October 2013: Brazil

October 2013: Brazil

Quick Facts

Official Language(s): Portuguese
Some Other Languages Spoken: Apalaí, Arara, Bororo, Canela, Carajá, Caribe, Guarani, Kaingang, Nadëb, Nheengatu, Pirahã, Terena, Tucano, Tupiniquim
Ethnic Groups: white 53.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 38.5%, black 6.2%, other (includes Japanese, Arab, Amerindian) 0.9%, unspecified 0.7%

Food Facts:
Brazil’s cuisine is a reflection of the varied native and immigrant populations throughout the country, with marked regional differences and influences from European and African cuisines. Popular local ingredients include cassava (also known as manioc or yucca), acai, guarana, black beans, and other fruits, seeds, beans, and root vegetables. Brazilian cuisine is charactered by everything from simple meals, such as rice and beans or churrasco (barbecued meats) to more complex seafood and meat stews, small savory snacks and street foods, and sweet desserts and pastries.

Recipe: Bobó de Camarão (Shrimp in Cassava Cream)
Bobó de Camarão is a classic dish from the state of Bahia. The word “Bobó” comes from the Ewe language and it’s said that this dish was brought to Brazil by inhabitants of current day Ghana and adapted for the produce available in Brazil. The primary ingredients in the dish are staple Brazilian ingredients: cassava, coconut milk, palm oil, and fresh shrimp. Cassava is a root vegetable, also known as manioc, yucca, and a handful of other names. When dried to a powder, it’s also referred to as tapioca. Cassava is used in both sweet and savory dishes. In this dish, it’s used to help create a savory cream sauce. A puree of vegetables, including cassava, and aromatics is cooked with coconut milk and then added to a stir fry that contains more vegetables, aromatics, shrimp, and fresh herbs, resulting in a richly colored and flavored dish. Bobó de Camarão is generally served on its own or over a bed of rice.

2 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
1 small onion, cut into pieces
1 red pepper, cut into small pieces
4 small tomatoes, seeded and peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs peeled cassava, cut into pieces or grated
1 can (13.5 oz) sugar-free coconut milk
13.5 oz water (approximately 1 2/3 cups)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or chopped
1 small onion, cut into thin pieces
4 small tomatoes, seeded and peeled
2 lbs fresh and peeled shrimp
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
6.75 oz (half a can) sugar-free coconut milk
Hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish, if desired

For the Cassava purée:
In blender, blend the two garlic cloves, onion, pepper and tomatoes for 2 minutes.
In skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat; add the blended mixture and the pieces of cassava, and stir constantly.
Add the coconut milk and water, and cook over low heat until the cassava is tender. Mash it with a fork until it has the consistency of purée. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Alternatively, the cassava can be cooked ahead of time and then pureed with the other vegetables and added to the coconut milk).

For the Seafood stir fry:
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cloves, onion, shrimp and tomatoes. Once the shrimp shows some color, add the chopped cilantro and blend.
Stir in the cassava purée, half a can of coconut milk and tabasco sauce to taste. Taste for salt and pepper.
Lastly, add the chopped parsley for garnish.

Serves 4.
Source: http://www.quericavida.com/en/recipes/shrimp-bobo/#

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