Brazilian Barbecue Series – Spicy Barbecued Pineapple (‘Camelo’) with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Spicy Barbecued Pineapple (‘Camelo’) with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Camelo or ‘camel’ is how we call our whole barbecued pineapple. Being a fruit native from Brazil, pineapples are abundant and super tasteful making it a very popular fruit over there. In the basic recipes the whole peeled pineapple is covered with ground cinnamon and slowly caramelised over the charcoal barbecue. There are a few variations to this dish, some have cachaça others are spicier and also call for ground cloves and ginger. The fruit is normally eaten plain or with vanilla ice-cream. Barbecue lovers say that after all that meat pineapple is the ideal dessert for being extremely light and digestive. Words cannot describe how tasteful this dish is, the natural flavours of pineapple enhanced with the smokiness of charcoal and the spiciness of cinnamon…served with vanilla ice-cream are really out of this world. My mouth is watering while I write this post! Here is another angle of this pineapple delight:   A couple of more song ideas for you to enjoy with your Brazilian-style barbie, this time on the instrumental side with two of our best acoustic guitar players Sebastiao Tapajos and Baden Powell. Sons de Carrilhao – Sebastiao Tapajos Samba do Aviao – Baden Powell    Ingredients  1 small pineapple (about 1kg), peeled 1 tbs ground cinnamon 1 tbs brown sugar 1 tbs cachaça* (or dark rum) Good quality vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional) *Available from large liquor stores or online  Instructions  1. Brush the pineapples with cachaça (or rum) and sprinkle with cinnamon all over. Place in the barbecue and cook for about 20 minutes. Turn and cook for further 20 minutes or until caramelised. Serve with vanilla ice-cream. Serves: 6-8   ============================================================================================ Receita em Português Camelo – Abacaxi...
Brazilian Strawberry Trifle

Brazilian Strawberry Trifle

‘Every food has a story’, so it says the slogan of Australia’s Feast Magazine. This is absolutely true. When I am cooking, in special for my blog, I always think about the story that is behind that particular food. I am there in the kitchen, stirring something, slicing, mixing a cake, preparing a dessert, etc, thinking about what I am going to tell and all of the sudden I remember an event related to the dish. It can be either the cooking process, any difficulties I had, how I learnt the dish, something special about the produce, shopping or the story of a special occasion in which the dish was served. This Brazilian Strawberry Trifle is no different. This dish reminds me when I used to work for an accounting firm when I lived in Albury (NSW) many years ago. I met lots of great people over there and made good friends and many of them are still in touch with me today. It is amazing how they embraced me as part of their team in a very warm way. Being originally from another country it is always more difficult to start a new job because of cultural differences. But from day one they treated me as part of their team. There was an occasion in which they had a morning tea to celebrate ‘Harmony Day‘, a wonderful initiative by the Australian government in which all Australians are invited to celebrate Australia’s diversity. It is amazing that people from more than 200 countries make up the Australian community and more than 300 languages are spoken in Australian homes, including my mother language Portuguese! Anyway, they asked me to cook...
Brazilian Crème Caramel with Fresh Raspberries

Brazilian Crème Caramel with Fresh Raspberries

Thanks to the Portuguese, crème caramels have been part of the Brazilians’ table for many years. Initially the basic Brazilian custard recipe was very similar to the original Portuguese caramel recipe and had milk, sugar and eggs. In the beginning of the 20th century, however, sweetened condensed milk slowly started to be incorporated into our recipes and these days most Brazilians prefer to use this ingredient. In reality, if I were to translate the name of the dish literally, it would be ‘Sweetened Condensed Milk Flan’. There is not only a plain version of this recipe, the usual Brazilian excitement in the kitchen led to the creation of hundreds of flavours. Recipes may include fruits like pineapple, mango, banana, guava, strawberry; nuts like walnuts and peanuts; white or dark chocolate; and vegetables such as corn or pumpkin, to name a few. Although the caramel recipe is very easy to follow, the result is not always satisfactory. If you are not careful, the custard can easily overcook ending up in a caramel that instead of being smooth and silk, has a texture of a Swiss cheese! Some people in Brazil don’t mind the overcooked version, but to me, silkiness is totally required! I love the melt-in-the-mouth feeling that this dessert provides. Therefore, if you have the same taste as me, keep an eye on the cooking time (preferably use a timer) to get the recipe right. It’s 45 minutes in a fan-forced oven, then switch it off and leave the custard finish cooking gently for about 3 hours or until the oven has cooled down before you put it in the fridge. By the way, I did not test this...
Coconut Mousse with Pineapple Flowers

Coconut Mousse with Pineapple Flowers

So summer is officially here and coconut and pineapple are the faces of the season! Many beaches in the Northeast of Brazil have beautiful rows of coconut palm trees representing Brazil’s tropical essence. When you go to one of those beaches, it is not uncommon to see little frisky boys climbing huge coconut palms to pick green coconuts for their own consumption or to be sold at the beach to thirsty beachgoers who love to drink a refreshing and healthy coconut water. Coconut water is such a fever in Brazil that I think probably 100% of the Brazilian beaches have carts selling the drink. It’s so entertaining to see some of the vendors opening a coconut! They grab a very big sharp knife and cut the fruit open with such dexterity that you almost believe that is easy to copy that. After you finish your water you go back to the cart and ask to the vendor to split it in half so you can eat the fleshy and slippery green coconut meat using an improvised spoon made from coconut skin. With time you will learn that improvisation is something that has been mastered in Brazil! Coconut can be considered one of the key ingredients of our cuisine. The fruit and its by products are widely used in Brazilian recipes for many savoury dishes, desserts and drinks. Being a fruit native to Brazil, pineapple is available all year round and many types of pineapples are sold in supermarkets. Brazilians enjoy freshly squeezed pineapple juice to cool down those hot summer days, a slice of fresh pineapple early in the morning or barbecued pineapple on Sunday summer lunches....
Passionfruit Mousse

Passionfruit Mousse

It was about time for me to publish a dessert recipe on this blog. I decided to start with this Brazilian staple, the super easy and probably the quickest dessert in the world: the Passionfruit Mousse. Passionfruit is a flavoursome fruit native from Brazil. In Portuguese we call it maracuja a beautiful word that originates from the indigenous tupi-guarani term ‘mara cuya’ which means fruit in a bowl. So common is this fruit in the South of Brazil that I grew up eating sweet and juicy passionfruit that was cultivated by my grandma in her backyard. The plant is a type of vine and during the passionfruit season the fence of my grandma’s backyard used to get covered with lots of fruit for everybody’s delight. Thanks to my grandma’s hands, so plentyful was the vine that for many years my cousins and I indulged without having to care about quantity. The variety of passionfruit that we used to eat is sweeter and juicier than the one grown in Australia, as well as bigger, with an oval shape and yellow skin. We would all sit together on the grass and grandma would pick the fruit and cut the top off so we could eat it straight out of the fruit, just like the indigenous Brazilians. The name couldn’t be more appropriate. It is one of my favourite fruits and there is a reason why passionfruit became so popular around the world. Its sweet-sour flavour is to die for and the juice gives a wonderful yellow colour to desserts. This mousse is very traditional in Brazil, and it must be the...