|Pão de Queijo(Brazilian Cheese Bread)|
trying many new local foods and brews and, sad to say, was highly disappointed. Overall, the food was plain and lacking flavor or spice. However, there were a few things that absolutely blew my mind. Feijoada and Pão de Queijo were two of these things. Feijoada is the national dish of Brasil and rightfully so. Depending on the region of Brasil, it is usually served at restaurants only two days of the week. In São Paulo it was served on Thursdays and Sundays. In Rio de Janeiro it was served on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It consists of a base of beans and rice, with many cuts of meat that have been stewed in the bean juices for several hours. You can add various cuts of meat to your liking until your plate is full and piping hot. Delicious. My focus in this post is Pão de Queijo, a Brazilian cheese bread that is served at almost every restaurant, cafe, and bar. In terms of serving, it's like what we Americans might consider breadsticks at Olive Garden, cheese rolls at Red Lobster, or a bagel with your morning coffee. It's more of a snack than a meal but I can assure you I turned many of these golden little bites of perfection into a meal in terms of sheer quantity.
As far as I'm aware these little puffs are gluten free which is something I care very little about but I thought I would let you know just in case you're interested.
For this recipe you will need Tapioca Flour, Water, Oil(Vegetable or Corn), Salt, Whole Milk, Eggs, and Parmesan Cheese. The hardest ingredient to find is Tapioca Flour, also called tapioca starch or manoic starch. I found some at a specialty foods store once, and an asian grocery store another time, usually with all the other baking goods(flour, sugar, spices, etc). Here's a great place to get some from too.
So here's what you need:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil(vegetable or corn)
1 tablespoon sea salt or regular salt
1 cup milk(whole or 2%)
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups tapioca flour
Approximately 2 large eggs(add at least two and add more to achieve desired thickness)
1. Pour tapioca flour and cheese in a large bowl, set aside.
2. Put 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup water, and salt in a pot. Stir until boiling. Watch this stuff carefully, if you turn away for even a second, the pot can bubble over and make a big mess. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble and rise, take off the stove and slowly add to the tapioca flour while mixing in the bowl.
3. Almost immediately the dough will get crazy thick. Try to smooth it out as best as you can with a large spoon or something.
|Kneading the dough, checking for desired thickness. Lumpy Play-Doh is just about right.|
5. Add your initial two eggs and knead the dough, then add one egg at a time and repeat the kneading until it's about the consistency of Play-Doh.
6. Use a spoon or butter knife to scrape what you can off your hands back into the bowl.
7. Wash your hands and get all the leftover goop off, now you're almost ready to bake. Clean hands is important for the next step.
8. Since the dough is really sticky, pour about a tablespoon of oil onto your hands before you roll the dough. You may need to do this a few times. I keep a small bowl with a bit of oil in it to add more oil to my hands on-the-fly as necessary .
9. With a spoon, scoop a piece of dough a little smaller than the palm of your hand, and roll it into a ball.
10. Place each ball on a greased pan or greased sheet of aluminum foil(also on a pan). Place each ball about 2 inches apart from each other.
11. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the cheese bread is a medium golden brown.
12. After you pull them out of the oven, let them sit for about 5 minutes and enjoy!
|Bob Ross should have painted this. Happy little puffs of deliciousness.|
If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out! I love this stuff. I'm addicted really. Enjoy!