Fresh Cod and Potatoes in Coconut Milk

Bacalhau Fresco com Batatas e Leite de Côco

This is a wonderful dish full of flavor. The original recipe is made with salted cod but salted cod is a little difficult to find in Arizona so I developed a variation of the recipe using fresh cod. Salted cod has a richer cod flavor and fresh cod is more subtle but still gives a good taste of what this delicious meal is like. I actually prefer the subtle lighter taste of fresh cod. This is a very elegant meal, perfect served with white rice and any side salad.

Serves 6

Fresh Cod and Potatoes in Coconut Milk, served over white rice.

Ingredients:

8 small baby potatoes thinly sliced

1 yellow sweet pepper thinly sliced

2 lb fresh cod cut into about 4 inch pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots finely chopped or 1 medium yellow onion

4 garlic cloves finely chopped

6 ripe tomatoes cut in edges or 1 16 oz can of stewed tomatoes

1 lemon

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 can coconut milk

Hot water

Salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

1. Squeeze lemon over cod pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot like a Dutch oven, add shallots or onions and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes, cover and let cook until tomatoes start to soften and juices come to a light boil.

3. Add potato slices and enough hot water to cover them. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper to taste, cover and let it cook over medium heat until potatoes are softer.

4. Add coconut milk, red pepper flakes, cod pieces and sweet peppers and let it cook uncovered until sauce comes to a boil and cod is cooked and flaky (don’t overcook cod! it will get tougher).

5. Add parsley and chives and serve over white rice.

Enjoy!

Pita Bread

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Pao Arabe

Pita Bread is so easy to make, the perfect pair for Hummus! The warm and rich flavor of the Arab cuisine that reached Portugal and Brazil.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 tea-spoon salt
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 table-spoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tea-spoon dry yeast

Directions:

  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Dissolve yeast in water and add olive oil.
  3. Make a hole in center of flour and add yeast mixture, then slowly knead mixture to make a soft dough.
  4. Turn dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
  5. Place it back in the bowl, brush top with a little extra olive oil, cover with a plastic wrap and set aside, in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
  6. Punch dough, place it on a lightly floured surface and divide it in 6 balls.
  7. Roll each ball in to a circle or oval shape about 1/3 inch thick. Brush each one with a little more olive oil, cover them back and let them rest for 30 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, pre heat oven to 400F. Place 3 pita circles on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. You will need to pans or bake in batches.
  9. Bake for 6 minutes or until they puff up and are golden brown.

So Yummy!

Hummus

Hummus comes from the Arabic word meaning “chickpeas”

Believe it or not but Brazil is home of one of the best hummus you can find. The History of Brazil and Syrian/Lebanese immigration go as far as the Ottoman Empire when Arabs conquered Portugal and became new Christians “Moors”. During the colonization of Brazil many of the colonists were the new christians and they brought with them to Brazil, their culture. The influence of the Moorish in Brazilian food is rich. Moorish cuisine has been fully integrated as Brazilian food. Today there are approximately 7 million Brazilians of Syrian/Lebanese descent. You will find Arab Restaurants everywhere and Middle Eastern food as part of the main Brazilian menu.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked Garbanzo beans or 2 cans drained
  • 1 tablespoon tahini *
  • juice of half a Lemmon or lime
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tea spoon ground cummin
  • salt to taste
  • 2 table spoons Tahini (optional)*
  • mint leaves to garnish

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor except for mint leaves and process until creamy and smooth.*
  • Place hummus in a serving dish, drizzle some extra olive oil and garnish with chopped mint leaves. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

*If you remove the skins off the garbanzo beans you will have a silkier puree.

* It can be difficult to find Tahini. When Tahini is added then you have a Hummus bi Tahini, but it is not necessary for just making garbanzo bean dip “hummus”.

Brazilian mini Doughnuts

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“Bolinhos de Chuva”

“Bolinhos de Chuva” translates to English as ” mini rain cakes” or perhaps “rain scones”.  Bolinhos meaning “little cakes” and “chuva” meaning “rain”. The popular say for the origin of the name is that when you drop the batter in to the hot oil it forms what looks like a rain drop. Brazilians love “Bolinhos de Chuva”, it is easy to make and very much resembles a doughnut hole. It is usually served with coffee or tea but it can also be a dessert, definitely a treat. It is delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 table-spoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lime or orange
  • 1 tea-spoon baking powder
  • extra oil for frying ( I like to use coconut oil)
  • powdered sugar and cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar until smooth. Add milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and lime zest and whisk until well mixed. Add flour, salt and baking powder, whisk until a batter is made.
  2. heat oil in a medium low temperature. If oil is too hot it will burn the doughnuts before the inside in fully cooked. Drop batter using a tea-spoon full.
  3. Place doughnuts on a paper towel. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Baked Portuguese Cod

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.

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Ingredients:

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 in a baking dish. Make a marinade with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes and pour over cod. Cover and place in refrigerator.
  3. Cut potatoes in half and cook them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain water, sprinkle salt and pepper and arrange them in baking dish with the cod.
  4. Add sliced tomatoes, sliced shallots, sliced yellow peppers, Kalamata olives,drizzle olive oil and sprinkle dried oregano.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove cover and broil for 8 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley.

 

Serve with a side of sautéed spinach or kale with a little butter.

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Bom Apetite!