This month I was selected to participate in the Foodbuzz 24,24,24 program. I was so excited to be able to share with the foodbuzz community my Carnaval Countdown dinner. In less than a month the most important holiday in Brazil begins, Carnaval. This Holiday is meant for people to A LOT of fun before lent. In modern times people usually practice lent by giving up a food item like sugar or fried food. So Carnaval is also a time to eat up on all the goodies you won't be able to once lent begins. In an effort to start our countdown for this important Holiday I decided to have a party at my home yesterday with some of our Brazilian friends that live in Santa Cruz. There was a lot of dancing going on and the food that I served, salgadinhos, were perfect for the occasion. Salgadinhos are a type of finger food that are usually served in parties. It fills you up without requiring you to sit down and have a meal. It's perfect if you want to be up and dancing all night while eating
Here is a sampler of my salgadinhos. The little balls are called bolinhos de queijo, cheese balls. The cupcake shaped things on the left side is my favorite salgadinho, the empadinha. On the back is the pastel, it's the easiest to make so I'll post a recipe further down. On the right of the cheese balls are the coxinhas, which I have posted about here before. For a recipe on how to make coxinhas go HERE.
I'm so lucky to have a Brazilian community in Santa Cruz. Here is a picture of some of my guests.Here is my friend Silvia. She's loves those coxinhas!
For drinks we had Brazilian style limeade which is made from the whole lime and with a lot of mint.
Pastel is the Brazilian version of deep fried pastry filled with something. The most common fillings are cheese with tomatoes, heart of palm, ground beef, or shrimp. The simplest way you can make pastel is by using Asian wraps, the same ones used for Chinese dumplings. You can also make your own dough. The best dough recipe that I've found online is here.
To simplify my life I decided to use the Asian wrap dough.
- Heat oil in a large pan. I like to use a wok whenever I fry things.
- When the oil is hot enough for frying you can turn it down a little bit so that it doesn't burn and it will give you time to make the pastel.
- On a clean plate place an Asian wrap.
- For a basic pastel place fresh mozzarella on top of half of the dough.
- Bring the other half of the dough over the cheese and close the edges using a fork.
- Fry for a couple seconds on one side and flip over to the other side.
- Eat while hot.
- You can also try different fillings. Another favorite is cheese with guava jam.
I want to introduce you to the empadinha. This is my favorite salgadinho. The dough is flaky and inside is filled with heart of palm. Maybe I'll post a recipe at a later date but for now you can enjoy some pictures
Placing the heart of palm mixture inside the pastry shell.
right before placing it in the oven.
last but not least we had dessert. I made individual flans. I've talked about flans before on this blog. For a recipe go HERE.
thanks foodbuzz for giving me the opportunity to make and share this meal on line. Don't forget to listen to some samba in this upcoming month of Carnaval.