water

This is one of those recipes that is so simple, one wonders why it should even be written. Though I had no idea how to prepare flavorful white rice until I met Heguiberto. It was not something in my culinary universe. If pressed, I’d just toss the rice in with some boiling water and let it cook. But that never tastes very good.

authentic Brazilian-style white rice

authentic Brazilian-style white rice

This is the traditional recipe Heguiberto’s Brazilian mother taught. I’ve travelled to Brazil several times now and his sisters make it in just the same way. We tend to use Thai jasmine rice at home, though any will do.

authentic Brazilian-style white rice

1 cup Thai jasmine rice or similar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 cups water

Add olive oil and salt to a medium saucepan on high heat. Once oil heats up, add rice. Stir to coat with oil. Next add water and bring to a boil, covered, stirring occasionally. Keeping pan covered, reduce to simmer. Stir during simmer. Cook until all water absorbed. Remove from heat, and let sit covered about 5 minutes. Fluff and serve.

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whole wheat roti

by Heguiberto on January 23, 2012

whole wheat roti

whole wheat roti

Indian unleavened breads are incredibly easy to make and very tasty. This roti is no exception. I particularly like dipping the warm fry bread in dal (lentil) soups or really with any curry dish. It is my number one choice for my vegan masoor dal.

You can use roti to scoop and soak up any type of food on your plate. That’s a good thing because nothing goes to waste. We always wipe our plates clean this way, so I’ve come to think of this bread as an environmentally friendly way of eating.

whole wheat roti

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp canola oil
Some water

Using your hands, mix together flours, salt and oil followed by about ½ cup of water. Add more water by spoonfuls and keep kneading until you get a smooth, relatively soft bread dough. Drizzle a tiny bit of oil over it. Cover with cling film and let it seat, room temperature, for about 30 minutes.

rolling out the dough

rolling out the dough

Divide dough into small balls and roll them out into thin tortilla-like pancakes with a floured rolling pin and surface.

Cook them on medium-hot temperature in lightly oiled non-stick skillet for about 1-2 minutes per side. Push the pancakes down to form a few blisters on its surface for good looks and taste! Place them on serving platters lined with warm towels to preserve freshness and heat.

pan frying the roti

pan frying the roti

In Brazil we serve lentil soup New Year’s Eve with wishes for good fortune. I served mine for New year’s in San Francisco in the company of Steven, Jasmine and Prof.T.

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apricot liquor

by Stevie on September 14, 2011

apricot liquor

apricot liquor

This is the second recipe that I’ve ever tried from the great magazine, La Cucina Italiana. It came in the August 2011 edition as part of a round-up of apricot recipes. I love fruit-infused after-dinner liquors but have never tried to make my own. This one, at least, was really pretty straightforward. Unlike their limoncello recipe in an earlier section of the same volume, where you have to carefully remove the lemon rind while leaving as much of the pith behind (difficult!) as possible, here all that’s required is that you rinse and pit the fruit.

I doubled the recipe and have been giving small jars of this luscious drink to friends at work. The vanilla bean gives the apricots a powerfully rich flavor. I’m almost fooled into thinking that the drink was aged in new French oak barrels, like wine. This is strong, probably about 40 proof, so a little goes a long way.

apricot liquor

4½ cups 80-proof vodka
2 lbs fresh ripe apricots, pits removed and roughly chopped
1 vanilla bean
2 cups sugar
1 cups water

Pour vodka into a large bowl. Add vanilla bean and apricots. Cover and let sit at room temperature for up to three days. Strain through cheesecloth. Rinse vanilla bean and let dry, for reuse.

In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and water together until completely dissolved into a simple syrup. Remove from heat and let cool. Once at room temperature, mix with infused vodka. Pour liquor into glass jars or bottles. I used the original vodka bottle and for the extra, some small jars for canning. Let rest in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Serve chilled. Enjoy!

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