Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Brazilian Feast!

Several weeks ago I decided to host a Brazilian send-off for two new friends that were going to Sao Paolo. On the menu was bolinhos de bacalhau, marinated pork loin, sautéed collard greens, rice, beans, and of course caipirinhas. When I first was introduced to Brazilian food the first dish that I first fell in love with was the bolinhos de bacalhau, or codfish fritters. Over the years I have developed my own little ritual for eating them, which includes a squeeze of lime, a dash of Tabasco and a spoonful of Brazilian vinaigrette (recipe below). This is not the traditional way to eat them, but like many of my food compulsions, once I find a flavor combination that I like, long standing tradition goes out the window.

These still are quite possibly one of my favorite things to eat and at dinner parties they fly off the table. The ingredients are cheap, the flavor wonderful and they can either be served as an appetizer or as part of the main meal. Malaguetta pepper hot sauce is always present and capirinhas are consumed faster than my husband can make them. The recipes for the foregoing are all below and I hope you will try one, if not all, of the dishes featured. Although I am not Brazilian, my husband is, so with his nod of approval I can guarantee that this food is authentic and delicious!

Bolinhos de Bacalhau:

1 lb of salt cod soaked for 2 days. Change the water several times. (Some recipes call for a longer period of time but I feel that this removes too much salt.)

2 large potatoes (you will need two cups)(white, Yukon or any type that mash well)

2 Tbs finely chopped parsley

1 cup of bread crumbs

several dashes of garlic powder

2 eggs separated with the yolks lightly beaten

¼ cup milk (optional)

1 bay leaf

1 Tbs of peppercorns

½ yellow onion sliced

salt to taste

1 quart of vegetable oil for frying

Newspaper and/pr paper towel for draining

Hot sauce

4 limes quartered

(Note: You can find salt codfish at Whole Foods, but it is a lot cheaper if you go to a store in Chinatown or in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish or South American neighborhoods.)

Add the codfish, bay leaf, peppercorns and the onion with enough water to cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. (I have read that if you overcook the fish will toughen but I never saw a difference when I forgot the codfish too long)(You can also store the fish in the mixture for more flavor).

Peel and cube the potatoes and boil in salted water until they are soft enough to mash.

Drain the codfish and place in a food processor. As I add the codfish I go through it and remove any bones or pieces of skin. Pulse the fish until it is in tiny bits. (You can also shred by hand if you do not have a food processor.) Add the parsley and garlic powder and continue to pulse until everything is incorporated. Place the mixture into a large bowl and using a potato ricer add the potato. If you do not have a ricer, mash finely using a fork. I add a little potato at a time checking for flavor as I go. Add salt, mix thoroughly and taste for seasoning.

Add the egg yolks and incorporate. If the mixture is too dry add some milk to moisten, if too wet, bread crumbs to absorb the moisture. Take the remaining egg whites and beat until soft peaks form and then fold into the mixture. This extra step is not necessary, but I feel that it creates a fluffier bolinho. Chill for several hours until the mixture firms up.

When ready to cook take an ice cream scoop or two spoons and create evenly portioned little croquettes. You can make then round, oblong, or quenelles. Gently coat in bread crumbs and set aside until ready to fry. You can even do this the morning of, but remember to refrigerate!

In a heavy bottomed deep pan, preferably cast iron, fry at 375 degrees until golden brown. (If you do not have a thermometer, you can use my grandmother's technique, which is adding a little piece of bread to the oil to see if its hot enough. If it is ready, the bread will rise and start to have little bubbles around it.

Remember not to overcrowd the pan or they will not cook properly. The temperature will also drop when you add the food so you need to regulate accordingly. Turn the fritters while cooking to ensure even color. Drain on paper towels and salt while hot. Serve with limes, hot sauce and vinegraitte.


1 small tomato cored, seeded and finely chopped

1 small yellow onion finely chopped

½ green pepper finely chopped

3 Tbs olive oil

Enough red wine vinegar to cover the mixture by ½ inch. About 1 cup.

Salt to taste

(Note: This is great over rice and beans or steak!)

Sauteed Collar Greens:

1 bunch of collar greens washed and cored. I take the tough vein out with a knife but you can also fold the leaf in half and rip it out.

4-6 cloves finely minced garlic

Olive Oil


Layer the greens so the largest one is on the outside and roll tightly. Fasten with rubber bands or hold firmly with your hand. Finely slice as in the picture below. Many Brazilians pride themselves on how thin they can slice them. My husband’s father is particularly good at this.

Add the garlic to the oil and start to heat. Cook garlic for a minute or two, making sure not to burn it. Add the greens, tossing while cooking, so the garlic is incorporated. Cook until tender. They should still be bright green (see below). Salt to taste.

