Month: July 2010


Menu: Brunei

Way up north, in Boston, my mother devours this blog. My biggest fan, she not only tells everyone she meets about the blog, she literally saves each post to her computer “just in case” (even though I tell her the server backs it up). That’s some serious love. This week, she is in Tulsa for a visit. She will finally get a chance to climb out from behind the computer and devour the food. And she’ll see the love and craziness that goes into each posting (is there any other way to do things than with love and craziness?). Thank you, Brunei, for feeding my mother during her stay. Shrimp and Vegetable Curry (Sayur Lodeh) [Recipe] Long beans, cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and shrimp simmered in rich coconut milk curry seasoned with rempah. Curry Spice Mix (Rempah) [Recipe] A hot and savory blend of garlic, onion, ginger, lemon grass, chili powder, turmeric, coriander, and belachan/anchovy paste. Add this blend to curry dishes to taste. Rice Cooked in Banana Leaves (Lontong) [Recipe] Cooked rice is stacked in …

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About the Food of Brunei

Something is fishy in  Brunei, and I like it! With miles of coastline, fish and seafood (such as shrimp and squid) make regular appearances at the dinner table. Even if you’re not eating fish, your meal may include belachan, or shrimp paste. The tiny country of Brunei (about the size of Delaware) boasts rain forests, low-lying plains, and oceanfront vistas. Sweet tropical fruits (such as mango, membangan,  papaya, watermelon, durian, kembayau, Brunei cherry, and rambutan – like lychee) are beloved throughout Brunei. The food blends local flavors with Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian cuisines. Typical of the region, most meals are served with either rice or noodles and seasoning is usually hot. In fact, curries are the norm. For example, Sayur Lodeh (recipe), vegetable curry, is a lovely blend of cabbage, long beans, and other vegetables, simmered in creamy coconut milk and spicy rempah (a popular seasoning blend – recipe). Shrimp, fish, or tofu can be added for protein. Yes, please! For chicken lovers, satay is a popular skewered preparation available with dipping sauces. You may have had …

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Monday Meal Review: Brazil

Things that make you go “Mmmm.”  The food of Brazil is simple and decidedly non-fussy. Many dishes have a short list of ingredients, however they pack intense flavor into each bite. This food practically assembles itself, allowing the hostess to enjoy the fruits of her labor and dance at her own party. Speaking of dancing, Ava LOVES music. This weekend we played some Brazilian music and she did a cute baby dance while holding on to the coffee table (I call it the diaper-butt bounce). I. Love. The. Diaper-Butt. Bounce. 😀 Black Beans with Assorted Meats (feijoada completa) [Recipe] What I liked most about this dish: This meal provides slow-burning energy for a hungry soul. The black beans soak up the salty, smoky flavor of the meat – particularly the sausage and the smoked pork shank bone. Typical of a stew, the longer you cook your feijoada, the better the flavor. In fact, this dish is ideal a day or two after cooking because the flavors continue to mingle and soften. What I liked least about this …

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Brazilian Iced coffee | Mocha-Cola

Serves 4 Brazilian iced coffee has the spirit of a root-beer float. Rich chocolate milk and fizzy cola sweetens the drink, while the coffee gives it a nice kick (although decaf is a great option, too)! Kids will love the novelty of plain old chocolate milk with cola, without the coffee. Feel free to top with vanilla ice cream, instead of whipped cream. Mmm…. Ingredients: 1 cup double strength coffee 12 oz can cola 3 cups chocolate milk Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream Method: 1. Brew coffee twice as strong as package recommendations. I used instant because I haven’t been drinking coffee lately, but you can, and should, use the best quality you have. Chill coffee. I placed mine in the freezer for 15 minutes and that took the edge off. 2. Combine coffee, cola, and chocolate milk. 3. Pour over ice and  top with whipped cream. Serve immediately. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Brazilian iced coffee has the spirit of a root-beer float. Rich chocolate milk and fizzy cola …

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Brazilian Romeo and Juliet | Romeu e Julieta

Makes 10 servings This unusual treat can be served either for dessert or as a snack. The sweet and salty combination is shocking to my sheltered palette, but Brazilians serve this beloved treat up in many forms. For less of a salty/sweet contrast, try spreading a dab of cream cheese on top of the Guava paste. This mild spread is more suited to the sweet guava. Also, consider using queso blanco, a less salty cheese.   P.S. Here’s a related recipe, called the Martin Fierro, which we made when we cooked Uruguay. Ingredients: 1 block of guava paste (available at some Latino and Asian grocers) 1 block of white cheese, (like queso fresco or canastra) toothpicks Method: 1. Slice guava paste and cheese in thin, even slices (preferably thinner than what I did – I just know you’ll do a better job because you won’t have a teething baby begging you to get a move on). 2. Layer 2-4 per toothpick, alternating colors. 3. Serve chilled or room temperature. Votes: 8 Rating: 2.75 You: Rate this recipe! …

