Super basic Risotto

1/4 onion, chopped or finely sliced
Butter and/or oil
70-100g (1/3-1/2 cup) rice for risotto
Broth (preferably homemade)

  1. Make a soffritto: Gently sauté the chopped or finely sliced onion in butter and/or or oil. (You can add a pinch of salt and a drop of water to soften the onions as they cook to make sure they don't burn.)
  2. Toast the rice: Then add the rice--a bit more than a handful, or 70-100g (1/3-1/2 cup) per person, depending on how hungry you are--and let it 'toast' in the soffrito for a few minutes-- just until the grains turn a chalky white color.
  3. Add wine: Then add a splash of wine--almost always white, but red is possible in a few instances and, for a very special risotto, you can use champagne—and let it evaporate.
  4. Add broth ladle by ladle: Then add broth, ladle by ladle, allowing each ladleful of broth to evaporate before adding the next ladleful, stirring often. (There are some cooks who say it's only necessary to stir when adding the broth.) Repeat until the rice is 'al dente', which should take around 20 minutes.
  5. 'La mantecatura': When the rice is cooked, you take the risotto off heat and, for most risotti, add a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese and, if you like, a bit of butter, mixing vigorously to create a creamy consistency. (This last step is called la mantecatura—which I might loosely translate as enrichment, the idea being that by adding cheese and butter and agitating the rice kernels and releasing their starch, you give the risotto a rich, creamy texture.)
  6. Optional Rest: You should normally serve your risotto immediately. But for a slightly firmer risotto, you can cover and let it sit for a minute or two. If conversely the risotto is too stiff for your taste, stir in a bit of hot water, broth or cream to loosen it up.

There are three kinds of rice that are suitable for making risotto: Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. Of these, Arborio is by far the easiest to find in supermarkets outside Italy, but the other two actually make superior risotto and are worth seeking out.

If you can't find any of these, use a short or medium grained rice. If all else fails, parboiled rice can be used to make a passable, if not very authentic, dish.

Crazy black lady cake (Bolo nega Maluca)

For the cake:

3 eggs
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of cocoa powder or chocolate drink mix
1 cup of hot water
1 tbsp of baking powder
1 pinch of salt

1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of cocoa powder or chocolate drink mix
5 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup of milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inches pan.

2. In a mixer, mix the eggs and sugar. Add the oil, and sifted flour. Mix the chocolate and the hot water and beat well. Add the baking powder and whisk slowly.

3. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

For the topping:
Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it boils. Pour it over the cake when is still hot.

Pumpkin Shrimp

One large, 
8-9 pounds Cinderella or Kabocha pumpkin, thoroughly washed and dried
1 1/2 large onions, minced, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 pounds raw medium or large shrimp, heads and tails removed, peeled and deveined
Juice of one lime
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut around the outline of the pumpkin stem. You will want to do a hole big enough so you can reach inside. Remove the stringy part and seeds, and discard.
3. In the food processor (or a mortar and pestle), combine 1/2 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until it gets to a paste-like consistency. Spread that mixture all over the insides of the pumpkin.
4. Rub the pumpkin outside with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Close with the top part and roast for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the pumpkin is starting to get soft. Remove from oven and reserve, discarding the top or reserving for decoration.
5. While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the shrimp stew. Start by seasoning the shrimp generously with lime juice, salt and pepper.
In a large Dutch Oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the shrimp and sauté until cooked, about 2-3 minutes per side. Be careful not to overcook it! Remove (along with any release juices) and reserve.
6. Reduce heat to medium and wipe the pot if needed. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and, once hot, sauté the remaining chopped onion and garlic, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Stir in the flour and mix until incorporated.
Add the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Once thickened to the desired consistency, stir in the heavy cream and 1/3 cup chopped parsley. Return the shrimp (and juices) to the pot, stirring to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Remove from heat and reserve.
8. Wipe the inside of the pumpkin with a paper towel, to get rid of any excess liquid.
Spread the cream cheese inside the pumpkin, all over the bottom and sides. 
9. Fill the pumpkin with the shrimp stew, top with the parmesan cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and the top is bubbly and golden.
Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve, with white rice.


