Posts Tagged ‘Ilha Grande’

Brazil’s royal fruit – the pineapple

Posted by Patti

Friday, August 9th, 2013
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My trip to Brazil was great in so many ways – culture, cuisine & curiosities.  Traveling up Amazon Jungle, walking the streets of Rio de Janeiro with the infamous Cristo Redentor overlooking the city, seeing Iguazu Falls which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World…not to mention the Ilha Grande. I even got to see fresh pineapples growing in the Amazon! Try this recipe for grilled pineapple and you can almost hear the birds in the rainforest.

Sweet Grilled Pineapple with Rum Sauce 

Ingredients

1 Pineapple – see pineapple plants growing along Amazon River at left
vanilla ice cream
Rum Sauce (recipe below)
Coconut, fresh toasted & unsweetened

Method

Cut off the top and bottom of pineapple; cut off the skin and then slice pineapple into thick slices and remove cores.

Place on greased grill pan over medium high heat; grill turning once until grill marked and heated through. I prepared the pineapple early in the day and gently reheated in the oven.

Photo credit: Patricia Petty

 

 

Ingredients for Rum Sauce

¼ cup butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp rum (I used dark navy rum)

Method for Rum Sauce

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and cook, stirring until simmering, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cream.

Return to heat and bring to gentle boil and cook, stirring gently until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in rum.

For each serving cut pineapple ring in half, place 1 scoop of ice cream on top. Drizzle with warm rum sauce and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.

 

Bom apetite! as they say in Brazil and savour those fruitlets as each pineapple tree can only produce on pineapple every 3 years.

Patti

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Brazil’s Fish stew to die for

Posted by Patti

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
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Are you ready for a new name for fish stew? Moqueca do Ilha Grande.  This recipe was inspired by a great dinner venue…we sat at a tiny restaurant on the beach on the island of Ilha Grande, about 2 hours south of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It truly was a memorable meal that evening and recreating it brought back incredible memories of an amazing trip.

Harbor view on Ihla Grande off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

Moqueca do Ilha Grande aka Fish Stew Ilha Grande

Ingredients

60z. portions of firm, thick white fish (I used halibut)
Fresh shrimp (optional) are also typical for Brazil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion sliced into thin rounds
½ cup white wine (I had a bottle of Riesling open)
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut mild (premium brand tends to be very thick and creamy)
Fresh cilantro sprigs for cooking and extra, finely minced as a garnish
¼ cup chopped cashews
Shavings of fresh coconut (optional)

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 400. Season the fish and set aside

In a deep, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce down to about half. Add the tomato sauce and cook another minute or so. Add the fresh tomato and red pepper, cook another 8 – 10 minutes or until thickened. Then stir in the coconut milk.

Place the fish in a lightly oiled Dutch oven or casserole and pour the sauce over the fish. Cover and bake for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp if using and gently spoon sauce over it.

Add the cilantro sprigs (4 – 6), cover and bake until the fish is opaque, the shrimp is tender and the sauce is bubbling, approx. 5 – 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the cashews, cilantro and garnish with the fresh coconut shavings.

Serve with simple boiled rice and a hot sauce if desired. I took fresh broccoli and shaved the flower heads and then folded it in to the hot rice.

Bom apetite!
Patti 

 

Wine Pairing

 

2011 Fielding Viognier, VQA Ontario

$25.95 (LCBO Vintages 142323) 13.5% alcohol

 

 

 

 

2012 Morgadio da Torre Alvarinho Vinho Verde, Portugal

$17.95, (Vintages  960955) 12.5% alcohol

Both wines paired beautifully with the fish stew, in fact any Alvarinho would be a good match.

 

 

I hope you enjoy making – and eating – this traditional fish stew as much as I did.  The memory of that wonderful meal on the tiny island of Ihla Grande (there’s an oxymoron for you) will stay with me forever.

