The Outback Honey Loaf

The Outback Honey Loaf

As you might have already guessed  I am fascinated about foods of my two countries Brazil and Australia and that is why I chose to bake this bread for the blog. The Outback honey loaf is a bread served in a very famous Australian-style restaurant chain which also has restaurants in Brazil. In the past few years the so called casual dining has boomed in Brazil because this type of restaurants offer good value for money meals. They serve the loaf as an appetiser with soft butter. This simple appetiser is so delicious that you almost get tempted to forget the rest of the menu and have only bread and butter! The funny thing is that I’ve been living in Australia for more than 12 years, lived in three different states and never came across this kind of bread here. They also have on the menu what is called ‘the Australian gigantic onion’, a deep fried crumbed onion served in the shape of a flower with a punchy sauce on the side. The onion is called ‘Bloomin’ Onion’ (thanks Olivia!) and its deliciously crunchy and flavourful. After a little bit of research I’ve found out what is called Australian onion in Brazil is actually an American recipe and that is why I’ve never seen this dish in Australia! Anyway, every time I travel to Brazil I love to go to this place with my friends to have dinner. As soon as you sit at the table they serve the loaf with butter and that prompt us to order the super chilled Brazilian beer – irresistible! On the mains menu they have Australian-inspired pub meals which basically consist of a meat...
Easter Egg Filled with Passionfruit Truffles

Easter Egg Filled with Passionfruit Truffles

Happy Easter! I know, I know! It’s been a while since I last posted a recipe. I missed my little space so much! Unfortunately I had to take a break from the blog in the past weeks. There were too many things going on at the same time in my life, nothing serious but a few hurdles we all have to face every now and then which took a lot of my time and energy. Anyway now it’s all sorted and things are again back to normal. We are reaching the end of the long Easter weekend here in Australia. Holidays always make me miss Brazil a lot because celebrations are very exciting over there. We are super social beings who love to celebrate life, therefore special occasions are always a good excuse to have a barbecue or a fancy Sunday lunch with family and friends. All supermarkets and shopping centres are decorated with chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies in a very vivid way. For the joy of both kids and adults alike many supermarkets are turned into a chocolate world and have a number of aisles with a roof made of large chocolate eggs of many colours and kinds. It is possible to smell the chocolate as soon as you get in. Similar to Christmas season supermarkets get super crowded and the vast majority of those beautiful eggs will be gone before Easter Friday so don’t leave your shopping for the last minute or you might be empty handed for an Easter treat. Or, to avoid the trouble you could try to make your own! I know it is a bit late to post how to make an...
Brazilian Barbecue Series – Piri-Piri Chicken with Chickpea Salad

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Piri-Piri Chicken with Chickpea Salad

I am a big fan of Portuguese cuisine which offers many beautiful seafood dishes and stews flavoured with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. The Portuguese dried cod bake with vegetables is my favourite dish of all times; I think I could eat that every day! If you have a sweet tooth you have to try the Portuguese fluffy cakes, egg-based custards that melt in your mouth and other desserts that are to die for. Piri-Piri or Peri-Peri chicken is a Portuguese dish in which the chicken is essentially marinated with garlic, ginger, olive oil, lemon juice and chilli.  Even though Portuguese flavours are one of our main influences, for some reason that I don’t know why, in Brazil this dish is not very well known. In fact, the way we barbecue chicken in Brazil is usually with small pieces of chicken threaded onto the metal skewer and seasoned with salt only or wrapped with bacon. I tried this Peri-Peri recipe before in the oven and it was super delicious, but after tasting the barbecued version I will not look back again. To date, it is the best barbecued chicken I’ve ever had. This is a classic example that simple flavours are the best. The chicken is a great match with this super light and healthy chickpea salad. For dessert, I recommend again my barbecued pineapple with vanilla ice-cream. Everyone here in my house is a bit addicted to this dish, now everytime there is a barbecue at home we have to make it. More music? Yes, how about ‘Samba de Verão’ (Summer Samba) interpreted by Caetano Veloso, perfect song to enjoy the lazyness that comes after the barbecue meal:...
Brazilian Barbecue Series – Home-Made Mayonnaise

