Monday, June 23, 2014

Brazilian Game Day Bites

We are still reeling from last night's down-to-the-wire play and subsequent tie score (USAvPOR, 2-2)! Inspired by the FIFA World Cup, our intern, Tayler, has provided us with three delicious hand-held bites that offer a sampling of Brazilian cuisine. Here’s Tayler on how to make them:

The World Cup is an immensely diverse sporting competition that encourages viewers to learn about cultures that are generally unfamiliar or different from their own. The best way to do that is, of course, through food! Brazil is this year’s host country of the World Cup and the buzz is on them as many people are getting the opportunity to learn traditions and customs about this unique country, and you can too. Foodies and sports fanatics alike, get cultured this Thursday while watching USA vs. Germany and bite down on some seriously savory and sweet Brazilian treats that are perfect for game day!

Cheese Pastel  

1 pack Goya frozen dough discs
1 pound mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
Canola oil

1. Defrost dough. Once defrosted, coat dough lightly in flour.
2. Place mozzarella in one half of the inside of the dough. Fold dough over like a half moon and close tightly with fingers. Then, press down the edges to seal the dough.
3. Fill a deep pan with canola oil halfway and heat until it bubbles lightly.
4. Fry pastels on each side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Note: Brazilian pastels can contain a variety of other fillings, including minced meat, chicken, or shrimp.

Coxinhas (co - shin - yas)

1 cooked rotisserie chicken, cut into strips or cubes
4-5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. paprika
6 black olives, diced

1. Boil potatoes in pot of salted water on high heat (about 30 minutes or until soft). Drain water and mash potatoes in a ricer.
2. Fry the diced onions in a pan with oil until light brown. Add salt, pepper, paprika and olives. Pour onion mix on the mashed potatoes and combine the two.
3. Get a spoonful of the mashed potato and place a bit of chicken inside the spoonful. Close up into a crescent-like shape (as large as desired).
4. Dip in flour, egg and breadcrumb, and then fry until golden brown.
5. Serve warm or room temperature.

Note: Coxinha translates to "little chicken thigh," which is why they are commonly molded into a shape that resembles the leg of a chicken.

Brigadeiros (bri - ga - der - oos)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
Chocolate sprinkles
1 pack of mini cupcake cups (optional)

1. Melt contents of condensed milk, butter and cocoa on low to medium flame. Stir constantly until mixture thickens; approximately 25 minutes.
2. Let cool and place in fridge overnight.
3. Roll a spoonful of the cold, hardened mixture into a ball, then roll the balls on to a plate full of sprinkles.
4. Once fully coated, place the balls into mini cupcake cups for decoration and serve.

Note: Brigadeiros are a popular dessert at birthday parties. They are commonly served cold or room temperature when eaten by hand, however you can serve them warm and eat them with a spoon if desired.

If you'd like to discover more about Brazilian culture, check out our post on our Language & Travel blog on how to learn Brazilian Portuguese!

Monday, June 2, 2014

SPICES & SEASONS Blog Cookoff, Week #3

It's finally here--week #3, giveaway week! We know you've been itching for a chance to get your hands on your very own copy of SPICES & SEASONS. Now you have 7 ways to win!

See each blog for details on how to enter, and don't forget to do the extra entries! Best of luck and happy cooking.

1. Susan,  The Wimpy Vegetarian

2. Helene, La Cuisine d'Helene  

3. Joi,  Get Cooking   

5. Laura,  The Spiced Life

7. Trish,  In Fine Balance

You can find all the recipes in one place if you follow our Pinterest board! You can find more information about Rinku Bhattacharya on her blog, and see our Facebook page for her event schedule in the Hudson Valley area.

If you missed last week (week #2), each blogger picked a recipe to try. Such a great selection!

1. Well-Seasoned Potato and Mint Salad

In week # 1, the bloggers all tried an Indian restaurant staple: Classic Green Mint Chutney. See post...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SPICES & SEASONS Blog Cook-Off, Week 2

You could win a copy!

We're continuing the SPICES & SEASONS Blog Cook-Off and for week #2, each blogger will be cooking up a recipe of their choice. Next week (week #3), each foodie will share their review of Spices & Seasons. Plus all of the participating bloggers will be doing a giveaway! See individual blogs on how to enter.

