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Stir Fry Cabbage (Repolho agridoce)

Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes

This is really good as an appetizer, or side dish.  It is simple and it taste delicious.

2-3 T oil

1 T minced garlic

1 T ginger  (fresh)- either cut very fine or use a grinder

1/2 cabbage (diced)

1 T sugar

salt and pepper to taste

I like to also add a little bit red pepper flakes

Sautee the garlic and ginger in the oil.  Add the cabbage and quickly stir fry it.  You want the cabbage to still have a little crunch. Don’t over cook it. 😉 Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve as an appetizer or side dish.  I like to add a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes. YUM


Empanada Gallega

Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes, Breads, Catupiry, Chicken, The Dairing Kitchen

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas!  We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

5-1/3 cups bread flour

2 cups of lukewarm water

1 tablespoon dry yeast or  (1 oz) fresh yeast

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons  oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)

1 large egg, for egg wash


Shift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers. In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.

Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.

On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes

You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes.

Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.

Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.

Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite.  For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.

Assembling the empanada:

If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.

Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.

Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.

Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F.

Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.

If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.

Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border. As a picture is worth a thousand words, please watch this video to see how it is done.

When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.

You can use left-over dough to decorate the empanada, using rounds, bows, lines… let your imagination flow and make it pretty!

Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer

In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash.

Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check that the bottom part is done.

I used a chicken and catupiry filling. Recipe here: Creamy Chicken

Other possible fillings:


400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) Olive oil 300 gm (10½ oz) salted cod, washed and cleaned (you put it in fresh water 24 hours before, change the water four times) 100 gm (3½ oz) raisins 100 gm (3½ oz) cured ham or bacon (not smoked) A few strands of saffron

  • When vegetables are cooked, turn off the heat. Add the saffron and the raisins. Cut cod and ham (or bacon) in less than bite sized pieces, and add. Stir everything together.
  • Add salt as needed (we do this at the end because the amount of salt will depend on how salty your fish remains after the unsalting and how salty your cured ham or bacon is).
  • Allow to cool for at least half an hour before filling the empanada.

Filling Directions:

  1. Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic, fry over medium heat until the onion is transparent (you do not want the onion to brown at all).

Tuna fish filling:


400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 200 gm (7 oz) tomatoes (peeled and seeded) 1 small red pepper 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil 1 can (6.5 – 7 oz / 180 gm – 200 gm) of tuna fish in oil, drained 1 hard-boiled egg 1 teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet
  2. Fry the finely chopped onions, pepper and garlic until the vegetables are soft. Add then the tomatoes, chopped small, and cook until done.
  3. Turn off heat and add the tuna fish and hard boiled egg, cut into less than bite sized pieces.
  4. If adding the paprika, do so now and stir into the frittata.
  5. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Ground meat filling:


400 gm (14 oz) chopped onion (approximately 1 big onion or 2 medium-sized ones) 200 gm (7 oz) tomatoes (peeled and seeded) 1 small green pepper 2 garlic cloves ¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil 300 grams (2/3 pound or 10.5 ounces) minced (ground) meat 1 teaspoon sweet paprika


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet
  2. Fry the finely chopped onions, pepper and garlic until the vegetables are soft. Add then the tomatoes, chopped small, and cook until done.
  3. Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika, and stir into the frittata.
  5. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Fill the empanada en bake as indicated.

Ham and cheese filling:


10½ oz (300 gm) ham 10½ oz (300 gm) cheddar type cheese (any sandwich cheese will do)


  1. This is the simplest of fillings. You only need to layer prettily the ingredients, starting and ending with ham, to keep the melted cheese inside.

Pork loin and red pepper filling:


10½ oz (300 gm) pork loin (one piece) 1 big red pepper (capsicum) , cut into thin slices 1 small onion, cut into thin slices 2 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (6 gm) paprika ½  tablespoon (3 ml) dried oregano salt


  1. 24 hours in advance, marinate the pork loin: for this, mix the oregano, paprika and the garlic cloves (very finely chopped) with salt to taste. Rub this marinade all around the meat, put into a sealable plastic bag and keep in the fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Take the meat out of the bag and cut into thin fillets (about 0,5mm)
  3. Cover the bottom part of the empanada with the fillets
  4. Cover the fillets with the slices of onion and pepper. Sprinkle salt on top.
  5. Cover the empanada and bake in a preheated oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4. As this empanada starts with all raw ingredients, it will take about 15 minutes longer to bake. Just check that the underside of the empanada is golden. If it is, it’s cooked. If it isn’t, put it in the oven again and check after 10 minutes.

