Our friends Kira and Diego recently visited us with their new pup Pelé. Diego is from Brazil and we really wanted to learn how to make some authentic Brazilian food, so we made an evening out of it. They were kind enough to share some of Diego’s mother’s recipes, so we put on our favorite Getz & Gilberto album and got to cooking. Kira walked us through making a complete “Comida Cazeira,” or typical meal that you would eat in the countryside of Brazil.
We had a big platter of Frango Caipira (country chicken), with Arroz (rice), Feijao (beans), Mandioca Frita (fried yucca), and Pão de Queijo (cheese bread). Pao De Quijio is delicious, and once you pop one in your mouth, you won’t be able to stop eating. It’s traditionally a breakfast food or snack. You can make it from scratch, but we used this mix which was perfect and super easy. It made a great snack while we were working (and playing with Pelé) on the rest of the meal in the kitchen.
For the chicken, we used wings and drumsticks with Adobo seasoning. We’ve never used it before, but now we want to put it on everything. It’s also said to be good on fish. Our dinner was family style, so we served the chicken in this big serving dish that became the centerpiece of our meal. We love having fresh flowers on the table, but sometimes you don’t need flowers, just good food to gather around with friends and family!
To make our dinner simple and quick, we used our favorite electric pressure cooker to make the beans. The electric pressure cooker isn’t traditionally what’s used, but it speeds up the bean cooking process quite a bit and allows you to use dried heirloom beans. We used these ones from Rancho Gordo. Their heirloom beans are always super flavorful!
It was fun to catch up while we cooked and enjoyed the meal around the table. Having dinner with friends is one of our favorite things. It’s a great way to spend time with people and make them feel at home. We finished off dinner with Brigadiero, which is a traditional Brazilian dessert. You can read more about them here.
We served a crisp white wine with this dinner. A Sauvignon Blanc would be a great choice. Some local Napa options that we would suggest include Round Pond, Frog’s Leap, or Grgich Hills Estate’s Fumé Blanc.
|1 head garlic||adobo seasoning||Cocoa Powder|
|1 bunch parsley||1 cup chicken stock||Chocolate Vermicelli|
|1 large yucca||1 cup white rice||Pao De Quijio mix|
|1 lb dried black beans|
|1/4 cup butter||salt||16 pieces of chicken (wings/drumsticks)|
|16 oz condensed milk|
- Coat the chicken with a drizzle of oil and sprinkle generously with adobo seasoning. Toss in a large bowl along with the minced garlic to coat evenly.
- Heat a enough oil in a large wide stock pot or dutch oven, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, and sear chicken in batches. Remove the chicken to a plate and be sure not to crowd it in the pan.
- Once all of the chicken is seared, return all of the chicken to the pan, add the stock and cover. Cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through.
- Toss with parsley and serve.
- 1 cup Rice
- Add rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 and ¼ cup of water to an electric pressure cooker.
- Cook on high for 3 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Release pressure, fluff and serve.
- 1 large yucca
- Canola oil
- Cut the skin off of the yucca, and cut the long root into about 4 inch long pieces. They should look about the size of a potato.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the yucca and simmer until you can insert a fork most of the way easily.
- Remove the yucca and cut into long strips (similar to french fries). We found it easiest to cut it into four wedges, then split the wedges in half again, then cut across each wedge lengthwise.
- Prepare a plate or half sheet pan with paper towels.
- In a dutch oven, heat oil to 350. Fry the yucca in batches until it's just golden and crispy, then remove and set on the paper towels. Season with salt and sprinkle with parsley to serve.
- Melt the butter in the saucier pan.
- Add the condensed milk and cocoa powder. Cook on medium-high stirring constantly (so you don't but it) for 15-20 minutes, or until it's thick enough to stay together. If you drag your spatula through the mixture you should see the bottom of the pan for a bit before it fills back in the space.
- Put a silpat on a baking sheet. Pour the mixture on a silpat and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Coat your hands in butter and create 1½ inch balls.
- Add chocolate vermicellito a dish and roll each ball to coat.
- Place each ball into a mini baking cup to serve.