Here are the bloggers, and their dishes for this week:
(links will be updated along the way)

1. Well-Seasoned Potato and Mint Salad - Susan,  The Wimpy Vegetarian

2. * - Helene, La Cuisine d'Helene  

You can find all the recipes in one place if you follow our Pinterest board! You can find more information about Rinku Bhattacharya on her blog, and her event schedule for this summer.

If you missed last week (week #1), the bloggers all tried an Indian restaurant staple: Classic Green Mint Chutney. See post...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SPICES & SEASONS Food Blog Cook-off

We're excited to share that Hippocrene Books is sponsoring a food blog cook-off for Spices & Seasons: Simple Sustainable Indian Flavors by Rinku Bhattacharya! The cookbook spotlights for Muy Bueno and The New Southwest were so much fun--we had to do another!

Mint from the author's garden.

This week, (week #1), the bloggers will all try Classic Green Mint Chutney. You've probably enjoyed it at Indian restaurants and you'll see it's simple to make. Susan at Create Amazing Meals has already posted her take with a surprising pairing--watermelon!

Week #2, each blogger has the chance to try out a recipe of their choice. In week #3, each blogger will share their review of Spices & Seasons. At the end of the cook-off, all of the participating bloggers will be doing a giveaway!

Here are the participating bloggers:

1. Susan -- The Wimpy Vegetarian

2. Helene -- La Cuisine d'Helene  
3. Joi -- Get Cooking   
4. Susan -- Create Amazing Meals
5. Laura -- The Spiced Life  
7. Trish -- In Fine Balance

The cook-off is already underway, so be sure to check back to find links to individual posts from each blogger, and for a chance to win your own copy of Spices & Seasons! You can find more information about Rinku Bhattacharya on her blog

Monday, April 21, 2014

New cookbook: SPICES & SEASONS by Rinku Bhattacharya

" . . . beautifully combines the time-tested traditions of the Indian kitchen with a practical, modern approach . . ."
--SUVIR SARAN, author of Masala Farm and Indian Home Cooking

"Spices & Seasons awakened my sleepy palate the moment I opened it! What gorgeous, beguiling recipes and such wise words about so much, especially about children and vegetables. I am off to my kitchen, book in tow and with great anticipation of many wonderful meals." 
--DEBORAH MADISON, author of Vegetable Literacy and The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

"Whether you're shopping in supermarkets or farmers markets or cooking from CSA boxes and farm stands, Rinku has ideas and recipes for you. Whether you are a confident, seasoned cook, or curious about the kitchen, whether you know and love India's vibrant spices and culinary traditions or whether you are more curious than confident, Rinku welcomes you with this splendid and practical book. Teacher, coach, and passionate, smiling guide, she's exactly the presence I want in my kitchen this year, for all the spices and all the seasons." 

--NANCIE MCDERMOTT, author of Quick & Easy Thai and Southern Pies

We're excited to announce a new cookbook that will be out next month! Spices & Seasons: Simple, Sustainable Indian Flavors by Gourmand Award-winning author Rinku Bhattacharya is a fresh take on Indian cuisine inspired by the bounty of local produce.  You'll learn how to turn enticing farmstands full of fruits and vegetables into healthy, flavorful meals. Rinku not only teaches readers how to prepare meals with ingredients from the backyard, but she also shares advice on cooking with Indian spices, using a pressure cooker, and "green tips" for making your kitchen eco-friendly.
With more than 150 easy-to-follow recipes--many of them vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free--Spices & Seasons is ideal for the busy home cook who wants to bring Indian flavor to their table. Savor dishes such as "Mango and Goat Cheese Mini Crisps," "Seared Scallops in a Blueberry Ginger Sauce," "Fresh Ginger Apple Chai Cake," and much more! A beautiful photo accompanies each recipe in this hardcover volume.

Stay tuned for details about our blog tour and giveaways!

About the author:

Rinku Bhattacharya is a native of Kolkata, India, currently living in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband and two young children. Rinku's practical, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Cooking in Westchester, and her Journal News column Spices and Seasons. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years and also partners with the local Down Home Markets to offer seasonal Indian cooking demos. She is author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012). Rinku has also written for the Poughkeepsie Journal and several online sites, and appeared on CT Style television a few times.