Wednesday, October 14, 2009

*The Perfect Bite*

I started subscribing to a Brazilian food magazine this month. Honestly, it was the first thing in a long time I've read from cover to back cover. At last, a fresh breath of inspiration. And hey, it's quite conservative, I must add.
After plating lunch I decided to use some of my roast onions to create a rich and sinful bite: a quail egg, fried on the griddle, seasoned with salt and pepper, nestled in the sweet half caramelized onion.
I hope to be around more. Cross my heart.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

*Fridgin' out*

I'm leaving to visit my parents later today... Will spend 9 days in the south, enjoying the world's biggest dance festival and the delicious typical dishes and sweets.
But because I'll be gone for over a week, I had to clean out my fridge, so that nothing goes bad in there. And boy, was it a delicious way of fridgin' out! But then again, when is it that a stir fry is NOT delicious?
100 grs itokonnyaku, 1 carrot, 1 yellow pepper, one medium red onion, half a package of portobelo mushrooms sautéed with garlic, stir fried and dressed with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sriracha, toppe with blanched and sautéed asparagus and a poached egg. With lots of sesame seeds.
I read somewhere the Japanese way of evaluating a dish as healthy or not is color. I think my lunch passed that test.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

*It's soup*

Ok, I know it doesn't quite make sense in English. It's just that we have this expression in Portuguese, "É sopa", which literally translates to the title. Literally, because it actually means "It's a piece of cake!".
Yup! Something easy, nourshing and comforting. Something to go with the cold, albeit beautiful, Sunday we were having. And I've been wanting to make this soup for a while now. Thing is, I have never written down the recipe, so usually end up using whatever I feel like at the moment. Believe me, this is good.
Cream of Carrot Soup

700 gr. carrots
700 ml water
100 ml cream (milk or soy)
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp thyme
pepper to taste
fried garlic and parmesan, for garnish and taste

In a pot, sauté the garlic and ginger in the olive oil. Add the carrots, peeled and sliced, the mustard seeds and the salt. Cover with water. Allow to boil for 20 minutes.
With an immersion blender/mixer, blend with cream, butter and nutmeg.
Return to low heat. Add thyme and correct spice. Allow to simmer for a while.

I like to make it even creamier by beating the soup with a whisk before serving.
Serve with fried garlic and freshly grated parmesan.
And if you're anything like me, aiming to please, serve this for dessert:

Just the good ol' cheesecake, with a bit of brown sugar and some macadamia in the crust. To sweeten the Mister's life up. And mine.
Have a great week!

Friday, July 3, 2009

*Cream of Arraracha - His and Hers*

Ah, vacation! After the stress of the semester's finals, I can finally kick back and enjoy my kitchen once again.
In all truth, I first made this cream exactly one month ago. I was fighting off the sniffles, needing something nourishing and filling while I studied, and had some arraracha (known as mandioquinha in Brazil) begging to be used. Arraracha is the Mister's thing, not mine, but I decided to give it a try. A girly, frilly, healthy try.

Cream of Arracacha – One for the ladies
250 gr. Arracacha
2 cups chicken stock (homemade is better)
½ cup sliced leeks
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp silken tofu or soy cream
½ large red onion
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the leeks and garlic.
Peel and chop the arracacha. Add to the pot with the leeks and garlic, and cover with the chicken stock. Cook for 20 minutes.
Blend with tofu and adjust spice.
Garnish with thinly sliced red onion or shallots and freshly ground pepper.
Makes 2 servings.
This week I bought the tubers thinking of this cream. It's been cold down here, and awfully gray and rainy. Nothing like comfort food in such weather, eh?

Or as I told the Mister when he got home, dinner was gonna rock his socks off...

Block Rockin’ Cream of Arracacha
500 gr. arracacha
3 ½ cups water
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp butter
1 cup roughly chopped old Dutch master or other hard cheese
½ cup milk cream
1 tsp nutmeg
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
4 or 5 sprigs of green onions
½ cup Paris mushrooms

Mince the garlic finely. In a deep pot, sauté the garlic till golden.
Cut the arracacha in small pieces. Add to pot, salt and cover with 2 cups of water. Let boil for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms with 1 tbsp of butter. Thinly slice the green onions. Reserve.
When the arracacha is done, add the remaining butter, water, the nutmeg and milk cream. With an immersion blender or food processor, blend until the mixture has become a smooth cream. Add cheese and blend. Not incorporating the old master completely gives the cream an interesting texture. You could use grated cheese instead, and skip the blending.
Taste and adjust spice.
Serve and garnish with mushrooms, green onions and black pepper.
Makes 4 servings.
Sure, potatoes would do too... but arraracha has a distinctive strong flavor of its own, definitely worth giving it a try.

Once again I'm tortured by all the photos of burgers and hot dogs and the description of warm picnic/grilling weather online. So even if the weather ain't right, I'll be making myself a cheeseburger and enjoying the spirit of the day.
Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

*go on and be a grown up now!*

Who said growing up has no perks?
I mean, you could go and eat yourself sick with candy and no one will punish you (but your bottom may grow).
You also could make a whole chocolate cake and eat it all by yourself (then blame your slowing metabolism for the weight gain).
And stay up all night watching scary movies.
You know what I'm talking about, don't ya?
But if you're not doing all that, today is probably as good a day as any other to go thank yo' momma for giving you an ounce of common sense. And that big ass of yours! (Or in my case, my nasty "classy" sense of humor).
Then squeeze her close like there is no tomorrow.
And maybe even make her a nice ol' cup of grown up coffee!

