Friday, March 25, 2016

Peasant Pan-cooked beef (Carne de panela caipira)

This traditional Brazilian dish combines many vegetables with meat in a thick gravy. It can be eaten alone or—of course—with rice. It smells wonderful while it cooks and is one of my husband's favorite meals!

If you can't find yucca root, just sub with another potato or two!

Peasant Pan-cooked beef (Carne de panela caipira)

Time needed: prep: 1 hour cook: 1 hour total: 2 hours
Servings: 8-10

2 lb. Stew meat or 2 lb. steak, cut into cubes
2 libros de carne cortada em cubos
1/4 t Salt
1/4 colher de chá de sal
1/4 t Black pepper
1/4 colher de chá de pimenta negra
1 t Garlic
1 colher de chá de alho
1 T Apple cider vinegar
1 colher de sopa de vinagre de maçã
2 T fresh Parsley, chopped, or 1 T dried
2 colheres de sopa de cheiro verde
Prepare the marinade. Add the meat and marinate for at least 1 hour.
Junte tudo e deixa pelo menos uma hora.

For the pan:
Na panela:
2 T oil
2 colheres de sopa de óleo
1 onion diced
1 cebola, picada
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 dentes de alho, amassados
3 potatoes, quartered
3 batatas, cortadas em quatro
1 large yucca root or 2 small, peeled and trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 raíz grande de mandioca, cortada em cubos
2 ears of corn, cut in half
2 espigas de milho, cortadas em rodelas
2 C beef broth
2 copos de caldo de carne
1 carrot, quartered
1 cenoura, picada
2 sweet potato, peeled and quartered
2 batatas doce, cortadas em quatro
1 tsp salt
1 colher de chá de sal
Cilantro to garnish


1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil for two minutes. Add the meat (reserve the marinade liquid) and sear for two minutes.
1. Em uma panela grande, coloque o óleo e aqueça por dois minutos. Acrescente a carne (reserve o líquido da marinada) e doure por dois minutos.
2. Add the onion and garlic and slowly add the marinade liquid.
2. Junte a cebola e alho e pingue o líquido da marinada.

3. When everything is well-covered in sauce, add the yucca root and the corn, one cup of broth, and the salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for forty minutes.
3. Quando estiver tudo bem refogado, junte um copo de caldo de carne, a mandioca, o milho, e o sal. Feche a panela e deixe ferver por quarenta minutos.

4. Open the lid, add the potatoes and the carrot and the other cup of broth. Add more water if necessary. Close the lid and simmer for ten more minutes.
4. Abra a panela, junte as batatas, a cenoura, e o outro copo de caldo de carne. Acrescente mais água se for necessário. Tampe novamente e deixe por mais dez minutos.

5. Serve with white rice. Garnish with cilantro. Season with salt and pepper as necessary.
5. Sirva com arroz branco e salsinha.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Candied Papaya (Doce de mamão maduro)

Papaya is a very interesting fruit. Though prized in tropical countries, most Americans don’t care for it. It has a unique flavor that sometimes can be bitter. The spices in this dish negate the odd taste of the papaya, and the raisins add some texture. 

3 lb ripe papaya 
3 libros mamão maduro
1/2 C sugar
1/2 copo de açúcar
1/2 C golden raisins
1/2 copo de uvas-passa douradas
1/2 t crushed cloves
1/2 colher de chá de crave-da-índia
1/2 t salt
1/2 colher de chá de sal
1 t cinnamon
1 colher de chá de canela

1. Peel and seed the papaya (slice in half. Open and remove the seeds with a spoon. Flip over so the cut part faces down on a cutting board. Peel with a vegetable peeler. Slice off the ends).
1. Abra o mamão e retire a casca e as sementes.

2. Cut the papaya into cubes. Place in a medium bowl and smash with a fork, beater, potato masher, etc. 
2. Corte o mamão e amasse bem. 
3. Put the smashed papaya into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, raisins, and spices and raise the heat to medium.
3. Coloque o mamão numa panela. Acrescente o açúcar, passas, cravo e canela e leve ao fogo moderado.
4. Cook, stirring often to prevent it from sticking, until the mixture thickens. Depending on the moisture content of your papaya, this could take anywhere from 25-35 minutes. Stay close to the pan and read a book while stirring or something.
4. Cozinhe, mexendo sempre para não grudar, até engrossar, 25-35 minutos.
5. Remove from heat.
5. Desligue o fogo.

6. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold with cream cheese and/or toast and crackers. 
6. Sirva gelado com queijo branco e torradas.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Layered Strawberry and Cookie Custard (Pavê com morango)

This versatile dessert was one of the very first ones I ever had in Brazil. It’s generally made with uncooked egg whites, but I prefer this version because all the egg yolks are cooked into a custard. It can be made without strawberries, with chocolate, or with any berry you choose.

The typical cookie for this is the maizena cookie, a long cookie that fits nicely in a square pan. The flavor is mildly sweet with a consistency much like an animal cracker. Really, you could use any cookie, but I like the Mexican Maria cookies, sold at most grocery stores in the ethnic section and all Latino supermarkets.

The longer this sits in the fridge, the better the cookie molds to the custard. Feel free to experiment!

