December 30, 2013

Roasted Pork Sirloin with Potatoes

Tender, tasty and easy to prepare!

servings: 8
time: 2 hours


Ingredients
1 pork sirloin roast (about 4 lbs)
2 tbs oil (olive or vegetable)
salt and Tabasco pepper to taste
5 mashed garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon
thyme and rosemary to taste (about 1 tbs)
a pinch of paprika
1 cup red wine
2 lbs baby potatoes, washed

Directions
1 – In a bowl with lid, season the meat with oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon, thyme, rosemary and paprika. Mix well, using your hands.
2 – Add the wine and mix again. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
3 – Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place meat, potatoes and the broth from the bowl in a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
4 – Turn the potatoes and bake for about 1 hour at 350°F. Depending on the size and how you like the meat cooked, more time may be required.
5 – Remove from the oven and cover lightly with foil, so that the meat rest for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve.

Tips and Options

  • To get even tastier, season the meat 1 day before and refrigerate.
  • If the baking sheet starts to dry during cooking, add a little water.
  • As side dishes, serve white rice, mashed potatoes, green salad and/or garlic bread.
  • Freeze the leftovers, chopped or shredded. That will make a delicious sandwich. For that, sauté the meat in the onion, garlic, tomato, lemon and olive oil.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Lombo de Porco Assado com Batatas.

December 19, 2013

Caramel and Walnut Cake

The perfect Christmas dessert!

servings: 25
time: 1:30


Ingredients
9 egg whites, beaten to “firm snow”
9 egg yolks
5 tbs sugar
5 tbs plain bread crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup chopped walnuts

Filling and Topping:
2 cans caramel/dulce de leite or 2 cans of caramel made from condensed milk*.
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
 
Directions
1 – Beat egg yolks with the sugar until very light in color.
2 – Add bread crumbs and let it mix for about 2 minutes.
3 – Stop the mixer and stir gently, with a spoon, beaten egg whites, baking powder and ½ cup walnuts.
4 – Preheated the oven to 400°F. Pour the batter in a greased and floured baking sheet and bake for about 35-40 minutes (do the toothpick test to see if the dough is baked).
5 – Remove from oven and let cool. Remove the cake from the pan and cut crosswise. Fill with half the caramel and nuts.
6 – Place the other cake half on top, cover with remaining caramel and nuts. Serve chilled.

Tips and Options
  • *To make caramel from condensed milk, place the can in the crockpot, fill it with water until it covers the can, turn the crockpot on low and set the timer for 6 to 8 hours. Turn off the crockpot. Remove can from crockpot and let it cool completely before open the can.
  • If the caramel is too thick, mix 1 or 2 tbs heavy cream.

+ Info
This recipe is a tradition in my family's Christmas for years and years and my aunt, Mercia, is the specialist responsible for it. I hope you enjoy as many as we do, and that this sweet treat bring you and your family some of the incredible memories we have! Merry Christmas!

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Torta de Nozes.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Wine Sauce

So good! You will love this mushroom sauce!

servings: 4 to 5
time: 45 minutes


Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 ¼ pound)
3 tbs olive oil, divided
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tbs butter (at room temperature)
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 large shallot, minced
3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh thyme

¾ cup dry red wine
2 cups veal or beef stock
juice of ½ lemon
2 tsp finely chopped Italian parsley

Directions
1 – Preheat the oven to 425°F and separate a baking sheet that fits the pork.
2 – Remove excess fat from the meat, especially the silverskin. Rub 1 tbs of the olive oil over the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3 – In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbs olive oil and add the meat to sear on all sides (about 3 minutes per side).
4 – Transfer the meat to the baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes.
5 – Remove from the oven, place foil paper on top (do not press) and let the meat rest for 15 minutes before cutting to serve.
6 – In a small bowl, mix butter and flour to form a paste. Set aside.
7 – Once you put the meat in the oven, start making the sauce, using the same pan. Return pan to heat, adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté shallots for about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt. Let it cook for 6 minutes.
8 – Add the wine and stir well, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has evaporated almost completely.
9 – Add the stock, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Put the flour/butter mixture and stir constantly, until it has dissolved. Cook for a few more minutes, until the sauce is creamy and consistent.
10 – Taste and add salt, if necessary. Add lemon juice and parsley.
11 – After letting the meat rest for 15 minutes, cut the pieces on the diagonal and serve with the sauce while still hot.

