Sorvete de Castanha Do Pará & Flor de Laranja

28 Mar

Who really needs inspiration to make sorvete?                                                and there is no better way to find your place in a woman’s heart than with this. I’m sure my wife’s undistracted affection last night was due to the fact I had a fresh batch solidifying in the freezer.

I would have to say there is an element of selfishness in this also but who could blame me. After leaving behind Sorvete de Serrado in Brazil famous for it’s 50 odd unique flavours specialising in fruit & nut flavours of Brazil  and it’s vast regional produce, there has to be something to fill that void and that void filler is just this! for now…..

Sorvete de Castanha do Pará & Flor de Laranja

  • 2.5 cups of full cream milk
  • 2 cups of good quality cream
  • 1.5 cups of lightly roasted Brazil Nuts (blended to a smooth paste)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.25 cups of fine sugar
  • 2 tspns of Orange Blossom water
  • 1 tspn of salt


In a mixing bowl add the sugar,salt and eggs, beat till it’s stiff.  In a steel bowl or an Ice cream machine combine all your ingredients and stir. Leave a few hours in the freezer till the mixture starts to solidify. Now the process of getting a smooth consistency to your sorvete is a long one, you need to stir the mixture every hour or so to ensure the texture is even throughout, depending on your freezer this could be overnight but don’t stay up all night at the foot of your freezer. One thing I can tell you is, it’s worth the effort, well time really because as you can see there is not much to it, just patience.

Bom Appetite!!


Castanha Do Pará(Brazil Nut)

28 Mar


A month since my last post & I have finally found some time to share another ingredient not for the lack of ingredients I might add either, as the more we look into this continent the more we find, it’s impressive to say the least.

So Castanha Do Pará, ‘juvia’ or ‘sapucaia’ to the indigenous Amazonian’s and as we all know it, the Brazilian Nut and what a nut it is. The highest fat content of any nut worldwide, recognised for it’s omega3 fatty acid content and a staple once again, to the indigenous people of the Amazon, not only in Brazil but from it’s originating regions in Peru and Bolivia, yes! you heard it correct, not Brazil.  First Discovered for the Western world by the Portuguese & Spanish spice traders in the 1500’s and later recognised for export in the mid 19th century, entangled with the growing rubber production industry.  The tree itself is actually one of the tallest in the Amazon forest and can grow to 165 feet tall and matures at 30 years of age to start bearing fruit. You can also be rejoiced in the fact that all efforts to cultivate the nut has been unsuccessful and the nuts that fill your pantry cupboards and kitchens are actually of natural production, which is a key sustainability factor into the protection of the amazon forest against deforestation, due to the tree being illegal for logging.  But the Brazilian nut industry does come at a cost, although it is produced naturally, the consistent gathering of the nut takes effect on the natural reproduction of the tree’s and heavily gathered area’s have shown drops in regrowth as a result of the seed/nut being taken out of the natural reproduction equation. Being used for a wide variety of applications other than nutrition, such as cosmetics, medicines and lubricants the demand for the nut shows no signs of slowing down. I feel a sustainable solution needs to be put in place so generations can enjoy it’s benefits for years to come.

So this month other than showing you the truth behind the Brazilian nut and it’s history, I have a few recipe’s that frequent my kitchen, some new discoveries of course and an indigenous recipe also. So hang around….

Chega de Saudade, 60’s Golden Era Bossa Mix

3 Feb

This is a short but moody mix I recorded today, of some the finest Bossa Nova and Balanço from the Golden era of Musica Brasileira. Digging deep into the Philips, Odeon and CBS vaults for this one with a definite dusty feel from all original vinyl pressings and some of my favourite selections in the genre.

Click on the image and Enjoy folks…

Caldinho de Mandioca with Chorizo & Prawns

30 Jan

Coming to the end of our first month here at Cuia,  I had to bring something that will speak to a whole range of people out there and put some Cuia Da Esquina jazz on it. During some time in Recife I couldn’t help coming across countless animated street vendors pushing there makeshift carts, filled with what seemed unnatural in a +35 degree heat but glorious nonetheless, Caldinho!(soup/stock)

It comes in all shapes and forms, Caldinho de Feijão(beans), Mocotó(cows feet) cabeça de peixe(fish head)…..well, caldinho with just about anything you can find, that’s why it’s for everybody.



