Modern Brazilian Recipes

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,...
Prawn Croquettes with Saffron Mayonnaise

Prawn Croquettes with Saffron Mayonnaise

Brazilians love the beach possibly more than any other nation in the world. Because we spend so much time at the beach the variety of food options you can have are huge either in carts or out of the beach front restaurants. Foods from beach carts range from corn on the cob, dulce de leche churros, sandwiches, ice-cream, sushi and all sorts of alcoholic drinks you can possible imagine. At some beaches there are even carts that sell wines. It is a peculiar part of our culture the habit of arriving early at the beach and spend the whole day snacking under the beach umbrella. It’s the Brazilian version of pic-nic! During summer, the beach front restaurants get packed at lunch time, with people gathering around the tables to have sea-food petiscos (the Portuguese word for fingerfood or tapas) with a cold beer or Caipirinha cocktail (check the recipe here) . Many of these petiscos are deep-fried and amongst the most beloved ones is the prawn croquette. Made with prawn shell stock, these croquettes carry an intense flavour of prawns that are a perfect match with my saffron mayonnaise or a good hot chilli sauce. In the classic recipes the croquette is made by processing the prawns with the croquette dough. My version has basically the same flavours, however I like the idea of keeping the prawn whole so, apart from the smooth croquette and the crunchy crumb, it is also possible to feel the texture of the prawns.  Ingredients  20 large prawns, whole 1 tbs unsalted butter 1 tbs vegetable oil 1 large onion, roughly chopped 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped 2 tbs...
Chocolate and Chilli Soccer Ball Truffles

Chocolate and Chilli Soccer Ball Truffles

One thing that everyone knows about Brazil is that we are crazy about soccer. We are not only supporters, we are more than that, like we say in Brazil, every single Brazilian is also a soccer coach. The World Cup in special is really a big event for us Brazilians and, maybe, we celebrate it more intensely than any other country in the world. The whole country literally becomes green and yellow  with houses decorated with Brazil’s flag and people dressed up in the country’s colours. Family and friends get together to watch the matches and bring items like maracas, drums and pompons to celebrate the goals . During the matches, every time there is a slight chance of a goal we yell, scream and jump out of our seats! Well, I don’t have to tell you that if our team scores a goal, the noise in the room probably reaches dangerous levels of decibels and it takes a lot of time to get everyone to concentrate on the match again. Also, like any get together, food plays a big part and we sit around a table full of snacks and drinks. Some of the common types of snacks served are popcorn, meat skewers, mini-pies, deep-fried snacks, dips and crackers, olives, nuts, cheese platters and Brazilian sweets. To commemorate this year’s World Cup, I did not settle down until I found these cute soccer ball moulds on e-bay to make my soccer ball truffles. The reason why I chose to make the chocolate and chilli combination is because 1) I am crazy about this duo and 2) I think it has...

Manjar Prune and Coconut Cocktail

The name Manjar comes from a Portuguese dish invented in the XVI century. The Portuguese Manjar was a pudding that had shredded chicken (or almonds), plenty of sugar and rice flour. Considered one of the four Brazilian classic desserts, apart from its name, our Manjar has not much to do with the Portuguese dish. The Brazilian Manjar is a flan made with coconut milk, corn flour and sugar. Initially the dessert was accompanied by sugar glucose, but in the 80s this classic was reinvented and started to be served with prune syrup. The combination of coconut and prunes is heavenly and I love it so much that I always played in the kitchen with these ingredients to create all sorts of recipes. Here is one of them: my prune and coconut cocktail. Made with Australian prunes!  Ingredients  1/3 cup caster sugar 1 cup (250ml) water 120g pitted prunes 150ml Malibu, chilled 50ml Cachaça (or rum), chilled 150ml coconut milk, chilled 20g desiccated coconut, to garnish  Instructions  1. Pour coconut in a plate and dip 4 martini glasses onto the coconut to garnish the edges of the glasses. Chill the glasses in the freezer. 2. In a small frying pan melt the sugar over medium heat until just browned. Add the water and prunes, bring to the boil and cook, covered for 15-20 minutes or until the caramel is flavoured with prunes. Transfer to a jug and place in the fridge to cool completely. 3. Process the prune mixture and the remaining ingredients in a blender and pour among prepared cocktail glasses. Serve immediately. Serves: 4-6...