Showing posts with label canapes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label canapes. Show all posts

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Brazilian street food - Bahia - acarajé and vatapá

To celebrate another Brazilian match in the worldcup 2014, this Tuesday,  a recipe I adapted from the original so everyone can make at home a delicious canapé. Similar to Arabic Falafel invented in the Middle East, acarajé means 'eating ball of fire' due to the method of preparation, the dish got its name. The Arabs brought this delicacy to Africa in several raids during the seventh to the nineteenth centuries. Dried Beans and Chickpeas Falafel were alternated by local black-eye beans in Africa. This traditional dish was brought  to Bahia by the African slaves to Brazil in colonial times  They are sold under strict policies by the street sellers, the Bahianas who wear their customary white long and embroidered garments and headdresses.
Tabuleiro da Bahiana in the streets of Salvador - Bahiana's board, ph: Pierre Verger
Acarajé and vatapá,  are sold among other delicacies by the Bahianas (women from Bahia) in the street of Salvador, and it's the main attraction on their board (tabuleiro). According to history,  the recipe although not secret, can not be modified. Another dish steeped in local religion, culture and with historical references. 
The Bahianas, who sell acara in the streets of Salvador,  have been given national heritage status. Bahia Acarajé is recognised together with traditional knowledge, production methods and marketing of food called Bahia, made ​​with palm oil, especially acarajé. The production and consumption of food Bahianas Acarajé or Baianas board (tabuleiro da Baiana) are deeply rooted in everyday in the Bahia's population

This recipe is based on the original with a few alterations. 

Acarajé & Vatapa
Makes: about 15-20 canapes ( 1 dessertspoon) per Acaraje

Acarajé dough:
1 large onions onion
1/2kg black-eyed  beans

Salt to taste
oil to deep fry -  ideally, half flavourless oil and half palm oil. 
If you can't find palm oil, use flavourless oil only.

150 g of roasted cashew nuts
• 150g roasted peanuts 
150g dried shrimp
150g of fresh shrimp 
300g stale bread
• 50g freshly grated coconut or shop bought

5 tablespoons of palm oil, or flavourless oil
1 big tomato, skinned, de-seeded
1/2 onion, finely diced
 a handful of  herbs: chives, cilantro, parsley to taste , finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup shrimp broth
• 100ml of coconut milk
100ml milk


Acarajé dough:
1. In a bowl place the beans in water for 24 hours

2.the skins  will separate the grain,
3. Remove the floating skins and blend with the chopped onion until smooth. Salt to taste
4. pour into another bowl and continue whisking well, tapping the help of a wooden spoon, it will stay fluffy
5. fry them in  half oil palm and  and half oil

6. drain on kitchen towel. Reserve.

1. Dice the bread and let the pieces soften in milk and coconut milk
2. Then whisk this mixture in a blender and set aside
3. Blend together the peanut, cashew nuts, shrimp and the coconut. add to bread mix  and shrimp (fish) broth and blend again.
4. Beat well and season to taste

5. In a medium size pan, 5 spoons of palm oil (or flavorless oil), finely diced onions, tomato, bell peppers cook for 5 minutes,

6. place the nut and bread mixture stirring until the bottom of  the pan can be seen when traced it with a wooden spoon.

7. Add the herbs. Reserve.

To serve:
1. Break the  acarajés in half and fill with Vatapá
2. Preferably leave to fry the acarajés before serving

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Brazilian food : canapé bolinho de arroz and feijoada

The FIFA World Cup 2014 is upon us and Brazil, my native country is the host nation. So many accounts have been reported about the organisation, so many books and UK magazines published 'Brazilian' take on original recipes. Nice to see the buzz and interest in Brazilian food. 
While we wait for the kick off next Thursday, here are some 13 things that you probably didn't know about Brazil, an article I was commissioned to write about facts, curiosities and a bit of food, published last week by Morrisons Magazine online.

I also wrote two easy canapé recipes for the blog, so you can savour the some Brazilian treats watching the football.  I hope you enjoy them with one or two cold beers or chilled glasses of wine.
Enjoy the football season! #BrazilianFood

rice surf and turf canapé , bolinho de arroz

Makes about:   24 canapes

This recipe was adapted from a recipe given to me at  As Veia in São Paulo.


2 cups of cooked rice,  about 240g

1 green pepper finely diced

dried shrimps 20g

small pieces of chicken diced 40g

small pieces of white fish 40g
1/2 cup of milk
2 tablespoons chopped of mix of  parsley, spring  onions, chives

1/2 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of flour  (80g )

 ½ cup of fresh breadcrumbs (50g)
2 eggs , big ones

red chillies finely diced, optional

salt and pepper to taste – leave that to last, as the shrimps are quite salty
oil for frying
Mayo, saffron and  lime to garnish


1)    Mix of the ingredients, apart from the oil, leave to rest for 30 minutes, add more flour if too runny

2)    Heat the oil for frying

3)    Fry dessert spoonfuls of the mixture in the hot oil, until golden brown on both sides

4)    Drain on absorbent paper. Serve  with saffron  and lime mayo.

