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Brazilian fast food fare

Published: 
Saturday, July 5, 2014

All eyes are glued to the television during this exciting World Cup time when we get together to enjoy the matches and our routine liming foods. Thousands of tourists have flocked to the many regions of Brazil to take part in the World Cup celebrations and enjoy the essence of this breathtakingly beautiful and diverse country. Brazilian foods are as diverse as the country itself. Each region’s food reflects its culture and influences and there are strong flavours from the African and Portuguese heritage.

In planning the concession stands for the 2014 World Cup, the decision was made to offer not just regular fast food like hot dogs and fries, but to also offer a taste of Brazil. Football fans are being treated to a taste of traditional Brazilian cuisine. At the games, they can buy popular street foods like acarajes, a black-eyed pea and shrimp fritter, or a salt cod and potato fritter, much like our accras but made with potato and salted fish. Deep fried empanadas are also popular. These are deep fried pastry pockets filled with a variety of savoury meat fillings.

 

To wash the food down, there is the popular Brazilian soft drink Guarana soda, made from or flavoured with the guarana plant native to Brazil. If you are looking for something stronger, look no further than the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail that showcases their liquor, cachaca. And for the sweet endings, there is the Bolo de Rolo, a multi-layered jam roll cake made with guava paste as well as Beijinhos, the rolled coconut candies made from cooking together condensed milk, coconut, and butter. As the Brazilians say Bom Apetite! 

 

ACARAJÉS

The traditional method for preparing these fritters is quite labour intensive - it involves soaking dried black eyed peas and removing the skins. This recipe is a short version that uses canned black-eyed peas. It speeds up the process but is not completely authentic.

For the filling
1 onion
1 tsp chile powder
1 cup small shrimp, fresh or frozen, shelled and de-veined
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the fritters:
2 cans black eyed peas
1 clove garlic
1 onion
1 tsp pepper sauce
1 – 2 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Coconut or vegetable oil for frying

METHOD
Slice the onion very thinly.
Place the onions in a skillet with the olive oil, add with salt and chile powder, and sauté on medium heat until they are soft and golden brown (about 15 minutes). 
Add the shrimp and sauté until shrimp are pink.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 

FOR THE FRITTERS
Thoroughly drain the black eyed peas and place them in the food processor. 
Roughly chop the onion and garlic, and add to the peas.
Add the pepper sauce, process mixture just until very well blended. 
Add flour by the tablespoon, until the mixture is stiff enough to hold a shape. Divide into 15 pieces, and shape into balls or ovals. 
Heat two inches of oil in a pot on medium-high heat.
Fry several fritters at a time until browned on all sides. Drain fritters on a plate lined with paper towels. 
Fritters can be kept warm in a 200-degree oven. 

TO SERVE
Split fritters in half and fill with a spoonful of the onion and shrimp mixture. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6

 

SALT COD FRITTERS

 

8 ozs salted cod (saltfish)
8 ozs potatoes
1 onion
1 egg
2 blades chadon beni, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil to deep fry

METHOD
Soak the fish in water for 30 minutes, strip and wash.
Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over fish.
Boil potatoes until tender.
Grate onion.
Process fish in a food processor until fine, add potatoes, onion, egg and chopped chadon beni.
Season mixture with salt and pepper.
Heat about two inches of oil in a pot, make mixture into one inch balls and fry until golden.
Serve hot.

Makes 12