Archive for December, 2010

Meat loaf

Posted: December 23, 2010 in American, Beef, Food, Poultry

Source: Modified from a recipe from Real Simple magazine (from about 8 years ago, I think the recipe is this one).


History: This is a typical American dish, which we’ve adopted to our family since we’ve loved it the first time we tried – and all other times I made it.

Variation from the original: I frankly don’t remember what the original was, but a few things I know I do differently: the meat mixture varies every time I make it, depending on what I have in my fridge; the original recipe asked for jalapeños, which I never have at home so I never use.

Ingredients from specialty stores: None


  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • salt & pepper

In a skillet, heat the oil, add the onion, celery and garlic, salt, pepper and cook until the vegetables start to soften. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then mix together the tomato sauce, milk and bread crumbs. Add the meat and the vegetables, and mix well to combine, adding more salt to season the meat.

In a small (9×5) loaf pan, add the bacon strips at the bottom, making a loose “basket”. Add the meat mixture in the pan, then pull the strips over the meat.


Heat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the meat loaf with a thermometer until the internal temperature reaches 155ºF (about 60-90 minutes). When it’s done, tilt the pan to pour off the fat, holding the meat in place with a spatula. Serve it with rice and mashed potatoes.




Source: Modified (a lot) from the series “Cozinha Regional Brasileira” (Brazilian Regional Cuisine), book 13 (Rio Grande do Norte)


History: Shrimp is a common ingredient in dishes from the Northeastern states in Brazil. This recipe was taken from the book about one such states (Rio Grande do Norte), but I bet it could easily be part of the book for most of the other states of that region.

Variation from the original: I used tomatoes instead of bell pepper (I don’t like bell pepper, I love tomatoes Smile). I didn’t use water for seasoning the shrimp, but used white wine to make the sauce later instead. I didn’t have red pepper, so I used black pepper instead. I didn’t use parsley or cilantro (didn’t have them at home), but added green onions at the end instead. I also skipped the “colorau” (a seasoning quite common in Brazilian Northeastern cooking, which mostly adds color to the dishes, but I don’t find too appealing).

Ingredients from specialty stores: None


  • 300g shrimp (cooked, previously frozen)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • juice of 1 lime (at least 3 tbsp.)
  • salt / pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Defrost the shrimp (I usually add them in a plastic bag – either the bag which came from the supermarket or a ziploc bag – and submerge it on hot water until it’s in room temperature). Mix the shrimp, lime juice, salt & pepper in a bowl, and leave it for at least 15 minutes. After that, remove the shrimp from the bowl (reserve the liquid) and dredge it in the flower, reserving it.

In a large frying pan, heat up the olive oil and the butter. When the butter is just starting to change color (it’s hot enough), add half the shrimp. Fry for about 1-2 minutes, then turn them over. Fry for another 1-2 minutes then remove and reserve. Do the same with the second half of the shrimp (add more butter if the pan looks dry prior to adding the second batch) and reserve.

Add to the pan the liquid which was saved from the marinade, and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the wine and reduce for 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the green onions and cook, stirring constantly, for another 1-2 minutes. Add back the shrimp, and cook, stirring to coat, for 1 minute.

I’d usually serve it with white rice and potatoes, but I had an orzo salad (to be blogged in the future) in the fridge which went really well with the shrimp.



Source: Modified from the series “Cozinha Regional Brasileira” (Brazilian Regional Cuisine,, book 1 (Minas Gerais)


History: “Frango com Milho” (chicken with corn) is a typical entrée from the Southeast region of Brazil.

Variation from the original: I used only chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken (since I already had it in my freezer), olive oil instead of sunflower oil, and frozen corn (since I couldn’t find fresh ones in the supermarket), added chicken stock to the sauce.

Ingredients from specialty stores: None


  • 8 (boneless, skinless) chicken thighs
  • 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 ears of corn (I used frozen, the recipe asked for fresh ones)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • chopped parsley & green onion for presentation
  • Salt & pepper

Mix in a bowl or a Ziploc bag the chicken, garlic, lime juice and pepper. Leave it for 1-2 hours. Meanwhile, clean up the ears of corn, cutting three of them in 1” pieces, and reserve the remaining one.

In a large pan, heat up the oil and add the onion. Season with salt & pepper, and cook the onion until it gets soft (but not browned), around 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken (with the garlic / lime juice / pepper) and cook for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally. Add the pieces of corn and the chicken stock and let it cook for 30 minutes (since I used frozen corn, it cooked faster, so I removed it after ~15 minutes). Check the sauce and add more salt if necessary.

With a sharp knife, remove the corn kernels from the remaining ear. Blend it with two cups of the sauce from the pan with the corn, and add it back to the pan to thicken the sauce. Let it cook for 15 more minutes.

When serving, add the chopped parsley and green onions over the plates. Serve with sautéed potatoes, rice and a leafy salad.