The caldinho;

  • 1kg of mandioca, peeled, roughly cut and core removed.
  • 1/2 kg ham hock or stock bones.
  • 4 small scallions cleaned, trimmed and halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • tblspn of olive oil
  • tspn of salt
  • roughly 3 to 4 litres of water(3/4 fill your stock pot)
  • good handful of parsley(Southern Brasil) or coriander(traditionally north eastern) torn
Chorizo & Prawns;
  • 300g of fresh green tiger prawns, peeled, cleaned & tail left on
  • 2 good chorizo sausages, sliced and halved
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • juice of half a lime
  • tblspn of olive oil
  • 3 chive sprigs finely diced
  • salt & pepper


In a large stock pot, add olive oil, garlic, scallions and a pinch of salt, sweat the scallions then add the ham hock. Brown on a high heat till it starts to catch on the bottom then deglaze with some water, follow with more water to 3/4 fill the pot. Bring to the boil then simmer for at least an hour and a half skimming the fat and scum from the top. Once you’re happy with the stock add the mandioca, cook till soft and slightly translucent.

While the mandioca is cooking, in a small bowl add the prawns and all the ingredients, minus the chorizo. Set aside till your Mandioca is cooked.

Now your mandioca is ready, in a food processor add your cooked mandioca and half the stock, process and add more stock to loosen up the blades. Process till smooth and thick then add your parsley or coriander to finish and salt & pepper to taste. Cover and keep hot.

To a small skillet on a high heat crisp up the chorizo then remove and rest on absorbent paper to take the excess oil, add the prawns to the skillet cooking quickly on the high heat just to cook and colour them in the chorizo oil.

Serve in bowls the caldinho first, then add your prawns and chorizo with a slice of lemon and some olive oil.

Make sure you have some good pepper sauce on hand and this will complete your caldinho.

Bom Apetite!!

To keep with tradition, we need some music to complete the recipe right,

here’s another track about mandiaoca some carimbó this time from Pimduca ‘a farinhada’


Dadinhos de Tapioca with Pineapple & Malagueta Jam

23 Jan

dececewcRecently I had the privlage of having lunch at Rodrigo Oliveira’s infamous Mocotó in the North East neighbourhood of Vila Medeiros, São Paulo. Specialising in Nordeste food of Brazil, surely worth the trek across town in the lunch time scramble to find a reasonable menu and cold beer.  Arriving during a usually busy lunch crowd we situated ourselves willingly, like  3 lone rangers of the Sertão at the impressive collection of regional cachaças that adorned the bar, calling walkers by from it’s perched street corner position.  As we waited for a table, extinguishing the mid day dryness, along came the Dadinhos de Tapioca to help us on our way….from here on it became hazy upon the horizon but I was confident in where it ended.

More about Mocotó later and on with the recipe….

As you know this month we’re looking at “Mandioca” and it’s many uses and here we have a North Eastern recipe taken from Rodrigo Oliveira’s Mocotó, which uses Tapioca (a sub product of mandioca) as a savoury plate great for serving at the bar along with a beer, caipirinha or whatever you choice of poison. Along with this recipe I will show you an easy but very dangerous, I might add, Pineapple and Chilli jam that accompanies this plate perfectly. Don’t be scared off by it’s degree of danger though.

Dadinhos de Tapioca with Pineapple and Malagueta Jam;

The Dadinhos;

  • 250g of Granulated Tapioca
  • 250g of Queijo Coalho or equivalent
  • 500ml of full cream milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


Bring the milk to boil, being careful not to scold.  Add the cheese and tapioca and stir over a very low heat (I used a bay marie) until the mixture becomes firm.

In a baking tray lined with plastic film, spread the mixture into the desired thickness and cover with plastic film to retire to the fridge for at least 2 hours. This can be used the following day also.

Remove from fridge and cut into cubes, then simply deep fry at 180 degrees celsius , this is important to achieve an even result.

The Jam;

Malagueta Jam;

  • half a cup of Malagueta Chilli’s (deseeded) – can’t stress how important it is to use gloves, your hands will burn like fire!!!! I speak from experience.
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2.5 cups of sugar

Pineapple Jam;

  • 1 very ripe pineapple cubed & core removed
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1.5 cups of sugar


In a food processor add all your ingredients minus the sugar and process well. Once you’re happy that you’ve extracted the chilli well enough strain of the pulp and add to a stainless steal saucepan with the sugar and bring to the boil and hold it on a very low heat. Continue to slowly boil until you reach a viscous jam like consistancy and set aside.