Tips and Options
  • Substitute four (6-ounce) filet mignons for the pork tenderloin.
  • The mixture of butter and flour can be used to thicken various types of sauces, stocks and soups and avoids the formation of lumps. This French technique is called beurre manié.
  • This recipe is quick to make but, let me tell you, it's a bit overwhelming. My tip for success is to read the whole recipe before to understand step by step. Separate and chop all ingredients before starting is also a great help.
  • The better the stock, the tastier will be the result. So, it is worth to get a high quality product or even opt for the homemade version.

+ Info
I learned to make this recipe in a cooking class at Viking Cooking School in Salt Lake City.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Filé Mignon de Porco com Molho de Vinho.

December 18, 2013

Lemon Herb Potatoes

Excellent side dish to any kind of meat!

servings: 8 to 10
time: 30 minutes


Ingredients
3 lbs baby or fingerling potatoes
1 fresh lemon, juiced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh chives, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh chopped Italian parsley
salt to taste

Directions
1 – Wash the potatoes very well and put them in a large pot, covered with cold water and add 1 tsp of salt.
2 – Bring the pot to a boil and let it cook until potatoes are tender (about 20-25 minutes ). Do not let them overcook.
3 – Drain them and place the potatoes in a large bowl.
4 – With a fork, gently press the potatoes to be broken lightly (they have to remain individual potatoes, not all mashed).
5 – Add the lemon juice and mix well.
6 – Put olive oil, chives and parsley and stir until seasoning is evenly distributed.
7 – Taste and add salt, if necessary.

Tips and Options

  • To check if the potatoes are soft, stick a fork on them. It should easily reach the center of the potato.
  • To make the dish even prettier, use 2 or more types of potatoes, that way you will have different colors.
  • If you want even more lemon flavor, add the zest.

+ Info
I learned this delicious recipe in an Italian cooking class, with instructor Matthew Hamby.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Batata com Ervas e Limão.

December 17, 2013

Flavored Cream Cheese

A great appetizer for your holiday’s parties!


servings: 1 lb.
time: 15 minutes


Ingredients
0.9 lb. cream cheese
4 or 5 garlic cloves, minced or finely sliced
2 or 3 tbs. olive oil
red pepper flakes to taste
½ cup chopped parsley




Directions

1 – Remove the cream cheese from container and place in the bowl that you will serve the appetizer. Set aside.
2 – In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic. Let get brown according to your preference, more or less dark.
3 – Add the pepper flakes and parsley. Stir and remove from heat.
4 – Let the mixture from the pan to cool slightly and pour it over the cream cheese. Refrigerate for about 2 hours and serve, accompanied by bread, toast and crackers.

 
Tips and Options
  • To vary the flavor use other herbs such as thyme, chives, leeks and rosemary.
  • Instead of garlic, use sautéed onions.
  • This appetizer can be done the day before and kept in the refrigerator.
  • The recipe from the pictures was made with a Brazilian cream cheese called Catupiry, but because it’s a hard product to find in the US, I rewrote Caturipy for cream cheese.
     
Original recipe (in Portuguese): Catupiry Temperado.

December 12, 2013

Rosemary Focaccia

Nothing smells like hot bread fresh from the oven!

