Beet Soup a la Borscht

Sopa de Beterraba Russa

This soup is so delicious; it has a hearty root flavor and stunning color. Although originally a Russian dish, it has been warmly incorporated by cuisines all over the world. This recipe is very easy to make. It is a wonderful vegetarian soup and also delicious in its vegan approach. Like many soups, it is excellent the next day.

I first had this soup many years ago at the Intercontinental Hotel in Rio. I wonder if the Hotel is still there. Anyway, I fell in love with beets and started trying to replicate this wonderful soup.

Here is a Brazilian version.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 2 chopped garlic gloves
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 2 chopped celery stalks
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 large apple skinned and chopped
  • 2 raw beets
  • 2 tablespoons butter*
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh parsley chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour cream**

Directions:

  1. Cook beets with skin on in boiling water until soft. Drain and set aside to cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and cut into pieces.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a large sauce pan and add shallots, garlic, bell pepper, celery, apples and tomatoes. Let it cook until veggies begin to soften. Add beets and vegetable stock… bring to a boil.
  3. Turn heat to low and smooth soup using an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper to taste, agave nectar, and fresh thyme. Cover and let it simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  4. When ready to serve, scoop soup into bowls, add a dollop of sour cream and garnish with parsley.

*For a vegan approach substitute butter for vegan butter

** Substitute sour cream for coconut cream. It is super delicious this way too!

Serving tip: I like to serve with sourdough bread or garlic toast

Enjoy!

Baked Portuguese Cod

Deliciousness revisited. We have updated this recipe and it is tastier than ever!

Cooking Brazilian

This is a dish I grew up with that is very popular in Brazil, it is inspired by Portuguese cuisine and known as “Bacalhoada.” There are many variations of  this dish. It is originally made using salted cod but I’m using fresh cod in this recipe due to difficulty finding salted cod in Arizona, where I live. Although salted cod is a key ingredient, this recipe with fresh cod still gives you a good taste of this wonderful Portuguese dish and brings me memories of Brazil.

IMG_20191112_224725_038.jpgIngredients:

8 cod fillets

1 bag small Yukon gold potatoes

4 roma tomatoes thinly sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

3/4 Cup pitted Kalamata olives

1 shallot thinly sliced

1 tsp garlic powder

1 lemon

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tsp red pepper flakes

dried oregano

Salt and pepper

fresh Italian parsley chopped

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 375F.
  2. Arrange cod fillets…

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Roasted Pumpkin Stuffed with Saffron Chicken in Cream Sauce and Cream Cheese

Abóbora Recheada com Molho de  Frango de  Açafrão e Queijo Cremoso”

 

I really love this recipe, it is great to share with everyone in the fall, when pumpkins are in season in the USA.

It is very easy to make, and it is very delicious.  I have experimented with many types of pumpkins to find the closest one to a Brazilian pumpkin called “moranga”, and I like to use a Pumpkin called “butter cup”, but the recipe is absolutely delicious with any cooking pumpkin.

In the original recipe a Brazilian  creamy cheese called “Catupiry” is used,  but it is very difficult  to find here, so I have been using cream cheese instead. Although cream cheese does not have the unique taste of  catupiry, it gives you a good idea of what this dish is like.

Saffron is an expensive spice, so this dish can be made with turmeric.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 medium to large size cooking pumpkin
  2.  4 chicken breasts cut into small pieces
  3.  1 cup chicken broth
  4.  1/2 cup white or rosé wine of your liking
  5.  1 shallot chopped
  6.  2  garlic cloves chopped
  7.  4 cups heavy cream
  8.  1 package cream cheese cut into small pieces
  9.  1 lemon
  10.  1 tea spoon saffron or tumeric
  11.  a dash of nutmeg
  12.  salt and pepper
  13.  olive oil
  14.  2 table spoons butter
  15.  fresh parsleys chopped

Directions:

  1.  Heat oven to 400F.
  2.  Draw a circle around the top of the pumpkin and cut a lid. Remove the seeds. Drizzle inside the pumpkin: olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap the pumpkin with aluminun foil, leaving the opening uncovered. Place in a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until soft inside. You can bake the cut lid as well to use the flash in the filling or as a lid.
  3.  While pumpkin is roasting, season chicken with lemon juice, salt, pepper and set aside. Sautée shallots and garlic in butter and drizzle olive oil. Add chicken and stir. When chicken is browning, add wine, broth and saffron/ turmeric; cover and let it cook until liquid reduces a little. Add heavy cream, nut meg, salt, and pepper to taste, if necessary. Bring sauce to a boil and remove from heat, set aside.
  4.  When pumpkin is ready, remove from oven ( leave oven on) and scoop approximarely a cup of the cooked pumpkin from shell and smash it with a fork. Arrange a layer of cream cheese pieces inside the bottom of the shell. Spread half of the smahed pumpkin on top, pour half of the chicken in cream sauce in the shell. Add the rest of the smashed pumpkin and pour the rest of the chicken with sauce, (If there is too much sauce to fit in the shell, save the extra sauce in a nice bowl to be added to the shell later to refill). Arrange the rest of the cream cheese pieces on top and place it back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Then broil for 4 minutes to get a crispy top. Garnish with fresh parseleys.
  5. Serve hot over white rice or by itself with a side salad.

Enjoy and Happy fall!

 

Brazilian Lime Torte

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                                                “Torta de Limão”

Lime Torte is a very popular Sunday dessert.  Usually, on Sundays, families get together and share a special meal with scrumptious desserts and tortes just like this one.  Cold, creamy, delicious. The original lime torte is made with a top of merengue, but I confess, I am terrible at making merengue, so I like to make this recipe with a topping of chantilly cream and a touch of limoncello instead. Limoncello is an optional ingredient,  but I think it really adds to the recipe.  The original crust is made with corn starch cookies “biscoitos de maizena”, but they are very difficult to find, so in this version, I use honey and oats crunch bars. They work beautifully in this recipe. This is a great recipe to make ahead of time. A day before is good because the torte is left to chill more and the flavor concentrates better. You don’t want to eat this warm.

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Ingredients:

  •  4 Honey and oats crunch bars
  •  4 tablespoons of butter
  •  2 cans condensed milk
  •  10 limes
  •  1 egg
  •  2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  •  3 ounces of limoncello

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 250F.  Crumble the honey and oats bars in a food processor,then transfer to a bowl. Melt the butter and mix it into the crumbs using a fork. Press this mixture in a rectangular dish and bake it for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2.  While the crust is baking, in the food processor, mix the condensed milk, juice of 8 limes and the egg; beat well. Spread the mixture on top of the crust and bake at 250F for 30 minutes.
  3.  While the torte is baking, whip the cream in the food processor until fluffy, transfer to a bowl and slowly add powdered sugar, folding in with the help of a fork. Then, slowly add the limoncello also folding the cream with a fork to preserve the air bubbles. Cover bowl and keep it in the refrigerator.
  4.  Once torte is baked, let it cool . Cover and place it in the redrigerator for at least 4 hours. Spread the chantilly cream over the top and decorate it with thin slices of 2 limes ( wash limes before you slice). Place it back in the refrigerator for another 2 hours or overnight.

Enjoy!

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Brazilian Shrimp Curry

Curry is not a typical Brazilian spice and it’s not commonly used; however, shrimp cooked in coconut sauce and seasoned with curry is very popular in the Brazilian kitchen. Brazilian shrimp curry is a fusion of Asian and Brazilian flavors and cooking styles. Some Brazilian shrimp curry recipes actually have no curry. They will use a blend of cumin, turmeric and coriander. I have a bag of a wonderful curry my youngest son brought me as a gift from his travels to Asia and I have been using this wonderful gift in my cooking whenever it’s called for. For this recipe, I used wild caught Argentinian shrimp, which has a mild and sweet flavor. It is my favorite. Brazilian curry can be served as a soup, but it is commonly served over white rice and a side of sautéed spinach on butter.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. raw shrimp
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • olive oil
  • 2 limes
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 5 ripe Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 2 cups butternut cut into small cubes
  • 1 large potato cut into small cubes
  • 2 large carrots thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into small pieces
  • 1 finely chopped piri piri pepper with the seeds removed. (piri piri is above average in heat and kind of hard to find, so you can use a chilli pepper)
  • 1 cup frozen petit peas
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. curry
  • bunch fresh basil chopped or sautéed spinach
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook shrimp in boiling water for 5 minutes until nice and pink. Drain. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, remove shell and devein. Then, squeeze lime juice, sprinkle salt/pepper and drizzle olive oil. Mix it all together for even flavor. Set aside.
  2. Put the sauté shallots, garlic, and tomatoes with a generous amount of olive oil, in a big pot. When the tomatoes start to burst add carrots, butternut, potatoes and peppers. Stir to coat all vegetables and add vegetable broth. Cover and let it cook until carrots, butternut and potato are softer.
  3. Add tomato paste and ketchup. Stir. Then, add coconut milk, curry and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium, letting it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring ocasionaly until the sauce has thickened a little. This happens when the cooked potato and butternut release their starch.
  4. Wash ice off the peas and add them to the curry.
  5. Add shrimp and let it cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish the shrimp with basil or add sauteed spinach on butter. Why not add both?

Bon Appetit!

Brazilian Coconut Cake with Creamy Coconut Caramel Sauce

 

Bolo de Côco com Bába de Môça.

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Brazilians love coconut! Well, most of them. There are so many recipes from sweet to savory that uses coconut; I can safely say, coconut is definitely a signature Brazilian ingredient. The recipes for coconut cakes are endless and it is my pleasure to share all the ones I love to make for my family and friends.

If you are following this blog, you will notice that there are other recipes, in which I used the same coconut caramel sauce. It is a very popular sauce to use on desserts and cakes in Brazil. In Portuguese, it is called, “Bába de Môça”. It is sooo good!

This recipe can easily be made vegan. Vegan alternatives will be posted side by side with original ingredients.

Ingredients to make the Cake

  • 2 cups of flour ( I like to use 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of coconut flour)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 table spoon baking powder
  • 4 table spoons of softened butter or 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 eggs ( use vegan egg substitute if making this cake vegan)
  • 1 and 1/2 cup coconut milk ( from the dairy section)
  • 1/2 tea spoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for Coconut Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can light coconut milk.

Directions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350F and lightly grease a cake pan ( I like to use a bundt pan).
  2. Mix butter or oil with sugar in a food processor, beat it until creamy and smooth. Add coconut flakes and pulse a few times. Add eggs and beat it again until well mixed. Add vanilla and coconut milk and beat it again.
  3. Then, add flour and salt, and mix well. Finally, add baking powder and pulse a couple times.
  4. Pour dough mixture in the cake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the fork comes out clean. Let it rest.

Let’s make the sauce

  1. Heat sugar in a sauce pan, stirring constantly to caramelize the sugar. Once sugar is melted, turn heat to low and slowly add the coconut milk. The sugar will sizzle, so stay back for a few seconds to prevent getting burned. The sugar will harden a little, forming gooey caramel pieces, so it is important to keep stirring constantly for them to melt back to the sauce. Turn heat to high to help hard pieces of caramel melt faster. Once all melted, pour sauce in to a glass container. If there are still gooey pieces in sauce, heat it in microwave for 15 seconds.
  2. Turn cake over on to a serving platter and drizzle coconut caramel sauce over it. Save about half the amount of caramel sauce to drizzle over individual pieces.
  3. If the caramel hardens, just put it back in microwave for 10 seconds.

This cake is also delicious with a scoop of coconut or vanilla ice cream on top and a drizzle of coconut caramel sauce over it.

Note: English is not my first language, I apologize for any incorrections or mispellings. Please feel free to contact me in my inbox with any corrections. I just ask to be kind! Thank you


Banana Cake with Caramel Swirl

Bolo de Banana com calda de Caramelo

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Bananas are a very common fruit in the Brazilian house hold and there are several types of bananas everywhere. They are inexpensive and widely available, which means lots of different recipes for banana cake. Banana cake with caramel sauce is one of my favorites because it’s easy to make with only two bananas and it’s very flavorful.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cake flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

For Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup hot water

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and grease a round cake pan with a hole in the middle.
  2. Add all ingredients for the cake (except for the baking powder) to a bowl and mix well until smooth,preferably an electrical mixer. Add baking powder. Gently mix.
  3. Transfer to the baking pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is ready when fork comes out clean.
  4. While the cake is baking, melt sugar in a sauce pan, stirring constantly until it is golden brown. Turn heat to low and add 1/2 cup of hot water. Keep stirring to prevent the sugar from hardening. If needed, add the rest of the hot water and keep stirring until a caramel sauce is formed. Transfer the sauce to a glass cup and let it rest until the cake is finished and cooled. Once the cake is cooled, transfer it to a serving platter and drizzle with the caramel sauce.

Enjoy!