The human constant: Protein surrounded by carbs
Empanada, pierogi, ravioli, tortellini, sausage rolls, pigs in a blanket, oniguiri, even hamburgers and hotdogs. You name the civilization and you have protein packed in carbs. That’s what it means to be human we kill animals and put them inside ground plants mixed with water. That and mispronouncing names from other languages.
One city, many discoveries
Dundee is almost boastful for it’s discoveries: the autoadesive stamp, the marmalade, and so many others that I can certainly name and account for without the need of flattery and distraction to point you, dear intelligent reader, into another direction: The Tayberry
Born of crossing blackberries and red raspberries in this very city, by the river ...
This is my new life in Scotland! It does look like the old life in São Paulo, doesn’t? The truth is I think that you move faster than you change. One of the things that gives me the creeps is Brazilians that move abroad and 6 months later come back unable to adapt and missing home food. There’s ...
Dundee or bust
My wife got a grant to do her PhD in the University of Dundee, so in a very short time we stashed some stuff, sold a lot of other stuff and packed a somewhat reduced list of more stuff that would fit four 32 kg suitcases and parted for Dundee, UK.
We are gonna stay here for ...
When you have it you have to use it
Some time ago I stumbled on a bunch of the new season ginger on the Asian market close by my place. And by “some time ago” I mean almost an year ago (this is one of those posts that stay forever on my backlog).
I love the new season ginger for ...
The single most popular request that I get
Yup. First thing I thought was you people take me for someone else. An obvious case of mistaken identity, I guess, but it got me thinking. It could do a kind of a flag into the post that said veggie or not, or a sub-blog something on the line of veggie.secreteproject ...
The story so far
Disclaimer: This is a somewhat silly personal post. It deals with my addictions. It is not like you really need instructions to make iced tea.
Since last November I’ve cut down a little on my intake of Coke Zero. I went from 2 to 3 liters a day for the last 15 years (you can convert ...
Amazing food from Indonesia
Wait what? Did you say Dutch food? Yup: Satay is a traditional Netherlands food from Indonesia. Indonesia used to be a Dutch colony, remember all that Dutch East and West India Companies and so on? Somehow their colony empire relationship was very different from what we had between Brazil and Portugal.
In Indonesian cuisine saté(satay ...
My love-love affair with Sardines
This is probably one of those problematic posts. I love sardines, most people don’t. I get it. I could say that you’ve never had it like $FOOBAR, but that is not true.
I like them fresh, I like them in cans, I would like them here or there.
There are, though, two ways that I ...
The high point of my lunch time in Lille
Last year I was in Lille, France. Some of the surprises, both good and meh, was the food.
It was very hard to get really hot spiced food, and I’ve tried. On the other hand I had great bacon, wonderful cheeses, bread, found madeleines to be sold in bags, nutella was ...
Perfect is the enemy of good. (probably Voltaire)
Of lately I’ve been working in three jobs, although I love what I do, it has been taking a huge amount of my mind to be able to post my backlog (Yes I have one).
So instead of posting full blown articles I will be doing more frequent simple articles ...
My Experience with Food in the US of A
First of all: DISCLAIMER: I should not need to say it, but all of this are my limited experience (I did stay mostly in Virginia and North Carolina ,not the WHOLE USA), my biased views and above all my little minded ..huh.. mind.
So no way around it: Food sucks in ...
Oops, I molecular gastronomed1 again
So there is this molecular gastronomy thing called Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, which addresses the nemesis of home making Ice Cream: Large Ice Crystals.
The idea is the faster you cool something the smaller the crystals. What is the coolest cool of all? Liquid Helium that boils at 4.2 K. But it is ...
Get it out of your system: It is a different ingredient.
Burdock (Bardana in Portuguese or Gobo in Japanese) is a long root root that when sautéed becomes this wonderful and tasty dish called Kimpira.
I have no idea how difficult (or easy) it is to find it where you live, but if you do it is worth it.
A simple clarification of names
Here in Brazil (or São Paulo to be more specific) we call shish kebab a michui. A Döner is a kebab, a Shawarma is a greek barbecue.