servings: 1 flatbread
time: about 4 hours


Ingredients
1 (1/4-ouce) package active-dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
1 ½ teaspoons honey
1 ½ cups warm water (110°F)
½ cup semolina (3 ounces)
4 cups all-purpose flour (20 ounces), plus extra as needed
1 teaspoon fine salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced, plus extra sprigs for garnish
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
1 – Combine yeast, honey and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook; mix for 30 seconds. Set aside until foamy and creamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
2 – With the mixer on low speed, add the semolina, flour, fine salt, olive oil, garlic and rosemary, and mix until just incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until shiny and smooth, about 4 minutes more. Note: add a bit more flour if the dough is not cleaning the sides of the bowl.
3 – Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl; turn it over to oil all sides. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow rising in a warm draft-free place until almost doubled in size (about 1:30 to 2 hours).
4 – Punch down the dough, and return to the bowl; cover with plastic wrap and set aside for a second rise, about 1 hour more.
5 – Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 10 x 15-inch pan with cooking spray. Without kneading, gently place the dough in the pan, spreading it out to fit. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set aside for about 15 minutes.
6 – Just before baking, make dimples in the bread by pressing with our fingertips (as shown in the picture). Drizzle olive oil over the surface and spread lightly with your fingers. Sprinkle coarse sea salt and pepper, and garnish with a few springs of rosemary.
7 – Bake in the center of the oven until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway trough baking time. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Tips and Options

  • To make a crunchy crust, spray water in the oven to create steam. It also works if you place a pan with ice cubes in the rack underneath.
  • Besides salt and rosemary, other options for toppings are: olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, caramelized onions, Italian cheeses and other herbs.
  • It can be served as an appetizer, snack, side dish or used to prepare sandwiches.

+ More info
I have learned to make this recipe in a bread basics class at Viking Cooking School, in Salt Lake City. I need to say that it is a lot of work, but the result is so worth! This focaccia is very tasty. I hope you enjoy!

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Focaccia com Alecrim.

July 17, 2013

Lentils Rice

Lentils and rice are a good combination to serve with your meat or veggies dish.

servings: 6
time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup rice
1 cup lentils
4 cups water
1 tbs olive oil
1 chopped onion
4 chopped garlic cloves
salt to taste

Directions
1 – In high heat, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic.
2 – Add rice, lentils and salt. Mix well and fry for about 2 minutes.
3 – Add the water and stir again. Let the heat on medium-high.
4 – Once the water dry on the surface, turn the heat to low and cover the pan.
5 – The dish will be ready as soon as all the water dry and lentils are cooked (if necessary, add more water and cook longer).

Tips and Options
  • In place of salt and water, use vegetable broth.
  • Once you turn off the heat, add 1 grated carrot and mix. It will be even tastier and extremely colorful.
  • For a different flavor, use in butter instead of olive oil.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Arroz com Lentilha.

July 10, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken

Nutritious and tasty!

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH CHICKEN
(servings: 6 / time: 1h30)

Ingredients
2 tbs olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 tbs ginger, grated
2 large chicken breasts (whole, no skin)
2 skinless tomatoes, chopped
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
salt to taste
8 cups water, warm
 
Directions
1 – In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add onion and ginger. Let it cook for about 4 minutes.
2 – Add chicken and tomatoes. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook 5 more minutes.
3 – Add pumpkin and salt. Mix well and add water slowly (2 cups at the time).
4 – Cook, with the pan covered and stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is soft (about 40 minutes).
5 – Turn the heat off. Remove the chicken breast, shred and set aside.
6 – Blend the mixture in the pan until it is smooth.
7 – Add the shredded chicken, heat and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Before serving, sprinkle Parmesan cheese, parsley or chives.
  • Add small shaped noodles in step 7.
  • Freeze the leftovers in individual pots. It will be a great dining option for those lazy days and also to keep your diet!

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Caldo de Abóbora com Frango.

July 03, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Candy

The perfect chocolate and peanut combination!

servings: 15
time: 30 minutes


Ingredients

1 can sweetened condensed milk
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbs. butter
3 tbs. sugar
1 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted)

Directions
1 – In a saucepan, mix condensed milk, chocolate, butter and sugar.
2 – On medium-high heat, stir constantly, until the candy begins to unglued from the bottom of the pan.
3 – Add the peanuts and turn off the heat immediately.
4 – Continue stirring for about 3 to 4 minutes until the mixture is opaque.
5 – Pour the candy in a smooth and greased surface, let it cool down and cut into the desired shape.

Tips and Options
  • Instead of peanuts use other dried fruit, such as pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts.
  • Use a wooden spoon to mix.
  • Pour the candy in the counter or in a baking pan with foil.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Pé de Moleque de Chocolate.

