São Paulo Style Portuguese Pizza Recipe

São Paulo is famous for its pizza and Portuguese Pizza is one of the many popular varieties served throughout Brazil's largest city. Try it with an ice-cold chopp (pilsner).

Neapolitan pizza crusts
1 14oz. can tomato sauce
fresh scamorza or mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 hard boiled egg, sliced
ham, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
black olives, sliced
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Place pizza stone in the oven.
  2. Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Form a thin round pizza crust.
  4. Top with a thin layer of tomato sauce.
  5. Lightly sprinkle some shredded scamorza or mozzarella cheese onto the pizza.
  6. Next, top with ham, hard boiled egg, onion, olives, oregano, and black pepper.
  7. Slide the pizza into the oven on top of the pizza stone.
  8. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until pizza crust is golden brown.
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Mac Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

macaroni and cheeseMac and Cheese is classic comfort food with a long history. Tube shaped noodles were originally brought from China to Italy by Marco Polo. Italians added cheese to the mix and have been serving it this way for over 500 years. Macaroni and cheese gained popularity in England and was later introduced in North America in the late 1700s. In the 1930s, Kraft introduced an instant version of this dish that has become a convenience staple almost universally. This recipe takes a little more effort than the Kraft version but also delivers a superior version of this classic comfort food.

1 cup of plain breadcrumbs
6 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of Kosher salt
9 oz. Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
6 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 12oz. can evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tspn Tabasco sauce
1 tspn water
1 tspn dry mustard
2 tspn Kosher salt
12 oz. elbow macaroni
black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp of butter until it bubbles.
  2. Add the bread crumbs and salt to the skillet coating the breadcrumbs with the butter.
  3. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the breadcrumbs cool completely. Mix in 1/4 cup of the cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese and set aside for later.
  4. Set an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler and turn the broiler on.
  5. In a small cup dissolve the mustard into the water.
  6. In a mixing bowl, mix together the eggs, the Tabasco, 1 cup of the evaporated milk (keep the remainder for later), and the mustard and water mixture.
  7. In a large pot over medium heat, boil 3 quarts of water. Add the 2 tspn salt and the macaroni noodles and cook until almost done but still firm.
  8. Drain the water from the pot and return the pot to the stove, reducing the heat to low. Add 4 tbsp butter to the noodles and stir gently to coat the noodles.
  9. Pour the egg mixture from the mixing bowl over the macaroni noodles along with the remaining shredded cheese and the remaining evaporated milk. Stir the ingredients gently until well combined.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a 9 inch square baking pan. Top with the bread crumbs.
  12. Place the baking pan in the oven below the broiler for 2 minutes until lightly toasted on top.
  13. Remove and let cool for about 7 minutes then serve.
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Apollo Fish Recipe

apollo fishApollo Fish is a specialty in the state of Hyderabad in India. The first time that I heard about Apollo Fish was from our neighbor Jay who had tried it during a trip several years ago. I found a couple of recipes for it and combined the best of both to make the one that I have listed below. Apollo Fish is pretty spicy but if it is too hot for you, you can eat it with some Greek yogurt to help cool it off. You can also serve it with naan bread or romali roti for good results.

1 1/2 pounds catfish fillets
2 tspn chili powder
1 tspn Kosher salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 egg white
2 tbsp corn meal
1 tbsp tapioca flour (you can also use light baking flour)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Serrano chilies, diced
6 curry leaves
1/2 tspn coriander, ground
1 tspn cumin, ground
1/2 tspn turmeric
1 tbsp fresh cilantro
olive oil for frying (about 8 tbsp)

  1. Cut fish fillets in 1 to 2 inch pieces.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together 1 tspn chili powder, 1/2 tspn salt, 2 cloves of minced garlic, ginger, and the egg white.
    apollo fish marinade

    Add the pieces of fish to the marinade so that each piece is coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours.

    apollo fish - marinade complete
  3. Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the fish and cook until the fish is golden brown. Remove the fish from the oil and place in a bowl for later.
  4. In another skillet, add 5 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 diced Serrano chilies, and the curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add onions to the skillet and cook until the onions are translucent.
  6. Add 1 tspn chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and 1/2 tspn salt to the skillet and cook for another 3 minutes stirring often.
  7. Add the fish mixture to the skillet containing the onion mixture along with 1/2 cup of water. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  8. Remove the lid and mix in the fresh cilantro. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until all of the excess moisture has cooked off.
  9. Serve hot over rice.
Indian flag India

Book Review: Just Tell Me What To Eat!

just tell me what to eat!Have you ever gone on a diet that forced you to eat foods that were less than appetizing and ultimately ended in frustration with no long-term weight loss? Dr. Timothy S. Harlan’s fifth book, Just Tell Me What to Eat!, provides a realistic, flexible six week weight loss plan complete with 80 recipes. Week by week, Dr. Harlan provides a shopping list of ingredients that you will need to prepare each of the recipes. He also provides lists of comparable convenience meals(Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, etc.) and restaurant alternatives to use when you are unable or unwilling to cook. In addition to these recipe options, Harlan also provides interesting background information about why these meals are nutritious and why they will help you lose weight.

