April 30, 2012

Fried Meatballs

Crispy outside, soft inside. Take note of this delicious – and easy – recipe.

FRIED MEATBALLS
(20 meatballs / 1 hour) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef (low fat ground sirloin, preferably)
salt and pepper to taste
½ onion, finely chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 slice of white bread
2 tbs. bread crumbs
¼ cup milk
1 whole egg
½ cup chopped parsley and/or chives
all purpose flour (about 1 cup)
oil for deep frying

Directions
1 – In a large bowl, put the ground beef and seasonings: salt, pepper, onion, garlic and bread crumbs. Mix.
2 – Soak bread in milk and add to the bowl.
3 – Add egg and parsley/chives and mix well, with your hands, until it forms a consistent mixture.
4 – Using a spoon, make balls of about 2 inches in diameter.
5 – Place flour in a shallow platter and roll the meatballs, pressing lightly with your hands, until well coated.
6 – In a pan, heat oil (use sufficient quantity so that the meatballs can be submerged) and add the meatballs. Fry until they are well browned on the outside and baked on the inside (about 8 minutes).
7 – Once fried, put them on a plate with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Tips
  • Add small bacon pieces to the mix.
  • At the time of rolling the balls, you can fill them with a piece of cheese.
  • Thyme or oregano are also good spices for this recipe.
  • At serving time, cut a lemon into pieces and squeeze it on top of meatballs.

* This recipe was made by Paulino Pereira, my dad.

April 23, 2012

Brazilian Duet (Baião de Dois)

This recipe will give you a taste of Brazilian Northeast cuisine.

photo: Paulo Bom
BRAZILIAN DUET (BAIÃO DE DOIS)
(6 to 8 servings)

Ingredients
2 cups of cooked black-eyed bean, also known as back-eyed pea (reserve water)
1 cup cooked rice (cook in bean water)
photo: Paulo Bom
½ onion, chopped
1 calabrese or kielbasa sausage, diced
4 oz. diced thick bacon
1 diced pork smoked sausage
2 chopped garlic cloves
12 oz cured beef, cooked and shredded
2 tbs. chopped cilantro
2 tbs. bottled butter (or regular butter)
vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of cheese cut into cubes (any type of cheese that has a higher melting point, e.g. halloumi cheese).

Directions
1 – In 3 to 4 cups of water, cook beans in a pressure cooker for about 15-20 minutes, until it is al dente. Add a pinch of salt and a bay leaf before cook.
2 – Drain the beans and set water aside.
3 – In a sauce pan, cook rice with garlic and onion, using 2 to 3 cups of the reserved water.
4 – In a large skillet pan, put onions and 1 tbs. butter, stirring until onions are translucent.
5 – Add garlic and bacon and cook a few minutes more, until bacon is crispy.
6 – Put sausages (calabrese and pork) and cook for about 5 minutes, mixing.
7 – Add cured beef, beans and rice. Stir well.
8 – Mix 1 tbs. butter, and add a little bit of the remaining water from the beans.
9 – Finally, add cilantro and cheese. Check salt and pepper taste and serve.

Tips
  • If you (or one of your guests) don't like cilantro, use parsley and/or chives. Or let them chopped in separate bowls. This way everyone can choose the ones they like.
  • Most of the ingredients for this recipe have a mot of salt. For this reason, add more salt only at the end, if necessary after tasting.
  • A good side dish for this meal is a green fresh salad.

Some of the original ingredients for this recipe, such as 'carne seca', 'paio', 'linguiça calabresa' and 'queijo coalho', are available only in Brazil. I tried to find the best substitutes for each of them in this recipe.

* Baião de Dois is the Portuguese name for this recipe and there is no translation for that. 'Baião' is a traditional Brazilian Northeast music and 'de Dois' means 'for two', which is a reference for the combination of rice and beans (the two most popular ingredients in Brazil). The best way to define this recipe, then, is a 'dance (or song) for two'. So, I made 'Brazilian Duet' up in an effort to better explain this dish.

** This dish was made by Sabrina Bom, my sister, and photographed by my brother, Paulo Bom. The recipe was copied from Diário do Olivier.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Baião de Dois.

April 16, 2012

Stuffed Meatloaf with Sweet Potatoes

AWESOME! This is the only word to describe this recipe...