Layered cookies with strawberries (Pavê com morango)
Servings: 10
Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration: 4 hours
Total time: 4 1/2 hours

24 Maria Mexican cookies
24 bolacha tipo Maria
1 14 oz. Can sweetened condensed milk
1 14 oz. lata leite condensado
1 C heavy cream
1 copo creme pesado
1/2 T unflavored gelatin
1/2 colher de sopa de gelatina sem sabor
1 C whole milk
1 copo leite integral
2 egg yolks
2 gemas 
1 T cornstarch
1 T maisena
2 C strawberries, sliced
2 copos morangos, cortado
1 t vanilla
1 colher de chá baunilha
Extra strawberries and cream to decorate 
Morango e creme para enfeitar

1. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into 1/4 C of milk. Reserve. 
1. Numa tigela pequena, bate a maisena com 1/4 copo de leite. Reserve.
2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, put the rest of the milk, the sweetened condensed milk, and the cream. Add the unflavored gelatin, mixing well to incorporate. Bring to a simmer (with small bubbles).
2. Numa panela média, bota o resto do leite, leite condensado, e creme. Aumente a gelatina, batendo bem para incorporar. Ferva em fogo brando.
3. Beat the egg yolks gently in a small bowl. Add half a cup of the warmed milk mixture one spoonful at a time to temper the yolk mixture. Stir back into the pan.
3. Bate levamente as gemas. Coloque meio copo dos leites aquecidos nas gemas. Devolve tudo na panela. 
4. Add the vanilla and cornstarch slush.
4. Aumente a baunilha e leite com maisena.
5. Raise the heat to medium. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Acresente o fogo. Mexa até engrossar, 8 à 10 minutos.
6. Remove from heat.
6. Desligue o fogo.

7. Place twelve cookies in a greased 8x8 dish, staggering to cover the bottom of the dish. Add one cup of strawberries followed by half of the milk mixture. Repeat the layers (reserving a handful of strawberries), ending with the cream.
7. Em um refratário quadrado, coloque na seguinte ordem: uma camada de bolacha, uma camada de morangos picados, metade do creme. Repita as camadas, terminando com o creme.

8. Refrigerate for at least four hours.
8. Congele na geladeira por quatro horas.
9. Decorate with strawberries and whipped cream before serving.
9. Decore a seu gosto com morangos e creme.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Banana Toffee Pie (Banoffee Pie)

Let me preface this by saying, I don't like bananas. I wasn't sure at all about this recipe, but I had extra bananas on my counter and thought I'd give it a try. (I also made chocolate banana pound cake and white chocolate banana ice cream with all those bananas. But anyway...)

But this pie was simply amazing. Really, really good. I highly encourage you to try it.


3/4 C flour
6 T unsalted butter
2 T sugar
1/4 t salt
1/2 C macadamia nuts
1 large egg yolk
1 t vanilla extract

2 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1 T vanilla extract
4 bananas

1 C chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 C sugar

Confession: I got a food processor for Christmas, and this was the first time I used it. I loved it!!! Combine flour, butter, sugar, and salt in the food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add nuts; pulse until finely chopped. Add egg yolk and vanilla. Pulse until moist crumbs form. 

Press dough along the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze 30 minutes.

While the crust is in the freezer, start on the filling. Simmer sweetened condensed milk in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently for about 25 minutes until thick and the color of peanut butter. (hint: the more you stir, the smoother it will be. But if you have lumps, don't worry about it. It will all taste good.)

Remove from heat and stir in whipping cream and vanilla.

It will be a mess! Thick and sticky like candy.

Pour the filling into the cooked crust, spreading evenly.

Cool completely. Slice the bananas and place them on top.

Cover the filling completely.

Whip up the cream and sugar for the topping. Pile on top in beautiful heaping clouds.

Serve whenever you want! Chill uncovered.



Monday, March 14, 2016

Professional photos!

I had my professional photo shoot last weekend, and we shot some awesome pictures of several recipes! So step one of what the publisher requested--some pictures of the recipes--accomplished!

Step two was to involve the Brazilian community. I think I'm on the right track. I've been astounded at the amount of excitement and encouragement from Brazilians living in the US! They want a cookbook with American ingredients and measurements as much as I do!

But they also want something I didn't anticipate--they want the cookbook in Portuguese, as well. So I'm taking a little bit more time to make the recipes bilingual before I sent the revisions to the publisher.

Step three is the hard one, though. That's where the publisher wants to see how popular I am. How many people visit my blog every day. How many people are chomping at the bit, anxiously awaiting this cookbook.

Are you? You're here, so that's a good start. If you weren't anxiously waiting, maybe these pictures will convince you. Aren't they gorgeous?? If I were a publisher, I'd want this book!

Recipes coming soon!


Monday, March 7, 2016

French Lemon Tart

If you like lemons, this unique and citrusy desert is for you! Even if you don't like lemons, give it a try. It has a lightness similar to a chiffon pie but the tartness of a lemon drop!

9-inch pie crust 
5 eggs
3/4 C sugar
4 lemons (zested and juiced)
1 C cream
powdered sugar
lemon zest
whipped cream

Roll out your pie crust. Line a 9-inch pie plate/tart pan.

Put the pie crust and pan in the fridge. Chill for thirty minutes.

Start on your filling. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the lemon zest and juice (reserve one tablespoon of zest for garnish). Whisk in the cream. Chill for one hour.

Put the pan with the pie crust from the fridge. Line the crust with wax paper and pour in pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove the wax and weights/beans and bake for five more minutes. Remove from oven.

When time's up, remove the filling from the fridge. Put the tart/pie pan on a baking sheet and pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees. Put the baking sheet with the tart into the oven. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until set (just jiggly in the middle). Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Dust with powdered sugar.

Top with whipped cream and lemon zest.

Serve at your leisure!


Recent Posts

Popular Posts

In my pursuit to getting a cookbook published, I'm trying to develop my credibility as a food writer, and not just an author.