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Celebrate the World Cup with some Brazilian Cuisine

The time has finally come for the 2014 Brazilian World Cup. A time when even those people who would normally not even know the shape of a football spend their days organising sweepstakes, checking fixtures, chilling beers and preparing the mandatory snacks for an evening with friends in front of the TV.

This year, why not show off to your friends and serve up a typical Brazilian dish to honour the country holding the 2014 World Cup? We’ve dug around for a couple of easy recipes for you to prepare so you can bring a real taste of Brazil into your home, making you feel that little bit closer to the action.

Recipe #1: Pizza Empanadas

The first recipe is for Pizza Empanadas, something Brazilians term a “salgado”, or what we might describe as a salty snack. Fast food if you will. This flaky pastry crust filled with mozzarella cheese, ham, tomato and oregano is somewhere between our typical pasty and a pizza. Our mouths are already watering at the thought. Read on to make your own and surprise your guests with your cultural knowledge and culinary genius.

For the Dough
385g cups flour, all-purpose
1/4 teaspoon salt
175g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, chilled

For the Filling
100g cup shredded deli ham
100g Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large egg (white and yolk separated)
*pinch of oregano

To make the dough: in a food processor, mix the flour and salt together. Add the butter, egg, and 5 tablespoons of water until a clumpy dough forms. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Just mix until it comes together.

Form the dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrapper, and chill in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes. Then, unwrap and roll out the dough into a thin sheet over a floured surface, working from the center of the dough to the edges.

Cut out round disc shapes using a round medium-sized or small mold or cutter. Use immediately or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. (In the latter case, pile one disc on top of the other with plastic wrap in between them. Wrap the pile well and store in a ziploc bag. Thaw in the refrigerator before filling the pizza empanadas).

For the filling: In a small bowl, mix both the ham and cheese. Reserve.

Brush the edges of the pizza empanada discs with the egg whites or a little bit of water (although the whites tend to be more effective at sealing the edges of the pizza empanadas).

Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers. Then, press the edges of the pizza empanadas with a fork to crimp. Lightly brush the top of the pizza empanadas with the egg yolk thinned with 1/2 teaspoon of water.

Layer the pizza empanadas in a single layer in a deep baking pan or pyrex dish. Cover with aluminum foil (don’t let it touch the pizza empanadas). Let the pizza empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and bake empanadas for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve pizza empanadas warm by themselves or with a dipping sauce (e.g. chimichurri).

Recipe from The Latin Kitchen

Recipe #2 Black Bean Stew

If you’re celebrating the World Cup with a beer or two, it’s always a good idea to line your stomach with something nourishing and hearty beforehand. This traditional Black Bean Stew recipe is a great way to do this, and it tastes fantastic, like a hearty chilli, but prepared with black beans and chunks of beef and sausage instead of minced beef and kidney beans. Rustle up a vat of this and get all your friends round to help you eat it.

You Will Need:
450 grams dry black beans
4 Tbsp olive oil
450 grams pork shoulder, cut into chunks
2 large onions, sliced
1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
450 grams carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks
225 grams fresh sausages, such as chorizo or Italian sausage
450 grams smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa
1 smoked ham hock or shank
3-4 bay leaves
1 14.5 ounce can (411 grams) of crushed tomatoes

Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the stew.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When it has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes.

Add back the pork shoulder, and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour. Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer gently, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half.

Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt, adding if it’s needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours.

Serve with white rice and hot sauce.

Recipe from Simply Recipes

Feijoada Brazilian Black Bean Stew

Recipe #3 Bolinho de Chuva

Of course, a party wouldn’t be a party without something for dessert. Brazil’s Bolinho de Chuva are essentially little cinnamon doughnut holes. They’re easy to make so long as you have the right equipment, and your guests are sure to go bonkers over these little Brazilian bites.

You Will Need:

250g flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2-1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon baking powder
65g cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Vegetable oil for frying

In a deep fryer or skillet, heat several inches of vegetable oil to 360 degrees (F).

In a small bowl, stir the cinnamon into the 1/2 cup sugar and set aside. Mix the flour, salt and 3 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Stir in the eggs and 1/2 cup buttermilk with a wooden spoon. Add more buttermilk, slowly, until mixture has the consistency of a very thick cake batter. Stir in the baking powder.

Using 2 teaspoons (or a small cookie scoop), scoop a generous teaspoon of batter and carefully drop it into the oil, using the second spoon to help scrape the dough off of the first one. Repeat with several more teaspoons, but do not overcrowd the doughnuts or they will stick together.

Cook the doughnuts, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides.

Remove doughnuts from the oil with a slotted spoon, and drain briefly on paper towels.

Roll the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar while still hot.

Cook the rest of the doughnuts in batches, and serve warm. Doughnuts can be reheated or kept warm in the oven.
Makes about 25 small round doughnuts.

Recipe from – South American Food

Brazilian Cinnamon Doughnuts (Bolinhos De Chuva) Recipe

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