Big bad-ass grown-up coffee:
250 ml strong black coffee
50 ml coconut milk (or regular)
50 ml chocolate liquor

Blend it all together, serve it up and go watch cartoons with the old lady!!!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

*Holiday Envy*

Yeah, I've got it. Bad. All thanks to a huge RSS feed of food blogs, all chitty chatty about Cinco de Mayo.
So I made myself a little something...
A friend gave me some salty corn cake he made on the weekend, so I just grilled a couple slices of that with bacon, garlic, half a yellow pepper and some kale, and served it with a side of my guacamole.
Not too heavy, and not too light. Yum, as in dinner for one!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

*and now...*

Here, have a cookie.
I will admit, I'm quite shameless. Although I've been promising people high and low this recipe, I never got around to post it.
Sure, it's not even originally mine. EVERYONE knows the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookie. And I kept putting off posting it because my cookies never turn out very photogenic.
But alas, here it is...
Nom! That's a pistachio chocolate variation sandwiching vanilla and chocolate icecream. And this is why I love this recipe so much...
It can become almost any other cookie. Last year for Christmas I made an oats, coconut and raisin variation.
Also, it's worth posting because I took the time to convert ALL the measurements.
So ladies and gentleman, finally, the...

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
(converted measurements to metric)

482 g flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp coarse salt
2 ½ sticks/1 ¼ cups/300 ml unsalted butter
284 g light brown sugar
227 g granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
567 g bittersweet chocolate chips/chunks
sea salt to taste

- Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside
- Using a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix well until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds.
- Drop in chocolate chips and incorporate without breaking.
- Press plastic wrap around dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours (Very important!)
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 180C.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

- Scoop 50 g mounds of dough (you can use an icecream scoop to measure) onto baking sheet,
- Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft – 10 to 12 minutes each batch.
- If necessary, flatten with spatula (but not too much)
- Transfer sheet to wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. No rack? No problem. Use a wooden cutting board, or a grate of some kind. Even a dish rack will do.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Dough can be frozen up to 3 months.

Personal Notes:
- The original recipe may be a bit too sweet. Be sure to use bitter chocolate or adjust sugar accordingly.
- The sea salt may seem to be strange, but it does make things more interesting.
- You can use the basic ingredients and substitute the chocolate for other things, like oats and raisins or half nuts half chocolate. Just respect the weight proportion.
- I have always made half the recipe. It’s a lot! You can also double the size of the cookies, but be careful with excessive browning.
- For larger cookies (100g) bake for 14 minutes+.
- Turn baking sheet around in oven through half the baking time. This ensures a more even browning.
- These cookies are chewy on the inside and crispy on the edges.

Makes 40 medium (icecream scoop sized) cookies.


Just in time for the Easter holiday. Enjoy!



Gotta love heart warming creamy foods. Specially when one feels under the weather...
Ever finished your morning classes craving something hot and nourishing? I started the week with a soup that soothed both my stomach, my appetite and my sore muscles.

Makes 2 portions.

1 large potato, diced
100 g milk cream (I used soy)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 smoked sausage
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the potato in just enough water to cover it, for about 20 minutes.
In a food processor (or blender), mix the potato (with the cooking water) and the cream.
Saute the leeks and sausage in the butter.
Add creamed potato and spice to taste.

Anyone else feeling eager for Easter goodies?

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Thanks to college, this is where i've been eating lately.
Yes, its a mess. And that's the radish Kachumber-like salad and and chicken curry stew with soy "milk" cream I'm having for lunch.
Lot's to do. Curry just cooks away while one reads. And that's a good thing.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

*Fresh from the Farmers Market*

Fresher than this, only warm from the garden.

According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables are antioxidants, and improve one's immune system functions.

Papaya: Ripe and sweet, they are great for regulating the digestive system.

Persimmon: Also a lovely natural treat, these are rich in Vitamin C.
Green produce is great for strengthening bones and teeth in general.

Avocado: Fat and caloric. Sure, but that's a healthy source of fat with over 20 different vitamins and minerals.

Lime: Uh, vitamin C anyone?

Edamame: Fresh, these make a healthy snack, packed with protein and flavor. Unfortunately, very hard to find around here. Fortunately, they freeze well.

Beet greens and stalks: Obviously, I get mine with the beets still attached. Beets go into the oven and are stored in the fridge, just waiting for a quick weeknight dinner. The greens are fabulous in salads and stir fries, as are the stalks - delicious in rice cakes. Nutritionally, there is lots and lots of iron and vitamin B.

Radish: Ok, these are actually red, as are the beets. Good for your memory, they say. Aside that, radishes and their greens are digestive and also packed with the C vitamin. I just like their tangy flavor and crunch. Oh, those greens are hot!

Basil: It's a spice. And what a spice! Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, its extremely fragant and has a strong flavor. Hummm... pesto!
And now to make a healthy, lovely and tasty salad for lunch!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

*You say tomato, I say tomato*

So let's call the whole thing off...


*Toy Food*

Hello?! Anyone there?
Thought I would share:

This is way beyond awesome.
In the meanwhile, when I next take a break from my school books, I'll have some nice food photos to post here.
Oh, and by the way, is anyone celebrating Carnival this weekend? Just asking, since as of last week that is all that has been on the mind of most of the Brazilians - party! At least until Wednesday, that is. Me? Well I'm just happy I have the days off to read, read and read!
But if you do get in the mood for some nice typical food, be sure not to miss the recipe special on Recipezaar. I highly recommend trying a CAIPIRINHA!
Time to get dressed and head to the farmers market! Have a good one!

Friday, January 30, 2009

*Hmmm, good liquid nutrition!