May 20, 2013

Corned beef risotto with collard greens

Try to resist to this temptation!

servings: 6
time: 40 minutes

Ingredients
3 cups arborio rice
1 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 cups beef broth
½ cup of red wine, dry (optional)
1 lb corned beef shredded, already cooked
1chopped tomato
½ bunch of collard green, chopped very thin
1 tbs butter
salt and Tabasco pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese to garnish

Directions
1 – In a large saucepan, heat beef broth and keep it always worm, simmering.
2 – In a sauté pan, heat olive oil and add onion and garlic. Fry for about 2 minutes.
3 – Put the rice. Mix well, for about 3 minutes.
4 – On a medium-high heat, add wine, stir again.
5 – When the liquid has almost completely evaporated, place a ladle of broth, stirring gently to incorporate the liquid. Once the water dries again, add another ladle of broth (this process should be repeated until the rice is ready, al dente).
6 – Once you use half the amount of broth, add the corned beef to the pan and mix well.
7 – When rice is about ready, add tomato and collard greens and cook a little more (about 2-3 minutes), still stirring gently. At this point, add salt and pepper to taste.
8 – Turn off the heat, add butter and let pan covered for 2 minutes.
9 – Mix well and serve, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Tips and Options
  • Sometimes corned beef is already quite salty. Taste before adding more salt to the dish.
  • Add other seasonings before serving as parsley, chives, scallions or cilantro.
  • Leftovers can turn a delicious baked rice cake!

  • To chop collard greens as shown in the picture, stack a leaf on top of the other and roll it like a wrap. Then, slice it thin.
Original recipe (in Portuguese): Risoto de Carne Seca com Couve.

May 14, 2013

Black Olive Spread

Delicious and ready in less than 5 minutes!

servings: 20
time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
25 kalamata olives
4 tbs cream cheese
1 garlic clove
1 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup fresh parsley

Directions
1 – Blend all ingredients until very creamy consistency (you can also use the food processor).
2 – Serve with bread, crackers and toast.

Tips and Options
  • For this recipe, we used kalamata olives, because it has a nice purple color and it is very tasty. Other types of olive can also be used as well, following the same steps.
  • For a different taste, next time you make this recipe, replace the parsley for chives or scallions.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Patê de Azeitona Preta.

May 08, 2013

Fake Lo mein

Enjoy the great taste of this chinese dish without the calories of the noodles.

servings: 4
time: 30 minutes


Ingredients
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, mashed
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbs. canola or soy oil
½ onion, sliced
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup snow peas
2 cups chopped cabbage or napa cabbage
1 or 2 cups of other vegetable of your choice: mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower
1 to 2 tbs. soy sauce
1/3 cup chopped scallions

Directions
1 – Season the meat with garlic, salt and a drizzle of oil. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
2 – Heat ½ tablespoon oil in a large pan and add the meat. Fry for 2 minutes, mix and let it cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
3 – Heat the other half of the tbs. oil and add the other ingredients: onion, ginger, carrots, snow peas, cabbage, mushrooms and zucchini.
4 – Add soy sauce and mix well. Let it cook until the vegetables are al dente (cooked, but not too much).
5 – Add the meat back, stir well and taste the seasoning (if necessary, add more salt or soy sauce).
6 – Turn off the heat and add the scallions.

Tips and Options
Be careful with the seasoning: soy sauce is already quite salty.
Instead of beef, use chicken breast, pork or shrimp.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Yakissoba light.

