Bobo

Bobo Brazilian stew from a happy cow.  Veggies coated in a delicious bath of coconut milk and dende oil.

The recipe calls for half dende and half olive, but its fantastic with just the first. Missing: Cilantro. That would have been a nice addition!

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Butternut squash stew with mushrooms and coconut milk

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A very easy, simple dish to make, yet exceptionally delicious.  The recipe of reference purports a twist on the Brazilian quibebe, and adds
chicken as well.
Chickenless, protein approximation was subsumed by shrooms and the substitution of the rough-chopped portobellos for the chicken added a very complimentary musky, earthy flavour which matched perfectly to the squash and slight sweetness of the coconut milk.
This was so good it even elicited praise from dad, who kept going after more despite the best attempt to hoard the rest for later.  He won  – those old army guys are tough!  Very little was left of this delicious dish’s riches.

Black beans and shrimp

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A bit of a twist on the feijoada thing, tossing in shrimp with the beans.  Though Jen thought it needed more, the strong flavors of the dish largely overwhelmed the shrimp to the point they were barely a factor.  They would probably be better off just sauteed up in a little garlic butter and wine, and served on the side…

Irrespective, the dish was quite nice, a nice take on the dish and quite familiar to the stew of yore, with citrus additions of orange and lime, and lots of garlic.  Sweet potato being a banished substance, it was replaced with butternut squash that contrasted very nicely with the other flavors, the rich, earthy sweetness a nice — and subtle — contrast with the beans, salt and citrus.

Note that the slivered squash was pan roasted as opposed to oven, as the latter was imagined prone to scorching and overly effortful for such a small portion.

Very similar flavors to the veggie times variety — though that, of course, wouldn’t be true if the v.t. version wasn’t tweaked…

Moqueca de camarao

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The delightful and light moqueca capixaba is quite nice but left lingering thoughts of dende, coconut milk and spice.  The first time we tried this, the recipe called for ground cashews — so that’s what we do!  Otherwise, straightforward and simple:  Onion, garlic, poblano, tomatoes, cayenne, lemon, broth and seasoning to taste, with a little cilantro mixed in at the end and then sprinkled on top.  So simple but just an outstanding assortment of flavors.  Rich and marvelous, it would be a shame to dilute it over rice — mopping up best left to family favorite, pao de quejo.

The slightly indulgent meal is fully justified by the tremendous degree of exertion over the 4th, exploding colorful bombs in wag-tongued frenzy above our house.  Being the fourth, the meal was followed by an all-American strawberry/rhubarb pie.  We were fortunate to all have a slice before much of it was devoured by that darn dog.

 

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Empadao de frango — sem frango…

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An ostensibly Brazilian variation on the chicken pot pie, though poulty-less, subbing fervido cerebros and the remains of tempeh.

The crust is absurdly rich and should probably have been rolled to half the thickness that it was.  The twist to this, is that tomato paste is added to the gravy, and the filling included hearts of palm and black olives — a tiny tamper, yet notable departure from just another pot pie.

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The origin

Coxinha

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The story of the origin of coxinha, as relayed by the Flavors of Brazil site:

One upon a time (actually toward the end of the 19th Century) in the small city of Limeira, Brazil, lived a princess named Isabel. She was normally called simply Princess Isabel, though her real name was Princess Imperial Isabel Cristina Leopoldina Augusta Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga. She was their heir to the Brazilian throne, and was married to a European count,Gaston d’Orléans, Count of Eu. The couple lived on an estate called Morro Azul (Blue Hill) in this small town.

The count and the princess had four sons. One of the boys was kept out of public view, as he suffered from mental illness. This young prince refused to eat anything other than chicken thighs (coxa is the Portuguese word for thigh, andcoxinha means “little thigh.”) , Because he was a prince, the boy’s strange dietary habits were indulged and the cook of the estate prepared chicken thighs daily for him.

One fine day, the cook found that she didn’t have any chicken thighs for the boy, though there was plenty of chicken meat left over from the previous day’s feast. In desperation, she shredded some left-over chicken meat, wrapped it in a ball of dough and then shaped the dough into the form of a chicken thigh. She breaded the concoction and fried it, then presented it to the young prince. She told him that it was a special little thigh (coxinha) fit only for a prince. He so loved the treat that from that day forward his diet changed from real chicken thighs to his cook’s coxinha. He would eat nothing else.

Soon, other family members began to demand these coxinhas, and word spread throughout Limeira about the cook’s marvelous invention. The fame of the coxinha grew and grew, and eventually its fame and its recipe traveled all throughout the country. And everyone lived happily every after (while snacking on coxinhas, of course).