Sunday, June 26, 2011

Corrine's Cream of Pumpkin Soup

Corrine submitted this recipe for cream of pumpkin soup. Looks delicious!! Here's what she has to say: 

With all the cold weather, I wanted to make some soup.  I sort of winged a pumpkin soup recipe and it turned out so well and was so easy I thought I would share.

The recipe makes a lot of soup (at least 6 servings).  Plenty to eat and freeze.  Not bad considering the total cost of ingredients is about R$7!

Cream of Pumpkin Soup

1/2 pumpkin or other winter squash (I used a moranga japonesa)
2 Knorr chicken or vegetable boullion cubes
1 liter water
1 box creme de leite
1/2 onion, minced
1 tsp ground ginger

1. Cut the pumpkin in 4 pieces. Sprinkle it with salt, pepper and olive oil, and place in a baking dish.  
2. Add enough water to reach about 1/4 of an inch in the dish. 
3. Cover with foil and bake in a 210-degree C oven for about 30 to 40 minutes until soft.  
4. Let it cool enough to handle, and then remove the pumpkin from the skin.  
5. In a large pot, saute the minced onion in a small amount of oil until soft.  
6. Add the water and 2 boullion cubes and the pumpkin and let it come to a boil.  7. Reduce the heat and cook until the pumpkin and boullion cubes have mixed into the water.  
8. Take the soup off the heat and puree the soup in a blender or food processor (or use an imersion blender).  
9. Put the puréed soup back on the heat and add one box of creme de leite and the ground ginger and bring to a boil to thicken slightly.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baked Vegetable (and Chicken?) Dish

So I've been promising this recipe to a few people for a while now. Here it is, finally!

Back story: Alexandre and I discovered Knorr's Meu Frango Assado packets, which are essentially Shake N' Bake packets: spices and a plastic bag to cook chicken in. We started to get creative with them, adding vegetables to the chicken, adding more spices, adding sauces, etc. But then the bags started ripping with all of our enthusiasm!

So we stopped buying the Knorr packets and now we just bake the chicken and vegetables on our own. Sometimes we just bake vegetables, and we fry up some beef or chicken on the side:

But the recipe is super simple. Essentially, you just chop up some vegetables, whip up a sauce with things you like, and throw it all in the oven.

This recipe explains it with the chicken, but the pictures are without. The choice is yours!

Baked Vegetable (and Chicken?) Dish


*Chicken in any form (I really like to use legs; Alexandre prefers boneless skinless)
*Any vegetables on hand (good things are carrots, onions, squash, tomatoes, green onion, and potatoes)
*Spices of your choice (good options are oregano, instant soup mixes, or any green herbs)
*A bit of tomato sauce or paste
*A bit of soy sauce (later mixed with water)
*Potato flakes to thicken your sauce (optional)
*Margarine to line the pan


(1) Chop up vegetables that you want into slightly-larger-than-bite-size pieces.

(2) If you're using chicken, chop it up into smaller pieces and roll it in some spices that you like (the way you would if you were using the Shake N' Bake packet).

(3) Rub margarine around in your baking dish (glass is best, though you can even throw it all in a wok and throw that in your oven).

(4) Throw the veggies and chicken in the baking dish.
as you can see, this particular version has different squashes, eggplant, onion, snow peas, and green beans.

(5) Put the tomato sauce, soy sauce, and a splash of water in a pot with any other spices you want. Boil it up really fast.

If you want thicker sauce, put some potato flakes in it.

When the sauce is ready, pour it over the chicken and veggies.
I made a huge mess while trying to pour the sauce and take the pic at the same time.

(If you're in a hurry, you can skip this part and just slather everything directly on the chicken and vegetables.)

(6) If you're using any instant soup powder, top the food with it last (it'll make the top a bit crunchier).

(7) If you want things to be a bit moister, cover the baking dish in foil. Take it off for the last 10 minutes or so of your cooking.

