Tagged: photography

Feijoada

Feijoada is THE ultimate Brazilian national dish and definitely one of my favourites. Although younger than moqueca baiana, this dish tells a lot about the history of our country: it comes from the Colonial Brazil, the period when the Portugueses arrived for the exploration of wood, sugar, gold and diamonds.

The dish started with the African slaves slow cooking black beans and leftovers meat such as pork trimmings (ear, feet, nose etc) in clay pots, a heavy stew that used to give the workers all the energy they needed for those days. Later on, the Portugueses added sausages to the stew and the Indigenous people added the farofa (toasted manioc flour).

Through the years, the traditional stew was adapted to use the best meat that the country produces: smoked pieces of pork and cured meats to make the beautiful Feijoada dish we all love today.

Wednesdays and Saturdays are the typical days to eat Feijoada in Brazilian restaurants and when homemade, it is usually a big event that reunites family and friends.

The side dishes for a complete feijoada are Brazilian white rice, cassava chips, farofa, vinaigrette, slices of orange and stir fried Chinese broccoli (known as couve in Brazil).
A lime caipirinha or a very cold beer will match the party very well!

The recipe I’m sharing today was made by my friend Andre, who slow cooked this beautiful and full of flavour dish for at least 3 hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

This cut-down version of the recipe will feed generously 10 people.

Ingredients

Feijoada
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp canola oil
1 Kg black beans soaked in water for a couple of hours
650 g smoked pork sausages (Portuguese sausages, Spanish chorizo or both), sliced
350 g smoked pork loin
350 g smoked pork ribs
650 g corned beef or carne seca (dry, salt-cured beef found usually in Portuguese and Brazilian butcheries)
60 g trimmed bacon
boiling water

Side Dishes
Brazilian Style White rice
Farofa (toasted manioc flour)
Cassava chips
Oranges, peeled and sliced
Couve refogada (Stir fried Chinese Broccoli or Kale)
Tomato, parsley and onion vinaigrette

Method

A day ahead, chop the cured beef into large cubes and soak it into cool water overnight. Replace the water every 6 hours or so until salt is removed.

In a large heavy pot over low-medium heat, fry the garlic and the bacon in the oil. Add the beans and its water and leave it boiling for an hour.
Drain the beef and add it to the pot. Cover it with boiling water if needed.

Reduce the heat to low.
Stir it gently every half hour or so.

Add the pieces of pork loin and ribs to the mixture and let it cook for another hour or so. Again, keep adding boiling water if needed.

In the last hour, add the sausage slices and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Adjust any salt.

16 people like this post.

PYO fruit and vegetable farms

I’ve been planning to visit some PYO fruit & vegetable farms for a while so we finally made the time to go for an exciting day in the Farm Gate Trail of the Hawkesbury region.

PYO (pick your own) fruits and veggies is a great idea to get in touch with nature, pluck your produce straight from the trees and spend some relaxing time talking to some passionate and laid-back farmers in the countryside of NSW.
It is also a fun an educational experience for children, who can see where their food comes from.

So off we went to Hawkesbury, approximately one and a half hours north-west of Sydney. We checked the harvest calendar and knew what was in season and which farms to go to.

I was particularly interested in finding feijoa – a fruit that is originally from the South of Brazil and It is usually very hard to find in Australia.

It was a typical Autumn day: very sunny but cold and the colour of the vegetation had a stunning mixture of green, orange, brown, yellow and red. There was this amazing smell of cinnamon and apple in the air. So it is definitely not too hard to find a good apple pie in the region!

I really enjoyed our PYO stop at Bilpin Springs Orchard:we were guided by a young bloke that gave us a basket and pointed us to the middle of the orchard, where a farmer met us and assisted everyone very patiently on picking the best fruits without damaging the trees.

We were the only two interested on feijoas so we had a guided feijoa tasting with the farmer while filling up our basket.

We were charged $3.50 per kilo of any fruits. Apples, persimmons and feijoa are all in season so we got a bit carried away by the experience and ended up bringing home more food than what we actually needed.

Among numerous rustic roadside sheds selling fresh produces, we had homemade apple pies from The Local Harvest, from where we also stocked up some free-rage eggs and potatoes.

We finished our day trip at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden in the Blue Mountains where we had a late lunch in the terrace, overlooking the cool climate gardens and the endless vista of the foggy and blueish Mountains.

20 people like this post.

Provence and a bit of Monaco

It is really hard to describe how magic, stunning and peaceful the region of Provence is.

Once you are there, you can really feel the vibe that inspires so many writers: fresh food and produces, the colour of the Côte d’Azur contrasting with the mountains, the happiness of the locals, the traditional dishes from each village, the Rose wines, the aroma, the architecture, the craft, the sunset…

Since this was the last and the best leg of my trip to Europe this year, I’ve decided to do a photo log of some of our best moments in South of France.
The last two shots are from another dream that came through as part of this amazing trip: the Monaco Grand Prix.


Saint-Rémy-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Les Baux-de-Provence


Gordes


Calanque de Sormiou between Marseille and Cassis


Calanque de Sormiou


Calanque de Sormiou


La Ciotat


Pampelonne


Pampelonne


Saint-Tropez


Port Grimaud


Saint-Raphael


Nice


Nice


Nice


Nice


Villefranche-sur-Mer


Villefranche-sur-Mer


Principauté de Monaco


Principauté de Monaco

10 people like this post.