(Note: These are a nutritious and delicious side that go well with everything from fish, meat or just rice and beans. Make sure your pan is large enough. The greens will reduce quickly, but they will take a lot of room in the beginning.)

The pork loin was delicious! The recipe was created by Devaki at Weave a Thousand Flavors and you can find her recipe at:

I only had time to marinate the pork for two days, but it was still great and the glaze was amazing. I like my pork medium, so I cooked it at 425 – until it reached 138 on an internal thermometer and then let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Around 45-50 minutes. I served it on a platter surrounded by the collard greens and sliced oranges.


4 ounces cachaca (I like them strong)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 lime quartered and sliced

Muddle the lime and sugar very well. The longer you take doing this, the better it will taste. (The best caipirnha I ever had even removed the skin of the lime but this takes a bit longer. Try it if you have time). Add the cachaca, ice and shake.

You can also add strawberries, mango or passionfruit! Strawberry is my favorite!

Passion Fruit Caipirinha

Bom Apetite!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The New Amsterdam Market/City of Merchants

So my post on profiteroles has gotten significant airtime and now it is time to upload another review. This post was originally supposed to go up last week, but unfortunately life and reality television got in the way. I hope you will still continue to follow my blog after I admit that I am a die hard follower of the NY and NJ Housewives sagas.

Despite my weakness for trashy television, I always demand quality food and it was at the City of Merchants, which I attend on Sunday, May 18, 2010, that I was able to get a tummy's worth of delectable treats. The City of Merchants was a fundraiser for the New Amsterdam Market and despite my recent tight budget, this was one dining experience I was not going to miss! Particularly since the ticket paid for itself in food, beer, wine and dessert!

Last year I discovered the New Amsterdam Market and immediately fell in love. Ironically the Market was only several blocks from my apartment and I never knew about it until I read a post on Grub Street (another new favorite of mine). Ever since the Fish Market left Fulton Street, the area has been left unused and the founders of the New Amsterdam Market are now attempting to bring back a year long market of local purveyors and food artisans. In their own words, the New Amsterdam Market is,

"To be comprised of retail and wholesale vendors including butchers, grocers, mongers, farmers and provisioners, bakers and distributors, brokers, importers, and sellers of cooked foods, New Amsterdam Market will follow a local tradition, set by the market halls of old New York."

For those local to New York, this post may be the first notification you receive about the New Amsterdam Market and I hope you will attend. For those who do not live regionally, I hope this post will inspire you to source locally and perhaps get creative with some of the ingredients featured below.


Refreshing iced chamomile and mint Tisanes by McEnroe Farm of Duchess County, New York.


House-cured ham and cheese sandwiches with, what I am guessing to be, an amazing butter/tarragon spread, by Brooklyn's Marlow and Daughters. These mini sandwiches were so good I had three and even used my last ticket to get one, thereby forfeiting ice my right to cream. Fortunately my friend Lineka gave me a spoonful of her's!


Above are kimchi grilled cheese sandwiches by Mother-In-Law's Kimchi and Saxelby Cheesemongers. Although I did not get the recipe, I would imagine the kimchi would be good with a mild cheddar or any other mild cheese. Delicious and perfect with beer!!


When I was a little girl I refused to eat fish. My Greek Grandfather, Efstratios, would insist that I eat all sorts of fish, head to tail, explaining that it would make my brain grown. Not sure how large my brain is, but my stomach has grown plenty and now one of my favorite foods is baby fried fish. (If you ever having a craving like I do for baby fried fish, the ones at Uncle Nick's on 9th Avenue and 51st are really good.)


This ice cream came all the way from Vermont (I think) and it was great! I had a craving for strawberry ice cream and this definitely hit the spot. As you already read, I ran out of tickets and could not get my own, but fortunately Lineka was gracious enough to give me a spoonful of her's. I am a salt freak and she has a sweet tooth, so the friendship works well.


Earlier in the morning on the day of the event there was to be a sale of wild, edible botanicals. Unfortunately they were unable to forage enough to sell, but we were allowed to sample. Who knew you could eat cattails! (Cattails shown on the left.) After sampling some amaranth and water mint, which really cleared by sinuses, I did a bit of foraging of my own and was able to find wild strawberries, dandelion greens, a mulberry bush and an apricot tree! The funny thing about New York City is that you never know what you may find, from strawberries to crack dens, we have it all!

As the date approaches I will do another post/reminder on the New Amsterdam Market with photos from last year. The first one this year is on June 27, 2010 and it will be located at 100 Peck Slip, in lower Manhattan. They are usually on Sunday and are monthly. For more information and the schedule go to

Happy Eating!