Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pumpkin Coconut Pecan Bread

Thanks to Jim for this recipe!! I think he puts more time into this cooking blog than I do! haha
Sorry I took so long to get this up. I know Thanksgiving has passed, but you can still enjoy it with your leftovers. (But besides, every day is Thanksgiving Day in Brazil, am I right?? :D)

Jim says....

This recipe rocks.  The bread is flavorful, super moist, rich in texture, and when served with butter you will involuntarily drift into a dreamy state and think of your sweet, loving  grandmother.  Be forewarned.

I wanted a taste of Thanksgiving to welcome Luiz home with (he has been out of town for nearly a week).  After some TasteSpotting [] I found this recipe [] which could stand up to my slight modifications.


12 Tbl. butter (about ¾ of the block of butter)
15 ounces of pumpkin purée (1 ¾ cups)
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ c. golden raisins
1/3 c.  flaked coconut
¼ c. chopped pecans (if not available, I think chopped Brazil nuts would work well)


Roast a nice chunk of seeded abóbora in a hot oven, enough to collect 1 ¾ cups of creamed pumpkin.  This might take 1 ½ hours.  Do not drain the liquid that will separate from the vegetable.  Let it reincorporate, then scrape the roasted vegetable from the rind and purée.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9” x 5 ½” loaf pan.

Place the butter in a small pan over medium heat and warm until all of the butter has melted and it begins to crackle and pop, turn brown and the milk solids separate and float to the bottom of the pan.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Using a mixer, beat together the abóbora, both sugars, the eggs and vanilla.  Mix well until the sugars are no longer grainy when the mixture is rubbed between your fingers.  Blend in the melted butter.

In a separate bowl wisk together the dry ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Fold in the raisins, coconut and pecans.

Pour the rather wet batter into your prepared pan and bake for an hour (likely longer) until a tooth pick comes out clean.  Don’t be afraid – it will take a while.  Keep baking until it is done.

 Let it cool a bit before trying to remove the loaf from the pan.  Then cool completely on a rack.

Slice, spread with butter, then go say hello to your sweet grandmother.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Faux Tex-Mex Stuffed Chicken

So I should really just call this "the week of the pepper." I wanted to use up the few I had half of a red bell pepper, half of a yellow bell pepper, and a couple of pimentas dedo-de-moça:


So to continue with almost all of the same ingredients from the last two recipes, I give you My Faux Tex Mex Stuffed Chicken recipe!

This recipe is for the chicken and the "sauce" on top of it. Click here for my recipe for beans.

You will need: 

* 2 chicken breasts of any kind
* some bell pepper(s) cut up in thin slices (to stuff inside the chicken)
*Some butter (to spread in your cooking dish)
*a handful of chopped green onion (cebolhina)
*Some Mexican taco meat seasoning, if you have it (if not, any spices of your liking will work, even just salt and pepper)
* olive oil
* a couple of pieces of fresh garlic (I guess you can substitute it for the purée de alho)
* some onion
* only 1 (more if you're brave or cooking for a group) pimenta dedo-de-moça (I can't figure out the name of this in English!)

Part 1: Prepare the Chicken

* Lightly cover your raw chicken with the taco meat seasoning or whatever spices you're using.

*Chop up bell peppers into thin slices and find a way to put the bell peppers inside of your chicken. This video is very helpful. I had thin chicken breasts that had been pre-cut by the butcher, so for each chicken breast, I put the bell pepper slices on one half, folded it over, and pinned the halves together with toothpicks.

*Use the butter to spread in your baking pan or casserole dish (mine was made of glass), or, if you don't want to use butter, put something on the pan to prevent the chicken from sticking and burning.

*Put the chicken inside the casserole dish and set it aside.

Part 2: Prepare your "Sauce" (I guess you can call it a sauce... a topping?)

*Chop up your onion, garlic, and pimenta dedo-de-moça into small pieces (I used my handy dandy food processor).

*Fry this mix in olive oil on low heat until the onions start to brown.

Part 3: Combine!

*Put this mix on top of the chicken in the casserole dish, like this:

*Sprinkle the chopped green onions on top of the chicken, and add in some more olive oil so the chicken isn't too dry.

Bake on a medium temperature (my oven is super old and the temperatures are worn off, so I just guess) for about 20 minutes-- until the chicken is cooked, obviously.

Take it out and enjoy! I only ate it with beans because I was too lazy to make rice, but if I had guests, I'd serve it with beans and rice.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta

So today I had to figure out something to do with the extra vegetables from last night's fantastic coconut chicken dinner. I found a recipe for ravioli with bell peppers on, and I modified it a bit. They tell you to use chicken broth, but I didn't have any, so I made my own (I guess you can call what I made "broth").

Here's a picture of my lunch. If it looks good to you, follow the instructions below!

Chicken and Bell Pepper Pasta (serves 2)

You will need:
* 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (bife de frango in Portuguese)

*Pasta of your choice (I used nhoque with requejão, because that's what I had. I don't recommend this. It was SUPER heavy. Anything a bit lighter, like maybe a ravioli stuffed with ricotta, would be good.)

*1 chicken bullion (caldo de frango) cube

*1 small onion

Leftovers from the coconut chicken recipe:
* A bit of each color bell pepper (pimentão)

*A clove of garlic (for the broth... optional, I guess, if you're not a fan of garlic)

*A few leaves of cilantro

*Olive oil

*Oregano (optional)

Part 1: Start the broth

*Chop up the garlic, some of the onion, and the cilantro, and fry them for a minute or two with a generous amount of olive oil, the oregano, and half of the chicken bullion cube in a pot.

please excuse the old pot and the dirty stove.... yours will probably be prettier

*Chop up the chicken into cube-like pieces (doesn't really matter) and add it to the broth.

*Then add in enough water just to cover the chicken. Cover and let that cook, stirring occasionally.

Part 2: The pasta

*Boil some water at this point-- you've got to cook your pasta! That's all of Part 2.

Part 3: The veggies

*Cut the bell peppers into big-ish pieces.
*Chop up the rest of the onion.
so pretty!

*Add these newly-chopped veggies to a deep pan on low heat with a bit of olive oil.

Part 4: Putting it all together 

*Once the chicken seems mostly cooked and the broth has thickened, dump it all into the deep pot with the bell peppers and onion, and let it cook on low heat until it thickens to your liking.

*If you haven't already, drain your pasta, and then dump your hot and fresh sauce on top! If you didn't use cheese-stuffed pasta, you may want to add some parmesan cheese on top, like in the version.

Yum yum! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thai (kind of) Coconut Chicken Deliciousness

So Fiona put up a delicious recipe for coconut chicken. I made it, successfully!

I went a little crazy with the small red peppers, so be careful with those if you don't like spicy food (I do, but it's a good thing I was only cooking for myself this time).

Fiona writes in her recipe that you can play around with the vegetables a bit, so I did. I added onion into the mix with the garlic and the small red peppers. I also used one of each color bell pepper, along with the other green pepper in Fiona's picture (apparently called pimenta americana in Portuguese). At the end, I also added in some chopped, shell-less peanuts.

DELICIOUS!! Thanks, Fiona!

Update: Click here for a recipe that has something to do with your leftovers from this dish!