Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week One of Brazil

This is the first of two weeks with Brasil...
We made hearts of palm soup, feijoada, couve a mineira, yucca frita, platano frito (fried plantains), farofa, shrimp with catupiri cheese sauce...for dessert; coconut pastry and honey bread.

Maria made a very good hearts of palm soup...which consisted of a base chicken stock. The base of the soup other than the chicken stock are hearts of palm and leeks. Cream is then added after straining and brought to a boil/simmer. The soup is then seasoned and garnished with a dash of paprika...I fried some julienned leeks and placed them on top as well. The julienned leeks added another dimension to the finished soup and it was great.

The national food of Brazil; Feijoada was made by Mike and it is a bean concoction of different types of meat. The black beans are cooked with Brazilian dried beef, beef sirloin roast, smoked pork loin, lean bacon, pork ribs, smoked sausage and fresh sausage. It was very good, thick and MEATY!

I made the Brazilian greens (collard greens); the color was great and my chiffonade cut was perfect. The only problem which is rare for me is over salting the food. I over salted the greens today...oh well it happens. I tried using a boiled potato to extract the salt and even rinsed the greens, but it was still to salty.
I helped to plate the awesome Shrimp with Catupiri Cheese Sauce...we didn't have catupiri cheese so we used a blend of provolone and marscapone cheese. After you sauteeing the onion, you add the shrimp and saute them; then add the flour, hearts of plam and cream. Stir all of the ingredients and add the cheese; adjust the seasoning, garnish and tada!

Out Yucca Frita was made perfectly and crispy. I wasn't a fan of the Brazilian fried bananas/plantains. I thought they were too dry the way you are suppose to make them. The Farofa was good but I thought kind of pointless...almost forgot an orange is sliced and placed to the side to clean your pallet after eating all the meat in the feijoada and the farofa.

The hit of the night was our display of the Honey Bread...Henry spelled out Brasil over the top of the cake pieces. We should've however covered the cake pieces completely in chocolate, but chef loved the presentation on the green plate. I thought the coconut pastry was a little too sweet but overall very tasty...that's the pic that looks like an egg yolk; because there are eggs in the dish along with coconut.

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