Bom dia and welcome to Brazil, the largest country in South America. Much could be said about Brazil, but I will edit myself to a few facts before presenting a personal commentary and the meal I made for this stop.
In contrast to its neighbors who were conquered by the Spaniards, Brazil was a Portuguese colony for several hundred years before declaring itself independent in 1822. Though there was a subsequent large influx of non-Portuguese Europeans, most residents descend from Portuguese settlers and African slaves. Geographically, because of its large size, Brazil shares a border with every country in South America except Ecuador and Chile.
Bacalhau quer alho. Cod fish wants garlic.
And I made some for you. Grab a caiphrina y venha comigo…
But, first, I wanted to tell you that the national dish of Brazil is feijoada (fesh wada), a black bean stew made with a variety of meats and served with collard greens, orange slices and farofa which is a breadcrumb-like topping made from toasted manioc flour and other ingredients, like bacon or herbs. It is sprinkled on top of the dish. Feijoda is generally only served in the afternoons…presumably so that you have the rest of the day to digest. I’m hoping we get a feijoada and the national cocktail, caiphrina, for the round-up.
In recent years, many Brazilian rodizios (all-you-can-eat barbecue places) have sprouted up all over the world and dishes like Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa are only found in authentic (non bbq) Brazilian eateries. I decided to make this dish because it was one of the first Brazilian food preparations I was introduced to years ago when I lived in NY. Not only was it delicious and easy to prepare, it took me back to a time when I worked in the Helmsley Building on Park Avenue (between 45-46 Streets). After work, we would walk west on 46th to “Little Brazil”, a block that had one Brazilian restaurant after another. We’d have caprinhas at the bar and then sit down to a dinner of frango (chicken) or Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa.
This dish has cod fish, boiled potatoes, and fried garlic + onions which are layered and baked in the oven to finish and then decorated with boiled egg, black olives and parsley.
[Sorry for poor photo.]
Recipe Source: Most recipes that I found online were exactly the same so I went with Emeril Lagasse’s. I deviated 2 ways. I used the ingredients stated but not the same measurements (no surprise there). Also I found the fish was not so easy to shred after it came from its soaking, so I boiled it lightly for about 10 minutes.
Finishing Touches: Besides the sliced egg, black olives and parsely, a drizzle of olive oil adds a silky finish and I highly recommend it.
Round-Up: February 10
Next Stop: Colombia February 15