Tag Archives: Cheese

This is why you’re fat

24 Mar

Have you visited the website “This is why you’re fat“?  Well, they sure do have some wonderful ideas on how to turn dreams into heart attacks.

Although my heart has already shown some signs of complaint, after seeing some of the wonderful pictures they have on the site I’ve decided to take my shot on the subject.

To tell you the whole story I have to confess that the final inspiration came from a show by Bobby Flay I happen to have watched on the net a few weeks ago, as he is not presenting his skills on Brazilian television.  That was the first, as well as the one and only show by Bobby Flay I have ever watched (please, don’t ask me for the season and episode number, as I don’t have the slightest idea).  On that show, Mr. Flay and a female guest (famous???????, not on this side of the world) each prepared his/her own version of an American classic:  hamburgers.  Here is my version (clearly inspired on theirs):

1.  A homemade bun. I used a classical and rustic bread recipe – take a look at “Our Daily Bread“. They didn’t mention, but I bet the production bought theirs on a supermarket just around the corner – not as good though;

2.  Butter fried onions to which I added my secret BBQ sauce recipe.  I say “secret” because it seems every American man (and I bet quite a few women too) seems to have his own secret recipe.  Mine is simple: catchup, some water, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, chilli sauce and some Kentucky Bourbon (after all it’s an American sauce);

3.  Pork and beef hamburgers (1:1) seasoned with some salt and chopped spring onions;

4. Slices of cheddar cheese;

5.  Fried slices of bacon;

6. Lettuce;

7. Tomatoes;

8. Homemade onion rings (flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, 1 well beaten egg with some milk)

8. Freshly prepared mayonese (2 egg yolks – one raw and one boiled – Dijon mustard to taste, few drops of lemon, pinch of salt, whisk oil into the mixture a few drops at a time – keep it smooth).

This is why you're fat - My version of an American classic

Man, let me tell you…that was good, specially considering it was eaten with some cold Mexican beer with a slice of lime.

Hamburgers on FoodistaHamburgers

Fresh oysters

10 Sep

I’ve already said (see A paradise in Southern Brazil) that Florianópolis is one of my favorite places in the world, not only because I was born there, but simply because this island is, in fact, a place not to be missed.  If you happen to come to Brazil follow my advice and spend a couple of days visiting Santa Catarina Island (where the city of Florianópolis is located).  I’m quite sure you won’t regret it.

Once in Florianópolis go to the “Mercado”, the city market, situated in the heart of the city.  Take a seat in one of the existing bars, grab a beer and try some of the local specialities.  I personally recommend Box 32, owned by chef Beto Barreiros (we went to highschool together), a place also recommended by internationally recognized French chefs like Claude Troigros and Laurent Suadeau.

External view of the "mercado" (city market) in downtown Florianópolis/Southern Brazil

External view of the "mercado" (city market) in downtown Florianópolis/Southern Brazil

Inside the city market in Florianópolis/Southern Brazil

Inside the city market in Florianópolis/Southern Brazil

The market is rich in seafood, offering a variety of crustaceans, molluscs and fish.

Blue crabs, prawns, fish, mussels....The price? R$ 11.00 = US$ 6.00 (price per 1.0 kg = 2.2 pounds)

Blue crabs, prawns, fish, mussels....The price? R$ 11.00 = US$ 6.00 (price per 1.0 kg = 2.2 pounds)

This time my eyes were caught by the fresh live oysters, which were costing only R$ 4.00 a dozen (around US$ 2.2).

Live oysters at the city market in Florianópolis/Southern Brazil

Live oysters at the city market in Florianópolis/Southern Brazil

For dinner?  Oysters, of course.  Although I also like them raw, as it’s when you can really evaluate the freshness and have a taste of the sea filling your mouth,  my sister-in-law (Manuela) prepared them gratiné with some very mild cream cheese sprinkled with a generous amount of parmesan. Each oyster was followed by a drink of a cold sparkling wine (we had the Spanish cava Freixenet).  The perfect end for a perfect day in my hometown (or a perfect beginning, for this was only the first dinner of a long weekend).

Ready for the oven, with some cream chesse and parmesan

Ready for the oven, with some cream cheese and parmesan

Oysters on Foodista

Pesto alla Genovese

29 Jul

Ocimum basilicum, or basil, is a member of the mint family, or Family Lamiaceae, originated in northern Africa, but playing a major role in Italian cuisine.  It’s the central ingredient of “Pesto alla Genovese”, a mixture of first quality ingredients (basil, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts, garlic and cheese – Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino) made to a paste and typical of Liguria/Italy.

Ocimum basilicum (basil)

Ocimum basilicum (basil)

Although you can probably find industrial pesto in your neighbourhood supermarket, nothing really compares to the one you can prepare at home with fresh ingredients.  Even if you don’t have any culinary experience I believe you should try it, as I am 100 % sure you will end up with a much better final result.  If you want to know the secrets, history, recipes, etc, take a look at “Pesto Perfect“.

The best pesto I’ve tried was at “Trattoria da Maria” (Vico Testadoro 14 r), a small restaurant hidden in the dark streets of Genoa/Italy.

Trattoria da Maria - Genoa/Italy

Trattoria da Maria - Genoa/Italy

The pesto was served over a fresh, long, flat, narrow ribbon pasta, similar to tagliatelle, but typical of Genoa, the “bavette”.

Bavette con pesto alla Genovese from Trattoria da Maria (Genoa/Italy)

Bavette con pesto alla Genovese from Trattoria da Maria (Genoa/Italy)

For dessert Maria served some almond cookies dipped in Marsala wine topped with a mascarpone cheese cream.

Almond cookies dipped in Marsala wine covered with a mascarpone cheese cream

Almond cookies dipped in Marsala wine covered with a mascarpone cheese cream

The price was quite fair, around US$ 13,00.

Pesto on Foodista

Just a snack – Away for a couple of weeks

17 Jul

Next week I’m leaving on vacation, finaly.  From the “little snack” below try to guess in which two countries I’m planning to spend most of the time .

Black pudding (blood sausage) and Gorgozola cheese

Black pudding (blutwurst, blood sausage) and Gorgozola cheese

We had that on a cold night, a few days ago, with a bottle of red wine and some fresh bread, and although it was really nice we decided to run towards summer with a couple of friends (Renan and Leila).

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