Tag Archives: beans

The new superfood

18 Sep

Pristine my kitchen dare a dirty foot descend on freshly washed floor

pre-occupied by washing I noticed not when feet …

flew from the ground and stomped right into my sink.

Although I just added an extra line to the “Kitchen Feet” poem by Frances Martin, that’s about what happened, i.e., my wife came from the market with a salted pig’s feet and left it in the sink.  It may seem strange to some of you, but pig’s feet is a common dish in several parts of the world, including Brazil.  Around here it’s a typical component of the “feijoada”, a dish believed to have been created by the slaves in colonial times using pork meats which had been discarded by farmland owners (such as ears, tails and feet) in a big pot with black beans.  Recipes for such dish present significant regional variations in a huge country like Brazil, each one of them believed to represent “the real and original one”.  Probably none of them is (or all of them are). You can find a very simple and basic one at the “Cook Brazil” site (if you are willing to try it I’d recommend you to decrease the number of bay leaves – use 1 or 2, rather than 6 – and please, no canned beans).

These feet are usually preserved in salt, thus the first step in the preparation is to leave them for 12-24 h soaked in water, which must be changed at least 3 to 4 times during this period.  After that it must be carefully examined, as some hairs may have been left on the feet, and I bet you won’t like to find them in your dish (even though I always find a couple of them in mine).

A pig's foot ready to be cooked with black beans

A pig's foot ready to be cooked with black beans

After this pedicure you can follow almost any “feijoada” recipe, adding the feet as an ingredient.

And this was the result I’ve accomplished, here served with white rice (always present in a “feijoada”, even in a simple one) and a kale and bacon recipe:

Pig's foot with black beans and kale

Pig's foot with black beans and kale

Pig’s feet have a very high protein content, specially collagen.  It’s nutritional components are so interesting that it has even been declared “The new superfood” by the British Telegraph.  Think… if the price for beauty and eternal youth is to find a couple of pig’s hairs in your dish, then… (and don’t forget, pig’s feet have a great taste!).

Pigs' Feet on Foodista
Feijoada on Foodista

More basic impossible

7 Jul

Nothing much to say about that.  Fried fish (mullet in this case), white rice (fry some diced onions before cooking the rice) and black beans is a basic meal for Brazilian fisherman, and that’s what I had for lunch a few days ago.  If you’re a farm person substitute the fish for a steak, if you are an urban fellow add some french fries and if you’re specially hungry lay a fried egg on it.  One thing can’t be changed:  you have to have white rice and black beans.  Salads?  Yes, usually tomatoes and lettuce with some oil, vinegar and salt (I was not in the mood for that, though).

tainhafrita

Fried mullet, white rice and black beans

Mocotó – Ready for the Brazilian hangover medicine?

25 Jun

Friday, Central Public Market in Porto Alegre (GPS 30.027512 Lat. S; 51.227875 Long. W), capital of our state (Rio Grande do Sul), 350 km north of where I live. This Market was opened to the public 140 years ago, and is one of the most traditional places in that city for buying regional products. It also has a couple of delicatessen, where you can find from dried Norwegian codfish to Arabian dates and French “fois gras”. For me, who live in a small town, such market is always a wonderful source of food and ingredients. I enjoy the vision, the atmosphere, the noise and the smell of such formidable place. My money is never enough to buy everything I want, but luckily always enough to fill the car trunk.

Central Public Market of Porto Alegre - Southern Brazil

Central Public Market of Porto Alegre - Southern Brazil

Inside the Central Public Market in Porto Alegre - Southern Brazil

Inside the Central Public Market in Porto Alegre - Southern Brazil

Since it’s winter on this side of the globe I went there to have “mocotó” with my wife and a couple of friends.

“Mocotó”, which literally means “cow’s feet”, is a traditional Brazilian white beans soup. The basic ingredients are cow’s feet, of course, cow’s stomach (tripe – “dobradinha”) and white beans. In southern Brazil we also add sausages and olives.

Mocotó - Cow's feet

Mocotó - Cow's feet

Folded cow's stomach

Dobradinha - Cow's stomach (tripe)

Sausages - with and without hot chili

Sausages - with and without hot chili

Preparation is rather time consuming, and involves a lot of washing and cleaning the feet and stomach with acidified water (using lime juice or vinager) and then cooking for about 1 hr in a preassure cooker. The feet are then refrigerated overnight and the protein (collagen) then carefully scraped out and used to prepare the soup. The stomach and sausage are sliced into bite sized pieces. Meats are then fried in olive oil with onions and garlic. Water and white beans are added and left to cook until beans are soft. When ready the soup is served very hot (after all it’s a winter’s dish) garnished with green olives and chopped parsley and boiled egg. A few drops of a very hot chili sauce are added just before eating to improve its power of heating the body during these cold winter days.

A "mocotó" dish - The best medicine for hangover

A "mocotó" dish - The best medicine for hangover

There are several small restaurants in the Market which serve this dish, but we chose “Naval”, a rather typical place, since they have been around for over 100 years.

The food was wonderful and at a very nice price, as we spent around US$ 12,00/person, including a couple of beers.

In Brazil it’s believed that mocotó is one of the best medicines for hangover, but I bet you won’t regret trying it even if you’re sober.

Tripe on Foodista

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