Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Galetos! (baby chicken)

One of my favorite meals in Brazil had to be the Galeto's (both my 1st & last meal). Its a simple dish-- baby chicken brushed with a lime, vinegar, garlic solution and slowly charbroiled over an open fire- simple and delicious! As the juice from the baby chicken drips into the charcoal pit, the flame rises creating a thin crispy skin and wonderful smokey flavor. The frango (chicken) meat is fall off the bone tender and juicy -- absolutely amazing! The galeto's are served with a totmato onion-salsa, oil, vinegar, and salt.

My favorite spot was: "Quick Galeto's" a modest dine in bar located one block from Copacabana Beach. Check out the video below:

They also had all sorts of other grilled meats, sides and salads-- their beef skewers w/ green peppers and onions is also a winner. They even add bacon strips to the meat making the beef taste even smokier!!!
Grilled Beef Skewers w/ green peppers & onions

Hearts of Palm, tomato, avocado, onion salad

And of course galetos!

And the elderly owners are too cute ;)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Brazilian Fish Stew-- BRL Version

While in Rio I had the most amazing Fish Stew ever. I bought some Brazilian ingredients and so that I could recreate it at home. Here's what I came up with:

1 1/4 lb white fish- such as bass, halibut, or tilapia
4 cloves garlic
1-2 shallots (or 1 onion)
1 green onions/ scallions
1 inch piece ginger
4 Tb cilantro
1/2 lime
4 Tb dende oil
2 Tb Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tb tomato paste
1 cup seafood stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup coconut milk
hot peppers (optional to taste)
salt n' pepa
1-2 tomatoes

1) Chop the garlic, ginger, scallions, shallots & cilantro
2) Place the fish in a plastic ziplock bag and build the marinade by adding the olive oil, 1/2 the dende oil and half of the garlic, ginger, scallions, shallots & cilantro. Let the marinade sit for about 2-3 hours
3)Heat the remaining dende oil in a pot and add the rest of shallots, green peppers, ginger, and garlic. Let this cook for a few minutes. Add the fish with remaining marinade and lime juice. Cook on both sides.
4) Add seafood stock, white wine & salt and pepper to taste and let simmer. Add tomato paste and stir until dissolved
5) Add coconut milk, tomatoes, hearts of palm & peppers
6) Serve w/ fresh cilantro and steamed rice

**A few notes**
- I changed the written recipe from the video so that everything is cooked in the same pot--- one less dish to wash!
- Although I used a filet for the video, I would reccomend using a fish steak as it will hold better in the stew
- Feel free to add other items such as hearts of palm (very Brazilian & you can get them canned of jarred at the market) or shrimp (MMMmmmm)
- The stew in the video is a little lighter in color than you might experience. I reccomend using less coconut milk than I did in the video. I adjusted the written recipe to reflect the correct amount.
- Dende oil is very strong and high in fat so try not to go overboard with it

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Life's a Beach w/ Treats!

If you want to live like a true carioca (native of Rio), you gotta know Rio beach food. Rio de Janiero has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world- soft sand, beautiful warm water, and of course great food!

What could make any beautiful beach day better? BBQ!!!

Food on a Stick: Beach vendors go around w/ with hand held charcoal grills in one hand (above) and a cooler filled with either meat, cheese or shrimp on a stick and grill your food right there on the spot-- Ahhh, the life!!!
Shrimp on a stick served w/ fresh limes:
2 sticks for R$5 ($2.50 US)

Mate Gelado:
Nick being the Baltimorian that he is was overjoyed to discover the matte man. A guy walks up and down the beaches with 2 ice cold kegs- one filled with iced tea (or matte) and the other filled with lemonade. For R$2 (or US $1), he lets you fill up whatever proportion of half-and-half (or Arnold Palmer) you prefer.

Other great beach and/or street vendors:
- Corn on the cobb with as much buttery goodness as you can brush on
- Tapiocas: crepes made on the spot and filled with anything from cheese to coconut
- Roasted Nuts
- Fresh coconut water
- Caipirinha-- a national favorite drink
(more on the latter 2 in future posts)

...and of course beer (SKOL!)

Bom-dia Brazil!!!

I just spent an amazing week in Rio de Janeiro- Brazil and want to share some of my cultural and culinary adventures with you all!

A little background on Brazilian food--
Brazilian cuisine is a unique combination of three main cultures: Native Indians (aboriginals), Portugese (colonizers), and the Africans (slaves). The ingredients and cooking techniques of these people are all integrated into the food that is Brazil.

While Brazil has a very diverse immigrant community, including the largest Japanese population outside of Japan (Sao Paulo in secific), most of these other cultures have retained their own culinary identity and are not as integral to Brazilian cuisine.

Over the next few weeks I'll be blogging about all things Brazil and sharing with you the deliciousness of Rio de Janeiro!