Archive for November, 2010

Brazilian cuisine

Posted: November 29, 2010 in Brazilian, Food
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I’ll start a series of posts with typical recipes from the Brazilian cuisine. Many of them will come from the series “Cozinha Regional Brasileira” (Brazilian Regional Cuisine, http://www.cozinharegional.com.br), some will come from Internet searches, and some others I’ll use other sources (such as my father or my grandmother). In some cases I’ll follow the recipe to the book, some I’ll try my own changes, and some I’ll change them so much that although I’ll still name the original inspiration, some people my be offended that I still call what I prepared the name of the original recipe…

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Arrumadinho

Posted: November 28, 2010 in Beef, Brazilian, Food
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Source: Modified from the series “Cozinha Regional Brasileira” (Brazilian Regional Cuisine, http://www.cozinharegional.com.br), book 6 (Pernambuco)

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History: “Arrumadinho” (loosely translated as “nicely presented”) is a typical appetizer from the state of Pernambuco, consisting primarily of shelled green beans, “farofa” (fried ground yucca/cassava root), dried beef (a slab of beef cured with salt; I don’t know exactly which cut of beef is used) and a vegetable vinaigrette.

Variation from the original: I used black-eyed peas instead of the green beans; I used parsley instead of cilantro for the vinaigrette; I also added the rice because we had some leftover from a beet-seasoned rice I had made the day before which usually isn’t part of the recipe.

Ingredients from specialty stores: I got the dried beef and the “farinha” (ground yucca) from a Brazilian store nearby. Everything else can be found in most supermarkets.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of (cooked) black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups of (cooked) rice
  • For the dried beef:
    • Dried beef (1 package, about 150g/5oz)
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • For the “farofa”:
    • 1 cup “farinha”
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp. butter
    • salt & pepper
  • For the vinaigrette:
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp. vinegar
    • 3 tbsp. olive oil
    • juice of 1/2 lime
    • salt & pepper
  • Green onions for decoration

Cook the beans with water/salt (I also added sausage and smoked pork neck bones for taste) according to the package directions. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Trim most of the fat off the dried beef (in the original recipe the fat is mostly left on, I prefer mine without it), and cut it in small (0.5cm / 1/4”) cubes. Put the beef in a small pan with water and bring it to a boil (to remove the salt). After it boils for 2-3 minutes, remove from the heat, drain off the water, and let it dry while you prepare the other parts.

To prepare the “farofa”, melt 2 tbsp. of butter in a non-stick pan and add the onion. Let it cook until it starts to brown, then add the “farinha”, the remaining butter. Cook it mixing constantly for about 3-5 minutes, until the “farinha” starts getting some color. To prepare the vinaigrette, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.

Finally, heat up the olive oil and cook the beef for about 5 minutes (it’s already “cooked”, but I always like to heat it up a little prior to serving).

To prepare the “arrumadinho”, put the rice and beans in small bowls (sprinkling some chopped green onions over the beans) and surround them with the beef, the “farofa” and the vinaigrette, without mixing them (the presentation is key Smile).

When it’s hot (which is the case 365 days of the year in Pernambuco), it’s usually accompanied by a very cold beer.

Enjoy!