Couve Recipe

Couve a Mineira
Couve is a healthy side dish that goes well with most meals. The kale, onions, and garlic are all rich in vitamins and nutrients. In addition, couve is easy and economical to prepare. Try couve with picanha, ropas vieja, or carnitas.

1 pound of kale or collard greens
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
4 tbsp olive oil

  1. Rinse the kale in water. Then remove the stems. Roll the leaves tightly together and cut into strips. Set strips aside for later.
  2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until onions become clear and translucent in color.
  4. Add the kale to the skillet. Toss the kale to coat the leaves. Cook the kale until it is tender but not overcooked (about 4 to 5 minutes).

Baked Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds
Baked pumpkin seeds are the first of three recipes featured in this blog that can be made from a pumpkin like the one in the photo below. Considering the low cost of this delicious and nutritious squash, (I bought this one for $3) you should try a few dishes featuring pumpkins.

You can eat the entire seed. With a little salt, they make a great snack. They are also a good source of zinc, protein, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and phytosterols and other vitamins. They are also believed to lower cholesterol.

kosher salt
1 medium to large pumpkin

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half.
  3. Remove all of the seeds.
  4. Spread the seeds evenly across a baking pan.
  5. Lightly salt the seeds with kosher salt.
  6. Put pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve with cold beer.
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Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

Eggplant Lasagna
This recipe for Eggplant Lasagna is classic comfort food. The eggplant, porcini mushrooms, onion, and garlic combine to provide a perfect complement to the rich taste of the three cheeses in this dish.

It is best to cook eggplant lasagna on the weekend since it involves alot of steps that are simple but time consuming. Eggplant lasagna takes about 2 hours to prepare.

extra virgin olive oil
2 eggplants
1 yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms, diced
3 ounces pancetta, diced
1 tspn red pepper flakes
1 tspn basil
1 tspn oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 box lasagna noodles
ricotta cheese
Parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese
1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce

  1. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Make cross cuts into the flesh of the eggplants (see photo below). In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook eggplants for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides. You will probably only be able to cook 1 or 2 halves of the eggplant at a time. After cooking the egg plants on both sides, remove them from the heat and set them aside to cool.
    Eggplant halves
  2. Scoop the flesh from the eggplants and place it in a large bowl.
  3. While the heat of the skillet is still at medium, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced pancetta. Brown the pancetta and then add the red pepper flakes and diced onion. Cook the onions until they become clear and translucent.
  4. Add the eggplant, porcini mushrooms, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Cook for about 4 minutes.
    cooked eggplant
  5. Add diced garlic to the skillet and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat.
  6. Grease a lasagna pan with olive oil.
  7. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until al dente.
  8. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Cover the bottom of the lasagna pan with lasagna noodles. This will probably take 3 to 4 noodles.
  10. Cover noodles with a thin layer of ricotta cheese.
  11. Add a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese on top of the ricotta.
  12. Top the mozzarella and the parmesan with 1/3 of the eggplant mixture.
  13. Next, top the eggplant with 1/4 of the tomato sauce.
  14. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles.
  15. Repeat steps #10 through #14 two more times.
  16. On the top layer of lasagna noodles, apply another layer of tomato sauce and some Parmesan cheese.
  17. Bake the lasagna for 1 hour at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  18. Remove pan from the oven and let it cool for about 20 minutes before cutting the lasagna.Eggplant lasagna
If you like this recipe, try Cinghiale

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Walnut Cookie Recipe

walnut cookiesWith the holidays right around the corner, I wanted to post a few recipes for cookies. This recipe for walnut cookies has its origins in Germany. These cookies have alot of flavor but they're not too sweet. Try them with Cafe Noir.

10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
6 egg yolks
1 tspn vanilla
pinch of salt
50 ground walnuts

2 tbsp apricot jam
halves of walnuts for garnish
1/8 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tspn vanilla
1 tbsp milk

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a stand mixer, mix together the butter, powdered sugar, egg yolks, egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add walnuts and flour.
  4. Make balls of dough that are walnut sized and place them on a greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the cookies and brush them with the apricot jam.
  7. Construct the glaze by combining the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk in a sauce pan. Stir these ingredients over medium-low heat until they form a white, clear glaze.
  8. Brush the glaze on each of the cookies and top them each with a half of a walnut.
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Carnitas Recipe

carnitasThe first time that I tried carnitas was in Chicago. There was a "super mercado" a couple of blocks from my apartment that sold them from a counter in the back of the store. Since then I have preferred carnitas over similar dishes that feature beef. Although this recipe takes a few hours to prepare, it's worth the wait. Carnitas have alot of flavor and they are inexpensive to make. For this recipe, I used corn tortillas (heated in the microwave for 30 seconds), the carnitas, salsa, cilantro, and diced red onions. Here is how you make them:

Recommended Equipment:
slow cooker

2 tbspn kosher salt
2 tbspn ground cumin
2 tbspn garlic powder
1 tbspn oregano
2 tspn coriander
1/2 pork shoulder
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup chicken stock
corn tortillas
+ salsa, shredded cheese, diced red onions, sour cream, and/or other toppings.

