Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cuba - Medianoche Bread

It's Cuba's turn for the limelight. I made Ropa Vieja back in January 2011 and I'm looking forward to trying more Cuban foods.

Starting with a bread recipe. I'm making this bread because I'm going to follow this recipe with a recipe for a Medianoche Sandwich. I can't buy these bread rolls so I'm making them fresh to make the sandwich more authentic.

Mediancohe is a sweet, eggy bread similar to the Jewish Challah bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of dry active yeast
  • 2/3 cup white sugar divided
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup lard melted
  • 2 eggs plus 1 for egg wash
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups flour
 

Put the yeast, water and 3 tablespoons of sugar into a bowl or jug. Mix and leave for 10 minutes.


Whisk two eggs in a bowl until frothy.



Add the yeast mixture to the eggs then add the salt, rest of the sugar and the melted lard. Pour the lard in slowly whisking as you do so.


Pour the mixture into a stand mixer bowl and attach the dough hook. Tip in a cup of flour at a time and mix it in well at a medium speed.


When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl it's got enough flour. Continue to knead for 5 minutes.


Put the dough in an oil sprayed bowl, cover and leave to double in size.



Punch the dough down then cut it into pieces to form the bread rolls. Cover again and leave to double in size.



Use a knife to make a slit in each roll. Brush with beaten egg and bake at 174 C for 20-30 minutes until done.



 

Look at those beauties! I've never been so proud of myself as when I took these bread rolls out of the oven. I've had limited success in the past with making bread by hand but these turned out great. I can't wait to try the Medianoche Sandwich now.




Thursday, September 20, 2018

Brazil - Moqueca Baiana

Moqueca Baiana is a fish stew made with coconut milk. Sounds yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 500g white fish fillet
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 cup water



Combine the fish, lime juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Cover and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.


 Chop the bell pepper, onion and garlic.


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and cook the fish until done. Set aside for later.


Heat the other tablespoon of oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic.


Add the red pepper and continue to cook for a few minutes until softened.


 Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until it thickens.


 Return the fish to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.


Serve on a bed of rice.


This stew was simple but delicious. The spices gave it a kick and the red pepper brightens up the whole dish with some colour. We all enjoyed it. I really liked the lime flavour of the fish, it's really tangy along with the black pepper. Lovely!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Brazil - Brigadeiros

Brigadeiros are also known as Brazilian Fudge Balls. Little chocolate sweets in a tiny petit four case. Cute!

Ingredients:

  • 1  can condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • Sprinkles


In a small pan combine the butter, cocoa, salt and condensed milk.


Brace yourself for a lot of stirring! Stir constantly until it thickens. About 10-15 minutes. It becomes glossy and so thick you can see it doesn't run back together when you run a spoon through it.



When the mixture cools you can start to form it into balls. Rub butter on your hands so it doesn't stick and then roll into small balls. About a teaspoon per ball. Roll in some sprinkles of your choice and put in a sweet case.

What a messy task that was! I'm not a fan of having buttery hands! Put the fudge balls in the fridge to set for a couple of hours before you eat them.


 

These were very sweet. You can only eat two or three before it's too much. They're a cute little sweet though and they'd be great to give as a gift in a nice gift box. They were a lovely dessert for us.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Brazil - Pão de Queijo

Pão de Queijo is a cheese bread popular in Brazil. Let's see if it's popular in our house.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups corn flour
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 1½ cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt

 

 Mix the milk, water, oil and salt in a pan. Bring it to the boil.


In a stand mixer combine the corn flour and hot boiling milk mixture. Turn the mixer on and mix until a sticky dough is formed.  Add the eggs one at a time. It takes a while to blend in the eggs but they do eventually.


Next add the cheese until mixed in.


Wet your hands and form the dough into balls. Place each ball on a greaseproofed tray.


 Bake for 15-20 minutes at 204 C.


Turns out Pão de Queijo is very popular in our house. It's soft, fluffy bread with cheese oozing out of it. We all loved it. The cornflour makes these cheese rolls really light. I can see us making this often as a meal accompaniment.
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