Sunday, 26 July 2015

Brazilian crisp chicken and watermelon vinaigrette recipe

This very famous bar food served all over Brazil. It's called Frango à Passarinho; this chicken dish is so named because it is cut into very small pieces, 22 to be exact. The small pieces end up resembling a small bird (passarinho), hence the name.

 It's delicious, and it should be eaten, in my opinion, by hand. Some cultures preserve the millenary habit of eating food with their hands to take it to their mouths. In India, the habit of eating up this way, or rather, with their right hand. In Japan, where rice cake that forms the basis of sushi is made by hand, nothing more natural, and easier, to dispense the chopsticks to enjoy them. Among the Arabs, the custom is the same with almost all dishes from their extensive cuisine.

In Brazil, due to European influence, this habit is not very widespread.  However, it does not mean, that should be banished from our lives, as many small dishes served in restaurants practically beg to be picked by hand.
These small little chicken pieces cause some doubts when served: by hand or with the cutlery? So it is not difficult to see fun scenes of diners who exercise their ability to taste the tiniest chicken wing with fork and knife.

Who never tried eat crab, by hands in a simple table by the sea? It is an unforgettable experience that awakens not only the smell and taste but also touch one of the most important senses for humans.

The choice is always at customer's discretion, eating the dish the way you see fit. After you make this dish, will you eat by hand or with cutlery? 

In this recipe the basic vinaigrette, oil, and vinegar dressing, is given a fresh fruit twist for the Summer to contrast against the crisp, zesty marinated chicken.

Brazilian crisp chicken recipe (Frango à Passarinho)

 1 x whole chicken, cut into very small pieces (or 22x pre-cut chicken wings), approx 1kg
 2 x bay leaves
 25g of Mojito Lime Grill Mates marinade mix by Schwartz
50ml of cachaca or rum
50ml olive oil
2 tablespoons of wine vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste
100g white flour
50g yellow maize flour (corn)
Spring onions, coriander and lime to garnish
Plenty of oil for deep fry each piece of chicken

1) In a bowl mix the skinless chicken pieces, bay leaves, Mojito Lime  Grill Mates marinade mix by Schwartz, cachaca, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper
2) Let it marinate for at least 1 hour
 3)In a separate bowl, mix 100g white flour and 100g maize (corn)  baking powder, 1 tablespoon of Mojito Lime Grill Mates marinade mix by Schwartz
4)Place each piece of chicken into the flour mix making sure all the pieces are well covered. 
5) heat the oil (180C)
6)Fry until each piece is browned (about 15-18 minutes)
7)Remove from the oil, place on paper towel to drain and arrange on a serving dish, decorating with spring onions, coriander and lime to garnish.

Watermelon vinaigrette recipe

1 cup (150 g)  watermelon, diced
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon mild chilli, chopped
small red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons  lime juice
2 tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 pinch of dried garlic Schwartz

Mix all in a bowl and serve with the crisp chicken

Another recipe suggestion:  Brazilian inspired chicken recipe by Schwartz 

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Brazilian crisp chicken and watermelon vinaigrette recipe

Disclosure: this post was sponsored by Schwartz and written by me. As usual, all words and opinions are mine.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Papaya Salad Recipe

Papaya Salad

Papaya grows fast and produces enough flowering and often fruiting at the same time - all year round. Currently, it can be found in nearly all tropical countries in the world. Brazil is one of the primary producers. Like all fruits, papaya is rich in macro and micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, and carbohydrates, and even considered a medicinal plant, which contain therapeutic bio-active substances and used long time as treatment for various organic conditions.

The papaya fruit is an extremely versatile and full of health benefits: 

1)The papaya has curative and healing properties that help in the reconstruction of skin cells, which can be applied to scratches, wounds and scars.
2)It serves as a natural anti-ageing cream, for its antioxidant action and can be used all over. Smashed and mixed crystal sugar, functions as a nutritional exfoliant.
3)It helps open clogged pores and fight acne and pimples.
4)It accelerates the healing of burns.
5)Shampoos with papaya or papain in its composition are excellent in controlling dandruff.
6)By having a low concentration of sodium, prevents fluid retention, improved skin hydration (and body as a whole).
7)Apply crushed papaya on the face reduces pimples and blemishes, and even out the skin tone (face and body).
8)Papaya wrinkled is also useful to moisturise dry or cracked heels.
9)It is also an aid in the treatment of skin mycoses.
10)The daily intake of papaya prevents hair loss and thinning. Strengthening the hair from the root and stimulating growth.

