Focus on Brazil

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This week, I worked on my school’s Cultural Diversity Newsletter. The focus this month is on Brazil. I am including some excerpts from that newsletter here. Here are two recipes I found to publish:

FEIJOADA (Black beans and pork stew)

The slaves in the colonial Brazil created the feijoada. They started cooking the pork meats that farmland owners discarded such as the ears, tails, tongue, kidneys, and feet in a big pot with black beans. This dish became a traditional dish enjoyed all over the country. Since then, the dish has been augmented with pork sirloin and sausages that transform this famous entrée.

The following recipe is an easy-to-do version of feijoada made only with pork tenderloin and sausages. This recipe is preferred by busy people that don’t want to handle the salted pork ears, tails and feet found in the traditional version. It can be prepared with canned beans, or with beans made from scratch!

Ingredients:

1 lb of varied pork sausages (preferably smoked), sliced

1 lb of pork tenderloin, cubed

some slices of bacon

1 can of black beans (15.5 oz.)

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

salt, garlic, chopped onions and bay leaves (bay leaves give a special taste to feijoada)

Preparation:

1. Add black beans to a medium-sized pot with 2 tbsp. oil, salt, garlic, chopped onions, and about 6 bay leaves.

2. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat and then set aside.

3. In a separate pan, cook cubes of pork tenderloin and slices of bacon with salt and garlic.

4. Add all the sliced sausages and stir over medium heat until all the liquid cooks off.

5. Add the cooked meat to the pan with the black beans cook for 10 minutes to let the meat flavor soak into the black beans. You can add some pepper sauce (to your taste) at this point.

Hint: to make the feijoada creamy, liquefy 1/2 cup of black beans in the blender and add to the whole beans and meat.

Makes 6 servings.

Feijoada is a main dish frequently served with white rice, collard greens and seasoned manioc flour (farofa).

To follow the feijoada, Brazilians often serve orange segments as a dessert.

SALPICÃO SALAD (Shoestrings salad)

Salpicão is a popular salad in Brazil. You can use as a side dish for meats. Salpicão is great for parties, Brazilians fill pastry shells (barquettes) with it to make party snacks.

Ingredients:

1 lb chicken breast

4 thin slices of ham

½ cup drained green peas

1 cup heart of palms chopped

2 large raw carrots

3 cups canned shoestring potatoes

1 green apple

1 cup mayonnaise

Preparation:

1. Cook chicken breast with salt, then drain it and cut into ¼-inch cubes.

2. Coarsely grate raw carrots.

3. Cut ham slices into fine strips.

4. Peel apple, remove core and cut into ¼-inch cubes.

5. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, ham strips, drained peas, chopped hearts of palm, grated carrots and diced apple.

6. Mix all ingredients while adding the cup of mayonnaise.

7. Finally, stir in the shoestring potatoes.

Hint: To have a crispy salad, stir in the shoestring potatoes just before you will serve the salad.

Makes 6 servings.

Of course, all of this goes down better with Guarana or a caipirinha!

I also wrote about Brazilian restaurants in the Atlanta area. Here it is:

Brazilian cuisine is big in Atlanta!

While it is true that Marietta City Schools does not have a large number of Brazilian students, there is an important population moving to the Atlanta area. Brazilian food has many influences, including Italian and Western African cuisines.

The most popular new Brazilian restaurants in the area are called churrascarias. These restaurants are a meat-lover’s heaven on earth. There is usually a large salad bar, and waiters dressed in gaucho costume serve grilled meats from long swords or skewers. Generally, you pay one price, and eat all of the meat you want.

Try these restaurants for a fun dining experience: Fogo de Chão, Carro de Boi, Sal Grosso, Fire of Brazil, Sal e Brasa.

For a different taste of Brazil, head on over to Delk Road. Sabor do Brasil is a cafeteria-style café that serves dishes like Brazilian lasagna, salads composed of pasta or potatoes with mayonnaise, and other simple fare will please most people. Try a Guarana, the official soda of Brazil! Across the street is the Copacabana Grill, which serves both churrascaria and other Brazilian dishes, depending on the night’s specials.

Brazilian grocery stores in the area, such as Rosa Brasil, also have take-out specialties to sample. Take something home to try!

Carro de Boi – 8612 Roswell Rd. (770) 650-0039

Fogo de Chão – 3101 Piedmont Road (404) 266-9988

Sal e Brasa -1995 Windy Hill Rd SE (770) 333-0731

Copacabana Grill – 2555 Delk Road (770) 984-0057

Fire of Brazil -118 Perimeter Center West (770) 551-4367

Sabor do Brasil – 2800 Delk Road, Ste. E (770) 541-2625

Delicias do Brasil -1360 Powers Ferry Rd. (770) 984-1779

Pão & Companhia Bakery -2359 Windy Hill rd. SE # 340 (770) 690-9393

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