Sunday, July 10, 2011

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

 If you've been to Tucano's or any other Brazilian eatery (or are lucky enough to be Brazilian and eat these all the time), then you may be familiar with these deeeelicious cheesy bread bites. Rory and I always fought over the last one in the bread basket at Tucano's when we went while poor college students. Usually for an anniversary, and always for lunch. (cheaper) but enough about us, how about these lovely yummy little nuggets? They're so easy to make and ooey gooey full of cheese! I paired them with Mexican Mac and Cheese (so it was a heavy cheese meal, lol) but they'd be great with anything really!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)
from All
1/2 cup olive oil or butter
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Pour olive oil, water, milk, and salt into a large saucepan, and place over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately, and stir in tapioca flour and garlic until smooth. Set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Stir the cheese and egg into the tapioca mixture until well combined, the mixture will be chunky like cottage cheese. Drop rounded, 1/4 cup-sized balls of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet. (my batter was a bit runny so I poured it into a mini muffin tin-it worked great!)
4. Bake in preheated oven until the tops are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mexican Mac and Cheese

 This is cheesy, yummy, and a teeny bit spicy from the chilis. Also a great vegetarian (and pantry) meal.

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Recipe (yield 8-10 servings):

16 oz bag uncooked pasta, any kind you prefer (I used some ziti but usually use egg noodles)
3-4 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 15 oz can of corn
3/4-1 cup whole milk
1 7 oz can diced green chiles (make sure you don't buy the small can)
2 1/2 tablespoons salt, divided
pepper to taste

Fill a large pot half way full with water. Add to the water 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. I like to make mine in a large skillet. Dump the corn, chiles, and 3/4 cup milk. Turn heat to medium. Stir and allow everything to heat through for 3-5 minutes. When the milk begins to bubble around the edges, add shredded cheese in batches. Stir mixture and allow each batch to completely melt before adding the next. I do this about three times. Your noodles will finish cooking sometime around now, so remove them from heat and drain in a colander. When the noodles have finished draining, put them back in the same pot you used to boil them in. Set aside. The sauce should be about done at this point. Give it a good stir and make sure the cheese is all melted. If you feel like the sauce is too thick you can add a little more milk in to thin it or if you feel like it is too thin then add a little more cheese (you can't go wrong). Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. It won't need much pepper, but it will need some salt. Start with 1/2 tablespoon and go from there. When the sauce is seasoned to your liking, pour all the sauce directly over the waiting noodles in the pot. Stir to combine and coat. Serve immediately.