Get creative!!



Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes

Pastel is a deep fried pastry dough. Some of the most common are filled with chicken, meat, ham and cheese, catupiry, and other mixtures. You can also make it sweet with chocolate, goiabada, doce de leite and others.  It is easy to find pastel in Brasil. It is common to find it in the street corners and street markets.  It is a delicious treat.

Here is one of my favorite dough recipes.  I have about 3 of them that I rotate and make when I crave pastel.  I would say they are all about the same. The secret is to be able to open the dough nice and thin before filling it.  I use my mom’s dough roller (cilindro) which I brought from Brasil. I think any pasta maker machine would work perfectly.

2 c warm water (about)

1 kl flour

1/2 c oil

2 T butter

1 T baking powder

2 eggs

pinch of salt

Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and oil.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Pour the water slowly in the middle of this mixture and mix until it comes together.  It will be nice and soft.  Let the dough rest for about 1 hour.  Cut pieces of the dough and use the pasta machine to make thin rectangular shapes.  (it will be thin like a paper).  When I use the dough roller, I start on the highest number (thick) then start lowering the numbers until I get a thin dough that will be able to hold the filling. This dough will freeze very well.

Fill your pasteis with your favorite fillings.  Fry in hot oil. Enjoy!

A kitchen scale will come in handy to measure the ingredients for this recipe 😉




Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes, Breads

It has been a bit crazy around the house lately.  I am loving the new addition to the family, my little baby boy! He is a lot of fun.  My parents were visiting from Brasil, so you can just imagine all the cooking that went on.  Here is one of the recipes we made recently.  Hope you enjoy it!


1 c milk

1 egg

1/2 c oil

1 T sugar

1 t salt

1 T yeast (I used the instant dry yeast)

Flour until the dough is soft and stays together. (it was about 3-4 cups or so of flour. I just add until it forms a dough)

Mix it all together, then make small balls (or big ones depending on the size of esfihas you want)

Open the dough flat into a triangle.

Fill with the meat filling (recipe bellow) or any other filling you may like.

Close the dough into a triangle shape.

Brush with egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 F or until golden brown. This recipe will be around 40 small esfihas.

For the meat filling:

1 lb ground beef



2 tomatoes (diced)

1 diced onion (diced very small, or you can shred it)

2 T ketchup or tomato paste

4 small potatoes (shred them using the cheese shredder)

drizzle oil

1-2 limes (drizzle juice on top)

Mix it all together and fill the bread with this mixture.

If you would like you can also make esfihas abertas (open esfihas). Follow the recipe until you turn them into balls, then open them into a circle, leaving the sides a little thicker.

Fill (meat, or cheese) and Bake.


This was a cheese filled one topped with a bit of fresh salsa!

Suco de abacaxi com hortelã – Pineapple Mint Juice

Filed under :Appetizers, Brazilian Recipes

This is one of the most refreshing juices I remember from Brasil.  I also love the combination of the smell of the pineapple and the mint leaves.

1 1/2 c pineapple cut into chunks (tip: you can freeze the pineapple and have it ready for any time you want)

1 c cold water

1 T sweetened condensed milk

2 fresh mint leaves (you can use more if you want more mint taste)

Sugar to taste (I prefer to sweetened my juice with the sweetened condensed milk. Unless the pineapple is not sweet enough, I do not use any sugar)

Add all ingredients in a blender, and blend until liquid.  Strain the mixture and serve.  I like to decorate the cup with swirls of sweetened condensed milk, 2 cubes of ice, then pour the juice and add a couple leaves of mint! This will make about 2 cups of juice.

So refreshing… YUM

Plum Honey

Filed under :Appetizers, Desserts

A couple weeks ago, a friend and I got together to bottle some peaches. We also made peach honey and we loved it.  I had a variety of plums at my house and we just weren’t eating them.  So, I figure I would try to make some plum honey and see if it worked out.  I really enjoyed the taste and texture.  It is a very good spread for breads. Also, if you thin it out, it makes a great glaze for cakes and such.

First you will need a bunch of the fruit; in this case plum. Wash and cut them. Boil with a little bit of water and about 1/2 cup sugar.

Let is boil until most of the fruit turns into a mush.  Then strain it to obtain the juice.

Make sure to scrape the bottom of your strainer.

Measure the amount of juice you have and pour it into a sauce pan.  Bring it to boil on medium heat and add 1/2 of the amount of juices of sugar (ex if you had 2 cups of juice, add 1 cup of sugar).  Cook until it starts to thicken. Mix constantly.

Keep mixing often until it gets very thick.

You can now pour into jars and process the jars, or just keep jars in the fridge.


A little tease

Filed under :Appetizers, Rice

My friend  Heather, from Savvy Sister Shops, asked me to do a guest spot on her fabulous site. I am honored that she thought of me, so I wanted something seriously delicious and economic for her readers. I love this recipe because many of the ingredients I used are products that you can get for an amazing price (even free) using coupons.  I thought that would fit perfectly with Savvy Sister Shops website.

Head on over to Heather’s page for the recipe, and be sure to stick around for awhile – her tips are amazing!


Filed under :Appetizers, Vegetables

I love Artichoke and I wanted to experiment with different ways of cooking artichoke.  I tried 5 ways.  I liked them all, but I have to say my favorite was baking the artichoke.  Here is a summery of my adventures with artichoke:

Basics:  Before you start, make sure you trim the artichoke.  Cut just a little bit of the top and trim the leaves a bit. Then wash it well under cold water.  If you are going to use the artichoke as a serving dish you may also want to trim the bottom so it stands well. If you don’t need it to sit then go ahead and peel the outer side of the stem. The stem is a continuation of the artichoke heart so cook it and enjoy it.

Boil:  In a large sauce pan, bring water to boil. Add a little salt and add artichoke. Cover and boil it for about 45-50 minutes.  It will be done when you can insert a knife in the bottom of the artichoke easily. If your artichoke is small, keep an eye on it. You don’t want to over cook it.

Steamed:  Just like any other vegetable. Add a little bit of water to your pan, using  a steamer, steam your artichoke until a knife can easily be inserted in the bottom of the artichoke.

Baked:  I separated the leaves a little bit and seasoned the artichoke with 1 t rock salt, 2 t garlic powder and a little drizzle of olive oil.  Then I wrapped it in foil.  I used 2 sheets of foil to make sure it was nice and closed.  Bake in a 350 oven for about 1 hour.  It is just like baking a potato.  It will be done when a knife can go on the bottom of the artichoke with ease.

Microwaved :  Using a microwave safe dish, microwave your artichoke for about 10 minutes on high.

Grilled:  Cut the artichoke length wise.  Either steam or microwave it for a couple of minutes just to soften it a bit.  Take out the choke (as you can see on the picture). The choke is the fuzzy part.  Then season it (olive oil, salt and lemon juice) take it to your grill.  Grill the artichoke (cut side down) until they get a good color and are nice and tender.

How to eat it: Now the best part right???  Serving an artichoke for company is very nice. It is healthy and it looks very fancy!  To eat it, just pull the leaves out and scrape the bottom with your teeth.

You can serve it in place of tortillas with your favorite dips, or  you can serve it with melted butter. YUM!!! It is also delicious by itself. After you are done with the leaves, you will get to the artichoke heart.  This is the middle of the artichoke. It is nice and soft. You usually see this part used in cooking.  Just take the heart out and cut it into fourths.  Then scrape the fussy part of the artichoke (called choke) and discard it.  Now you can chop the rest and use in your favorite dish. I love to add it to pasta sauces, make a hot artichoke dip or just eat it by itself. It is so good!!!

Twisted Bread Sticks

Filed under :Appetizers, Breads

I love leftovers. One of the main reasons why I love them so much is because I can go back and recreate! This recipe is an example of that.  I had a little bit of puff pastry left and what do you do with that?  Definitely not throw it away… so here it is! Twisted Bread Sticks, yum!

Puff Pastry (they are so good you may use the whole sheet) 😉  For this recipe I had about 1/4 of a sheet of puff pastry

2 t garlic powder

2 T Parmesan cheese (or any other cheese of your liking)

Spread half of garlic and half Parmesan in one side of pastry, press the mixture with your fingers.  Turn pastry over and repeat. Cut into strips. I used a pastry cutter.

Now twist them gently.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until they are nice and golden!

Bacon wrapped Waterchestnut

Filed under :Appetizers

1 can of whole water chestnut
Sliced bacon

Wrap each water chestnut with a piece of bacon. (if the water chestnut is not too big, you might be able to cut the slice in half or even thirds)  Secure it with a tooth pick.


Bake at 350 until bacon is done (about 20-25 minutes, just until crispy).

 Sauce is ketchup and brown sugar (equal parts) pour on top and bake for another 10 minutes.  Some times I only add sauce on half of the pieces and then warm up the rest of the sauce and serve on the side. Here is the final plate: 

These are so good!