  1. In a bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients to create a dry rub.
  2. Make several deep cuts into the 1/2 pork shoulder.  The idea is to create alot of surface area on the pork to apply the dry rub.
  3. Rub spice mixture from step #1 onto the pork.
  4. Place the pork in a large, covered bowl.  Refrigerate overnight.
  5. In the morning, place the pork into the center of the slow cooker.
  6. Pour the chicken stock around the pork. Try to avoid pouring the stock directly on the pork so that the spices stay adhered to the pork.  Drop in the bay leaf into the chicken stock.
  7. Place cover on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Shred the pork into smaller pieces, place them on a baking pan.  Pour some of the broth from the slow cooker over the shredded pork (about a cup) and then bake the pork in the oven for 30 minutes. This will create a bark on the carnitas.
  10. Remove pork from the oven.  Heat the tortillas (10 at a time).  Wrap them in a damp paper towel and heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds.
  11. Serve with rice, Cuban Black Beans, tortillas, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, diced red onions, shredded cheese and/or whatever toppings you like.  
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Torta de Maça Recipe (Apple Pie)

Torta de MaçaFor this Torta de Maça Recipe, you can use two store bought graham cracker crusts or make two crusts from scratch if you like your crust less sweet.

Fresh apples are the key to this recipe so we usually make this dish during the Autumn months. For this pie, we bought a half peck of grade 2 McIntosh apples from a nearby orchard, Iron's Fruit Farm.

This recipe departs from a standard apple pie recipe in that it uses condensed milk to give the apple filling a sweet, creamy texture. I also use a modified pie crust recipe to make the sweet, crumbly topping.

This recipe for Torta de Maça makes two tortas (pies).

2 store bought graham cracker crust pie shells or make your own pie crusts.

8 McIntosh apples
1/2 cup sugar
2 tspn cinnamon
3 tbsp condensed milk
1/4 cup flour

1 1/4 cup flour
pinch salt
3 tbsp condensed milk
1/2 cup butter, cut into 1/2 tbsp pieces
1 egg
2 tbsp brown sugar

  1. Peel and core each of the apples and slice them into very thin slices.
    apple slices
  2. Place apple slices in a large bowl and add the sugar, cinnamon, condensed milk, and flour. Mix these ingredients together so that all of the apple slices are well coated.
  3. Pour the apple mixture into the pie crusts so that they are distributed equally.
  4. Next, bake another pie crust similar to the recipe in the previous post. Follow this recipe and add 3 tablespoons of condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the dough and then bake.
  5. After 20 to 25 minutes, remove the crust and let cool. Pour the crust into a large bowl and break up the crust into smaller pieces.
  6. Top both of the two pies equally with these pieces.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool.
  9. Top with whip cream with ice cream on the side.
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Basic Pie Crust Recipe

Pie Crust
This basic pie crust recipe is simple and versatile. It should work with most fruit fillings providing a crust that is buttery with a hint of sweetness. This recipe can also be modified slightly to create a unique sweet, crumbly topping for pies as well. (See my recipe for Torte de Maça).

1 1/4 cup flour
2 tspn sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.
  3. On a flour dusted surface, roll the dough into a circle big enough to cover a standard pie dish.
  4. Place dough in dish so that it covers the entire dish.
  5. Cover in plastic wrap and place in freezer for 1/2 hour.
  6. Remove from freezer and remove plastic wrap. Put a layer of aluminum foil over the crust so that the foil is touching the dough. Place some dry beans on top of the foil to keep the foil pressed upon the dough during baking.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Remove foil and dry beans from the top of the foil and bake the crust for another 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Let crust cool before adding pie filling.
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Boston Baked Beans

Boston Baked BeansBaked beans are usually served at cookouts in North America and are also an important component in a Full English Breakfast in the UK. When you are making this recipe, it's OK to use canned baked beans that already contain some brown sugar and pieces of bacon as a starting point.