Papaya Carpaccio Salad

It's Summer, and we always indulge a bit more than we such in regards to food and drink and why not? Days of Summer in the UK are few far in between, on such occasions it's always good to have a backup plan, so not to spoil the rest of your fun. Rennie® is definitely in my bag when travelling and on my medicine kit in town.

Here is a deliciously easy and kind to your tummy dish, where papaya is the main ingredient. Full of goodness, fresh and perfect partner Summer treat for barbecues and outdoor gatherings.Always make sure the papaya is organic, i.e., without the use of pesticides. This is because this fruit is one of the highest absorption of poisons. Good hygiene is also essential so that consumption results in more benefits than harm.
Papaya  Salad Recipe

Papaya Salad Recipe

serves: 4
2 large papayas
100g San Daniele prosciutto
4 white peaches
100g seasonal ripe tomatoes, small
70g asparagus or green beans
100g blackberry
1 small red onion, very finely sliced
100g wild rocket
a few basil leaves
40ml olive oil
1 dessertspoon of honey
15ml berry vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste

slices of lime for decoration
100g yogurt curd + seaweed salt  + dried chilies to taste
1)Previous day:  by making the curd, use 150g Greek 0% fat yogurt. Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth and let it drain over a bowl in the fridge overnight.
2)On the day: grill in a medium to high heat the asparagus and the white peaches for about 10 minutes. Reserve
3)Cut the papaya in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with the help of a spoon.
4)Peel papaya with a sharp face, removing the skin evenly and taking care not to injure the pulp.
5)Slice lengthways evenly and as thinly as possible and place in a decorative manner on a serving plate.
6)Mix the yogurt curd with seaweed or any flavoured salt of preference and the chilli flakes. Reserve.
7)Mix the honey,  berry vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve.
8)Add the ham, rocket, tomatoes, onions, the asparagus and blackberry to the papaya plate.
9)Place the yogurt curb in between the elements on the plate.
10)Sprinkle with the honey dressing, basil and slices of lime. Serve immediately.
Summer in a plate! 

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Papaya  Salad
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rennie® and written by me. All views, as usual, are my own.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Ecstasy Ice Cream Tour in Soho, London

A cool London adventure on a hot summers day, how can I resist my favourite food takes centre stage on this tour around Soho and Covent Garden. Scrumptious ice creams and plenty of irresistible gelatos to taste over two hours of pure indulgence. On this tour, we visited some particular places offering some great flavours gelatos and ice creams.

The different between gelato and ice cream is gelato has less fat (cream) in the base; less air is incorporated while slower churning takes place.  In Italy, they have special equipment to make gelato. Ice creams are heavier on cream and have a fat content of at least 10%. A faster churning takes place to quickly whip in a fair amount of air (overrun). A premium quality ice cream has overrun of around 25%. In any case, it’s important to use good quality ingredients and that is what happen at the ice cream parlours and gelaterias we visited. 

The Ecstasy Ice cream tour is run by chocolate expert Jennifer Earle, from the Chocolate Ecstasy Tours, which I had the pleasure to review some time ago.  Jennifer is very knowledgeable about the area and told us some anecdotes, historical facts and curiosities while on the move between venues. This is a delicious adventure. Highly recommended anytime of the year!

The tours take around  2.5 hours and cost £36.99pp (July2015).  The cost includes all samples; we tasted over 20 flavours of frozen treats and vouchers worth more than £10 to use after the tour.

Some tips to get the most out of the tour:
1) have a very light meal prior to the tour; there are quite a lot of tasters to get through
2) wear comfortable shoes as you are going to explore six outlets spread out over Soho and Covent Garden
3) comfortable trousers, again lots of ice cream and gelatos to sample
4) take extra tissues, it can get messy eating all the treats

5) take an umbrella, in case of rain - you are in London after all!
More info: Ecstasy Ice Cream Tour

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chocolate milkshake

Pistachio gelato, chocolate praline gelato, pear sorbet, mix berries sorbet, sour cherry and Ferrero Rocher flavours
mini cone tiramisu

raspberry sorbet,tiramisu,vanilla,chocolate caramel praline,caramel biscuit


caramel and chocolate

Gianduja sauce poured over some sweet frozen treats

Little cones chocolate dipped and nuts

chocolate ice treats 
Disclosure: I was a guest of Ecstasy Ice Cream Tour . As usual, all views are my own.
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