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!

 

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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!