Pumpkin Timbale with Kale Chips, Speck & Pickled Radish

Pumpkin Timbale with Kale Chips, Speck & Pickled Radish

What is your favourite pumpkin recipe? Well, I invite you to think about pumpkin recipes in a different way…   …but first what is the meaning of time for you? I normally finish the post with a Brazilian song, but today I decided to go the other way around because this is such a special one by Caetano Veloso, a major name in Brazilian folk music. The amazing thing about Caetano is that he is not only a fine singer/song-writer, guitar player, he is also a poet. The way he uses words to make music lyrics is extremely imaginative as he uses rhythm to express what he feels and provides elevated thoughts that challenge you to think. The name of the song is Oração ao Tempo, which translates as “Prayer for Time”. I inserted the hyperlink to Spotify in case you would like to listen to it. He describes what time means for him in the form of a monologue. Simply genius! I tried to translate as best as I could so I wouldn’t disturb the meaning and the depth of the lyrics. I also added words between brackets to enhance the meaning of some of the sentences. Note that the way he repeats “time, time, time, time” is to emphasize the fact that time doesn’t stop and is somehow repetitive. If you listen carefully you will notice that he included a percussion that does tictac just like a clock. There are other hidden nuances to the song, but I will leave it to your own interpretation. Hope you like it! Prayer for Time – Caetano Veloso (Time) You’re...
Broad Bean and Hearts of Palm Pizza

Broad Bean and Hearts of Palm Pizza

In Brazil, like many other places in the world, we are absolutely crazy about pizzas. It almost feels like pizza is a Brazilian dish! Pizza delivery shops are literally found on every corner of my beloved country. In the metropolis of São Paulo alone a staggering figure 1 million pizzas are consumed every day. There are approximately 5000 pizza shops over there meaning São Paulo is only behind New York City in number of shops. Our preference is for thin crust rather than thick and some of our favourite toppings are Calabresa (Italian-type of sausage) and Mozzarella, 4 cheese, Marguerita and Portuguesa (ham, olives, eggs, capsicum and mozzarella). Fondly nicknamed ‘a redonda’ (or round) the Brazilian pizza is more loaded with toppings than the Italian ones and we have a preference for wood-fired pizzas. No wonder Italian food and pizzas are so popular all over the world. Pizzas are not only delicious to eat but also a joy to make. When it is pizza night here in our home, the atmosphere totally changes and it feels like we are being tele transported to an Italian canteen. I instantly turn on Funiculí Funiculá by Pavarotti to get the mood going. First is the smell of yeast that comes from the dough. Then the preparation of the tomato sauce, that spreads a fragrant combination of olive oil, garlic, tomato and basil all over the kitchen. If that wasn’t enough there is the smell of pizza baking in the oven. It is just too much temptation for the taste buds! Furthermore pizza nights bring the family together, everyone enjoys getting involved with pizza making,...
Bacalao-Stuffed Petit Capsicums with Tapenade Dressing

Bacalao-Stuffed Petit Capsicums with Tapenade Dressing

The times of the great maritime discoveries were very beneficial to the culinary world. The spice trade that had started in ancient times between North Africa, Europe and India intensified after the discovery of the Americas making some spices worth more in weight than gold. Spices were used for many applications however in Europe their main use was to either preserve or enhance the flavour of foods. In the 15th century Portugal stood out as a powerful maritime nation even though it was also being affected by the crisis that hit Western Europe. The geographic location of Portugal was favourable to navigation and its kingdom was less prone to disputes and conflicts than say England, Spain or France. In addition, many classes and entities in Portugal had a high degree of interest in pushing for the search of new lands for various reasons. For the commoners being able to move to another part of the world was a chance to improve their living conditions. For the kingdom of Portugal it was an opportunity to overcome the crisis by increasing their resources. The nobility was also very supportive of possible new discoveries as there would be more chances to get promoted or rewarded. During the Age of Discoveries, the Portuguese were the first to circumnavigate Africa. Then in 1500 they arrived in the coast of Brazil to explore a land of abundant resources such as minerals, exotic plants and fruits. The Portuguese took advantage of this and were responsible for introducing many produce from South America to the world such as chilli and cassava root. They also brought their cooking techniques and tastes...
My Garden Salad with Hearts of Palm

My Garden Salad with Hearts of Palm

I’ve just arrived in Australia after 2 months in Brazil. It is great to be back to Tassie to enjoy the spring time; I simply love this time of the year, days are starting to get longer and my garden has started to blossom! The colours and smells are amazing! I am very excited with the fact that the new season brings new fresh Tasmanian produce that I can use in my recipes. Here is picture showing what the incredible Salamanca market can offer in terms of vegetables. Impossible not to get super keen to go to the kitchen and cook with these beauties! Well, since spring is here I thought I should make a garden salad which is a dish that is light, refreshing and has everything to do with this pleasant time of the year. Brazilians are very fond of hearts of palm and one of the best ways to eat them is in salads. Hearts of palm add a great touch to garden salads, making them go from ordinary to something very special. It is my second recipe here using this vegetable (see Creamy Heart of Palm Soup) which is a white cylinder removed from the core of some palm trees. For many years hearts of palm were harvested illegally in South America out of native trees that would die after the removal of its core. In recent years though a sustainable species of hearts of palm called pupunha has been popularised and now these plantations are the main source for the preserved hearts of palm industry. In Brazil, preserved hearts of palm are eaten plain,...