Monday, July 31, 2006


This is the most famous and traditional Brazilian drink. Caipirinha is normally prepared in individual serving.

1 lime (cut into wedges)
2 to 3 tsp fine sugar
2 tbsp
2 tsp water
enough ice cubes to fill a 250ml glass

Mash the lime in a glass. Add sugar, cachaca, ice cubes and water. Mix. Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Beef Sauce

250ml beef bone soup (see recipe below)

½ tsp Maggie seasoning
½ tsp worchestershire sauce
1 ½ tsp beef stock powder
1 tsp sugar

Flour paste ingredients:
20g butter
20g flour

Make flour paste: Melt butter over low heat. Add flour. Stir and mix well until smooth.
Bring Beef Bone Soup to boil. Add seasoning. Mix well and turn off heat.
Add flour paste into beef bone soup. Stir well to dissolve all particles. Cook over low heat for 20 mins.

Beef Bone Soup Base

2kg beef bones
60 g butter
6L water
9 tbsp tomato paste
1.5 carrot cut into wedges
4 stalks celery cut into sections
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
3 onions cut into wedges
12 cloves garlic chopped finely
4 bay leaves
1.5 tbsp mixed herbs
some peppercorns


  1. Wash beef bones. Chop into pieces.
  2. Heat up wok, add butter and melt it over low hear. Add beef bones. Stir fry over medium heat till half done.
  3. Add celery, carrot, tomato and chopped garlic. Stir fry till just tender. Add peppercorns and tomato paste. Stir fry till brownish golden color.
  4. Preheat oven to 210 degrees celcius. Put all stir fried ingredients into oven and bake for 30 to 45 mins (Stir and turn ingredients every now and then) remover from oven.
  5. Put baked ingredients into boiling water. Add mixed herbs. Simmer over low heat for another 3 hours ( while simmering, remover bubbles on top with small spoon)


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

250g lean pork
1/2 carrot
1/8 cup dried black fungus (soak in cold water for at least 20 minutes before use)
4 pieces of dried shitake mushroom (soak in cold water until well rehydrated, takes about 1 hour)
1/2 onion
1 package of spring roll wrappers (or egg roll wrappers)
1/8 cup dried shrimp (soak in cold water for at least 20 minutes before use)
50 g vermicelli (or bean threads; soak in cold water for 30 mins or until well rehydrated)
1/8 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 can of beer (any kind)

1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 white pepper
1 egg

Sauce: (Mix the following ingredients)
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp garlic (finely chopped)
1 tsp red pepper flakes

1. To make filling, blend pork, carrot, black fungus, mushroom, onion, dried shrimp, cilantro and marinate in a food processor.
2. Add egg and chopped vermicelli to the above mixture. Set aside.
3. Set one piece of spring roll wrapper on a plate. Brush the wrapper with beer. Add about 2 tbsp of the filling onto the wrapper. Make spring roll per instruction on the package. Put the spring rolls in the fridge for 1 hour. 4. Heat oil in a wok. Deep fry the spring rolls using medium heat. Cook until the spring rolls are golden brown. Serve with sauce.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Polenta con spuntature di maiale (Polenta with Spare ribs)

I attended a cooking demonstration class yesterday at Espaco Gourmet Academia
This is one of the four dishes that chef Giorgio Ridolfi demonstrated. Today, I tried out the recipe myself.


For Rib Sauce:
3 cloves of garlic (center removed)
1 onion (or red onion)
1 kg spare ribs
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of white wine
3 cups chopped tomatoes
3 cups puree tomato
Salt to taste

For polenta:
400 g mixed polenta
3 L beef broth

To make Spare ribs:
1. Add oil into pot, saute onion, garlic until golden brown. Add rosemary and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 3 mins.
2. Add ribs into the pot. Use a spatula to move the ribs around so that each side will be cooked. Add a pinch of salt.
3. Once the meat is sealed, add wine (while pot is still hot). Let it cook for about 3 mins. Cover the pot and lower heat. Turn ribs once in a while and cook for about 20 mins.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, let it cook for 10 mins, then add tomato puree. Cover lid again and cook for another 2 hours. Again turn ribs once in a while. Sauce should be reduced once done.

To make polenta:
1. Heat 2 L of beef brooth but do not bring to a boil. Once the brooth is hot, sprinkle polenta into the pot slowly. Whisk the mixture while adding polenta. Continue to add polenta. If the mixture becomes too thick add more broth. The mixture should be runny in the beginning.
2. Contiue to stir the mixture with a whisk for another 30 mins under low heat.
3. Change to a wooden spatula for stirring under low heat for another 10 mins. Remove pot from the stove.
4. Rest the polenta for about 10 mins before serving.

Tip: While serving polenta, have a bowl of cold water ready. Dip the serving spoon into the cold water after each scoop to prevent the polenta from sticking onto the serving spoon.

To serve:
Place the polenta on a wooden plate top with spareribs. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nanaimo Bar

A friend suggested to have nanaimo bar for Canada Day celebration (Great Idea!). So I went ahead and found a recipe on the internet. I made some adjustments and the following was what I used.

Bottom layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded cococut
1 3/4 cup graham cinnamon crisps (for Curitibanos: available in St. Germain)
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
5 tbsp cocoa powder

Melt butter and sugar using a double boiler. Add egg and cook until thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crisps, coconut, nuts and cocoa powder. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 X 8 pan.

Second layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
2tbsp and 2 tsp of cream (creme de leite)
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Top layer:
160 g semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate amargo)
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Pour over the second layer. Chill in refrigerator.

Click here for weight conversion table.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Strogonoff de Carne (Beef Stroganoff, Brazilian style)


2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
700 g minced beef
240g tomato puree
200g creme de leite (cream)
1 tsp dried oregano
200g fresh or preserved mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute onion and garlic. Add minced beef ,mushrooms and oregano.
2. Once the beef is cooked, add tomato puree and creme de leite. Mix well. Add salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Note: This can be served with rice or pasta.

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Baked Maple Ribs

I found this recipe in "the Cook's Encyclopedia of Spices" by Sallie Morris and Lesley Mackley. I found the recipe a little too sweet. So I reduced the amount of maple syrup and sprinkled sea salt on the ribs. Thiswas quite popular in the Canada Day party.

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
1 garlic clove, crushed
80mL maple syrup
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (alternatively 1/2 tsp red wine and 1/2 tsp white vinegar)
1 kg pork spare ribs
Sea Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 200 oC/400 oF/Gas 6. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 mins until soft.
2. Add the maple syrup, soy suce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, paprika, mustard powder, wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 mins.
3. Place the ribs in a roasting tin, pour over the sauce and turn the ribs to coate them completely. Cover the tin with foil and bake the ribs for 45 mins. Remove the foil and bake for 15 mins more. Once done, sprinkle some sea salt over the ribs. Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sid's Caipiroska Canadensa

I found a Maple Leaf Martini recipe in the Food and Drink Magazine Spring 2005 Issue. The recipe calls for cranberries. Unfortunately, I couldn't find cranberries nor cranberry juice in Curitiba. So Sid modified the recipe and made this delicious "Caipiroska Canadensa".

For 250mL, you will need:
100mL Vodka
100mL Sprite
5 strawberries (coarsely chopped)
2 tsp maple syrup
A few ice cubes

Put all the ingredients in a mixer, mix and serve.