Posted by: michellelowrey | July 10, 2009

Brazilian Barbecue

June 28th, 2009 Brazilian Barbecue

This months cooking club event, was just that, an event……but really…. every month each cooking club is an “event”…..

Carolyn Soriano was our host this month, and her theme was Brazilian Barbecue.

For those not familiar with this style of cooking, the origins date back more than 400 years ago when cattle ranching was introduced to the Rio Grande do Sul region of Brazil, and cowboys called Gauchos herded the cattle.  It’s from those roots, that a new form of cooking called Churrasco was born in Brazil.  Meats that are first marinated in a course salt,  are placed on long- sword like skewers, and then are cooked over an open fire.  The skewers are much longer and thicker than the type used in American style grilling, and are capable of holding a serious amount of meat on them.

The popularity of Brazilian Barbecue has lead to  restaurants popping up all over the world, and if you get the chance, I whole-heartedly recommend that you give one a try. On the menu you will usually find a variety of meats including prime rib, tri-tip, linguica (a Portuguese sausage) chicken hearts,and lamb kebabs, plus a whole host of other traditional dishes.

What is so fun about these types of dining establishments, besides the delicious food that just keeps on coming, is the card that you are given when you are first seated. Typically, one side of the card is red and the other side is green.  The green side  let’s your server know to “keep the food coming, I’ve come here to eat until I pass out”, and the red side  is a signal for,  “No more food please, my stomach is seconds away from bursting”.  Food comes around fast and furious, and until you turn that card to red, or surrender, as I call it, the food keeps coming!!  Eating at a Brazilian restaurant is a fun experience, and if there is a place in town, get yourself there pronto!

For cooking club. Carolyn pulled out all the stops, and did a traditional Brazilian barbecue with all the trimmings.  She even got the Brazilian skewers that the meats are traditionally cooked on, so that the experience would be as authentic as possible.  You can order the skewers on line from  a variety of different places.  There is an on-line e-Bay store called Oca-Brazil that sells a lot of great Brazilian products including the traditional skewers.

For our cooking club, every dish was better than the next, and I think Carolyn pulled off yet another amazing night!  And even better, and another element that just added to the fun, was that we hosted a special guest, Neisha Lofing, a reporter from our local newspaper The Sac Bee, who will be doing a story on our cooking club that comes out on July 15th.  More on that soon…

Here are the dishes that we had for Brazilain Night!

We started with an awesome drink called a caprihinia.  A wicked drink made with fresh limes and the Brazilian liqueur called Chacaca.  This is the national drink of Brazil, and what better way to get the party started!

Next, we had Kibbeh, which is a delicious deep fried “torpedo” shaped appetizer that had a filling of lean ground beef , and then was coated with bulgar.  These were incredibly delicious and were served with a cucumber and yogurt salad.  These were made by Dina Guillen, and the recipes is actually her Mom’s recipe.  Thank you Sylvia for sharing such an awesome dish with all of us!

Sylvia's Kibbeh with Cucumber and yogurt salad

Sylvia’s Kibbeh with Cucumber and Yogurt Salad

Next, we had a delicious Ceviche made by Cindy LaCasse that was citrus marinated halibut that tasted of the sea, and just melted in your mouth.

IMG_0142 Moquecha met Ceviche

The ceviche was followed by fried plantains that Nicole Baker did.  These little gems were lightly salted, and were a perfect pair with the seafood.

Next, was the main course and included all the gorgeous meats, on those cool skewers I told you about.  Be careful when you cook these, the amount of meat, mixed with the amount of dripping fat can cause your grill to flame up.  Included in the selection of meat we had was beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon that was so stunning when it was brought to the table.  Carolyn cut all the meat table-side for us, and it was so much fun.  Here is a picture of the meats cooking on the grill……..  IMG_0147Medalhao de Frango and Fraldinha

…….and here is a picture of Carolyn slicing the meat table-side.IMG_0165

For the side dishes that were served with all that meat, we had a Hearts of Palm Salad with Garden Tomatoes .  It was so refreshing, and paired extraordinarily well with the meat.

IMG_0158

And yes, the food keeps on coming!  We also had sauteed bananas, as well grilled pineapple.  Both were equally delicious, and let me tell you, that the sweetness of the fruits paired so well with the salty meats.  What a great combo!

IMG_0160Nicole Baker is going bananas….

IMG_0154

This smelled so good when it came off the grill….

Next, was dessert.  A guava souffle made with guava jelly and a Brazilian cheese called catupiry.  A knock- out dessert, that was so light and refreshing.  Not at all what you would expect from looking at it.  It was very light and airy, and the perfect end to a perfect meal!

IMG_0168Guava Souffle with Catupiry Sauce

And yes, another successful cooking club in the books… and we had ourselves a great time!  I hope this inspires other clubs out there to try something a little different……  Brazilian food!!  Thanks Carolyn for being such an impeccable host.

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