Dr. Harlan started his career as a chef and restaurant owner at the age of 21 in Athens, Georgia. He later decided to pursue a career in medicine and is a board certified internist and a medical director at the Tulane University School of Medicine. As a physician, he has counseled thousands of people about weight loss. These experiences ultimately led Dr. Harlan to write, Just Tell Me What to Eat!. His approach to weight loss in this book is medically based and he cites the findings of many interesting studies to support his recommendations. His approach is holistic in that he not only prescribes a healthy, controlled diet but also recommends a baseline level of regular exercise in order to achieve results. His approach is unlike many of the fad diets in vogue today. It's realistic and maintains that by following the plan laid out in this book you will likely lose between 2 and 4 pounds per month.

Just Tell Me What to Eat! is packed with many interesting facts and findings such as:
  • Eating fish just once a week decreases your chance of having a fatal heart attack by 33% for both men and women.
  • Eating lentils 4 or more times a week decreases the risk of heart disease by 22%.
  • Women who drink red wine at least once a week are 16% less likely to get diabetes that women who don’t drink wine regularly.
We tried several recipes from this book, three of which we have posted earlier: Lentil Chili, Fettuccini with Broccoli and Shrimp, and Blackened Red Fish. In addition to dishes that conform to a Mediterranean style diet, some of the recipes that are included in the book are not the type of foods that you might associate with diets and weight loss programs such as Philly Cheese Steak, Sloppy Joes, and Pizza. We liked the fact that the book provided such a wide array of recipes that would likely appeal to almost any palate.

We give the book Just Tell Me What to Eat! four out of five stars. The book provides a 6 week dietary plan for sustainable weight loss that does not sacrifice flavor. Following the 6 week plan required us to do more planning of meals and encouraged us to be more cognizant of portion sizes. After a couple of weeks, however, these practices became almost second nature and following the plan became rather easy. With a little commitment on your part, this book can help you to develop healthier cooking and eating habits as well as a heightened awareness of nutrition in general. The only thing about this book that could have been improved was the lack of photographs of finished recipes. The book does reference the Dr. Gourmet companion website, however, where photos of many of the recipes are provided as well as a wealth of additional information about healthy eating.

Pasta Primavera Recipe

pasta primaveraPasta Primavera is the perfect pasta for summer as you can easily find most of the ingredients in season and at their freshest. It is similar to pasta carbonara in that you will be making three components and then combining all of them together as you complete this dish. These components include the pasta itself, a mixture of lightly sauteed vegetables, and a tomato mushroom sauce. Pasta Primavera is a great tasting, healthy pasta dish for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

12 asparagus spears, cut in half lengthwise
1 cup frozen pees
6 oz. green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
6 tbsp unsalted butter
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tspn red pepper flakes
1 pound fettuccine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Prepare all of the vegetables listed above and have all of the ingredients at the ready.
  2. In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. In a large saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  3. Add the green beans to the saucepan and cook for one and a half minutes.
  4. Add the asparagus to the saucepan and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the zucchini to the saucepan and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the peas to the saucepan and cook for 30 seconds.
  7. Drain the vegetables and add them to the bowl of ice water. When they have cooled completely, drain the water and set the vegetables aside for later.
    veggies in ice bath
  8. In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add the portabella mushrooms and cook for 8 minutes.
    portabelo mushrooms
  9. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes to the mushrooms and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 6 minutes.
  10. Add heavy whipping cream to the tomatoes and mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add salt to taste and set aside.
  11. Add 1 tbsp Kosher salt and the fettuccine to the pot of boiling water and cook until al dente.
  12. While the pasta cooks, add 3 tablespoons of butter to a skillet over medium heat.
  13. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for 1 minute.
  14. Add the vegetable mixture to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Add salt to taste, cover skillet and set aside.
  15. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Add the mushroom and tomato mixture to the pasta. Mix well so that the pasta is coated.
  16. Add the vegetables, basil, and lemon juice to the pasta and mix so that all of the ingredients are well combined.
  17. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Bathtub Peach Pie Recipe

peach pieBathtub peaches are in season in our neighborhood so we decided to make Bathtub Peach and Blueberry Pie. Apparently, Bathtub Peaches are so named because they are so juicy you need to eat them in a bathtub. Excess juice is not always a good thing when you are making a pie, however, so we added some flour to the mix to absorb some of the excess juice and maintain the sweet flavor of the peaches. The blueberries are a perfect complement to the sweet peaches. Give it a try while peaches are still in season.