Feijoada canapé

Feijoada canapé

Makes about 40 canapes

I adapted this recipe from our National dish feijoada.


500g black beans, cooked, 2 cups

250g seasoned rice, cooked, 1 cup

1 medium  white onion finely diced

1 handful of spring onions, sliced

1 handful of chives, chopped

15g to 30g cassava flour or plain flour

100g of greens finely sliced in ribbons and chopped

200g of bacon, small diced

100g of Portuguese sausage, small diced

100g of sundried meat, cooked - optional

salt and pepper to taste

3 eggs

breadcrumbs, plenty!

enough oil to fry
orange wedges to garnish
chilli sauce 


1)   In a pan fry half of the white onion until translucent

2)   Beat in the processor, beans, rice, onions, spring onions and chives to a smooth paste, reserve

3)   In a pan over low to medium heat, cook the beans and rice mixture slowly mixing and  adding  the cassava flour to make the dough,  at this point add as much as you feel is needed, until you can see the bottom of the pan, careful  not to burn the paste, reserve

4)   Finely chop in small cubes the bacon, the Portuguese sausage and sundried meat

5)   sauté the bacon,  the other half of the finely white  onion  the sausage and sundried meat, cook for 5-8 minutes , add the spring greens and cook for another 3 minutes

6)   Mix the bean and rice dough and the meat mixture

7)   Make 40  balls of 20g  each, about shallow dessert spoon

8)   Mix the 3 eggs in a deep bowl and  in another plate place the breadcrumbs

9)   Dust the balls in the breadcrumbs and dip the balls in the egg mixture and coat well with the crumbs again.

10) Fry in hot oil, dry in a paper towel , serve in a platter with  orange wedges and a small bowl of chilli sauce.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Coxinha, Brazilian food

Here is an updated on my previously published coxinha recipe for this famous and delectable Brazilian bar/street/party food. Coxinhas are a very popular snack or appetisers in Brazil.  They are served in majority of bars and cafes to accompany drinks or as a quick snack. Or simply as a savoury treat, food on the go or street food. At parties they are presented in bite sizes as canapes. Home-made coxinhas are the best. There are a few variations on the recipe, specially the dough. Some people make with wheat or rice flour others with potatoes.  Other variations include maise in  Minas Gerais and countryside where maise is deemed a traditional ingredient of the countryside and the state of Minas Gerais. There are some unusual variations of the filling such as heart of palm as a vegetarian version.

I keep it very simple and light. Using chicken stock and flour and a very well seasoned filling. They are presented in chicken drumstick shape (or something similar). They are a bit fiddly to assemble to start with but practise makes perfect!

According to wikipedia  the history of coxinha: 'in the book Stories & Recipes, Nadir Cavazin says thаt the son оf Princess Isabel оf Brazil аnd the Count D'Eu, а child whо lived іn seclusion fоr having mental problems hаd а favourite dish, chicken, but оnly ate the thigh. Оne day, nоt having enough thigh, the cook decided tо turn а whole chicken іntо thighs, shredding іt аnd making the filling fоr а flour dough shaped іntо а drumstick. The child endorsed the results аnd Empress Teresa Cristina when she wаs visiting him, cоuld nоt resist the tasty delicacy, she liked іt sо much she requested thаt the master оf the imperial kitchen learn hоw tо prepare the snack. Sо coxinha won the nobility аnd became history.'


  • 750gr chicken breasts (about 4 halves)
  • 1250ml of chicken broth
  • 1  whole carrot
  • 1 finely diced red pepper
  • 2 medium onions, one whole peeled and halved and the other finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • handful of parsley finely chopped
  • spring onion, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 375 gr of flour
  • 2  large eggs
  • 300gr of breadcrumbs
  • 1l vegetable oil for deep frying
  • salt and pepper to taste 


1) Place the chicken breasts in a large pot. Cover them with the chicken broth, adding water if necessary to make sure the chicken breasts are completely covered.
2) Add the carrot and one of the onions (peeled and halved) as well as the bay leaves.
3) Bring liquid to a gentle simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through.
4) Set chicken aside to cool, and strain the broth. Reserve the broth.
5) Shred the chicken into very small pieces using your fingers.
6) Add the finely chopped onion, the garlic and the red pepper to a pan
7) Sauté them in 2 tablespoons of butter until golden and soft.
8) Add the hot onion  and garlic to the chicken mixture and stir until everything is well mixed. Stir lime juice into the shredded chicken.
9) Measure the chicken broth (you will probably have about 3 cups : 750ml). If you have less than three cups, add more canned chicken broth to make 3 cups ; 750ml. Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan, lower the heat and and gradually stir in the same amount of flour as you have broth (so if you have 3 cups broth , add 3 cups flour).
10) Stir vigorously and cook for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will become a stiff dough. 
11)Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. It will make quite a few bite size coxinhas or about 20 medium size ones (about 8cm tall).
12) To shape the coxinhas, take a piece of the dough about the size of a golf ball with oiled hands. Roll it into a ball, then hollow out the middle for the filling.
13) Press a golf ball size (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) piece of the chicken filling inside the ball of dough, and press the dough closed around the filling. Shape into an approximate drumstick shape, flouring hands as necessary. Stand the coxinhas on a plate, so that the pointed end sticks upwards. Continue until you run out of dough or filling.
14) Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a separate plate and season with salt and pepper.
15) Dip the coxinhas in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs to coat. Chill the breaded coxinhas for 1 hour.
16) Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with enough oil to cover the coxinhas. Fry the coxinhas in batches until deep golden brown.
17) Serve them warm.
You will love it too. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread

Pão de Queijo – Brazilian cheese bread
Some time ago I published a recipe for Pão de Queijo using tapioca and manioc flour here is another recipe. This is a popular snack and street food sold and baked all over Brazil. Manioc starch can be found in major supermarkets, Portuguese and Brazilian food/deli shops.Tasty, affordable, and readily available in Brazil, it's a great snack for when you're on the go or a nibble with your favourite drink. It's also gluten-free. Pão de queijo derives from cassava starch biscuits dating back to the eighteenth century. Although the most authentic pão de queijo recipes take Minas cheese, which is white and fresh, grated parmesan also works well. In this recipe I used mature cheddar & parmesan cheese.

Pao de Queijo - Cheese Bread
makes 160 small canape size (2cm dia) or about 80medium size (4cm dia)
400ml of water
225ml canola or vegetable oil, plus extra for hands
1.5 Tbsp salt
500 grams (1 bag) polvilho doce (sweet manioc starch)
500 grams (1 bag) polvilho azedo (sour manioc starch)
8 medium eggs
250gr of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
400gr grated nature strong Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare two baking sheets with silicone liners or line with parchment paper.
2. Measure in a measuring jug: 400ml water, 225ml oil and add the salt. Place in a pan all together and heat over high heat till it starts to boil. Switch off the stove.
3. In large mixing bowl. Stir in the two manioc starches; the mixture will be very dry. Slowly add the hot water and oil mix and let it cool for a few minutes until you can mix it with your hands.
4. Add the eggs, and mix well with your hands until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Add all the grated cheese, and mix well, with your hands, to form a very soft dough.
5. Roll the dough into balls about the size of walnuts, using oil on your hands so that the dough won't stick to them, and place on sheet pans approx 2 cms apart. Bake for 25 minutes until  puffed and golden. Test; if still very moist inside, turn oven down to 150C and bake 10 more minutes.
6. Serve immediately

This recipe was published on the  Good Food Channel

Friday, 2 August 2013

Pastel de Forno - Brazilian party and street food

In Brazil if anyone asks : 'Would you like a pastel?' the answer is always 'yes!' if you are on a diet  or not this party and popular street food is always welcome. Irresistible!  Sweet or savoury, meat or vegetarian it's a crowd pleaser appealing to all social classes and easy to make.  They can be fried, I published the recipe here or baked. This is the baked version.
The origin of pastel is not very clear, some say it originated in Europe, Iberian peninsula, with baking recipes in the middle ages and others from traditional spring roll Chinese cuisine and Japanese gyosa. I like the idea of the later,  introduction of pastel in Brazil was made by Japanese immigrants who had to adapt to the ingredients available in Brazil in the world war II. 
Its popularity in the Brazilian culture, came through the hands of Japanese immigrants who, during World War II,  arrived in Brazil and opened several bakeries in order to pass by Chinese immigrants, consequently getting rid of the discrimination that existed at the time.  The Japanese principles of food handling and processing, which were introduced in this pastries in the end, became a big business in Brazil. This pastries are tasty, fast consumption and especially cheap.

The use of single cream in the pastry adds an extra dimension.

Yield: 30 units



250 gr of ricotta
green olives minced to taste

Mix all the ingredients really well. Reserve.
be creative with shapes


03 cups all-purpose flour
100g of butter
1/2 cup single cream
¼ cup of milk
01 tablespoon of baking
01 egg - for brushing

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, add the butter.
Knead adding little by little the cream and milk.
Mix the dough with fork and sprinkle the table  with flour. Knead the dough for 3 mins and

open it with a rolling pin. Cut the circles (diameter 6cm), brush the edges with water.
Fill and close-shaped the dumplings brushing with the beaten egg.
Place them on a baking sheet on top brush with egg and bake in pre-heated oven for baking. 
180C for about 15 mins. If baking from frozen you will need to bake them for 25-30mins
Serve warm.

Tip: you can freeze themand just pop into the oven as you feel like having a treat or for a party. 
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