That if the shish kebab is done with morsels of meat, if it is ground meat it becomes a kafta
And the secret ingredient is:
It is one of those foods
You know. In a party or group of friends some one comes with the “did you know that people eat….” Corn fungus (huitlacoche, I did and liked it) , ant’s larvae (escamoles also delicious) , coffee shat by small mammals and so on and on.
Well this cheese is made with mites on the surface ...
A German beer soft drink
Have you ever thought “Hey I wish I had a beer tasting non-alcoholic soft drink”?
I’m Brazilian. Our beer is pretty much a soft drink.
The literal translation is keg brew. It is a non alcoholic soft drink made with malt extract and fruit juices (I assume).
Yeah, that’s Germans for you ...
So here we are again. A new round of travel blogging. Have fun!
Easy as pie, only easier
Ceviche is by far, one of my favorite dishes for a hot day.
Besides the fish that has to be absolutely fresh, all the ingredients either you already have it or are simple to get, no need for a large kitchen or weird equipment.
A cutting board + knife, a Bowl and a fridge (or cool ...
Brazilians and Pressure Cookers
At first glance it seems that we love them. Almost every single house has one. The typical smell and sound of a Brazilian home is beans being cooked in a pressure cooker.
Truth to be told is that we have a LOVE-FEAR affair with them.
Most houses do have one, but most people are a little ...
Sfeeha on a pita
I got this idea from this post on taste of Beirut
I instantly fell in love with the idea. It was so simple and beautiful. I had to try it.
Sfeeha is a meat filling on a dough. (I’ve talked about them briefly before)
Sfeehas in Brazil comes in two ways. Open and closed ones. They ...
Brazilian’s deep love affair for Salgadinhos
tl;dr I am digressing about it, in a later post I will give a recipe.
We even have a word for it: Salgadinhos. (translated literally to: small savory things)
Here is one thing that makes Brazilians Brazilians: Salgadinhos. If you ever come here and try to know the culture this is something you ...
Camembert and Brie
Although they look pretty much the same they vary a lot in flavor. My alliance has changed over the years, when I was younger I was more of a Brie person.. Nowadays Camembert has been often my choice.
And in all counts doesn’t matter.. It is a little more difficult to find small Bries? Yeah it is ...
This is what I do when I’m in a need of a simple dish1.
The order is as follow: Cut the squid, cut the garlic, mix both. Finely cut the parsley (you will not have time later). Heat the pan on infernal heat, add the squid and garlic, salt to taste. 3 minutes. turn of heat add parsley ...
I decided yesterday that I arrived in one of those points in live that in order to move on you have to have a whipped cream maker bottle.
That and Aline is travelling.
So as I was in a mall I took my chances and went to a “posh gourmet shop”. Let it be known that it was all my ...
The guava tree
Finally! The first ones are ready for picking!
When we moved in 3 years ago one of our first important decisions was which fruit bearing trees should we have. We didn’t have much space so we had to choose 3 trees wisely.
The lemon tree was easy, but it is in a large flower pot not on ...
Good news everybody: I am picky
And nothing gets my pet-peeve silly brain going into overdrive better than Carbonara. Just to thicken the plot I am always after a great spaghetti Carbonara.
If the ingredients are not stated in the menu, rest assured that I will ask for them and if the waiter says cream I will grimace.
It is ...
It’s complicated (the situation, not the recipe)
My Croatian grandmother evocative was not Baka, but Nonna.
The thing is: Nonno and Nonna escaped from Croatia into Italy. (Yeah they escaped into an Italy controlled by Mussolini, smart) and they had my father there. So as it happens my father is Italian, my grandparents were Croatian but called nonno and nonna ...
Peter Reinhart is one of those people like J. Kenji Lopez (of Burger Labs fame) a must follow. I must say I am very curious about what he is gonna post.
Sorry about that.. It is just that I took more pictures.
BTW I am still having a glass of juice almost everyday.
First things first. They call them raisins in syrup but they are actually grapes in syrup. I can prove it.
