Brazilian Ratatouille

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Ratatouille is originally a French dish from the Provence region. It is a versatile dish, you can eat it as a stew, a baked casserole or soup. It can also be used as a filling for crepes and omelets. It can be served as a side dish or main course. The Brazilian way is served as a main dish, stewed over rice. Simply delicious! Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 zucchini cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 4 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves minced*
  • 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped*
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tsp dried herbs the Provence
  • fresh parsley or fresh basil chopped
  • shredded Asiago cheese (optional)

“* If you can’t have onions or garlic, omit those and use 2 celery stalks finely sliced and a drizzle of truffle oil.

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan, add onions, tomatoes and red peppers, salt and pepper and saute until onions are cooked and tomatoes bursting. Add garlic, egg-plant and zucchini. Then add vegetable broth or water, tomato paste and herbs.
  2. Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes or until egg-plant is soft. Let it stand covered for 5 minutes.
  3.  Place it in a serving bowl. Sprinkle Asiago cheese, drizzle olive oil and garnish with fresh parsley or basil.
  4. Serve over your favorite steamed rice, white or whole wheat. It is also great over quinoa!

Bon appetit!

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Brazilian Seafood Stew

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This is a traditional Brazilian dish, known in Brazil as “Vatapa“. It is very popular along the coastal States specially the States of Bahia and Espírito Santo. This dish was heavily influenced by the African culture through the Africans who were brought to Brazil as slaves to work on the Plantations during Colonial times. There are several ways to prepare this dish depending on what State. It is best cooked in an iron skillet or dutch oven. Originally, it is very spicy but that is totally optional, the recipe I present here is definitely more mild. I showed this recipe on national television on the “Home Show” in 1992, since then I have made a few changes adapting to a better and lighter version.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined.
  •  1lb red snapper cut into pieces ( can also use rock fish or orange roughy).
  •  1lb scallops .
  •  1/2 large onion finely chopped.
  •  2 cloves garlic, chopped.
  •  4 Roma tomatoes, chopped.
  •  1 can 16 oz, organic tomato sauce.
  •   1 can light coconut milk
  •  1 lime.
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
  •   salt to taste.
  •  pinch crushed red pepper
  •  1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro.

Directions:

  1. Squeeze lime juice over seafood and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat, cook onions and tomatoes until they are soft, stir in garlic.
  3. Add tomato sauce, cover and let it cook until sauce is bubbly.
  4. Add coconut milk, salt and crushed red pepper, let it cook until bubbly again.
  5. Meanwhile, bring some water to boil add place raw shrimp in hot water for 3 minutes, drain.
  6. Add shrimp fish and scallops to sauce, let it cook in sauce until sauce is bubbly again, about 10 minutes.
  7. Garnish with cilantro.
  8.  Stew can be served over white rice, it is delicious that way too!

Chicken Stroganoff “Brazilian Way”.

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I Know, Stroganoff is not Brazilian food. We all know it is Russian  but Brazilians love Stroganoff  and they developed  many different ways to prepare  and serve this favorite dish. When researching for the original Russian recipe I found that Russians also have different ways to prepare, some use sour cream , others milk cream. In the United States the recipes use sour cream and they like to serve over pasta.  Brazilians don’t use sour cream or serve over pasta. They like to use milk cream and serve Stroganoff over sauted potatoes or over white rice with finely shredded fried potatoes. I adapted the Brazilian recipe that uses” Nestle” media crema for fresh heavy cream or whipping cream it makes for a fresher and better taste.

Ingredients:

4 Chicken breasts skinless and boneless cut into thin stripes

1 Lime

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 Yellow onion finely chopped

2 Garlic cloves minced

3/4 Cup Cognac

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp Catsup

1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Tomato paste

1 8 OZ. Jar button mushrooms

Salt/Pepper

1 Pint of Heavy cream or whipping cream

Fresh chopped parsley.

Directions:

1) Melt butter with oil in a large saute pan, add onions, garlic and chicken. Let chicken cook until golden brown .

2)Add juice of 1 lime, salt and pepper to taste and cover for 5 min.

3)Add Cognac, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and Catsup and let it cook for another 5 minutes.

4) Add mushrooms , cover and let it cook another  5 minutes.

5) Add cream , folding it gently, reduce the heat to low and let it bubble, stirring occasionally.

6) Garnish with fresh parsley.

I like to serve this dish over white rice and sprinkle shredded fried potatoes* on top.

*Shredded Fried Potatoes:

2 large potatoes

vegetable oil to fry.

Directions:

1) Peel potatoes and shred them in a food processor.

2) Heat oil in a large frying pan, add potatoes make sure both sides are golden brown. Let them dry on paper towel and sprinkle some salt.