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Sauteed Red Kale

Ingredients: 1 bunch red kale olive oil vinegar (red or white wine) Method: 1. Rinse and trim the kale. Kale is full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals so eat it up! 2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add kale and vinegar. The vinegar gives the bitter greens an upbeat kick! You could even use fresh squeezed lemon juice, if you were in the mood 🙂 3. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. This photo shows the greens halfway. You can cook them even longer, if you like them more tender. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Kale is full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals so eat it up!Sauteed Red Kale CourseSides & Salads LifestyleVegan, Vegetarian Food TypeVegetables Cook Time 15minutes Cook Time 15minutes Ingredients 1bunch red kale olive oil vinegar, red or white wine Instructions Rinse and trim the kale. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add kale and vinegar. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. You can cook them even longer, if you like them more tender. Recipe Notes …

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Brazilians “Heart” Cow Tongue (with poll and video)

Honeybees fight cavities? Brazilian honeybees make a sticky substance called propolis to patch up their hives. This mixture of beeswax and local tree secretions has the potential to reduce cavities in humans up to 60%. A sweet invention… The sweet, seedless navel orange was first recorded in the mid-1800’s on a sour orange tree in a Brazilian monastery (according to National Geographic). This happy accident was then developed and bred into the sweet navel orange we enjoy today. The “navel” on the orange is actually a second, underdeveloped orange (pictured bottom right). World-class diversity Brazil claims the greatest diversity of primates, amphibians and plants in the world. Additionally, Brazil is in the top five in the world for birds and reptile species. Incredible biodiversity of plants means great things for the juice and wine world. Road side juice bars are bursting with all sorts of fresh squeezed tropical fruit such as pineapple, guava, soursop, papaya, passionfruit, mango, and cupuaçu. In the south, wine is the “next big thing.” According to the New York Times, 300 days …

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Brazilian Black Bean Feijoada with pork

Feijoada is Brazil’s stew of choice for lazy Saturdays and potluck Sundays. At it’s absolute best, Feijoada is a massive pool of black beans piled high with a glorious assortment of meat. One plateful will provide enough slow-burning energy for a marathon, although you won’t be able to run after eating it! This is definitely a meal for elastic pants. Originally, Feijoada was made with pig ears, tails, and feet. Today, this hearty dish is typically made with dried beef (carne seca) and pork meats – usually sausages, like paio, and ribs. According to my Brazilian classmate from high school, “cow tongue is also super popular (and yummy).” Like chili in the USA or Beef Bourguignon in France, there are as many recipes as there are mammas (and papas) cooking. Serve Feijoada with farofa (manioc flour pan-toasted in butter), sweet orange slices, and white rice. Sauteed kale is a popular side dish too. Although this green is bitter, you’ll be glad you made it because feijoada sends diners begging for veggies to balance out the beans …

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Menu: Brazil

Brazilians are a beautiful, proud, and fun-loving people who would rather have sand beneath their feet than snow any day of the week. Our first two Global Table dishes capture the spirit of Brazil – wholesome and strong. The second two dishes reflect the heart of Brazil – sweet and smooth. Make one of these dishes, shut your eyes, and pretend you’re in the Brazilian sunshine! Black Beans with Assorted Meats (feijoada completa) [Recipe] Black beans simmered slowly with tender ribs, tangy chorizo, and smoked pork shank. Variations on feijoada abound and, in this recipe, we make several suggestions for authentic versions. Sauteed Red Kale [Recipe] Bitter kale cooked in a little olive oil, with a splash of vinegar. Brazilian Iced Mocha-Cola [Recipe] Cool down with a jolt of chocolate milk, double-strength coffee, and cola. Romeo and Juliet (Romeu e Julieta) [Recipe] Slices of sweet guava paste layered with soft, creamy white cheese – hauntingly romantic.

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About Brazilian Food

From the towering rain forest, to the coastal plains, we could spend a lifetime sampling food in Brazil. Almost as big as the U.S.A, to say that Brazil brings a lot to our Global Table is quite the understatement. I’m willing to bet you’ve had some of the local specialties. Take Brazil nuts, for example. These giants are always the biggest nut in a tin of mixed nuts.  Grown wild, high in the canopies of the Amazon, locals stir them into all manner of tasty cakes and sinful confections. Until about five years ago I always avoided the Brazil nut. The flavor  seemed so unusual – so earthy – and the texture could be… squeaky. It’s true. But, through the years, I’ve made friends with the Brazil nut (as I have with other strange tasting items, like blue cheese and brie). Give ’em a try! Coffee is another local specialty. Brazil produces more coffee than any other country in the world. If you’ve ever used coffee to lift the cottony fog of sleep from your brain, …

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Monday Meal Review: Botswana

With a few simple steps, our Botswana Global Table Adventure transformed minimal ingredients into a tasty feast. Although I struggled to get Keith to eat the spinach (spoiler: I won), the general consensus was that this was a great meal, worthy of any weeknight menu. Stewed Beef (Seswaa) [Recipe] What I liked most about this dish: I made Seswaa with a beautiful, fatty piece of chuck. As the marbling broke down, the stew’s flavor grew deeper and richer. I was amazed at how much meaty deliciousness came through this simple dish. I found myself smacking my lips and wanting more. Looking around, seemed like the family was in agreement. Since making Seswaa, I’ve been dreaming of ladling the meaty gravy over freshly baked biscuits. Oh man, that would be good. What I liked least about this dish: I know Seswaa isn’t much to look at, but the stew is just so tasty. Since there are few ingredients, Seswaa’s flavor depends on the cut of meat you get. Ideally, choose a fresh piece of well-marbled meat. …

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