In order to something to be called a raisin it must abide by the following conditions:
1) They have to be sad
2) They have to be evil
3) They have to be hated by me
4) They have to ...
There is another famous institution in Tel Aviv: the “Said el Abu Lafia and Sons Bakery”. I’ve heard from it by some four or five different sources, so it was another of those places that I had to try.
The instructions were falsely difficult for being so easy on how to get there. It said something about get on the ...
Sometimes a person have to do what a person have to do. After a bit of searching I found out what I had to do.
My fate (hard as it seems) was to taste the best hummus in Israel
So I grabbed my map and courageously set in direction of Jaffa. I would like to make clear that it was ...
But I will be travel blogging
Or more precisely food travel blogging. It comes down to why I travel. I could say that I travel to experience new cultures, and although true and a little bit cheesy, ok very cheesy, it is not the complete history. The full truth is I travel because I like it a lot.
Right now ...
Good news everybody!
My instructable for the epoxy method pizza dough won second place on the Pizza contest !
I’m so happy!
Also on a side note my pizza oven is finally done!
About to start a massive pizza enterprise
Working with Baker’s Percentages
From a physicist point of view a baker’s world is a very odd one percentage wise.
It is a place where a recipe can be made with 70% of this plus ...
It is a tidbit odd I might say
The winter has just began here in the South hemisphere, and what appears on the grocery stores?
Wonderful red tomatoes
And what did your nonna told you to do when you get great tomatoes?
Nothing.. She just grabbed grabbed the sieve and made tons of Passata di Pomodoro.. or should do, truth ...
Sous Vide Primer
It is about temperature and proteins. Different proteins denature at different temperatures and here is the catch. Some of them won’t denature at lower temps.
Eggs for instance. The two more common proteins in it are Ovalbumin(54%) and Ovotransferrin (12%) the first starts to denature at 180°F/80C the second at 140°F/60C.
Kumquats at the market
There are only three seasons(although some people argue that’s only two) in Sao Paulo: spring, summer and fallwinter (pronounced as a single word outonoinverno)
Spring is when it is sunny, hot and rains every week; Summer is when it is unbearable hot, sunny and it rains every day (not all day long, but once every ...
The mystery sauce
Just recently when we (the wife and I) were in Uruguay for our honeymoon we went for a barbecue at the central market. Sure it was a gigantic tourist trap, or at least most of the restaurants there were. We found a place to eat which A) had some natives eating there and B) had no tables ...
First it was a post, well, this post [in Portuguese, sorry] about a new burger joint, but bigger than that it sprang a long discussion about good burgers.
The post talks about how hard has become to find a bona fide traditional burger with fries in Sao Paulo.
By fries I mean (and the author does too) home ...
First the fish
This is not me. I swear!
How do I like fish? Fresh, clean taste and slightly Mediterranean-ish: Limes or lemons, oven baked or pan fried.
Well this is mostly not me. From time to time I do like a more complex flavored fish dish2. Brace yourself, this is one of them.
Are we fishing the hell ...
Love, hate and indifference
I feel guilt from time to time for not liking some kinds of food. I really do. I try to be open minded, but sometimes I fail miserably: I Hate Mayonnaise.
There foods that I don’t like, eggplant is one example, but I don’t dislike it either.. A case of pure indifference. I wouldn’t cross the ...
Deserts and Valleys
Driving through north Chile is amazing.
The semi-arid landscapes seems to stretch all the way, that is, until you find a river coming down the Andes.
Where there is a river there is a fertile valley.
I didn’t go all the way to Atacama desert but I was lucky to stop in La Serena and follow the ...
We are in santiago. It was a hot day and one of the first things we did was take the funicular to see the city from above.
When we got to the top there were a couple of stands selling “Mote com huesillos”
As I can’t resist something new I asked for one.
And to be clear about my ignorance ...
Short post, sorry! I’m in honeymoon so I might not take time to write properly..
We arrived in Montevideo and on the way from the airport bus to the hostel I had to stop for cookies.
Walking down the 25 de mayo street we passed not one but two windows full of gorgeous sweets.
I was resisting the urge so ...