April 22, 2013

Chicken Parmesan

Your guests are going to come back to your house very soon after they try this recipe. So good!

servings: 5
time: 1h30m

Ingredients
5 chicken breasts fillet (about 1 inch thick)
salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs
2 cups plain bread crumbs
oil to fry
1 cup tomato sauce (caned or homemade)
mozzarella cheese




Directions
1 – Season chicken with salt and garlic.
2 – In a bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.
3 – Dip the fillets in the egg and then coat in the breadcrumbs.
4 – With the oil hot, fry the fillets until the crust is golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
5 – Spread a small ladle of tomato sauce in a big baking dish and place the chicken fillets.
6 – Add mozzarella on top of each fillet and add remaining sauce on the top.
7 – Bake at 350°F until the cheese is melted and the sauce begins to boil (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Tips and Options
  • For better tasty, season breadcrumbs with lemon zest, salt and thyme.
  • After coating the chicken on egg and crumbs, you can fry the fillets on two different ways: dipped fried (like french fries) or using a skillet. To do this, place 2 tablespoons of oil and fry both sides for about 2 minutes each.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle with parsley, chives or basil.
  • To make the dish less caloric, grill the chicken and then start follow the instructions from step 5.
  • Serve with white rice, mashed potatoes or pasta.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Frango à parmegiana.

April 15, 2013

Sautéed Eggplant

As a side dish or as an appetizer/spread for bread and toast, eggplant is a tasty, healthy and affordable option.

SAUTÉED EGGPLANT
(servings: 8 / time: 45)

Ingredients
2 eggplants, washed and cut into small cubes
4 minced garlic cloves
1 diced onion
olive oil to taste
2 diced tomatoes
½ cup chopped olives (kalamata or green)
salt and Tabasco pepper to taste
fresh parsley, chopped

Directions
1 – In a large saucepan, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic.
2 – Add eggplant, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes, covered.
3 – Place the tomatoes and olives and stir.
4 – Cover and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5 – Finally, add the parsley and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil before serving.
  • Cooking time varies according to the desired consistency. If you're going to use the eggplant as a side dish, cook until soft but not too soft. If you're going to use as an appetizer/spread for breads, ideally, you let it cook longer, so it is well seasoned and almost falling apart.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Berinjela refogada.

April 08, 2013

Rice

Brazilian style rice is very taste. When you start cooking, the good smell will bring everybody to the kitchen!

servings: 5 to 6
time: 40 minutes


Ingredients
2 cups long grain rice (white)
4 cups water
½ finely chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tbs. olive or vegetable oil or butter
1 tsp. salt

Directions
1 – Wash and rinse the rice and set aside.
2 – In a saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion. Saute until onion is almost translucent.
3 – Add garlic, stirring, and saute for 1 minute.
4 – Put rice and salt. Mix.
5 – Add water and mix well. Let the rice cook until the water evaporates from the top. At this point, cover the pan and lower the temperature to the minimum.
6 – Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, approximately, until rice is soft but not mushy.

Tips and Options
  • To see if rice is done, taste during cooking. If necessary, add a more water.
  • Use leftovers to make baked rice. Add tomato, cheese, corn, olives, peas... and bake to melt the cheese.
  • If you want to change the amount, the proportion in relation to water is always half: 1 cup rice for 2 cups water.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Arroz.

April 03, 2013

Fried cake bites

Those cake bites are famous on every Brazilian grandma's kitchen.

servings: 30 cakes
time: 30 minutes


Ingredients
1 large egg
5 tbs. sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 tbs. baking powder
1 ¼ cup all purpose flour, approximately
oil to fry
sugar a cinnamon to sprinkle on top




Directions
1 – Put the egg in a large bowl and mix well using a fork or a whisk. Add sugar and salt.
2 – Gradually, add the milk, stirring constantly.
3 – Add the flour slowly, mixing mixing until the dough is firm.
4 – Combine the baking powder and stir gently.
5 – Let the dough rest for 10 minutes with the bowl covered with a cloth.
6 – Using medium ice cream scoop, take small amounts of mass and drop over the hot oil.
7 – Fry until the cake is golden on all sides.
8 – Put on paper towel to remove excess oil and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon.

Tips and Options
  • Add a piece of banana to fill the cakes before frying.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge (chocolate, strawberry or caramel).

Original recipe (in Portuguese):
Bolinho de Chuva.

