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Cod Casserole with Hearts-of-Palm (Bacalhau Fresco com Palmito ao Molho Branco)

cod-casserole-hearts-of-palm

In Brazil, the dishes that are traditionally served on Good Friday are the ones with some kind of fish, especially salt cod (bacalhau). I love salt cod!! My sister is an expert and she makes some amazing salt cod recipes for our family every year!! Salt cod is delicious, but a bit tricky to be prepared… It must be desalted in water overnight, and the water must be changed several times (people say at least 7 times). I have to confess that as much as I love salt cod, these days I prefer to substitute fresh cod in some of those traditional Brazilian recipes. 


This Cod Casserole with Hearts-of-Palm is a creamy and delicious recipe that I adapted with the use of fresh cod. This dish is easy to make and WAY faster to prepare, since I used fresh cod. Hearts-of-palm are a bit acidic and the white sauce balances that out, giving this dish a smooth and velvety texture. To give a bit of a fresh touch, I used scallions and cilantro to finish the white sauce, but Italian parsley would also taste incredible in this recipe. I hope you enjoy sharing this recipe with your family!

Read more: Cod Casserole with Hearts-of-Palm (Bacalhau Fresco com Palmito ao Molho Branco)

Panqueca de Carne Moida (Brazilian Crêpes with Meat Filling)

panqueca-de-carne-crepe-brazilian-recipe-foodgawker

Crêpes are really thin pancakes and they can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. I grew up eating them at home – my Mom makes the best ones! In fact, this is a very special recipe post because during the testing and photo shoot I had the chance to be hands-on in the kitchen with my Mom; and since she is the crêpes expert, this time I could take a step back and watch the process, photograph, and take some really good notes. We had a lot of fun! The whole family ended up getting involved: my husband, my 4-year-old, and even the baby ended up participating on the process.

Cooking with my Mom is an opportunity that I unfortunately do not have very often. She still lives in Brazil and I live in the US. But I just recently had my second baby boy so she flew to Indiana to spend some time with us. When baby William give us a little break, I often ask her to help me prepare some of the recipes I grew up eating.

My Mom’s “Brazilian Crêpes with Meat Filling” are delicious and fairly simple to make (the step-by-step with pictures is helpful!). You can make the crêpes in advance and store in the fridge for a couple of days. You can also be creative with filling: besides the meat and vegetables, I also love to use shredded chicken with corn. For the sweet lovers, my absolute favorite is dulce de leche. Once you have the crêpes ready, the possibilities are endless and SO GOOD!!!

Read more: Panqueca de Carne Moida (Brazilian Crêpes with Meat Filling)

Butternut Squash Quibebe with Chicken and Coconut Milk (Quibebe com Frango e Leite de Coco)

butternut-squash-brazilian-recipe-foodgawker

I was so excited to see the very first few butternut squash of the season showing up at the grocery store! I love all squashes, but the winter ones are my favorites! In Brazil, the varieties that we call winter squashes can be found year round. Every year, I look forward to this season to share some of our delicious recipes. So my first Brazilian recipe of this season will be Quibebe. Don’t be intimidated by the strange name, Quibebe is really easy and quick to make (prep time and cooking time shouldn’t take longer then 25 to 30 minutes). Now, you are thinking: “So what is this”? Ok, Quibebe is a delicious butternut squash stew, usually cooked with some spices and, sometimes, herbs. It is a typical dish from Northeastern Brazil. It is a side dish, but sometimes it is prepared with some kind of meat (very commonly jerk meat) and it becomes a main course. In this recipe, I made a richer version with the addition of chicken breast, coconut milk and fresh herbs. It is to die for! Quibebe is usually served with rice, but you can leave the rice out and make it a Paleo main course. If you are doing it the Paleo way, also remove the dark brown sugar. I hope you try this easy and flavorful Brazilian dish!

Read more: Butternut Squash Quibebe with Chicken and Coconut Milk (Quibebe com Frango e Leite de Coco)

Chicken Parmigiana (Frango à Parmegiana)

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It might be surprising for most people, but Chicken Parmigiana is a well beloved recipe in Brazil! Just like most Brazilian dishes, it is usually served with rice and beans on the side (I guarantee it goes perfectly fine with rice and beans). In this recipe, I make a more traditional move and serve it over linguini. Delicious!!! My husband said it was the best Chicken Parmigiana he has ever had; and he is picky since I turned him into a culinary “critic”. The addition of ham and good quality cheeses (I used a mixture of half mozzarella and half Fontina) also made my version of Chicken Parmigiana extra flavorful. And just in case you were wondering: yes, it is Brazilian comfort food and I especially enjoy it right now, since I am pregnant! Your family will love this one!

Read more: Chicken Parmigiana (Frango à Parmegiana)

Chicken with Cream of Corn (Frango com Creme de Milho)

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My mom used to make this recipe and serve with slow roasted meat. I can’t remember the name of the cut of meat, but I can remember the delicious flavor of the Cream of Corn. Nutty, sweet, and creamy this recipe is Brazilian comfort food (I know… I know… one more recipe that is all about my pregnancy cravings). My favorite way to serve this cream is over perfectly baked, moist chicken breast. This recipe is an easy and flavorful way to take advantage of the sweet corn season, but frozen corn kernels could serve as a substitute if fresh is unavailable. The whole family will enjoy this healthy meal!

Read more: Chicken with Cream of Corn (Frango com Creme de Milho)

Madalena

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Comfort food, all I want is comfort food!!! I am expecting our second child right now, and all I crave are the meals that my mom used make for our family back on the days I lived in Brazil. Similar to the Shepherd’s Pie, Madalena is a traditional Brazilian recipe and it is usually served with rice and beans on the side. Comforting and creamy, this casserole can be made in advance and baked the next day. It reheats well and it tastes even better the next day, which makes for a very practical weeknight meal year-round. Enjoy!

Read more: Madalena

Shrimp in a Pumpkin (Camarão na Moranga)

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I am not an advocate for the use of microwave oven in cooking, so when one of my mom’s best friends, Leila, told me she had a delicious, EASY and much QUICKER version of Shrimp in a Pumpkin (Camarão na Moranga) that was mostly prepared in the microwave I was not convinced at first. But she was firm: “You have to try”. Since Leila is a great cook, I decided to give it a shot. Well, I am glad to say that she was right! The pulp of the pumpkin was moist and soft; and the cream cheese incorporated into the shrimp sauce perfectly. This classic Brazilian recipe is normally prepared in the conventional oven so take a look at my other version of Shrimp in a Pumpkin. The version made in the conventional oven has that delicious slightly roasted flavor; and the version made in the microwave is more moist and, of course, easier to make. Well, both recipes are slightly sweet, creamy and delicious. If you like spicier, use more jalapenos in the sauce, or remove them completely if you prefer it mild; or use a different kind of hot pepper to your preference. Enjoy!

Read more: Shrimp in a Pumpkin (Camarão na Moranga)

Shrimp Bobó (Bobó de Camarão)

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Shrimp Bobó is a Brazilian traditional recipe from the state of Bahia. Yuca, coconut milk and red palm oil give this delicious stew its rich color and flavor. Everything about this dish might sound exotic for most people, but Bobó is one of the most beloved dishes from Bahia, along with Moqueca, Acarajé and Vatapá (sorry about the crazy names). Everytime I throw a dinner party where I want to show off some of the best authentic flavors from my country, I include this recipe in the menu. Fairly simple to make, it is perfect over a bed of jasmine rice (some like it with Farofa on the side). This dish will awaken your palate and transpor you to Bahia, Brazil. Be ready for a party of flavors in your month!

Read more: Shrimp Bobó (Bobó de Camarão)

Brazilian Black Beans

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I grew up eating the combination of black beans, rice, meat and a simple salad five times a week. Only on the weekends we would eat something “more special” (sodas were also only allowed on Sundays). For me, beans are part of the simplest and most comforting of all meals. When prepared with the added flavors of onions, garlic, bay leaves and bacon, black beans are delicious and often become more then “only” a side dish, shadowing the main dish, usually meat, chicken or fish. They are also nutritious, especially when cooked from scratch. When I was having a conversation with two of my sister-in-laws (both good cooks) that I finally realized that black beans are not as nearly as popular in the United States, and that most people don’t know how to add the “right” flavors when preparing; so I decided to share this recipe. If I close my eyes I can still hear the loud sound of the pressure cooker, and smell the scents that would come from the large pot of beans that was prepared in my house when I was a little girl. This post is a little piece of Mom’s everyday kitchen. Welcome!