So much to do so little time.
As the day for the wedding comes close and I am cooking most of the stuff I have to prioritize.
As with software development the first commandment is: Do the hardest / messiest / more difficult stuff first.
BTW I will not be posting that many pictures, not the greatest bandwidth right now.
The task ...
Sorry dear readers, but posting will be light or inexistent in the following week.
I’m off to organize my wedding, cook for 150 (at least) people, and rest in the pool. All that in farm some 150 km from Sao Paulo.
On the other hand when I come back I will have nice stuff to post about, so fear ...
The Italian biscotti
Italians again. They are a very important influence in Sao Paulo, but not all Italians are created equal.
Every region has it’s special food and we have it plenty: pizza from Naples, panettone from Milan, last but not least pasta and cantucci from everywhere.
Slightly dry, sweet and filled with almonds with a crunch.
They were made ...
Obsession and method
Feel free to skip this one: It is only a simple rant about how I think.
I am not a chef, I am a food hack.
Hacking food is pretty much like hacking everything else.
You try, fail and learn, then you try again, fail less (or more) and learn a lot more.
As long you are ...
I have some pet peeves with pie fillings.
Fruits have plenty of water and cooking them releases all that water making the crust soggy.
One branch of though thinks that the solution is precooking. As expected I don’t think that that is the best solution (except in very specific dishes like tarte tartin).
Precooking fruits tends to remove ...
But I call it Schweinepest for short
Yeah I am that silly, and Zwiebelkuchen is too hard to speak.
Translating it to Onion cake (or even Swine Fever) is not nearly as funny.
This is a great German dish that I’ve only recently did I have the luck to try.
AFAIK It is normally done with quark or sour cream ...
Lets start with blasphemy
I am not Irish nor I have ever been Irish.
So before you get angry at me, mind it that this is an Irish-free Irish Stew.
The fist (or second) blasphemy is that I am sautéing the lamb.
Stews are a delicious and weird beast.
You cook the food (usually tough meat) slowly with a minimal ...
Leftover epic mint
I am a fool for epic mint, so what?
I found it again on the local vegetable market and I brought a bunch. I brought a bunch of bunches, actually.
I did a large kibeh recipe and even then I was left with 2 bunches.
They were about to go stale so I had to use them ...
About 6 AM I am rudely waked by the sound of stuff breaking and falling.
I ran downstairs to see if all the cats and the dog were fine and what where they doing, just find them fine.
The 3 supports for a high shelf on my kitchen had broken free, dropping the shelf and everything that was on top ...
IT’S NOT RAW MEAT1
That is only the redness talking.
Corned beef is somewhat of a American/Irish thing. We don’t have it here in Brazil, what we have here is its cousin the all-mighty Pastrami.
Both dishes start in the same way: The meat is cured in a brine, then for corned beef it is “canned” (which means ...
The Fake Burrata
True burrata is a very soft and creamy cheese encased on a solid spherical shell of mozzarella.
Also bona fide burrata is kind of hard to find in Brazil. I did find it a couple of times but it is not a constant thing.
On the other hand, making burrata is as complicated as making mozzarella. You ...
This post is shameful! Rubs are easy.
No really: Rubs are dead easy and a great way of add flavor to stuff.
By stuff I mean meat, pork or chicken.
I start by toasting what can be toasted.
Black pepper, allspice, Greek fennel, coriander seeds and the juniper berries goes into a small frying pan over the lowest heat ...
Chicken in Coconut milk is a very traditional dish here.
Ok so far?
So very traditional that there even used to be a site called chicken-with-coconut-milk (http://www.frangocomleitedecoco.com.br/)
The problem is that it is not Thai(not tom ka ga). We actually didn’t get that much Thai influence here. Only in the last 5 years ...
Fresh Fish: Your milleage may vary
It is the same escabeche as before but now with fresh fish.
Any fish will do, but not all fishes are created equal:
Firmer fish like cod(fresh, KTHXBYE!), badejo, anchovies and sardines are better
Softer fish like flounder need more care
Stronger tasting fish works great
Once you’ve mis-en-placed everything coat the fish ...