STUFFED MEATLOAF WITH SWEET POTATOES
(10 to 12 servings / 2 hours) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

Ingredients
Meatloaf
2 pounds ground beef (I recommend low fat ground sirloin)
1 package onion soup mix
2 eggs
3 minced garlic cloves
1 onion, finely chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Stuffing
2 seedless tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
salt and pepper to taste
cream cheese (or grated mozzarella)

Other Ingredients
12-15 bacon slices
5 sweet potatoes cut into 4 (pre-steamed)
3 onions, cut into thick slices
olive oil

Directions
Stuffing
1 – In a bowl, mix tomatoes, onion, carrot, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meatloaf
1 – In another bowl, mix all ingredients for the meatloaf.
2 – Using your hands, open the mixture on food plastic film (this will facilitate the rolling process).
3 – Spread the filling and the cheese.
4 – Wrap meatloaf (like a Swiss roll) and add bacon slices on top.
5 – In baking sheet, sprinkle a olive oil (about 1 tbs.) and add a layer of sliced onions.
6 – Place the meatloaf on top.
7 – On the sides, add the remaining onions and sweet potatoes.
8 – Bake (at 400°F) for about 30 minutes, until bacon is well browned.


Tips

  • The stuffing should be well dried to not hold water while rolling and baking. Therefore, use seedless tomatoes.
  • If necessary, close the meatloaf ends with barbecue sticks or toothpicks. Remember to remove them before serving.
  • Green salad and white rice are good side dishes for this recipe.
  • Onion soup mix and bacon have are very salty. Be careful when adding more.


*this recipe was created by Maria Pereira, my mother, and photographed by my brother, Paulo Bom.

April 09, 2012

Oven Barbecued Beef Short Ribs

Great in size, great in flavor...

OVEN BARBECUED BEEF SHORT RIBS
(10 servings / 6h30min) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

Ingredients
Rack of beef short ribs (about 6 to 7 pounds)
salt to taste
1 bottle barbecue sauce

Directions
1 - Place the meat in a big baking sheet (the same that will be used for baking).
2 - Sprinkle salt to taste throughout the meat.
3 - Leave the bone facing down and spread barbecue sauce on top (reserve a little sauce to use later on).
4 - Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil (shiny side down). Be careful not to let any part open.
5 - Bake on a low-medium heat (300-350°F) for 6 hours.
6 - Remove the entire foil and pour the rest of barbecue sauce.
7 - Raise temperature to 450°F and bake for 10 minutes.

Tips
  • Spice up the dish with potatoes and onion.
  • White rice, green salad or vinaigrette are good side dishes for this meat.
  • If this dish is going to be made for lunch, get up early!
  • Barbecue sauce is a little sweet. If you don't like it, use only salt!
  • To avoid left overs, invite friends to come over and help you out... :)

*this recipe was created and photographed by Paulo Bom, my brother.

April 02, 2012

Brazilian Carrot Cake

With a few ingredients and a very easy recipe, you can learn (and taste) the Brazilian way to prepare carrot cake.

BRAZILIAN CARROT CAKE
(15 to 20 servings / 1h30min.) / Click here to see this recipe in Portuguese

Ingredients
3 large carrots
3 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder

Topping
4 tbs. cocoa powder
1 tbs. butter
2 tbs. sugar
1 ½ cup milk

Directions
1 - Cut carrots into small pieces.
2 - In a blender, beat carrots, eggs and oil to form a thick paste with tiny bits of carrot.
3 - Pour the mixture into a bowl and add sugar and flour, stirring gently, until the ingredients are completely incorporated.
4 - Add baking powder and mix lightly.
5 - Pour batter in a greased and floured pan and bake (in a pre-heated oven) for about 30 minutes (400ºF) or until the cake is completely baked.
6 - After baked, remove it from oven, make holes with a toothpick and spread the topping.

Topping
1 - Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to high heat, stirring constantly.
2 - When it starts boiling, lower the heat to medium and stir until sauce is consistent (for about 15 to 20 minutes).
3 - Let it cool down and spread over the cake.

Tips

  • Garnish with chocolate shavings or sprinkles.
  • Make some extra topping (doubling the quantities, for example) and set aside. At serving time, heat the sweet sauce and cover each piece.
  • You can also use soybean or sunflower oils.
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