28 ounce can baked beans
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp mustard
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 strips bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all ingredients except the bacon in a casserole dish.
  3. Put the 3 strips of bacon on top of bean mixture and place casserole dish in the oven.
  4. Bake for 1 hour.
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Mazatlán Meatloaf

Mazatlán MeatloafMazatlán Meatloaf is a Mexican take on an American classic comfort food. It's rich, spicy hot flavor are unforgettable. Try it with Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 pound chorizo sausage
2 eggs
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 tspn kosher salt
1/2 tspn black pepper
1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 tspn ground cumin
1/2 tspn dried basil
3/4 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 of a 7 ounce can of chipotles in adobo sauce
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 tspn sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, ground pork, chorizo, bread crumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, porcini mushrooms, cumin, basil, onion, and garlic. Mix all of these ingredients together using your hands to form a loaf.
  3. Grease a 4 x 7 casserole dish or bread pan.
  4. Put loaf in the pan.
  5. In a food processor, pulse 1/2 of the chipotle and adobo. Then mix it together with the tomato paste and sugar. Use this sauce to top the meat loaf.
  6. Bake meat loaf for 1 hour and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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Maxwell Street Polish

Maxwell Street PolishThe Maxwell Polish is a Chicago classic. It is a spicy Polish sausage topped with grilled, caramelized onions and yellow mustard on a toasted bun.

When you make a Maxwell Street Polish, it's important to use a Polish with some heat so you may have to seek out a good specialty meat shop or butcher to find the key ingredient.
I used a "Bahama Mama" sausage, sold at Schmidt's Sausage Haus in Columbus, Ohio's German Village. Schmidt's has been in business since 1886 and they feature a great selection of sausages for carry out.

  • Bahama Mama - cross between a polish kielbasa and a all-beef hot dog but spicier than either - made with beef and pork
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into strips
  • 1 tspn sugar
  • 1 tspn salt
  • mustard, yellow
  • butter
  • hot dog buns
  1. Place onions in a skillet with 2 tbsp butter, sugar, and salt. Cook onions over medium-low heat until onions become golden brown.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Cut sausages lengthwise almost all of the way through.
  4. Place a metal cooling rack on a baking sheet and place in an oven preheated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the sausages on the cooling rack and bake for about 40 minutes until edges of sausage begin to get crisp.
  5. Melt 1/2 tbsp butter in skillet over medium heat. Toast hot dog buns face down on skillet for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Place sausage in bun, apply desired amount of mustard, and caramelized onions. Serve hot.
Polish Chicago flag Chicago

Fruit Pancake Recipe

blueberry pancakeThis fruit pancake recipe is another old family favorite. My mom used to make layer upon layer for me and my brothers and sisters. This recipe makes about 7 pancakes so if you are cooking for alot of people, you can increase the amounts as needed.

Fruit pancakes are a great choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The key is to use the freshest fruit possible. As such, I usually make these more in the summer and fall as you have many great choices for toppings during these seasons.

kiwi pancakes

apple pancake

1 cup flour, sifted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn salt
2 eggs
2 tspn cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1 tspn canola oil
2 tspn vanilla
+ fruit of your choice (apples, blueberries, kiwi, banana all work well)

  1. Sift the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  4. Prep your fruit. Whatever fruit that you decide to use, try to slice it as thin as you can. Small berries can be put onto the pancake whole.
  5. Heat skillet over medium heat.
  6. Pour a little less than 1/4 cup batter onto the skillet.
  7. When bubbles start to form in the batter, add a pieces of fruit to cover the pancake.
  8. Flip and cook the other side (about another 2 - 3 minutes).
  9. Top with confection sugar, fresh fruit, or both.
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The German Dish

The German DishThe German Dish has been a specialty in my family for as long as I can remember. In fact, I think it has been passed down through several generations and can be traced to the Ruhr Valley in an area known as Westphalia. I love this dish because all of its flavor comes from a few basic ingredients. I also like it because you can prepare a generous portion for between $10 and $15. As an added bonus, when you are cooking, it it will make your house smell great and everyone will think you really know how to cook. Give it a try. You will be amazed at how simple and easy a great dish can be.

Note: This recipe uses Polish kielbasas because the German version of this sausage may be difficult to find in your average grocery store.