Also they are in season: cheap and great looking.
So when I started making burgers and I was out of onions leeks were an alternative.
This is a dead easy recipe and all it takes just a little care.
So I just seeded the pepper (which by the way is the first red one form the ...
São Paulo’s Municipal Market (Mercadão) was fun adventure when I was young.
It was a slightly creepy place. A little bit rundown, but with amazing stuff.
Some ten years ago I was almost punching cards there.. Every other Saturday I would be roaming the crowded aisles finding new stuff to try or buying food for the week.
The Escabeche Series
Escabeche is my new object of obsession, and it is a great one.
It is an acid marinate that can be served hot, warm or even cold (don’t finch, it is the most common way to eat it).
Instead of Ceviche which the food is chemically cooked by the action of the acid, in Escabeche the food ...
Ok it is shameful that I am posting a recipe this simple, but bear with me for a moment. these croutons are wonderful and multi-propose. It is the best stuffing that you can have for a chicken or fish.
Last time that we went to the farm we came home with over 3 kilos of limes, not only ...
Please stand with me: I am on a weird frame of mind today.
That said, I would like to say sorry for the lack of posting. I broke my camera and it was being fixed. Update: I also half-wrote this article and never finished for a week
I will save for a later day a large and boring ...
This kind of thing is one of the reasons why I started a blog.
Pancakes and Apples
One day I was making an experimental apple pie trying a off center approach to ...
The leftover potato
Let me be the first to admit: Brazil is a weird place. We have so much diversity in ingredients and on the other hand we are deprived in some other ones.
Most of the time we can blame on the climate. Vegetables and fruits that need cold are hard to grow here.. And hard to grow is ...
Yeah, sometimes we bit more than we can chew.. specially with hot foods
Sources of heat
I have to let you in a secret: I like spiced food; and a bigger secret: A LOT!
But rest assured that my carvings are not for only heat.. but for the fresh taste of hot pepper. I’d rather have a very tasty pepper ...
The Wedding party in Brazil
Like most traditions it feels that they all follow a unwritten(sometimes even written) script.
But that is was tradition is, isn’t it? A cozy, well known dance that all can follow at the same time without fear of the unexpected.
Most of what I will say here applies to the most traditional weddings.
I do admit: I like invisibility. Invisibility in a very specific way: IM invisibilty. The best way to do that is to hide in plain sight. So I am always available on all instant messengers all the time.
Add that to the fact that I live on a weird timezone and there’s not a way to know if ...
The quest for shrimp
Since last Thursday I’ve been in a mood for shrimp.
Here in Brazil we say that the best time for shrimp are the months that don’t have an “r” on its name. May, June, July, August in case you wondered. During those months the price goes slightly down and they are slightly larger. And in case ...
It started like it always does. I become obsessed with a food, ingredient or method and can’t stop until I am happy with the results.
One day I noticed that I like bread. I like bread a lot. So I decided to make bread.
For 15 days in a row I baked. The results going from me being sick (sour ...
I normally hate pasta salads. I hate mayo and every pasta salad that I would normally find looks like a giant glob of vileness.
I feel that pasta salad should be treated, oddly enough, as a salad with pasta.
My dressing for it is pretty much the same dressing that I would use on a tomato salad only in greater ...
I first had this cake in Sausburg in Austria (the Photo is from that time) and I became obsessed (no great news there) so I had to try to make it .
At first it looked like a regular Marble cake but the taste was a little bit off , slightly more sour and complex, after some short research I found that ...
I do the hot wings on a 3 stage method:
first I marinate then I steam and finally I barbecue them.
Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and coat the wings.
Let it seat covered on the fridge for 20 mins minimum.
On a steamer or a colander inside a big covered pan steam the wings for ...
Croatia has some very important arguments. One that I like the most is Pršut. I mean ham. Those lovely pig legs cured to perfection.
Inland Croatia cures but don’t smoke, coastal Croatia dry-cures it.
If you are lucky, one day you might have to try both to check which one is better.
Paški sir (Pag island cheese)
As far ...
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