Mexidinho à Mineira

If you are reading this blog in English, it’s likely that you never tried “comida mineira” or food from Minas Gerais, a state in Brazil. In Brazil, each state has its own culinary style, and in my opinion, Minas Gerais is on top of it. If you want to have an idea, go to google and type “comida mineira” and take a look at the images. They speak for themselves… dishes with bacon, sausages, pork, beans, and of course “farofa”. Farofa is a toasted manioc flour mixture that can be found in some delicatessen in the UK. I always bring mine from Brazil every time I go back 🙂

This recipe is a one pot rice dish, perfectly for weeknight dinners, which combines wonderful flavours. My mom and I saw this recipe on tv once, and we had to make it on that same evening. After that, I lost count how many times we had it. There is only one problem… it’s impossible to stop eating! Give it a try and tell me if you can.

Mexidinho à Mineira

Ingredients

  • 80g bacon, cubed
  • 200g smoked sausage, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large tomato, cubed (seeds removed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g collard greens (known as fresh greens in UK), stalk removed and finely sliced
  • 2 cups cooked black-eyed peas
  • 4 cups cooked long grain rice
  • chopped parsley
  • 1 chili finely chopped (seeds removed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • 50g farofa (toasted manioc flour mixture)
  • 100g halloumi

Preparation

  1. Heat a large saucepan and fry the bacon (it’s not necessary to add oil). Transfer to a plate with kitchen paper and reserve. On the fat remaining in the frying pan, fry the sausage. When the sausage is cooked, add the onion, garlic, chili (if using), tomatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  2. In another frying pan (preferably non stick), make scrambled eggs and reserve. On this frying pan, add the collard greens just to wilt it but still keeping the vibrant green colour. Season with salt and reserve. Slice the halloumi into tick slices and grill it until they have a nice golden crust. Cube the halloumi and reserve.
  3. In the saucepan with the bacon and sausage mixture, add the beans, rice, parsley, scrambled eggs, greens, and the bay leave. Season if necessary (but be careful as the bacon and sausage are already salty). Mix well carefully so you don’t break the rice grains or smash the beans.
  4. Add the farofa slowly, the cheese cubes and mix everything together. Remove the bay leave and serve.

Yield: 4 a 6 servings.

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Smoked Haddock and Leek Risotto

I saw this recipe in the April/2010 edition of the Good Food magazine (also here) and I saved it as one of the recipes I wanted to make at some point. I love risottos and although I hadn’t tried smoked haddock until then, anything smoked sounds good to me. Well, we then started this campaign at home to try to eat less red meat and that’s when this recipe came back to my mind and, fortunately, I gave it a try.

It’s very easy to make and it doesn’t even require to be stirring the whole time (forgive me the Italians). You can substitute the haddock with bacon, but I would definitely try with the smoked fish first. You won’t regret it. I’ll definitely be making this again and again.

Smoked Haddock and Leek Risotto

Ingredients

  • small knob of butter
  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced
  • 300g risotto rice , such as arborio or carnaroli
  • 700ml fish or vegetable stock
  • 250ml full-fat milk
  • 375g undyed smoked haddock , skinned and cut into large chunks
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 100g baby spinach

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat the butter in a large ovenproof dish over a medium heat. Cook the leek for 4-5 mins, stirring regularly, until just tender. Add the rice and stir for a further 2 mins.
  2. Add the stock and milk, bring to the boil and bubble for 5 mins before sitting the haddock on top. Cover with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 18 mins until the rice is tender.
  3. Fold in the crème fraîche and spinach, season with plenty of black pepper, then cover the pan again and leave to rest out of the oven for 3 mins before serving – the steam will soften the spinach.

Yield: 4 servings