1 16oz. Polska kielbasa, cut into 4 inch pieces
2 large potatoes, pealed and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 medium carrots, cut in half lengthwise
2 ribs celery, diced
2 medium onions, diced
1 tspn kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
3/4 tbsp beef bullion
3 cups water

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large pot or Dutch oven. Heat ingredients over medium-low heat for about three hours.
  2. If water starts to boil, reduce heat to low.
  3. After potatoes and carrots can become tender, remove the kielbasas and set aside.
  4. With a potato masher, mash all of the vegetables together in the pot until they are well combined.
  5. Add the kielbasas back to the pot.
  6. Continue to simmer over low heat until most of the remaining water has been reduced.
  7. Serve with hot, spicy or Dijon mustard on the side.
Looking for a wine to pair with this dish? Try this German wine that is produced in Chile:
Cono Sur Gewürztraminer

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El Tapitio

El Tapitio
El Tapitio is one of the many great dishes served at Los Mariachis in Springfield, Ohio. If you are ever in Springfield or Xenia, you should visit "Los." Be sure to try their Margaritas too.

This recipe is not quite at the level of the version served at the restaurant, but it does come close. If you are not able to visit the restaurant, give it a try along with Cuban Black Beans and Margaritas.

1 pound chicken breast
1/2 pound Chorizo
iceberg lettuce, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
mozzarella cheese
sour cream

1/4 cup beer
juice of 1 fresh lime
5 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tspn ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into 1 to 2 inch pieces and add to the bowl of marinade.
  3. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pieces of chicken along with the ground Chorizo to the skillet and cook until browned.
  5. Heat the tortillas.
  6. Add the chicken and Chorizo mixture to the tortilla and top with lettuce, tomato, mozzarella cheese and sour cream.
Looking for a wine to go with El Tapitio? Try one of these:
Forest Glen Pinot Noir
Motos Liberty Pinot Grigio

Mexican flag Mexico

Dirty Rice Recipe

Dirty Rice
Dirty Rice is a Cajun classic made with white rice and chicken liver. When cooked with the liver, the dirty rice develops its distinctive, dark color. This version of dirty rice uses chorizo instead of liver to give the rice its color.

1/2 pound of chorizo
1 medium yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 tspn cayenne pepper
1 tspn salt
1/2 tspn red pepper flakes
2 cups of cooked medium grain rice
2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
3 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

  1. Cook chorizo in a skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, celery, cayenne pepper, salt, red pepper flakes and Worchestershire sauce to the skillet. Cook for an additional 10 minutes over medium heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the rice, cilantro, and green onions and mix well.
  4. Add the chorizo mixture to the bowl of rice and mix until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  5. Serve hot. Optional: serve with a dollop of sour cream.
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Marmorgugelhupf - Marble Cake Recipe

MarmorgugelhopfThis recipe for Marmorgugelhupf is a modern take on the German classic dessert. It is an excellent complement to coffee and makes a great dessert. Try it with cafe noir.

Recommended Equipment:
tube or bundt pan
stand mixer

main batter
1 2/3 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tspn salt
2 tspn baking powder
7 eggs
12 oz. unsalted butter, at room temp.
3 tbsp. Kahlua

chocolate batter
2 tbsp whole milk
2 tbsp Kahlua
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
1/2 tspn baking soda

chocolate glaze
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp dark corn syrup
2 tspn vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a tube or bundt pan.
  3. In a large bowl or mixer, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, ans salt.
  4. Add butter to the mixture and mix until the ingredients form a paste.
  5. Mix the eggs and the Kahlua together.
  6. Slowly mix the egg and Kahlua mixture in with the main batter paste.
  7. In a separate mixing bowl, construct the chocolate batter by combining the milk, Kahlua, and baking soda. Add the melted chocolate to the mixture and whisk thoroughly.
  8. Add 2 cups of the main batter to the chocolate mixture and mix until the two have completely combined.
  9. Pour half of the remaining main batter to the bundt pan and smooth the batter so that it is evenly distributed.
  10. Pour the chocolate batter evenly over the first layer of main batter.
  11. Pour the remaining batter evenly over the chocolate layer.
  12. Using a table knife, insert the blade into the batter. Move the blade up and down in a spiral motion as you make your way around the cake. Stop when you reach the point at which you started.
  13. Bake the cake until it is firm ~ about 1 hour.
  14. Remove cake from over and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake out onto a cooling rack.
  15. Make the chocolate glaze by heating the whipping cream to a boil. Add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and corn syrup. Whisk ingredients together. Remove from heat and let the mixture thicken.
  16. Drizzle chocolate glaze over the cake.


