I learned to do Guacamole in Ecuador, there I also learned that avocado is not the fruit I thought it was. In Brazil, we consume avocado as a fruit, merely used as an ingredient for desserts and smothies. Occasionally my mom would exotically put it on a salad. But, in Ecuador I saw it as a garnish for almost everything: fish, soup, salad, and ceviche.
What surprised me about Guacamole in addition to being salty, was the festive fresh explosion of flavors from the combination of lime and cilantro which is simply delicious.
• 4 hass avocados
• 1 tomato, seedless and small-diced
• 1/4 of small-diced red onion
• 1 Tp of cilantro chopped
• juice of 1 lime
• salt and black pepper
Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a bowl. Smash the avocados with a fork until smooth. Add the other ingredients. Mix well .
Rabanada is a must have at Christmas in Brazil. Typically made with stale bread and deep- fried in oil, my one is a little more light and easy to do, but equally delicious and, more importantly, holds the same comfort food characteristics.
• 2 eggs
• 1/4 cup of heavy cream
•1/2 cup milk
• 1 Tsp vanilla essence
• 1 Tp dark rum
• sliced bread
• 4 Tp sugar
• 1 Tsp cinnamon
Whisk together the 5 first ingredients.
Soak bread slices in the egg mixture on both sides. Let rest for a couple minutes. Them fry them with a tad of butter.
Mix sugar and cinnamon. Cover bread with the mixture.
Serve with fruits.
A foodie Christmas tree. I don’t think my ornaments will last until Christmas.
I couldn’t resist hanging the Lindor Christmas chocolates.
A candy cane vase makes a yummy Christmas tree even more tempting.
Pudim de leite( Flan) is one of my fondest memories. It makes me immediately travel back to my childhood. Nine out of ten Brazilians have a grandmother, godmother, or aunt that makes the best one. Easy to understand, Flan is a simple recipe that requires you nothing more than patience.
Pudim de leite
• 4 eggs
• 1 can of condensed milk
• 2 cans of milk ( measure the milk with the condensed milk can)
• 1/2 cup sugar
In a small sauce pan cook the sugar to golden brown caramel.
Cover a pan with the caramel. Set aside. In a blender mix eggs, condensed milk and milk. Mix it for 2-3 minutes.
Pour the milk mixture over the caramel.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake it at 350°F for 1h and 30min over a water bath.
I asked a Cuban friend how to cook Arroz con Pollo, she answered me,”Fry the chicken and then cook the rice in the same pan.”I asked,”Ok! What else should I put? Onion, garlic, pepper?” She answered ,”Yes, all of this.”
“Really? You don’t know the ingredients?”She replied, “In a modest Cuban home the recipe’s ingredients are the ingredients that you have.”
I followed the concept and prepared my own version.
• 4 chicken drums and 4 thighs, bone in ,skin on
• 1/2 medium onion, sliced
• 2 garlic cloves
• 2 cups white rice
• 2 ears of corn, cut in 4
• 4 cups water
• 1/2 red pepper, sliced
• 1/4 tsp turmeric
• 1/4 tsp paprika
• black pepper
• 1 lime
• 1 Tp parsley , chopped
• 1 Tp cilantro , chopped
• 1 Tp green onion, sliced
Seasoning the chicken with lime, salt, paprika and turmeric. In a wide pan, fry it ( no need to use oil, once you have the chicken skin), until gold. Add onion and garlic, mix they to release fragrance. Combine rice, fry it a little bit, add corn and water. Adjust salt, and add black pepper. Let it cook in moderate heat. Whem the water start to dry add red pepper. Cover it and cook until rice is tender, if necessary put little more water. Turn off the heat, sprinkle parsley, cilantro, and green onion. Cover it again and let it rest for a few minutes. Serve it with fried maduros.
Mate is a popular infusion in Brazil, appreciated form North to South. It is very similar to black tea a little bit more fruity and floral. Ice mate is sold on the beaches during summer time (the whole year in north). Hot mate is commonly use with medicinal purpose such as calming down upset stomach, or with lime, garlic, and honey for cold.
Pineapple Ice Mate
This is my favorite version of ice mate. A fresh relief to Miami’s hot days!
• 1 litter(4 cups)
• 2 Tp mate loose leaf
• 4 pineapple slices
• Peppermint leaves
• sugar (optional)
Pour hot water( not boiled) over tea and allow to brew for 5-7 minutes. Strain it and allow to cold. Combine tea, pineapple slices, and sugar in a blend. Strain again. Serve over ice with the peppermint leaves.
Mate With Gemada
Gemada is egg yolk mixed with sugar until creamy. My grandmother used to make this hot beverage to warm my brothers and I on cold mornings during Paranaguá’s winter.
• 1 liter water ( 4 cups)
• 2 Tp mate loose leaf
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 3 cloves
• 1 egg yolk
• 3 Tp refine sugar
Mix the egg yolk with sugar until creamy and light yellow (as the butter color). Set aside.
Combine water, mate, cinnamon, cloves in a kettle and boils* it. Strain it.
Put one tablespoon of Gemada in a cup and pour mate over it. Mix slightly.
*Once you boil mate it will become a little bitter, that is nice in this recipe because Gemada is really sweet.
Halloween is my favorite holiday in the US and after 3 years in Miami, I totally get used to it!
Jack O’ Lantern.
Carving pumpkins is a hard, but fun thing to do.
Don’t forget to roast the seeds for a delicious snack!
Spider web cake.
In my adventure into the gluten-free diet, I came across this delicious quiche. I like my quiche and pie crust very crunchy and the gluten-free flour (that is actually a mix of others flours such as rice flour,tapioca starch, corn starch, and/or potato starch) is naturally drier than wheat flour, giving this recipe a perfect crunchiness!
I made double dough,
and I used cherry tomatoes and asparagus for one quiche and mushroom for the other one…
also I used fresh shredded Swiss cheese.
I don’t know a single person, adult or child, that wouldn’t smile when facing a plate filled with creatively formed food.
Yellow rice, salmon, and spinach with feta cheese make a delicious platter of food.
This mold I bought at New York Chinatown. Similar ones can easily be found on a Chinese website.
Some kitchen accessories can be so adorable, that they deserve a spot on the wall…
Tea bag holder( Romero Britto).
Copper teapot cookie cutter.