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Marian Blazes

South American Food


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Falso Conejo

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Falso Conejo - Bolivian Steak and Onions

Anyone happen to know why this traditional Bolivian dish of breaded steak, sautéed onions, and vegetables is called falso conejo ("faux rabbit")?

It's a mystery.

But it is a delicious, satisfying meal, and rabbits need not worry. I made a version of this dish with breaded sliced tofu in place of the beef for the vegetarians in the family, and it was also quite tasty.

Sweet Cream Empanadas

Saturday April 12, 2014

Sweet Cream Empanadas - Guatamalan Empanadas de Leche
These empanadas have a crisp, sweet cornmeal crust, and are filled with manjar de leche, a vanilla and cinnamon flavored pastry cream. They are a popular treat during the week leading up to Easter (Semana Santa) in Guatamala.

Recipe for Sweet Cream Empanadas - Guatamalan Empanadas de Leche

Fanesca - Ecuadorian Easter Soup

Wednesday April 9, 2014

Fanesca - Ecuadorian Easter Soup
Fanesca is special Ecuadorian dish served only during the week leading up to Easter. It's an elaborate, rich stew made with twelve different beans and grains (to represent the 12 disciples), salt cod (fish for Good Friday), squash, and other vegetables.
Fanesca - Ecuadorian Easter Soup
More Recipes for Semana Santa

Guava Sandwich Cookies - Casadinho de Goiabada

Saturday April 5, 2014

Guava Sandwich Cookies

The Portuguse word casadinho means  somthing like "little married", and these little Brazilian alfajor-style cookies are married together with sweet guava paste (goiabada).  The delicate shortbread cookies are lightly flavored with lemon.

Recipe for Guava Sandwich Cookies - Casadinho de Goiabada

More Sandwich Cookies...
Bem Casados - Happily Married Cookies
Chocolate Caramel Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Alfajores)
Lemon Lime Alfajores - Alfajores de Limon
Anise Sandwich Cookies with Orange Sugar Syrup - Alfajores de Miel

Pesque de Quinua

Monday March 31, 2014

Pesque de Quinua - Savory Quinoa Porridge

This savory, creamy, vegetarian quinoa dish is a specialty of Bolivia.

Savory Quinoa Porridge - Pesque de Quinua

Quick Pão de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Rolls

Wednesday March 26, 2014

Quick Pao de Queijo

The batter for these cheesy rolls is quick to make in the blender or food processor. Bake them in a muffin tin to speed things up even more (instead of shaping them into balls, as per the more traditional recipe). These gluten free rolls are perfect for an afternoon snack with coffee or for the dinner time bread basket.

Recipe for Quick Pão de Queijo

What to do with Stale Bread?

Sunday March 23, 2014

Bread Pudding
Don't throw it out! As bread ages, the moisture in the starch molecules seeps out into the spaces in between, and the starches crystallize.  Warming the bread, especially in the presence of water, can soften the starch molecules.  If the bread is only slightly stale, toasting it will improve its texture and flavor. If the bread is very crusty and too hard to chew, spritz it well it with water, wrap it in foil, and heat it in the oven. The steam will soften it and the flavor will improve once it is hot. (Once it cools, though, it will be even more hard and stale than before).

Every cuisine has a recipe or two for dealing with stale bread. For example, around the holidays in Brazil you can buy specially prepared "stale" bread slices for making rabanadas (Portuguese-style French toast). Bread pudding is a classic - and can be sweet or savory. Or if you can't think of anything else, make some croutons, or process stale bread into crumbs and freeze them. Breadcrumbs are great for breading croquettes, or for topping casseroles.

Savory Sausage Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding with Guava and Dulce de Leche
Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms & Swiss Chard - Budin de Champiñones
Panettone Bread Pudding - Budin de Paneton
Rabanadas - Brazilian/Portuguese French Toast

Hearts of Palm Pastries - Pastel de Palmito

Tuesday March 18, 2014

Pastel de Palmito


These crispy pastries are filled with a delicious mixture of sauteed vegetables, hearts of palm, and creamy requeijão cheese
Recipe for Pastel de Palmito

More Recipes...
Pizza with Chicken and Hearts of Palm
Chicken and Hearts of Palm Pizza - Pizza de Frango com Palmito
Pastel Frito de Frango - Chicken Pastel

Homemade Requeijão Cheese

Sunday March 16, 2014

Homemade Brazilian Requijão Cheese
This creamy Brazilian cheese can be difficult to find in the US. But it's easy to make this homemade version, which is a very reasonable substitute for the authentic (commercially processed) version.

Homemade Requeijão - Brazilian Cream Cheese

More Recipes...
Pao de Queijo - Brazilian Cheese Bread
Risoles - Chicken and Cheese Croquettes
Pastel Frito de Frango
Coxinha - Brazilian Chicken Croquettes

Pi Day and Empanada Pie

Friday March 14, 2014

Empanada Gallega

March 14 is "Pi Day", a day to celebrate and learn about the mathematical constant pi. Apparently eating pie (as in the dessert) is a big part of pi day.   Is the connection between pi and pie just the fact that their names sound alike? Or could it because pies are usually round? I've never bothered to calculate the circumference of any of my pie pans,  but I would need pi in order to do so. That's a good enough excuse to enjoy some pie on pi day!

This large round empanada pie hails from Spain, but would be perfect for a celebratory "pi day" dinner. It's often enjoyed during Lent, as tuna is the most common filling for empanada gallega.

Recipe for Empanada de Gallega
More About Empanadas

More Pie Recipes...
Tamale Pie - Pastel de Tamal
Venezuelan Chicken Pot Pie - Polvorosa de Pollo
Dulce de Leche Mocha Ice Cream Pie
Key Lime Pie - Pie de Limon
More Pie Recipes

More About Spanish Food...
Empanada Gallega de Bonito
Spanish Regional Cuisine - Galicia

More About Pi Day

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