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Friday, June 29, 2007

Bobó de Camarão - part 2

Sometimes I could just kick myself. Wednesday afternoon, Rosemary suffering a fit of boredom, suggested we use the recipe I posted several weeks ago to make Bobó de Camarão for our husbands. I took my camera along with half the required ingredients, (Rosemary supplied the cleaned shrimp) so I could take pictures; to put in our photo album for posterity and to show you'all two gringas cooking this very good dish. The camera never left my bag, so you will just have to just imagine.
I think we did really well. Unfortunately, we found as we went along that the recipe has some technical problems. First, in the list of ingredients it calls for (among other things, of course) 4 red bell peppers and 6 tbls of grated ginger. I bought 3 peppers, really nice ones like you find here with ease, and only used two - which was still too much. Possible the recipe should call for 2 cups chopped red bell peppers so as to not leave so much to the imagination and the whims of the growing season. And at no time does the recipe calls for you to add the ginger. We noted this later and just added it, but maybe would be better to add it when you saute the onion and garlic to really get the flavor of ginger into the mix.
There were also a couple other questions - remember I have eaten this several times before but Rosemary never, and neither of us have ever seen it cooked - so we had to fall back on our Gringa knowledge of cooking - imagine instructions like add salt and pepper to taste (?) and instruction to boil a broth from the shrimp skins but then only one time in which to add it to thin as needed. Ours was already too thin, so no shrimp broth. Also, Instructions to use fluid from boiling the manioc root to aid in mashing the root for later use, maybe I used too much at that time and should have used a little more shrimp broth later (?). Finally, there is not an indication for the amount of time you allow each step so our texture was a little lumpy instead of creamy. OKAY, bottom line - it was also a little bland - when I have eaten Bobó before it tasted strongly of shrimp not of starchy manioc root.
We are open to suggestion. It is important to note that our faithful and loving husbands both ate two helpings so could it have been that bad?
We are going to do some Internet study of the recipe in Portuguese - I think it lost something in the translation to English, and try again - isn't that right Rosemary?
Stay tuned,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back to Rio

Tomorrow we head back to Rio. There wasn't enough time here but with my taking the classes at PUC, we don't have much choice but to spend more days in the city. The Faux Cherry trees are beginning to bloom and I hope to be back before they have moved on through their season. This photo is from last year, they line the streets of the condominium. They are not out in the forest so do not seem to be native trees.
Last week I put a photo of a Bromeliad on the blog, it was a spiky pink. Today when I walked the yard this same plant now had a second 'blossom,' pink mixed with a blue flower.
Isn't it stunning? These Bromeliads grow outside on the trees. They seem to like being where the tree branches, nice and cozy and secure. GingerV

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday lunch in Friburgo

We just returned from a Sunday lunch at Terazinha's house. God this was good! I hunted down a recipe - the link to Maria's cookbook is below. I don't know if this recipe is as good as the meal we just ate but you should try it anyway. This dish is a specialty of Bahia - African-Brasilian in origin. Bobó de Camarão (Shrimp in Yuca Cream) For this delicious recipe from Bahia you'll need manioc or yuca roots, unsweetened coconut milk (which can be found in Brazilian or Asian markets) and azeite de dendê or red palm oil (which is harder to find, but can be bought at Brazilian or African markets). Supposing you manage to find the ingredients, you're in for a very special treat indeed. As a matter of fact, these are ingredients you'll need for a lot of the yummiest dishes from Bahia, so you may as well have a supply at home! This recipe came to us from famous chef Yara Roberts in Paraty. 4 lbs medium size shrimp 1 1/2 lb yuca or manioc root 2 cups onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup olive oil 8 medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded (or a large can of whole tomatoes) 1 cup cilantro, chopped 2 cups coconut milk 1/2 cup dendê or palm oil 6 Tbsp ginger, grated 4 red bell peppers, chopped salt and pepper Peel and cut the manioc and put in a pan with cold water and salt. Cook until tender, drain and reserve both the cooked manioc and the liquid. Discard any manioc fiber. Using a fork mash the manioc while still hot, using some of the liquid to help in the process. Do not use a blender or food processor. Peel and devein the shrimp, reserve the shells and make a broth to be used in the bobó. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until wilted. Add the pepper, 1/2 of the chopped cilantro and the tomatoes, stirring well. Add the shrimp and the pureed manioc. Check the amount of liquid and add more shrimp broth to thin the mixture, if necessary. Add the coconut milk, the remaining cilantro and the palm oil. Check for salt and pepper. Serve over Brazilian white rice. www.maria-brazil.org/bobo_de_camarao

Sunday, June 03, 2007

rain, Rain go away!

It's been another cold, rainy, foggy weekend in Friburgo. It is supposed to be the start of dry season but I see only rain. I took advantage of a 30 minute -cloudy but no rain - period this morning to walk around the yard looking for flowers that like to bloom in this 'frigid' weather. (between 11 - 17c or 51-62F) I found a tree that flowers in purple and white. An Orchid growing on a tree with a bloom about the size of the nail on my pinkie. and a Bromeliad in bloom. GingerV