March 28, 2013

Baked Cod Fish

This traditional Portuguese-Brazilian dish is usually served on the Good Friday.

servings: 4 to 5
time: 1 hour


Ingredients
1 lb. Cod fish, cut into chunks
olive oil
6 boiled potatoes, cut into thick slices and cooked with a pinch of salt
3 tomatoes cut into slices
1 sliced onion
4 boiled eggs, sliced
green or black olives
salt to taste
chopped parsley to garnish



Directions
1 – In a bowl, put the pieces of cod and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Mix gently.
2 – In a baking pan, assemble layers with cod, potatoes, onion, tomato, egg and olives.
3 – Drizzle a little bit of olive oil, cover with foil and bake in the oven (325°F). The approximate cooking time is 30 minutes.
4 – After baking, check the necessity to add more salt, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Add pepper slices.
  • To give more flavor to the fish, boil the cod in milk for 3 minutes before using in the recipe.
  • Serve with white rice, green salad and other steamed vegetables such as broccoli and carrots.
  • Use leftover fish to make codfish croquettes.
  • Add pepper strips.
  • To give more flavor to the fish, the cod in milk Parboil before using in the recipe.
  • Serve with white rice, green salad and other steamed vegetables such as broccoli and carrots.
  • Use leftover fish to make codfish balls.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Bacalhau ao forno.

March 18, 2013

Easy Baked Fish Fillet

Healthy, delicious and quick to prepare. That sounds really good!

EASY BAKED FISH FILLET
(servings: 5/ time: 30 minutes)

Ingredients
5 large fish fillets
3 crushed garlic cloves (divided in 2 parts)
1 finely chopped onion
2 chopped tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lemon
chopped parsley
 

Directions
1 – Season the fillets with olive oil, salt, pepper, ½ of the garlic and lemon juice.
2 – Place in a baking pan, cover with foil and bake in the oven (350°F) for 10 minutes.
3 – In the meantime, mix in a bowl: onions, tomatoes, the other half of the garlic, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir well.
4 – Remove the fish from the oven and remove the foil.
5 – Add the mixture on the bowl on top of each fillet and return the pan to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes.
6 – Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Mix green salad, rice or mashed potatoes are good side dishes for that recipe.
  • Thyme is another excellent seasoning for fish.
  • A teaspoon of mustard will also give a special taste to the dish.
  • To give the dish a touch of oriental flavor, substitute the salt for soy sauce and the parsley for green onions.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Filé de Peixe assado.

March 11, 2013

Sausage and Green peas Risotto

Use those sausage and green peas that are in your freezer and prepare this easy, fast and tasty dish.

servings: 4
time: 45 minutes

 
Ingredients
8 sliced sausages
1 cup frozen green peas
2 cups arborio rice (rice for risotto)
4 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
1 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
1 tbs. butter
salt and pepper to taste
chopped parsley or chives

Directions
1 – In a saucepan, bring the beef broth to a boil and keep it hot.
2 – In a different saucepan, heat the olive oil and add sausage, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until golden.
3 – At medium-high heat, add the rice and stir for 3 minutes.
4 – Add the wine and stir until the liquid is completely absorbed. Then, add green peas and mushrooms.
5 – After that, put 1 ladle of warm broth and stir until the liquid has almost evaporated completely.
6 – Repeat the process until the rice is al dente (about 18 minutes, counting from the moment you put the wine), or cooked to your taste.
7 – Turn off the heat, add butter and parsley. Leave the pan covered for 3 minutes, stir and serve.

Tips and Options
  • The butter added at the end makes the dish creamier. You can also substitute for parmesan cheese or cream cheese.
  • Use any type of sausage: chicken, turkey, beef, pork or vegetarian.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Risoto de Salsicha com Ervilha.

March 04, 2013

Sauteed Garlic Asparagus

Give a little twisty for this common side dish.

servings: 4
time: 15 minutes


Ingredients
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 tbs. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
salt and black pepper to taste

Directions
1 – In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add asparagus and garlic.
2 – Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cover the pan.
3 – Stirring occasionally, cook until asparagus are al dente (about 10 minutes), or cooked to your taste.

Tips and Options
  • If the pan gets too dry, add 1 tbs water during cooking.
  • Substitute olive oil for 1 tbs. butter.
  • Spice up the dish by putting other vegetables cut into long strips: carrots, sweet potatoes, hearts of palm, yellow carrots.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Aspargos ao Alho.

