Unusual Fact: Brazil is so large that it covers three time zones
Welcome to Brazil. A country famous for its rainforest, beaches and soccer. Brazil is filled with many natural wonders. There is the Amazon River and Rain forest and there is also the Iguazu Falls in South West Brazil. Who could forget the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio.
So for Brazil we dined on three different dishes. The first two were Kale Mineira and Chicken in a nut sauce. I loved them both. Firstly for the Kale Mineira. Recipe from Flavours of Brazil. This was a great accompaniment for the chicken. The kale leaves mopped up the sauce from the chicken very well. It was fresh and flavoursome from the garlic, and fairly healthy too as Kale is one of the ‘super foods’. The taste of the garlic was beautiful, but not quite strong enough. If I were to make it again I would add another clove or two.
Now for the chicken in a nut sauce. This recipe is out of the book The World Cookbook For Students. It was delicious, the sauce was great, tasted just as I thought Brazil should. The recipe calls for 1/2cup of dried shrimp after the fail we had with dried shrimp for Benin. We decided to do 1tbs instead of 1/2cup. This was fine, you could barely even taste the shrimp in it but it did add a saltiness. There was not many nuts in the sauce for a dish called chicken in a nut sauce. I chose almonds out of almonds and cashews and added them as flaked almonds. Every few bites you would get the crunch of the almond. This added another delicious dimension. This dish was easy to make but took a long time. I suggest starting an hour and a half before you plan on eating. It is also delicious the next day for lunch.
Finally we had brazilian chocolate truffles or Brigadeiros. These were absoulutely delicious and easy to make as well. All you do is heat the condensed milk, cocoa and butter, mix, cool and roll.
This recipe is from the SBS. We didn’t have any chocolate sprinkles to roll the brigadeiros in so I rolled them in cocoa. Still delicious. Watch this movie for some techniques on making brigadeiros.
Chicken in a Nut Sauce
RECIPE – Kale Mineira
1 or 2 bunches kale or other bitter green ( about 1 lb./500 gr.)
2 Tbsp. light olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
salt to taste
Carefully wash the greens, roll the leaves into cigar shapes, and thinly slice into fine shreds. Dry.
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, wok or frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and fry for a minute or two. Be careful not to let the garlic brown or burn.
Add the shredded greens, and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, just until the greens soften, but before they lose their brilliant dark color.
(Variation: sometimes this dish is served with finely chopped cubes of smoked bacon (about 100 gr.). Fry the bacon until all the fat has rendered and the cubes are crisp, and then add the garlic, eliminating the olive oil. Then add the greens as per the master recipe)
Chicken In a Nut Sauce
4 large chicken pieces (quarters or thighs)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
juice of two lemons or limes
1 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 cup (or less) dried shrimp
1/2 cup chopped almonds or walnuts
2 cans of coconut milk
1cup fresh white breadcrumbs
6tbs olive oil
2 onions, chopped (separated into two portions)
1 bunch spring onions, chopped (separated into two portions)
3 tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
2 small fresh red chillies (leave stalk intact, i.e., just wash and use whole)
2tbs tomato paste
4tbs palm oil (optional)
4tbs cilantro or coriander
4tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Marinade the chicken with garlic, juice of lemon or lime and salt. Set aside
In a blender or food processor, process the chicken stock, shrimp, nuts, 1 can of coconut milk and bread crumbs until smooth. Set aside
In a stewing pan heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil
Stir fry one portion of the onions and spring onions until soft, for about 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes and chillies, stirring for about 5 minutes.
Add chicken, tomato paste, chicken stock, or water; simmer for about 30-35 minutes until chicken in tender
Transfer chicken to a dish and let cool
Skin and bone chicken, chop meat coarsely; set aside
Sieve chicken and tomato broth; set aside
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat remaining olive oil; stirfry remaining onions until soft
Stir in processed mixture and broth from cooking the chicken
Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until thick
Stir in remaining coconut milk, palm oil if using, and the chopped chicken
Simmer until heated through
Garnish with the herbs
Brazilian Chocolate Truffles – Brigadeiros
- 3 tbspunsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 395 gsweetened condensed milk
Place the cocoa powder, butter and condensed milk in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until mixture starts to come away from sides of the pan.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, using your hands, shape mixture into walnut-sized balls.
Roll in chocolate sprinkles (or coating of your choice), then place in patty cases.
Eat immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.