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snack – La Gourmandista

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Etiqueta: snack

Pão de Queijo or Brazilian Cheese Puffs

My first encounter with Brazilian culture was at the age of 18 when I travelled abroad to study in the United States and met students from many different countries; among them, Brazil. Today, 25 years later, I am still in touch with one of those Brazilian girls, and even though we have only met once more, we care for each other quite a bit, just like when we first met. I hope that when the situation we are currently living in the world ends I soon get the chance to go visit her in her country. 

Later, it wasn’t until a decade later that I became interested in Brazil and its language due to my work and the need to communicate thereof, so, I started to study the language of Vasco de Gama and even to dance (quite badly) a bit of samba in an event of the language center the Brazilian Embassy used to have in Mexico back then.

But, how did the pão de queijo become part of my gastronomical baggage? Well, I think and believe it was actually when I arrived to live in the Washington DC area, when in an event they were served and I totally fell in love with them. I asked for the recipe here and there, but nothing came about. Everyone said they were easy to make, but no one told me how. And it was just during these quarantine days when another friend, also Brazilian, but who lives in Mexico, who told me that a well-known chef from her country had shared the recipe. She did, however, make some comments taste-wise. I adapted as I saw fit, and here are my results:

You may, of course, adapt as need there’d be if you don’t have a specific ingredient or cannot seem to find it.

Pão de queijo or Brazilian Cheese Puffs

An addictive bite to be loved by all and which will invite everyone to get together for an apéritif.

  • Medium bowl
  • Medium Pot
  • Spatula
  • Soup Spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • 60 gr water
  • 40 gr milk
  • 6 gr kosher salt
  • 150 gr tapioca flour (cornstarch will surely work perfectly)
  • 1 egg
  • 60 gr shredded mozzarella
  • 20 gr shredded pecorino romano (parmigiano reggiano will also work quite well)
  1. Add the tapioca flour or cornstarch and the salt in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Boil the water, milk, and oil in a saucepan or pot and then pour the liquid in the bowl. Mix well.

  3. Add the egg previously whisked.
  4. Incorporate the pecorino romano cheese, and then add the mozzarella.
  5. Take a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and arrange small balls of dough of approximately one tablespoon each leaving enough space in between, since they will puff up a little when they go into the oven.
  6. Put the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes and preheat the oven at 350 °F (180 °C).
  7. Once the oven reaches temperature, bake the cheese puffs for about 10 minutes.
  8. Serve warm; it’s when they taste best.

Oven preheated at 350 °F (180 °C)

Snack
Brazilian
apéritif, Brazil, lockdown2020, snack, stay home

How to Make Crispy Kale Chips

As a child, I used to think adults didn’t like snacks such as Doritos, Chee-tos, and the sort because my parents, as well as the adults I was in contact with would only eat a few pieces, if any. What they would have were olives, cheese, patés, and cold cuts or charcuterie. I think I was about 5 or 6 years old, and remember thinking back then that maybe one day I would stop liking them. Today, I think I understand how it all works.

Truly, my mother wasn’t a nutrition guru, and she knew my beloved chips weren’t healthy at all, yet she would let us eat those delicious crisps which were widely known by their slogan “betcha can’t eat just one” much more often than she would have probably wanted to.

But you know what? I still like them to date, however, I am now conscious that I shouldn’t eat them. So, I now go with the flow and prepare a version with no saturated fat or preservatives which will satisfy the craving every once in a blue moon. And well, it’s winter, so, they are in season… and even though, this cabbage used to be almost unknown for it had been forgotten after WWII, it’s now very popular to eat.

Kale Chips

Homey alternatives to fried snacks such as this one allows everyone to tame cravings as well as to give a chance to new ingredients that normally wouldn't be attractive for some.

  • Chopping board
  • Chef's Knife
  • Big Bowl
  • Salad spinner or colander
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • 100 g kale leaves
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 1 pinch Salt and pepper
  • 1 pinch pequin pepper or pepper flakes
  1. Wash and disinfect the kale leaves. I like disinfecting with a dash of apple vinegar and a pinch of baking soda. Strain the leaves with the help of a salad spinner and cut the central vein, since it is here where the kale keeps the most amount of water.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set the kale leaves in one sole layer. Spray or some olive oil on top. Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and pequin chili powder.
  3. Put in the oven for a few minutes being careful of their being toasted and crispy, and not burnt. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

Snack
Homey
chips, kale, snack
es_MXSpanish