broth and stir until liquid is adsorbed as much as needed until rice is cooked, al dente (well-cooked, but not mushy).
10 – Add shrimp.
11 – Remove pot from heat and mix in the butter, gently.
12 – Garnish with cherry tomatoes and chives.

  • Shrimp cooks very fast. If you over cook it, the meat will become too hard.
  • If you like seafood, add shellfish, lobster, fish, squid and/or octopus to this recipe.
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