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Posted by Katie oGrady

Cooking with Children – A Brazilian Fusion

Little ones love to cook especially if it involves licking chocolate off the wooden spoon. It’s a fantastic way to spend time with your children, it is fun, messy and in fact a great way for them to develop their confidence, educate them on healthy food choices and learn a variety of skills including:

  • Maths (weighing and measuring ingredients)
  • Science (mixing ingredients and observing what happens, discussing the process and seeing the end result)
  • Time
  • Creativity
  • Early Literacy and Communication (reading recipes and following instructions)

With the Olympics just around the corner, our chefs have suggested some tasty Brazilian recipes to give you some Latin flavour.

Clive, Rickmansworth – Cumin & Onion Marinated Beef:

1Kg thick rump steak
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 Cloves garlic (crushed)
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Cumin seed
1 Tablespoon Chilli flakes (optional / to taste)
1 Small onion grated
2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling

Cut steak into 6 or 7 thick chunks. In a small bowl mix together the Worcestershire sauce, garlic & lime, vinegar, spices, onion & olive oil. Season meat well on both sides then place in a flat baking tray. Cover with the marinade and chill for up to one day. Bring to room temperature 1 hour before grilling.

Pat the meat dry, drizzle with a little more oil and season. Thread the chunks of steak onto metal skewers. Grill for 3 -4 minutes on one side then turn over and repeat.

Let the beef rest under foil for 10 minutes then slice and serve with savoury rice.

Jackie, Stanmore – Moqueca:

1Kg Mixed firm white fish eg. Bass, cod, snapper, filleted, skin removed and cut into 2 -3cm chunks
8 Large prawns, peeled (tails intact), deveined
Juice of 3 limes
Zest of 1 lime
1 Red onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large red chilli, halved and sliced
1 Red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 Yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
5 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato puree
1 Tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 Teaspoon shrimp paste 500ml
Light chicken stock
1 400ml Tin coconut milk
1 Bay leaf

Put the fish, prawns, lime juice, lime zest and a pinch of salt into a bowl, mix well, cover and chill for 20 minutes to marinate.

Heat the olive oil in the casserole dish on a low to medium heat setting and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened but not browned.

Add the chilli, peppers and garlic and cook for another 8 – 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree, coconut oil, shrimp paste and bay leaf and cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes.

Pour in the stock and coconut milk, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.

Add the fish and prawns, put on the lid, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.

Cook’s Notes:

  1. Do not cook on too high a heat, or overcook, as the fish will become dry and the sauce may start to spill.
  2. Half a jar of potted shrimps or a fish stock cube or 1 tablespoon of miso paste can be used instead of shrimp pasted if preferred.
  3. Serve with rice garnished with lime wedges, chopped spring onions and chopped coriander.

Chris, Croxley Green, Teeny-Weeny Coxinha

Vegetable oil, for frying
3 1/2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Onion, peeled and quartered
1 Carrot, peeled and quartered
1 Celery rib, quartered

Chicken Filling:
1 Large chicken breast
8 Ounces packaged cream cheese
1 Corn on the cob, kernels cut off the cob
2 Green onions, thinly sliced
1 Garlic clove, minced Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 Cups plain flour
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon whole milk
1 Cup bread crumbs Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pot, preheat oil to 350°F. In another large pot, combine broth, onions, carrots, and celery and bring to a simmer. Carefully add chicken, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Poach chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, or until just cooked through. Turn off heat, but leave the pot of hot poaching liquid on the stove. Remove chicken from liquid and let it rest for 10 minutes.

For the filling, finely chop or shred chicken into a large mixing bowl. Add cream cheese, corn, green onions, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Fold to combine.

Strain 1 1/2 cups of the poaching liquid and discard the rest. In a saucepan over high heat, bring reserved liquid and oil to a boil. Add flour and stir vigorously until dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out small rounds using a 3-inch circle cutter or the rim of a round cup.

Place a small scoop (about 1 tablespoon) of the filling in the centre of each round. Pinch dough together at the top to seal, creating plump little teardrop-shaped pouches.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs and milk together. Place bread crumbs in another small bowl. Carefully dip each pouch into the egg wash and then the bread crumbs until fully coated.

Fry Coxinha in small batches for 7 to 9 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels, lightly season with salt, and serve hot.

Shillah, Watford – Fried Chicken Bites (Frango a Passarinho)

Fresh juice of 2 limes
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (or 2 Tablespoons regular yellow mustard)
1-½ Tablespoons salt, plus 1 teaspoon
3 Teaspoons ground black pepper
5 lbs Chicken, skin on and cut into small pieces (or only wings, cut in the joints)
1 Cup plain flour
1 Cup yellow cornmeal
1 Teaspoon sweet paprika (optional)
Vegetable oil, enough to deep fry chicken pieces
8 Large garlic cloves, minced
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons or more fresh, chopped parsley

In a large Ziploc bag, mix in lime juice, mustard, 1-½ Tablespoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Place small cuts of chicken inside, seal bag, and try to combine mixture with the chicken as much as possible. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.

In another large Ziploc bag, mix flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and paprika if desired. Remove chicken pieces from the bag, shaking off excess marinade, and place into the flour mixture. Seal bag and shake well until all pieces are covered with flour mixture.

Heat the vegetable oil to 350°F, shake off excess flour, and deep fry chicken in batches. Avoid overcrowding the pan. It will take about 8 minutes (wings and other small pieces) to 12 minutes (drumsticks and other alike pieces). Place fried chicken bites onto a large sheet pan lined with double paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Meanwhile, toast minced garlic with olive oil over medium heat in a small to medium skillet — just until garlic starts getting lightly brown. Watch carefully! Remove pan from the heat, let cool a bit, and spoon on top of the fried chicken bites. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top and serve by themselves or accompanied wth potatoes.