Saturday, 22 February 2014

Steak, Farofa and Rice with Black beans

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil 2007 holds some fabulous memories for me. I was fortunate to spend two months volunteering in Rio Das Pedras favela in 2007 and meeting some kind, hard working people and trying some of the diverse exotic culinarily delights. Rio, was the first place I discovered churros which were sold on many street corners for around 50p, Acai drink made from a berry from the Amazon and a lovely side accompaniment farofa. Farofa, is widely eaten in many families of African heritage in Brazil (that's 60 million of them) and also known as gari in Nigeria and West Africa. It's quite difficult to describe what farofa tastes like, beside a savoury and slightly seasoned crumble topping. Farofa is an essential accompaniment with fejoada, the national dish of Brazil but I have paired it with other Latin American flavours: lightly seasoned steak with a sweet chili lime sauce, rice and black beans and plantain chips. Now all you need is to make a caipirinha drink and you will be the girl (boy) from Ipanema.
Here is how my steak, farofa rice and black beans turned out:
Steak, farofa with rice and black beans

Ingredients for steak dish.

Seasoned steak

Farofa cooking

Sauce for steak.
Recipe for steak, Farofa and Rice Black Beans.

Serves 2
2 Sirloin steak
Juice of 1 lime
2 chillies, finely sliced
1 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tbsp dark muscavodo sugar
All purpose seasoning
Black pepper
2tbsp olive
Optional plantain chips

For the rice and black beans

For the Moros y Cristanos (rice and black beans), serves 4-6 recipe from Eat Cuban cookbook.  2 tablespoon of olive oil

25g bacon lardons,
1 small onion, chopped
250g long grain rice,
125g tinned black beans
1 tablespoon finely chopped
salt and black pepper

For the farfofa
15g bacon lardons
1 cup of manioc (cassava) flour
1 clove of garlic.

Season the steak with the all purpose seasoning, chili, black pepper and garlic clove, set aside.
Pour in 1 litre of water and 1 tbsp of the olive oil, salt to taste and bring to the boil over a high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes (as the black beans are already cooked). Whilst the black beans are boiling cook 250g long grain rice with around 500 ml water.  Once the black beans are cooked fry the bacon lardons over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, add the onion then add this to the black beans. You can either add the rice to the black bean mixture or place the black beans on top of the rice once on the plate.

Heat a frying pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and cook the steak on 5 minutes each side if you like the steak medium. Heat 1tsp oil in a pan and squeeze a juice of lime, 2tbsp brown sugar, 1 chili and heat on a medium heat for around 3 minutes. In another frying pan heat a tbsp oil and add the bacon lardons for 3-4 minutes. Add the manioc flour and garlic continuously stirring for around 3-4 minutes until well mixed and cooked through (any longer and the manioc flour will burn). Once the steak is cooked, arrange on a plate with the rice, black beans and plantain chips.

I am sharing this recipe with Laura from and Nazima from who hosts a monthly One Ingredient Food challenge, this month's theme is lime, which this wonderful recipe includes.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Puerto Rican chicken.

I love Levi Root's Caribbean Food Made Easy cookbook, it's just as good as his debut "Reggae Reggae cook book". This recipe, is from the Spanish speaking, American colonial island of Puerto Rico, nestled between Dominican Republic ( a lovely holiday resort) and St Kitts and Nevis. This dish reminded me of Spanish Chicken, as it's a one-pot dish but the Caribbean flavours such as ginger, garlic, sweet peppers, chili, all spice and turmeric makes this dish distinctively Puerto Rican.
This dish turned out to be lovely, spicy and flavoursome and will make it again in the near future. I must urge anyone who has not tried Caribbean food to go and purchase this book!
Puerto Rican chicken
My family thoroughly enjoyed this, a simple one pot spicy Caribbean inspired dish.
Puerto Rican chicken baked
I first started by seasoning the chicken and leaving to marinade for several hours to allow the flavours to infuse.
Seasoned Puerto Rican chicken
Puerto Rican chicken pre bake.

Recipe for Puerto Rican Chicken
Serves 4
175g basmati rice
3 tbsp sunflower
8 chicken pieces
2 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
salt and pepper
1, onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 green pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 all spice berries - or grounded all spice
1 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
2cm root ginger
1 hot chili, ideally scotch bonnet.
600ml chicken stock
100g pitted green olives, ideally stuffed with pimento.

1) Wash the rice in a large bowl, changing the water until it runs clear. Heat the oil in a casserole 30cm. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the all-purpose seasoning and salt and pepper and brown them well on all sides (you don't need to cook it through at this point. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside. Add the onion, peppers and garlic to the same pan and saute over a medium heat until the peppers are softening. Add the allspice, turmeric, ginger and chili and cook for a minute, stirring.
2) If you are using a casserole, reintroduce the chicken and continue to cook in this. If you are using a fry pan transfer everything to an ovenproof dish, about 30cm in diameter; it must be big enough to accommodate all the chicken in a single layer.
3) Pour the rice all round the chicken, pour over the stock, add the thyme and bay leaves and season everything really well. If cooking on the hob, continue to simmer gently over a low heat for 40 minutes.   If cooking in the oven, cook for 40 minutes at 190C/375F/gas mark . When it is cooked all the stock all the stock should be absorbed, the top golden and the chicken cooked through.
4) Scatter on the olives about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

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