February 25, 2013

Chocolate Pop Cake

Easy and yummy. The kids are going to love it! And grownups too.

servings: 15
time: 1 hour


Ingredients
1 baked chocolate cake (can be any recipe or from a box)
chocolate ganache*
300 grams of dark or milk chocolate
to garnish: chocolate sprinkles or nuts

*chocolate ganache: in a double boiler, melt 150g milk or semisweet chocolate. Add 1 tbs. butter and 1 cup heavy cream. Stir until it forms a creamy and homogeneous mixture. Let it cool before using.


Directions

1 – In a bowl, crumble the cake.
2 – Add the ganache gradually, stirring gently.
3 – Shape small balls and place them on a baking sheet.
4 – Melt the chocolate in double boiler.
5 – Dip the cake pop into the melted chocolate and insert them in the balls.
6 – Coat the pop cakes in the chocolate and add the garnish of your choice.

Tips and Options
The coat can also be done with white chocolate.


Original recipe (in Portuguese): Pop Cake de Chocolate.

February 18, 2013

Chicken breast with vegetables

Easy and healthy. Dinner ready using only 1 pan.

servings: 4
time: 30 minutes


Ingredients
1 lb. chicken breast cut into cubes
salt to taste
1 teaspoon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
4 crushed garlic cloves
1 tbs. olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 zucchini cut into half moons
6 fresh mushrooms cut into slices
chopped chives to garnish




Directions

1 – In a bowl, season the chicken with salt, mustard, lemon and garlic. Mix well.
2 – In saucepan, heat the oil and add the chicken. Let it brown for about 3 minutes. Stir and leave another 3 minutes.
3 – Add onion, mix well and cover the pan (+2 minutes).
4 – Put zucchini and mushrooms and let cook until they are to your taste, more or less tender.
5 – Taste and add salt/pepper to your taste, and sprinkle chives.

Tips and Options
To make your meal even healthier, serve with a mix green salad.
Add other types of vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, corn, grated carrots.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Peito de frango com legumes.

February 11, 2013

Mashed Potatoes

The Brazilian style to prepare mashed potatoes.

servings: 4
time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
6 large yellow potatoes, peeled and washed
½ cup milk
1 tbs. butter
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt to taste

Directions
1 – Cut potatoes in half, put in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and cover with water.
2 – Bring to a boil until they are very tender (pierce with a fork or try one to see if it is well cooked).
3 – After cooking, remove from heat and drain.
4 – Mash the potatoes using a potato ricer and return pan to heat.
5 – Stirring constantly, add all ingredients: potatoes, milk, butter and cheese. Taste. If necessary, add a pinch more of salt.

Tips and Options

  • Add ½ cup of heavy cream instead of milk. It will make your mashed potatoes even creamier.
  • To enhance the dish, add 1 clove garlic, chopped parsley or chives.
  • Serve with meat, chicken, fish, hot dog or sausage in tomato sauce.


Original recipe (in Portuguese): Purê de Batata.

February 04, 2013

Stuffed Mushrooms

Easy and delicious, this recipe can be prepared with various stuffing combinations.

servings: 4 
time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 
12 white mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned
1 tsp. olive oil
4 bacon slices, diced
4 to 5 sausages, cut into small cubes
1 finely chopped onion
4 minced garlic cloves
1 chopped tomato
parsley
salt and pepper to taste




Directions
1 – Clean mushrooms, remove stems and reserve them.
2 – In sauce pan, heat the olive oil and add the bacon, until well browned.
3 – Add sausage, mix well and leave until it's golden.
4 – Add onion and garlic, stir well, when they are well cooked, add the tomato and parsley.
5 – Prove. Add salt and pepper, if necessary, and remove from heat.
6 – using a spoon, fill each mushroom and place them in a baking sheet.
7 – Bake (at 350°F) for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tips and Options
If you like, sprinkle mozzarella or parmesan cheese before you bake.
To remove the stems of the mushrooms, just rotate them and they will come out easily.
Be creative and invent new stuffings: ground beef, olives, tomato, shredded chicken breast, cream cheese, turkey breast, corn, cheddar, chives...

