May 28, 2012

Savory Pancakes Batter

Try this basic recipe using different types of stuffing and sauces.
 
SAVORY PANCAKE BATTER
(servings: 12 to 14 pancakes / prep. time: 40-50 minutes)

Ingredients
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup of cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

Directions
1 - Beat eggs, milk, flour, cornstarch and salt in a blender to form a homogeneous and bright mixture.
2 - Add baking powder and beat a few minutes more.
3 - Let the batter rests for 10 minutes.
4 - In a medium-low fire, heat a medium-small skillet brushed with oil and put about 1/3 cup of batter.
5 - Turn the pan so the batter can spread over the entire surface.
6 - Let the batter cook and get golden and turn it over to brown the other side.
7 - Remove the pancake from the pan and place it in a shallow dish.
8 - Stuff each one of them and wrap the pancakes, topping with sauce of your choice. Then, put them in a baking sheet to warm up (bake it for about 10 minutes).

Tips and Options
  • Use different stuffing and toppings for this recipe. Shredded chicken, ground beef, tuna, cheese and vegetables are some of the ideas to stuff the pancakes. 
  • Bolognese, White, Tomato, Rose, Four Cheese are great sauce options.
  • If you want to make this recipe GLUTEN FREE, instead of flour, use the same amount of cornstarch (in total, then, will be 2 cups of cornstarch and NO flour).

*In Brazil, savory pancakes are more common than the sweet ones. They are usually served at lunch or dinner.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Massa de Panqueca.

May 21, 2012

Pomodoro Sauce

Easy, super tasty and simple. Everything a tomato sauce should be.

POMODORO SAUCE
(makes about 64 fl. oz. of sauce / 2h30min) / Molho de Tomate
 
Ingredients
Part 1
8 pounds tomatoes*, peeled cut in 2
2 onions, cut into 4
5 garlic cloves
salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
Part 2
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 finely chopped onion
basil leaves (optional)

*For this recipe, I used Roma tomatoes because it is less acidic and is considered the best for making sauces, but other types of tomato can also be used.

Directions
1 – Cut an X at the bottom of the tomatoes (picture 1).
2 – Place them in a pan with boiling water and leave for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
3 – Remove tomatoes from the pan and soak them in a bowl with water and ice.
4 – Peel the skins (picture 2) and cut the tomatoes in half.
5 – Place the tomatoes in a large saucepan over low heat, along with 2 onions and 5 cloves of garlic (picture 3).
6 – Add salt and sugar and mix.
7 – Leave the pan covered, cooking for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally (there is no need to put water in the pan as the tomatoes will soften and release enough liquid - picture 4).
8 – After cooking time, blend all the sauce, sift and set aside (pictures 5 and 6).
9 – Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add crushed garlic and chopped onion and place the sauce (picture 8).
10 – Over low heat, let the sauce cook until desired consistency is reached.
11 – Taste and add more salt if necessary and, if you like, put some basil leaves.

 
Tips and Options
  • For different seasoning, you can use pepper, marjoram, oregano, thyme or Italian seasoning.
  • Add a tablespoon of butter in the sauce before serving.
  • If you like, use tomatoes with peel.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle parsley or chives.
  • Parmesan cheese is the ideal partner for this sauce.
  • The longer the sauce cook, the thicker it is going to be.
  • If tomatoes are not very red, add a can of tomato paste on step 9.
  • This recipe makes a lot of sauce. If you want to freeze it, make the recipe using only Part 1 ingredients and follow directions until step 8. Freeze in large jars (picture 7). To use, let it thaw and then season the sauce (for that, use Part 2 ingredients and follow instructions 9, 10 and 11).

*This recipe was sent by Fernanda Sansone, my sister-in-law

May 14, 2012

Chicken Thigh with Mushroom Sauce

Tender and tasty, this is an easy recipe for a special dinner.

CHICKEN THIGH WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE
(2 servings / 1h30m)

Ingredients
4 chicken thighs
1 crushed garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ leeks stalk, sliced
1 cup dry white wine
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into 4 pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms

Directions
1 - Cut the chicken thighs in half and season with garlic, salt and pepper.
2 - Put in a bowl, covered, and leave for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
3 - In a large saucepan, heat oil and brown the thighs (about 5 minutes each side).
4 - Add leeks and wine. Cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes (in a medium-high heat).
5 - Put tomatoes and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.

Tips
  • If you leave the skins in the chicken thighs, start to cook from this side. If you prefer, remove any excess skin and make the recipe healthier.

*This recipe was sent by Flavio Santino, my husband.


Original recipe (in Portuguese): Sobrecoxa ao Molho de Champignon.

May 07, 2012

Special Potato Salad

It's going to be worth trying this different version of the traditional Potato Salad.

SPECIAL POTATO SALAD
(12 to 15 servings)

Ingredients
5 arracacha* (or a root substitute)
5 potatoes
3 carrots
1 can yellow sweet corn
1 can hearts of palm, diced
½ onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbs. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped parsley and chives
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
crushed potato chips for garnish (optional)

Directions
1 - Peel and cook arracacha, potatoes and carrots.
2 - Using a potato masher, mash the vegetables and set aside.
3 - On a large bowl, add the other ingredients (corn, palm, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, chives, salt and pepper and mayonnaise) and mix well.
4 - Add the mashed vegetables and stir.
5 - Prove and add more salt if necessary. Refrigerate.
6 - Garnish with potato chips at serving time.

Tips
  • Add other ingredients in the mixture. Olives, grated zucchini and/or shredded chicken are good choices.
  • Thyme is an excellent seasoning for the dish as well.
  • If you do not like the taste of raw onions and garlic, saute them before using.
  • Serve as a side dish to barbecues or roasted meat.

    * According www.foodista.com, arracacha is a garden root vegetable originally from the Andes, somewhat intermediate between the carrot and celery. It's a starchy taproot and is a popular food item in South America, especially Brazil.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Salada de Maionese Especial.
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