Want to put a little sunshine into your home cooking, Brazilian native turned Connecticut resident Leticia Moreinos Schwartz lifts the curtain on 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook in The Brazilian Kitchen (Kyle Books, March 2010).
Brazilian food has not benefited of as much attention as Spanish cuisine.
Leticia wants to remedy to that and describes her effort as a Mission of Love.
Food is roots, and Brazilian food brings together 3 cultures, Portuguese, African and Native Indian as Chef Leticia reminds us.
Born and raised in Ipanema, Leticia was given her first recipe notebook when she turned 8.
She came to New York in 1997 and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute, then worked in a number of NY eateries before marrying and moving to Connecticut where she combines catering work and cooking classes.
Let's go over a few recipes that caught my eye in this Brazilian Kitchen.
Petiscos (Bar Food, Starters) first:
The Pumpkin Flan with Jerk Meat (Carne Seca) Salad ( Page 26) makes ample use of garlic. Pumpkin seeds add a nice touch to the vinaigrette.
In her side notes on that dish, she shares that Brazilian like to use a pressure cooker for everything including to make Carne Seca soft and tender.
For parties, having something to munch on is a must. Her Yucca Sticks 'Biscoito Palito de Povilho' (page 34) will be a crowd pleaser.
The Stuffed Crab Shells 'Casquinha de Siri' (page 36) look like a Coquilles St Jacques twin, same look except for crabmeat instead of scallops.
Let's move on to Pratos Principais (Main Dishes):
The Baked Shellfish Frittata 'Torta Capixaba' (Page 82) has comfort food all over it. In Brazil Capixaba we learn means that 'whatever is being served originates from the state of Espirito Santo.
It is baked and served in a clay dish.
I would definitely like to try her Slow-roasted duck breast with Cupuaçu sauce 'Peito de Pata Assado com Molho de Cupuacu'. She chose Cupuaçu (a pre-Columbian fruit specie) for the sauce because she loves' its banana-like constitency'.
To conclude with the Sobremesas (Desserts), Leticia shows more adventurous spirit than many in the flavor department with her Avocado Creme Brulee 'Creme Brulee de Abacate'.
Want to know more about this Girl from Ipanema visit Chef Letitia where those traveling to Brazil will be happy to find restaurant recommendations.
HOW CAN YOU WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK?
Give us the names of 2 Brazilian musicians who were part of the Tropicalismo movement in the 60's.
Send your answer to info [at] njconcierges [dot] com by April 4th, 2010 (Midnight, US Eastern Time).
Since there is only one copy to win, this contest is on a first come, first served basis.