(8)Put the baking dish in the oven at about 400F/200C until the chicken is cooked (about 30-40 mins)

You can make a lot of this, and it keeps really well, especially if it's only vegetables. It's also easily modifiable. Today, for example, I made this again (we have it about once a week!), but I was sick of soy sauce, so I made a sort of chicken broth with buillion cubes, potato flakes, and instant soup powder, and used that as the sauce. So today's lesson: Bake veggies with yummy sauces (and with chicken if you want) for a quick and easy meal!

How would you modify it?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cauliflower Leek & Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

While helping Luiz haul his flower arrangements to the weekend craft fair in the park I walked past a vegetable stand that had INCREDIBLE cauliflower and leeks piled high. Inspiration followed.

When I sat down to write up this recipe I realized that I made this tart/quiche without using a recipe. So forgive me for the lack of exact measures. But quiches are pretty simple. They follow a formula. You can follow your inspiration, as I did with these fresh vegetables.

Preheat your oven to 375 F

Basic 9" or 10" Crust:
4 oz. cold butter (one stick), cut into small pieces
1 cup flour, can be part whole wheat
Dash salt
3 tbsp. ice water
you can add some dried spice, like tarragon or something, if you like

Make the pie crust and line a pie plate or glass baking dish. I used one a little deeper than a fruit pie dish. Put the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Quiche Filling:
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated cheese, I used parmesan
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cup milk
1 small cauliflower
3 leeks
some sun-dried tomatoes (maybe 8 or 10 pieces)

If you are not familiar with leeks, the most important thing to know is that they grow in sandy, muddy soil and this grit finds its way into the leek, between the layers. Cleaning out the grit is a must. Slice up the white portion of the leeks and place in a bowl filled with cool water. Swish the bits around to clean out the grit. Drain.

Wash and pull apart the cauliflower, cutting larger pieces up a bit. Some folks would steam the flourettes just enough to take the crunch out, but I prefer them firm in the quiche, so I did not steam them.

Slice the sun-dried tomatoes.

Sauté the vegetables in a tablespoon of oil. Spice it up with whatever fancies you.

Beat up the eggs and add the milk. For that secret touch, add a pinch or two of nutmeg (trust me).

To assemble the quiche begin by placing a thin layer of cheese across the bottom of the crust (this creates a moisture barrier and will help keep you bottom of the crust from getting soggy). Then spread your vegetable sauté evenly.

Pour your custard over everything and place it in the oven for about 40 minutes.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Beautiful Beet Cake recipe/video

It's not my creation, but it is too good to not share.  All of the ingredients are easily found in Brazil.

beet cake from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gallo Pinto

Awesome reader Margaret submitted a Costa Rican recipe. The name is hilarious overkill in Portuguese, but it's apparently delicious in any language!  ::snicker snicker snicker::. 

Here's Margaret's story:
Last year, I was an exchange student in Costa Rica. I lived with a family that didn't speak any English in the rural mountainous region of CR for a whole year.  Every morning, my host mom would make us "gallo pinto," the Costa Rican national dish.  Basically, it is just beans and rice.  But ohhh so good. They cooked it a little differently in CR, but I've had to make do with the ingredients available here in Canada.  

And here's her super easy and doable recipe:

Gallo Pinto Recipe:
Yield: 4 servings

*1 can of black beans (if you're in Brazil, you might have them made from scratch already)
*1 cup rice (preferably white, however I have used basmati and brown and it turns out the same)
*1/2 an onion, finely chopped
*1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
*1 tbsp. of finely chopped cilantro
*Salt and Pepper to taste
*1 cup chicken stock 
*1 tbsp Salsa Lizano - this is apparently a famous Costa Rican sauce that you'll be able to get in the US and some other Latin American countries, but I (Danielle) have never seen it in Brazil. If you can't find it. it's essentially just black pepper, cumin, and ground up vegetables. So you can add those things to the recipe.


1. Cook the rice. 

2. In a frying pan, fry onion, red pepper and cilantro until soft.  

3. Add in the beans, chicken stock, and Salsa Lizano (or spice-vegetable medley).  Let it simmer for approximately 5 minutes.  

4. Add in the cooked rice, stir it all together.  Viola!  An extremely flavourful and easy dish!