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Shrimp and Heart-of-Palm Pie (Empadão de Camarão e Palmito)

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This Shrimp and Heart-of-Palm Pie is a traditional Brazilian dish. It is super creamy in the inside, and the dough is so crumbly it melts in your month! In fact this dough recipe has a curious name: “rotten dough” (massa podre). Definitely a weird name for something that tastes so good. I think this pie is comparable to an American pot pie, but the dough is flakier and the filling is thicker. Also, it is a great recipe for large parties since it can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in the fridge until it is time to bake. This pie will feature on the buffet table at my house this Christmas, and I am excited to present a Brazilian traditional dish to our family! I hope they enjoy as much as I do.

Read more: Shrimp and Heart-of-Palm Pie (Empadão de Camarão e Palmito)

Farofa - Brazilian Crunchy Topping or Stuffing

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Don’t be fooled by the “dirty sand” look of this typical Brazilian side dish! Farofa is a delicious, crunchy side dish (or stuffing) that is eaten at a daily basis all over Brazil. Given the fact that Brazil is a HUGE country with a large variety of dishes from region to region, achieving that level of popularity is pretty impressive… It certainly does NOT taste like dirty sand. Farofa is crunchy and full of intense flavors that enhance the texture and add an interesting taste to the main course. It is almost like a crunchy hot sauce, but without the heat. It is extremely simple to make, but exotic at the same time. I hope you are curious enough to try.

Read more: Farofa - Brazilian Crunchy Topping or Stuffing

Vatapá – Coconut Milk and Dried Shrimp Stew from Bahia, Brazil

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Vatapá can be served as a main dish over rice or as a filling in the also famous and exotic acarajé. This delight is typical from the Northern region of Brazil, especially popular in the state of Bahia. The unique flavors in this stew come from coconut milk, red palm oil, dried and fresh shrimp, cashews, peanuts, herbs and ginger. It might sound really different but it is actually pretty simple to make.

Read more: Vatapá – Coconut Milk and Dried Shrimp Stew from Bahia, Brazil

Salmon with Mango Sauce and Coconut Rice

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Mango, limes and coconut are some of the most traditional ingredients used in Brazilian cuisine. In this recipe, they were split among main course and side dish in a very harmonic combination of flavors with the salmon and rice. Greek yogurt adds a creamy texture to this fresh, healthy and flavorful meal. I hope you enjoy!

Read more: Salmon with Mango Sauce and Coconut Rice

Shrimp in Red Sauce, Cream Cheese and Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

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The cream cheese adds richness to this shrimp dish. I used Catupiry (the Brazilian style cream cheese) and I made this recipe while spending time with my family in the beach town of Camboriú, Brazil.

Read more: Shrimp in Red Sauce, Cream Cheese and Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Cod Stew with Vegetables, Red Palm Oil and Herbs

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Fish stew is a favorite in Brazil! This recipe has cod, coconut milk, vegetables and herbs and it is perfect over jasmine rice. The red palm oil adds a distinct, very Brazilian flavor. So I hope you enjoy!

Read more: Cod Stew with Vegetables, Red Palm Oil and Herbs

Pumpkin with Shrimp (Camarão na Moranga)

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This meal is perfect for fall, but we eat this dish year round in Brazil!

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Chicken Pot Pie, Brazilian Style (Empadão de Frango)

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This savory chicken pie is a staple in my country, and this particular recipe was passed over to me by my mom and I am proudly passing it down to you. I hope you enjoy this delicious and comforting Brazilian style chicken pot pie. 

Read more: Chicken Pot Pie, Brazilian Style (Empadão de Frango)

Salmon with Passion Fruit Sauce

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This recipe is fresh and healthy! The combination of salmon and passion fruit can be very unusual in the US but is very well known in Brazil.

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Halibut with Shrimp Sauce and Catupiry

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Catupiry is the most traditional creamy cheese from Brazil and it is somewhat hard to find in the US. Mascarpone is a great replacement in case you cannot find it. The name Catupiry means “excellent” in the native Tupi-Guarani language. Excellent is the perfect word to describe this recipe!

Read more: Halibut with Shrimp Sauce and Catupiry

Shrimp, Beans and Acorn Squash with Cilantro Oil

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This dish was inspired in the traditional “Feijoada” and has some of the most delicious flavors of my home country, Brazil!

Read more: Shrimp, Beans and Acorn Squash with Cilantro Oil