SiSigSisig is a famous Filipino hangover killer. I first heard of SiSig while watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. It looked really tasty so I searched around for what ingredients are usually included and put together this recipe. I'm not sure if this version of SiSig tastes anything like what you would find in Manila, but it does taste great.

In the Philippines, they use liver and beef tongue to make SiSig. However, these ingredients are not as readily available in your average grocery store here in the United States and the thought of using these ingredients may not seem that appealing anyway. So I put my German heritage to good use and used braunschweiger instead.

SiSig is a great appetizer or side dish and should definitely be served with ice-cold beer.

1 to 2 pound pork shoulder
1/2 tube of braunschweiger (pork liver sausage) removed from casing
2 cups water
1 cup pineapple juice
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
3 tbsp canola oil
3 green onions, diced

marinade ingredients
1 large yellow onion, chopped
7 dried chili peppers
1 Serrano pepper, deseeded and diced
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 tspn fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tspn black pepper
1 bay leaf
kosher salt, to taste

  1. Cut the pork shoulder into large 4 to 5 inch chunks so that most of the meat is trimmed from the bone.
  2. In a large pot, add the pieces of pork and bone, water, pineapple juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour or until meat is tender.
  4. Drain the pot and let the pieces of pork cool to room temperature. Discard the bone.
  5. Light the grill.
  6. Cut the pieces of pork into smaller 2 to 3 inch pieces.
  7. Put the pieces of pork on metal or wood (soaked in water) skewers.
  8. Baste the skewers of pork with olive oil and season with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  9. When the coals start to turn white, place the skewers on the grill and cook until brown and crispy.
    pork skewers on grill
  10. Remove the pork skewers from the grill and let cool.
  11. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, onions, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, chili and Serrano peppers, salt, pepper, and bay leaf.
    marinade with pork pieces
  12. Add 1/2 of the pieces of grilled pork to the marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  13. Cut the other half of the grilled pork into small 1/2 inch pieces.pork pieces
  14. Add these pieces to a large skillet along with the braunschweiger and 3 tbsp canola oil.
  15. Heat the skillet over medium for about 10 minutes stirring the ingredients together so that they form a hash type mixture. Remove from heat and set aside.
    pork hash
  16. After an hour has passed, remove the pieces of grilled pork from the marinade and cut them into small 1/2 inch pieces. Strain the juice from the marinade and set aside for later.
  17. In a large bowl, combine the hash mixture, the pieces of pork that came from the marinade, and the green onions. Stir all of the ingredients together.
  18. Serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro and pour some the juice that you reserved from the marinade over the dish for extra flavor. It's OK to use the juice from the marinade as the pork was cooked before it was added to the marinade mixture. Also, don't forget to serve with ice-cold beers (San Miguel if you have it).


Vatapá Recipe

VatapaThe first time that I tried vatapá was at a small, hill side cafe in the city of Salvador located in Brazil’s Bahia State. In addition to an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean, Café du Mar featured a wide array of classic Bahian dishes. Many of these, including vatapá, had African influences such as coconut, chilies, manioc flour, bananas, and palm oil.

Vatapa has a sauce rich with the flavors of land and sea. The flavor of the fish and shrimp are a perfect complement to the earthy flavors of ginger and peanut. It is a great stand-alone meal served over rice and it also works as a hearty side dish.

1 pound of Tilapia or Cod fillets
1/4 cup shrimp powder

4 tablespoons of olive oil
Kosher Salt
Ground black pepper
¼ cup of chopped green onions (about 3 green onions)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp of fresh ginger, chopped
2 cups of chopped Roma tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce (15 ounces)
6 dried red chilis
1 cup of coconut milk
½ cup of chopped cashew nuts
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
3 cloves of diced garlic
1 tablespoon of palm oil
¼ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup of water

  1. Sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper on the fillets. Saute the fish and shrimp in a large pot for about 4 minutes over medium heat. Try to flip the fish only once in order to keep the pieces from falling apart. Remove the fillets and shrimp from the pot and keep in the oven on warm.
  2. Next, add green onions, ginger and the diced yellow onion to the pot and sauté for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the can of tomato sauce. Simmer for 4 more minutes.
  4. Add the chilies, coconut milk, cashews, peanut butter, garlic, palm oil and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Cut the fish into 3 inch pieces. Add the fish and the shrimp back to the sauce. Avoid stirring the sauce too much in order to keep the pieces of fish intact.
  6. Add the cilantro and simmer for another 3 minutes.
  7. Serve over warm rice.
Suggested wine pairing: Oberon Sauvignon Blanc

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Brasil [ print this recipe for Vatapá ]
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