Next the pineapple jam. Follow the same steps as above but no need to strain the pulp from the pineapple. Once you’ve reached the same consistency it’s time to combine the 2 together. The reason I did the 2 separately was to achieve the sweetness from the pineapple, otherwise you will end up with chilli jam and no hint of pineapple to be found. Where’s the fun in that?

To serve, place your Dadinhos on a plate with a ramekin of the Jam and a slice of lime.  Now you’re on your way to enjoying some alcoholic beverages with a “mandioca” based side plate.

A little audio from Cearense forro artist Messias Holanda from the Album ‘Bombo do Beí’ with the very suiting track “A tapioca”


Bom apetite!

Que Saudade-Fri 27th

20 Jan

Come join us and a host of Brisbane’s die hard Brazilian music enthusiasts performing authentic live Samba, Forro, Baião and Mpb with members from The View From Madelaine’s Couch , Yemanja and Som De Calçada. Plus of course some live Forro and Jazz goodness from Forro Familia and Yemanja. I will dropping some of my haul of Brazilian nuggets as well, fresh from my latest trip to Brazil, expect…..some vintage Samba Soul, Sambalanço, Samba Rock, Carimbó , Forro and Baião and of course some new stuff from Pernambuco and Bahia. For some added flavour Urucum Comidas will be fulfilling your Salgadinho cravings with coxinha that rivals the famous Bar Veloso ;)… shake a leg in the direction of Casablanca’s next Friday night peeps.

Until then a mix by Dj Paprika and myself ; Que-saudade-vol-2


19 Jan

Now here is a simple recipe for mandioca, Escondidinho(a little hidden) As the name suggests you can hide just about any ingredients under that heavenly cloud of starchy goodness, sealed in a blanket of heart stopping cheese much like a “Gratin” but tropical! Traditionally the Nordestino’s use Carne de sol (a cut of beef left to dry in the sun covered in salt, a similar technique to bacalhau) very popular in the North East regions of Brazil and in Bahia they use seafood. You can use just about any ingredients you desire here, it’s not limited to this recipe, all you need is the base ingredients, then the rest is up to your own imagination. Experiment with what you have around the kitchen or garden and serve with what ever you desire, here I have served with seared rump cap and a vinegarette. So on with the recipe……

ESCONDIDINHO(of Mushroom,leek, Zucchini and mozzarella)



-1kg of fresh or frozen mandioca(cassava)

-2 tblspns of butter(unsalted)

-1/4 cup of milk

– 200g of grated haloumi(quiejo coalho equivalent)

-salt to taste


-2 Zucchini’s sliced

-1/2 a leek sliced

-300g of button mushrooms sliced

-250g of fresh buffalo mozzarella

-2 tblspns of a good white wine

-1 tblspns of olive oil

-1/2 tblspn of butter(unsalted)

-2 cloves of garlic crushed

– 3 to 4 sprigs of your favourite fresh herbs(i used thyme in this case)

-salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200 degrees, you want a hot oven solely to melt the cheese and brown the top , all elements to the dish are pre-cooked.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil for your mandioca. Peel your mandioca (if fresh) if frozen defrost and remove the hard string like core(very important to remove this core from mandioca as it is like eating wood) cut into large even pieces not to small or the mandioca will become water logged. Boil till soft, remove and drain.

Now the purê, you can do this 2 ways depending on the result you want. For a smooth purê use a food processor or if you prefer your purê coarse use the hand method in a large bowl.  To the mandioca add your butter, and the milk gradually just to loosen up the purê, keep in mind that mandioca has the highest starch content of any vegetable so it will be quite sticky to work with. Once you have your desired texture add salt and nutmeg to taste.

Next your filling, in a medium sized heavy skillet on a medium heat, add your butter, olive oil, leek, garlic and thyme. Once lightly browned add your zucchini and mushroom, up the heat and then add the wine, once you’ve cooked off the wine reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes add salt and pepper to taste.

In individual ramekins or a large rounded baking dish, your choice, make your layers. First layer a generous amount of your filling topped with some torn mozzarella cover with the purê then haloumi or quiejo coalho.

Add to your preheated oven, brown the cheese until it is golden and bubbles, remove and serve.

Bom Apetite!!

Here is a little something to listen to while you prepare your Escondidinho.

“Kilariô”  from the rare 1975 self titled lp by Di Melo , originating from Pernambuco(North East Brazil)

%d bloggers like this: