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Cooking For Fun

Brazilian National Dishes

One of the nicest things about entertaining at home is that you can enjoy an international menu from any country in the world without stepping outside your kitchen door.

Brazilian cuisine has the flavor of spicy, exotic food. Feijoada, Brazil's national dish, is a stew of black beans and smoked meats, with a blend of fascinating flavors. The hearty Feijoada is accompanied by palate cleansing sliced oranges, rice, corn, stewed okra, tomato salsa and other delicacies, spooned into individual serving bowls in prescribed ceremonial order.

Smoked Meat and Bean Stew
Courtesy of Iara <>

The easiest way to prepare this stew is over a period of two days. The beans, tongue, and corned beef are soaked overnight, so plan ahead. Read over recipe in advance. Have everything you'll need on hand, including two large pots.

5 cups dried black beans
2 pounds smoked tongue
2 pounds corned beef
8 chicken legs
1 pound smoked turkey
2 pounds beef or veal sausages
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 green jalapeno pepper, stemmed and minced.

Pick over the beans, rince them, then soak in cold water overnight. The next morning, drain the beans, cover with fresh cold water, and cook for about 2 1/2 hours in a covered saucepan, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add additional water to keep then covered. Cool and set aside. Reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid for the Corn and Tomato Salsa. Place the tongue, corned beef, and chicken in a large pot. Cover with tepid water, slowly bring to boil, and simmer until the meats are tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Drain the meats and add then along with the turkey and sausages to the beans. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the meats are very tender and the beans are soft enough to mash easily. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

About 30 minutes before serving, melt the shortening in a large skillet and gently saute the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes,parseley, and jalapeno pepper. Remove 3 cups of the beans with liquid and mash together with the onion mixture. Simmer until thick. Add this mixture to the pot containing the beans and meat. Simmer for 30 minutes more, until thoroughly blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble the Feijoada, slice the tongue, corned bef, and turkey and arrange them with sausages and chicken legs on a large heated platter. Ladle the beans into a large heated bowl.

Brazilian Rice
Courtesy of Iara <>
Makes about 8 cups

3 cups long- grain rice
4 tablespoons unsalted margarine or vegetable shortening
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 1/2 cup lightly salted boiling water, or a mixture of water and chicken
freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the rice well. Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat. Add rice and onion and saute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the boiling water and stir again.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 20 to 30 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Add additional water if necessary to keep the rice from drying out before it is done. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a heated serving dish.

Collard Greens
Courtesy of Iara <>

4 to 5 bunches of collard greens (or kale)
butter (use 1/2 tablespoon for every cup of shredded collards)

Wash the collard greens. Remove the stems and roll the leaves tightly together. Slice into very thin strips with a sharp knife. Just before serving, melt the butter and add collard greens. Cook over high heat stirring constantly until collard greens just start to wilt. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Note: This is the recipe I prefer as a garnish for feijoada. Otherwise, mince 1 small onion and 2 cloves garlic and cook in butter until lightly brown. Add the collard greens and cook as above.

Courtesy of Iara <>
(accompaniment to many meat and seafood dishes)

For an elegant variation see the Lombo com farofa recipe.

2 cups Manioc flour
2 tablespoons Butter
pinch Salt

Melt butter in a heavy saute pan. Add the manioc and slowly cook over low heat until a light golden brown. It will resemble buttered bread crumbs. Add a pinch of salt. Serve as an accompaniment from a ceramic bowl (farinheira).  Farofa is frequently prepared with one or more added ingredients such as raisins, onion, olives, sausage (lingüiça), hard cooked egg, parsley, etc. In Bahia, the manioc is sauteed in dendê oil giving it a yellow color, hence the name farofa amarela.

(Brazilian Hors d'oeuvres)
Courtesy of Iara <>

1 pound potatoes
1 cube chicken bouillon (Telma)
3 cups flour
3 egg yolks
Chicken leftovers or 1/2 pound cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tomato, diced
Salt, pepper
Pitted olives
1 cup fine breadcrumbs

Cook the potatoes in the chicken bouillon. Puree the potatoes while they're still hot.Put them back in the pot with the rest of chicken bouillon (12 oz.), add the flour, light a small flame underneath and stir with a wooden spoon to make a smooth dough.

Take off the flame, add the egg yolks one at a time, mix well, return it on the flame for just one moment until you see the bottom of the pot. Take the pot off of the flame and let it cool.

Season the chicken leftovers to taste with thyme, parsley, tomato, salt, pepper, green pitted olives and saute the mixture in a deep pan.

Take the potato dough mixture and make little balls. Open each one, and dip it in bread crumbs to keep it from sticking, then stuff it with the chicken mixture and seal it in the shape of a pear. Dip the entire coxinha again in breadcrumbs, piercing each one with a tooth pick at the top of the pear (to help hold it after it is fried).

Heat oil in a deep skillet and fry the coxinhas just until they become golden. Drain them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve hot.


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