Saturday, July 28, 2012

Feijão Guizado: Bean Stew

This is a pretty typical Portuguese Bean Stew.  It's so simple, but so delicious and is one of my favorites.  The Peruvian beans are amazing and worth looking for if you can find them.  If you know my mom, ask her for some because she always has a huge bag in her pantry.

Soak Peruvian white beans or other beans in a bowl with water overnight.

Cook beans with ½ an onion, 1 clove garlic, salt, and splash of olive oil about 40 minutes until not quite cooked all the way

Separate pan, sauté linguica or bacon. Then, add 1 chopped onion and some olive oil and sauté. Add 1 Tbspn of tomato paste or 1 tsp paprika.

Preheat oven to 250.

Start adding beans to sauté pan mixture and as much bean cooking water as needed. Bring to a boil.

Bake in pyrex for 45 minutes or longer covered.  Enjoy with some good bread for a healthy and satisfying meal.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beijinhos: Portuguese Kisses

 Beijinhos translates to little kisses in Portuguese and these little delicacies are one of my favorite desserts...well, I guess technically they are a candy...I think?  Who cares, they are the SO good!  Growing up, we only had them for special occasions because they took a bit of time and skill to make.  My mom makes the best beijinhos, in my opinion.  She takes her time and doesn't rush the process. I've seen and helped her make them several times as a child, but never got to see the recipe from start to finish.  I finally had the opportunity to make them with her, while translating the recipe into English.  I am so excited to share this recipe with all of you and my relatives, so that we can make these little treasures again and again.  They are that good!

Peeling the almonds...this used to be my job as a kid.

 The traditional way to make beijinhos requires the use of a meat grinder to grind the almonds and the cookies. Eventually, I'd like to experiment with using a food processor to do this job or just using almond flour instead because I do not have a meat grinder. I would also like to convert the metric units to customary the next time I make these.

The ground almonds

The ground "Bolacha da Maria" Cookies

 Cook until it forms a "rua com uma colher", as my mom said.  Which translates to forming a road with a spoon.  Just wait until you can see the bottom of the pan.

Beijinhos cooling, hard to resist.

Cut your tissue paper while the mixture is cooling.
Rolled in sugar and wrapped up

Sweet little bit of heaven, beijinhos!
Beijinhos de Amêndoa (Avó Luisa’s recipe) Portuguese kisses/candy
Makes about 60 beijinhos

Tips:  Use a wooden spoon that has only been used for baking.  When grinding the almonds and cookies, grind the almonds first.  Use a scale when measuring grams.

125 grams almonds
500 grams sugar
2 cups of milk (1% is fine or other)
1 package of Bolacha de Maria Cookies (250 grams)
4 egg yolks + 2 whole eggs (6 total)
Splash of vanilla

Grease 9x13 Pyrex

1.     Pour boiling water over almonds; let sit for a while, then peel skins off of almonds.
2.     Grind almonds & cookies
3.     Heat sugar & milk in large pan on medium heat; bring to boil then lower heat to low and cook until thickens and a “road” forms with a wooden spoon (basically until you can see the bottom of the pan when stirring).
4.     Take off heat & stir in almonds, cookies, vanilla, and eggs (be sure to temper the eggs when you add them)
5.     Put back on low heat & boil until thickened and forms a “road” about 15-20 minutes.
6.     Pour in greased 9x13 Pyrex to cool overnight (don’t refrigerate)
7.     Roll balls into sugar and wrap in tissue paper