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Champignon Recheado.

January 28, 2013

Chocolate Cake

Easy and yummy. Perfect for an evening snack.

servings: 20 to 25
time: 1 hour


Ingredients
6 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
6 tbs cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Topping
1 cup heavy cream (or 1 can table cream)
12 oz. unsweetened chocolate chips
shaved chocolate to decorate

Directions
1 – Mix the egg whites until very firm. Reserve.
2 – In another bowl, mix egg yolks and sugar until very light yellow.
3 – Put, chocolate and milk.
4 – Add egg whites gradually, mixing gently using a spoon, until they are completely incorporated.
5 – Add vanilla and baking powder.
6 – In a greased and floured baking pan, bake for about 40 minutes at 325ºF.
7 – After baked, spread the topping and the shaved chocolate.

Topping
1 – Put the cream on medium-high heat. As start to boil, turn the heat off and add the chocolate chips. Do not stir.
2 – After 5 minutes, stir until it is consistently bright and creamy.

Tips and Options
  • Add nuts to the batter.
  • Instead of decorating with chocolate chips, use cherries, chocolate sprinkles, shredded coconut or shaved white chocolate.

Original recipe (in Portuguese):
Bolo de Chocolate.

January 21, 2013

Salted Beef with Sauted Onions and Tomatoes

A typical meat from Brazil, this cured salted beef is very tasty.

servings: 4
time: 1 hour


Ingredients
500 grams of salted dried meat (desalted, chopped and cooked)
1 tbs. olive or sunflower oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 or 3 chopped tomatoes
salt and Tabasco pepper to taste
parsley or chives to garnish

Directions
1 – Desalt and cook the meat until it is very tender. Remove excess fat, if you want, and reserve.
2 – In a large saucepan, heat the oil and place the meat. Fry well until golden.
3 – Add the onions in the middle (as showing in the picture) and let cook until very soft.
4 – Put the tomatoes. Ass salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
5 – Sprinkle parsley or chives and serve.

Tips and Options
  • Serve with rice, beans, farofa and sauted collard greens.
  • Want more information about carne seca? Click here.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Carne Seca Acebolada com Tomate.

January 15, 2013

Rice with quinoa

Give a special flavor to the every day rice with this healthy and tasty grain: quinoa.

servings: 5
time: 40 minutes


Ingredients
1 cup rice, rinsed and drained
½ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 cups water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 chopped tomato
1 cup chopped green beans
salt to taste

Directions
1 – Heat the olive oil and saute the onions.
2 – Add garlic, mixing well. Then comes rice, quinoa and salt. Stir well and add the water.
3 – Leave on high heat, stirring occasionally, until the water is almost completely evaporated (15-20 minutes).
4 – Add the tomatoes and green beans, stir, bring heat to low and cover the pan.
5 – After 5 minutes, check if rice and quinoa are already soft and turn the heat off. If necessary, cook for another 5 minutes.

Tips and Options
  • Add ½ cup of other vegetable (mushrooms, hearts of palm, corn, peppers, broccoli, zucchini).
  • To give a final touch, sprinkle with parsley, chives and/or grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve with chicken or fish fillet and green salad.
  • If necessary, add a little more water to cook completely.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Arroz com Quinoa.

January 07, 2013

Onion Pate

Easy to make and tasty, this pate is good with breads, crackers and meats.

servings: 12 oz.
time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
2 large onions, finely diced
2 tbs butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 package French onion soup/cream mix
1 can table cream or 1 cup heavy cream

Directions
1 – In a saucepan, brown onions in butter and oil.
2 – When they are well browned, add the French onion mix and stir a bit, while still on the heat.
3 – Turn off the heat, add the cream and refrigerate.




Tips and Options

Spread this pate in breads and toasts.
It is also great garnish for beef and chicken.
If desired, add parsley or chives.

*this recipe was sent by one of our readers, Gisleine Leite.

Original recipe (in Portuguese): Patê de Cebola.
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