BRAZIL

The flag is known in Portuguese as ‘Verde e Amarela’ (the green and the yellow). The slogan across the blue starry sky translates as ‘Order and Progress’. The flag was adopted in 1889.
COUNTRYBrazil
DishesBrazilian spare-ribs, Piri-Piri chicken, Acarje (vegan), Caipirinha, Queijo, Brazilian potato salad, crunchy salad
Time 2.5 hours
Effort 7
Rough cost £20
COUNTRY Brazil
Capital Brasilia
Population 210, 147, 125 (6th largest)
Land mass 8, 515, 767 km2 (5th largest)
Languages Portuguese
Religions65% Catholic, 22% Protestant

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

We really went for it this week, cooking a proper feast trying to recreate something of the Brazillian churrascaria or grill restaurant. After 15 weeks in lockdown, we are definitely craving a proper meal out! We cooked ribs, chicken and mushrooms on the grill, potato salad and a fennel salad as sides. We had corn cobs but forgot to eat them! 

We also made acaraje, little black bean fritters that are bit like falafel, and queijo, crispy tapioca cheese puffs that are absolutely fantastic and a real hit with the kids. I actually used a kit that I bought on line for the queijo, but there are lots of recipes out there – I would recommend a good, strong cheese. We used the Isle of Mull cheddar and they packed quite a punch as a result!

We washed it all down with caipirinha (well worth sourcing cachaça) and listened to lots of brazillian music. A proper little carnival that helped to chase away the lockdown blues. 

We love Brazil! Nosh Nosh!

RECIPES

Brazilian Piri-Piri Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1/2 onion – finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper – roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic – skinned and whole
  • 4 green or red chillies – roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp smoked or normal paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) cup white wine vinegar
  • 1.5 kilos chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime slices to garnish

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium high heat and then add the chopped onion and red pepper.
  2. Fry until the onion is translucent and soft and then add the garlic and chillies. Fry for a further minute or so and pour in one tablespoon of the paprika, the chilli powder, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes. You may want to ventilate the kitchen – it gets quite spicy!
  3. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and simmer for about five minute. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. Blend until very smooth and place this marinade in the fridge for about 30 minutes. You can make this in advance – it will keep for several days and the left overs are a bonus as they go well with all sorts of other things. Bridget used it to marinade mushrooms and tofu.
  5. When ready to prepare your chicken, season generously with salt and pepper and the remaining paprika and then pour half of the piri piri sauce over the thighs. Stir it all up so that the chicken is nicely coated.
  6. Marinate for three hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to cook, heat your oven to it’s highest temperature. I placed the chicken on skewers as I wanted to finish them off on the BBQ. Or just place the chicken on a roasting tray and cook until the chicken cooked through. If you used bone in thighs, these will take much longer to cook than boned thighs.
  8. Serve topped with slices of lime.

Brazilian Pork Spare-ribs

INGREDIENTS

Ribs

  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) orange juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 ml (½ tsp.) salt
  • 1kg pork spare-ribs

Dry Marinade

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (about 1 orange)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste

METHOD

  1. Pour orange juice into a large saucepan of boiling water, add the garlic, salt, and pork spareribs, and cook for an hour at a gentle simmer. 
  2. In the meantime, mix together the sparerib dry marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. When ribs have finished cooking, rub them with dry marinade. Let them sit in fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
  3. Preheat barbecue to high. Grease the barbecue grill.
  4. Optional step – I cooked the ribs in the oven, covered in foil and with some steam, for about an hour before we BBQ them.
  5. Grill spareribs on barbecue for about 5 to 6 minutes, turning them over at the halfway point, to brown meat. 
  6. Serve the different meats with peri peri sauce from the chicken, or chimichurri (recipe in Argentina section), grilled vegetables or salad and jacket potatoes, salad or chips.

Acarje *vegan

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup black-eyed peas
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup flour – or enough to form a texture that allows you to form balls
  • Salt, to taste

METHOD

  1. Soak the black-eyed peas overnight. In the morning, peel off the skin (sorry – this takes ages).
  2. Once all the beans are peeled, soak them again for 30 minutes with the coarsely chopped onion.
  3. Drain the beans and onions and put them in a blender or food processor. Add the chopped garlic, chili powder, ground cumin, and salt. Process until the mixture is very smooth. Remove into a mixing bowl and add enough flour (or can use bread crumbs) to form a batter that holds shape when formed into a ball.
  4. Heat oil for deep-frying and fry the balls until golden brown on all sides. Remove onto a paper towel-lined plate and serve hot.

Brazilian potato salad

  • 2.2 lbs (1 Kg) salad potatoes well washed, peeled, and cut small pieces
  • 1 pinch salt 
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove of garlic minced + mashed into a paste
  • 1/4 large white onion finely grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped olives 
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander / parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped spring onions, plus more to garnish
  • Ground black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Cook the potatoes until they are soft but still have a little bit of bite. Rinsing the cooked potatoes in some cold water before draining them can help with this.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and then, once the potatoes have cooled, stir through the dressing and chill into the salad. Its as simple as that!

Brazilian chopped salad

INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 14 ounces hearts of palm (we couldn’t get these so left them out)
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup / honey
  •  salt + pepper to taste

METHOD

  • Make the vinaigrette: Pour all the ingredients in a jar. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.  Screw the lid on tight and shake to combine.
  • Drain the can of hearts of palm, if using, then chop into 1/4-inch rounds. Cut the tomatoes in half. Cut the stems off the fennel bulb. Then cut the bulb in half and remove the core. Lay the fennel bulb halves flat, and slice into thin “shaved” pieces. Cut the avocado into chunks. Cut the onion half, in half again, then slice into thin strips. Finally, chop the fresh mint.
  • Place the shaved fennel on a large platter (or in salad bowl.) Top with tomatoes, hearts of palm, onion, avocado, and mint. Drizzle the salad dressing over the top and toss.

Caipirinha

  • 2 limes, chopped into wedges + plus extra lime wedges to serve
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 200ml cachaça
  • few handfuls crushed ice
  1. Put the lime wedges in a large jug with the sugar, then use a muddler or the end of a rolling pin to break them down. Release as much juice from the wedges as possible, and let it mix with the sugar to create a syrup – you can also do this with a large pestle and mortar. Discard the lime peel.
  2. Divide the syrup and cachaça between four glasses, then top with the crushed ice. Serve garnished with lime wedges, if you like. YUM!

Obrigado and see you in Brunei! M + B x

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