Thursday, January 22, 2009

Taste of Brasil

This dish is called Feijao, it was introduced to us by our foreign exchange student Denise. We actually think of her as our Brasilian daughter more than our exchange student. Any-whooo, Feijao is a black bean soup, served with rice and what Brasilians call vingrete. Denise told us that the way to eat it is to put a bit of each on your fork. It's a good combination of flavors and temperatures. Denise also taught me how to make rice -- the right way!! I miss that girl! We are expecting a visit, maybe in July from Denise, her mom, sister, and god parents. We are so excited to see her and meet her family. If you think I spelled Brasil wrong, I spelled it the way the people of Brasil spell it.
Grace eats hers in two piles. One with vinagrete on rice, the other feijao on rice.
Grace in keeping with the spirit of the meal eats hers like Denise did, with a fork and knife. The rest of us use a fork, but that knife thing is a little tricky. The rice helps absorb the juice from the bean soup.
This recipe for Feijoada-here is from cookbrazil.com. It is a little different than the recipe we use and also a different spelling. We tweaked our recipe according to what Denise explained as far as taste and meat cuts.

Feijao -- The Denise way
10-12 cups water
2 bags black beans (need 2 to make it thick enough)
1 ham bone with a good amount of ham still on
1 lb beef tenderloin (I have used left over roast beef)
2 lg onions cut up
salt
pepper
bay leaf
Beef bullion (optional - if ham bone isn't flavorful enough, it bugs me when that happens!)
Wash beans and soak overnight. Rinse beans. Put water, beans, bay leaf, and ham bone in large kettle, bring to boil, reduce to simmer until beans are tender. Here I take out the ham bone and pull off any ham still attatched (I also remove anything that will yuck me out). Add beef, onions, salt, pepper, and here I go with the Lawry's again! Simmer until onions are soft and flavors all incorporated. If you have a small ham bone just half everything.
Vinagrete
1 lg green pepper diced (seeds removed)
3-4 med. tomatoes diced
1 bunch spring onions sliced thin
3/4 cup olive oil
Cilantro - is optional, we don't use it
3/4 cup vinegar (can use less if not a fan of vinegar)
salt
pepper
-we also use Lawry's
The dicing needs to be done pretty small.
Mix all ingredients together.
Rice
4 cups water
2 cups rice
2 tbs butter
1 rounded tbs salt
1 small onion diced (I prefer) or 1 clove minced garlic
Heat water until boiling. Add rice, butter, salt, & onion. Stir.
Cover and reduced to simmer. Let simmer without lifting lid.
Check after 20 or so minuets. Rice is done when tender.

3 comments:

That Girl in Brazil said...

Wow! I'm glad you found my blog! We've been down in Brazil (Brazil, Brasil, whatever) for over four years now. To tell the truth, I'm not a huge fan of feijoada - although I LOVE beans, rice and vinegrette! These recipes are spot on - they make my mouth water just looking at them.

abroadermark said...

There's a little something for you at my place, Jody, so stop by soon! :D

Tessa Nelson said...

I remember the food! it's like a flash back! I remember we went to a wedding when we were there and there were two, huge, beautiful wedding cakes. We were so excited to try them because they were so pretty.... they tasted SOOO nasty. It wasn't sweet at all, it was more like a sandwitch w/ mayo... it was so, so strange!