May 28, 2012

Savory Pancakes Batter

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

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

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.

(makes about 64 fl. oz. of sauce / 2h30min) / Molho de Tomate
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.

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.

(2 servings / 1h30m)

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

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.

  • 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.

(12 to 15 servings)

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)

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.

  • 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, 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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