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Home-Made Mayonnaise

A Brazilian barbecue is not a real Brazilian barbecue without a moist potato salad with lots of home-made mayo to put in the middle of a white shell roll. This basic mayonnaise recipe is fool-proof and like all good mayo sauces, has endless uses. It is delectable to eat with your favourite cooked vegetables or just as a spread on a slice of bread or toast. You can add a little bit to your salad dressing to boost the flavours of the vegetables or to your cannape. Mix the mayonnaise with a bit of tomato sauce (ketchup), Worcestershire sauce, brandy and tobasco to make a rose sauce to go with your prawn cocktail. The old tartare sauce is also a great use for mayonnaise, mix finely chopped red onion, capers, gherkins, mustard and herbs and you have one of the most beautiful sauces to eat with grilled or deep fried fish and seafood. For more mayonnaise ideas check out below.  Ingredients  3 egg yolks 1 tbs lime juice 1 tbs Dijon mustard 200ml canola or vegetable oil Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste  Instructions  1. Place the yolks, juice, mustard in a food processor or blender and process for a few minutes until all the ingredients are light and creamy. 2. With the motor running gradually add the oil until the mixture thickens and gets pale. Season to taste. Keep it in an airtight container the fridge for up to 3 days. Makes: 250g Some Variations/ Ideas: Roasted Capsicum (Red Bell Pepper) Mayo – Blend your mayo with 1 peeled/ deseeded roasted capsicum (red bell pepper) Saffron Mayo – Add 1 tsp...
Brazilian Barbecue Series – Green Summer Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

Brazilian Barbecue Series – Green Summer Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

A simple green salad with a great dressing is the perfect accompaniment for your barbecue. For a full barbecue feast check my Rump Cap Barbecue step-by-step post. A couple of more Brazilian songs to enjoy with your barbecue. The first song is by the late Elis Regina who is considered by many Brazilian music legends one of the best female singers Brazil has ever had. The song is a classic bossa-nova by notorious composer Tom Jobim who also sings with Elis. The second song is a beautiful samba called O que é o amor (What is love) interpreted by her daughter Maria Rita who was lucky enough to inherit the beautiful voice tone and talent of her mum. Águas de Março – Elis Regina (with Tom Jobim) O Que é o Amor – Maria Rita    Ingredients  Caramelised Walnuts 1 1/2 tbs brown sugar 1 tbs honey Pinch salt 150g walnut halves Green Salad 150g snow peas, trimmed 1 green capsicum, julienned 1 small cucumber, sliced 1 head baby cos lettuce, leaves picked 1/2 bunch basil, leaves picked 1/4 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked 1/2 bunch parsley, leaves picked Dressing 1 tbs Dijon mustard 2 tbs red wine vinegar 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil Freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste  Instructions  1. In a small frying pan heat the brown sugar, honey, salt over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes stirring continuously until the mixture is syrupy. Add walnut halves and gently toss through the caramel. Remove the walnuts and place in a single layer onto baking paper to cool. 2. Cook the snow peas in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and place in a bowl with...
Sweet Corn and Herb Pasties

Sweet Corn and Herb Pasties

We Brazilians love our pasties, the greatest example is our classic deep-fried called pastel which is everywhere in Brazil and I call it the king of street foods. Baked versions are also very appreciated by home cooks and are similar to the Argentinian empanadas. Two of the popular fillings are the ‘pizza flavour’ which is a combination of mozzarella cheese, ham, tomato and dried oregano or the thick ‘hearts of palm sauce’ made with onions, garlic, tomato, hearts of palm and parsley. The baked version which is close to my heart is made with corn and fresh herbs. It was one of the first snacks I had on my mother-in-law’s house, almost 18 years ago when I started dating my husband. This happened while we were still university students, a period in which we had no idea that a few years later we were going to end up in Australia! It is another delicious recipe by my sister-in-law out of her special collection of cooking treasures. When you are passionate about cooking it is great to meet a family that hold recipes very different from yours so you can always learn something new. I remembered the first time I had it they served as an afternoon snack with freshly squeezed orange juice and the combination was just perfect. They are great warm or cold and indeed go really well with any fruit juice of your choice or iced tea. Since then, this is a recipe that I make quite often and it is for sure a winner. Everybody who tries loves it! These pasties are also a good choice of appetiser or cocktail party fingerfood. How about bake them for the New...