Patricia Petty
Accredited Sommelier with Savvy Company 

 

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My trip to ‘coffee country’ – Brazil

Posted by Patti

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
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Bem VindoWelcome.  On a recent trip to Brazil – the largest country in South America – I spent 5 days travelling up the Amazon, visited Iguazu (a world heritage site with 250 waterfalls), Rio de Janerio, and Ilha Grande. This trip inspired me to create a dinner menu based on the foods I tasted there, so different from our Canadian fare. The cuisine of Brazil is influenced by that of Portugal who settled the country and Africa, with the slaves who were brought over.

Wild Rice in the morning mist, Amazon River. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

My Brazilian Dinner began with appetizers.  First up was shrimp and mussels simply poached in a white wine ( I had a Reisling open) infused with fresh herbs (including cilantro), lemon peel, and garlic. Once the seafood was cooked I strained the liquid, reduced it down and added coconut milk before adding the seafood back in. Of course there were ham and cheese filled empadinhas, various olives and wine. We found wherever we went empadinhas (almost always filled with ham and cheese of some sort) were on the menu and olives were always brought to the table – what a nice touch.

With the appetizers, I served an Argentine Torrontes, an Ontario Rosé and of course beer, although not the Brazilian Brahmin that we drank everywhere. Next was a Portuguese inspired Caldo Verde. I used a recipe, which is somewhat untraditional from Martha Stewart’s web site and is one created by Emeril Lagasse. See here for full details of Emeril’s “new-style” Caldo Verde so-called because the kale is cut into thin strips and is cooked only until crisp-tender.

Our main course was inspired by an amazing fish stew I had at a small seaside restaurant on Ilha Grande, an island approximately 2 hours south of Rio de Janeiro and a short ferry ride away. I am not sure what the fish was although I know it came from the waters around the island that afternoon. It was fragrant with coconut and cilantro and truly wonderful. Vegetables were not commonly found in most restaurants as a side dish but I served this with the rice that accompanied it there and green beans. The white rice had the flowerettes from brocolli shaved very fine and folded in…pretty green specks!

View of the harbour, Ilha Grande, Brazil. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

Our desert was inspired by the fresh pineapple found everywhere. We actually saw pineapple growing in the Amazon jungle on a 3 hour trek one morning. Dinner was a way to relive my journey through Brazil. Funny how things come back to life when you’re eating food. The recipe for Caldo Verde is listed below & the Brazillian fish stew and the grilled pineapple will follow in the recipe blogs this week.

I always believe in drinking local when travelling and oh how I tried – the restaurants carried only a few local wines, the rest on the list were mostly from Portugal, Chile, Argentina. So  it saddens me to say that I didn’t find any great wines from Brazil while there I was there – but maybe I just needed to stay a bit longer! Or I’ll have to go back again soon to continue my search.

 

Bom apetite! as they say in the ‘Country of coffee’.
Patti Accredited Sommelier Savvy Company

Emeril’s New-Style Caldo Verde

From Martha Stewart

Emeril calls this version “new-style” because the kale is cut into thin strips and is cooked only until crisp-tender, which differs from the traditional version. Serve with crusty bread.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (sweet potatoes could be used as an alternative) this is my note
7 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces kale, large stems and ribs removed
8 ounces firm (smoked) chorizo or other hot smoked sausage, diced or crumbled
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Method

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot, and add the onions and garlic  then cook until the onions are wilted, 4 minutes.

Add the potatoes and chicken stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, and add the crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, thinly slice the kale. Set aside.

When the soup is thick and the potatoes have begun to break down, add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and simmer until the leaves have softened but are still slightly crunchy and the flavors have melded, 15 minutes.

At the end, stir in the cilantro, parsley, and mint, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Suggested Wine Pairing:

2010 Hewitson Miss Harry, Austrailia,Grenach, Syrah, Mouvedre Well balanced, fruit, pepper notes. Paired beautifully with the smokiness of the soup.

 

 

 

 

Cheers & Enjoy!

 

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