6 peaches peeled and sliced
1 pint of blueberries
1 1/2 tspn lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1/8 tspn nutmeg
2 tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches and lemon juice.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Add dry mixture to the bowl of peaches coating them completely.
  5. Place the blueberries in the bottom of the pie crust. Top the blueberries with the peach filling mixture in the pie crust.
  6. In another bowl, mix together the Mascarpone cheese and the whipping cream. Pour this mixture over the peaches and blueberries. Then place the top of the crust, seal the edges, and cut small vents into the top of the crust.
  7. Bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Remove the pie from the oven.
  9. Optional: Baste the crust with melted butter.
    bathtub peach pie
  10. Let the pie cool completely then refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

Tres Leches Cake Recipe

tres leches cake with whipped creamTres Leches (3 milk) cake most likely originated in Mexico although several other Central American and Caribbean nations including Nicaragua, Cuba, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama all lay claim to this sweet and creamy dessert. Tres Leches Cake was invented shortly after the Nestle Company expanded its operations into Latin America during World War Two. Nestle introduced its condensed and evaporated milk products (2 of the main ingredients in this recipe for Tres Leches Cake) into these markets to fill the demand for dairy products that could be used where no refrigeration was available. It was not long after these products were introduced that Tres Leches Cake was invented and became popular throughout Latin America. Try it for dessert after Ropas Viejas or Carnitas.

1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 tspn vanilla extract
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1 12oz. can evaporated milk
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp sugar
your choice of fresh fruit for topping (I used fresh strawberries)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 X 3 spring-form pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the baking powder, salt, and flour.
  3. In another mixing bowl, using a mixer beat the eggs and the sugar together at high speed for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the water and vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly mix in the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl of any flour so that all of the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the spring-form pan. Put the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until done. If you can insert a fork into the cake and it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Transfer the cake to a dish that has raised edges - I used a Pyrex pie dish.
  8. After the cake has cooled completely, use a serrated knife to cut off the top crust of the cake so that the cake will be able to easily soak up the milk mixture that we will prepare next.
  9. In a mixing bowl, mix together the condensed milk, evaporated milk, 1 cup of the heavy whipping cream, and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract.
  10. Using a fork, poke holes into the top of the cake.
  11. Slowly spoon the milk mixture over the top of the cake allowing the cake to absorb it.
  12. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  13. Serve with fresh whipped cream and your choice of fresh fruit.
Mexican flag Mexico

Beverly Hills Farmers' Market Chili Cook Off

sharon muthu and aarti sequeiraThe Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market celebrated its 17th Annual Chili Cook-off today and the International Recipe Syndicate was well represented by Sharon Muthu and Noshir Dalal as they cooked up a huge batch of Rachel Kirkwood's Arrogant Bastard Chili. The event was a big success this year attracting over 5,000 people. They were able to enjoy a great day of family fun including music, a corn shucking contest, the farmer's market, and free chili tasting!!

arrogant bastard chili made by Sharon Muthu

Judges for the event included Aarti Sequeira, host of Food Network’s Aarti Party and winner of Season 6 of the Next Food Network Star, The founders of Chicks with Knives Supper Club, and the Mayor of Beverly Hills, Barry Brucker.

The Chili Cook-Off was only open to amateurs and was limited to 20 contestants. Any kind of homemade chili was a valid entry and any type of ingredient could be used such as spices, meat, vegetables, pasta, beans, etc. No ingredients could be precooked and no canned chili was allowed. Contestants started cooking their chili at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market this morning at 6:30am.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Heinz 57 Sauce - pulled porkThis is an easy slow cooker recipe for pulled pork. The pork is cooked on low for 8 hours in a marinade featuring Heinz 57 Sauce (which is actually celebrating its 100th anniversary this year). I used the traditional Heinz 57 Sauce, however there is also a Heinz 57 sauce with honey or a Heinz 57 with Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce that you could use instead.

This recipe for pulled pork can be prepared in minutes before you leave for work and it makes enough leftovers for later in the week. I made these sandwiches with kaiser rolls served with kosher pickles.

Recommended Equipment:
slow cooker

3 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder blade roast, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup Heinz 57 Sauce
1/4 cup Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp Heinz Yellow Mustard
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 medium onion, chopped, or about 2 cups

  1. In a slow cooker, mix together 57 Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Mustard, sugar, tomato paste and onion. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Add pork, turning until well coated. Cover and cook on low heat setting for about 8 hours, or until pork is tender, turning occasionally.
  2. To serve, remove pork from slow cooker. Pull pork into shreds using two forks. Return pork to slow cooker and stir until well mixed with sauce. Spoon about 3/4 cup onto your favorite sandwich buns and serve immediately.
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