Coconut kisses
Brigadeiro (Chocolate fudge dessert)

Brazilian coconut kisses (Beijinho)

Beans Brazilian style

Poor bitch rice (Arroz de Puta Pobre)

Leftover barbecue beef, chicken diced
Rice (1 - 2 cups)
hot boiled water (2 - 4 cups)
1 onion. chopped
1/4 cup bacon, chopped
2 sausage (spicy or mild)
½ - ⅔ cup diced roasted red bell pepper
¼ cup parsley or cilantro
2 cloves garlic
3 limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
A handfull of cashew seeds or peanuts depending on how poor this bitch is
Optional ingrediends: corn, peas, ham, cheese, vegetables or any leftover you have on your fridge
  • Dice the yellow or white onions
  • Dice leftover grilled steak into small cubes
  • Dice ½ - ⅔ cup roasted red bell peppers
  • Saute onions with bacon in 2 tablespoons of olive oil till translucent in color, about 5 minutes
  • Add sausage to the pot
  • Add the cubed beef and stir
  • Add the rice. The amount of rice added depends on how much leftover meat you have, and how many people you want to feed. In this recipe, I used 1¾ cups of rice. Stir the rice well, making sure it's coated with the ingredients of the pot. Have some hot boiled water handy. Add the water to the pot. Add double the amount of water for every cup of rice.
  • Add 2 cloves of pressed garlic and salt to taste.
  • Now add the diced red bell peppers.
  • Stir, cover and cook for 20 - 25 minutes. If you find that after 20 minutes, the rice is too dry, add a bit more water.
  • Chop up a handful of parsley/cilantro and drop it in the pot right before taking it off the heat.
  • Serve in a large platter with cashewls on top.
  • Top each plate with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy

Queijadinha (Coconut and cheese muffin)

1 can sweetened condensed milk 14 oz
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
2 egg yolks at room temperature and passed through a strainer to remove the clear yolk membrane
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F ( 180 C). Line a mini or standard-size muffin baking pan with paper baking cups.
  • In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together until obtaining a homogeneous mixture.
  • Using a cookie or ice cream scooper, fill 3/4 of the paper cups with the batter. Clean off any stray drips from the baking pan with a wet paper towel.
  • Bake for about 13 minutes (mini) or for 20 minutes (standard-size). Remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy! Note: It can be served warm or at room temperature. Yield: About 24 mini queijadinhas or 8-10 standard-size


Galinhada (Rice and chicken one pot meal)

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs about 4-5 thighs (or skin-on, bone-in if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 5 saffron threads or 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion small diced
  • 1 large green or red bell pepper small diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups white rice long-grain
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 large diced tomatoes skin and seeds removed (or about 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, pasrley or basil (fresh and chopped)
  • 2 tbsp green onions chopped

    • Season the chicken with a mixture of salt, pepper, and cumin, rubbing well on both sides. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, add saffron threads (or turmeric) to the hot water and let it sit for 30 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, dice and chop the vegetables. Reserve. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp of oil and sear the chicken thighs, skin side down (or top of the thighs side down), for 3-4 minutes without moving or until skin is golden. Flip chicken to the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
    • Transfer thighs to a plate and reserve. Remove excess oil/grease (leave about 1 tbsp). Meanwhile, add and cook the onion and bell pepper over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Then add the rice and sauté for about 1-2 minutes, stirring every now and then.
    • Add the wine and let almost evaporate about 2 minutes. Stir in the saffron, the broth, the tomato paste, and the bay leaf. Transfer the chicken back to the pan, nestling them on top of the rice. Let come to a boil.
    • Then cover the pan with a lid and let cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked and rice is al dente. The rice will absorb the liquids. About 3 minutes before the end of this cooking time, add the diced tomatoes and the corn and peas, cover, and let it cook. Right before serving, squeeze lime over the thighs and add the chopped herbs.
    • OPTIONAL: Before adding the lime juice and herbs, you may brush the top of the chicken thighs with a hint of honey and broil for a couple of minutes if desired.

Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 large white onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium)
1 large potato peeled and cut into chunks
1 can sweet whole kernel corn drained (or 3 1/4 cups of fresh corn), 29 oz
1 1/2 teaspoons salt less or more depending how salty the broth is
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt or heavy cream (low-fat)
2 hot Italian sausage links cooked and cut into chunks (optional)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

  • In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat and sweat the onion for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the broth and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the potato chunks, 2 1/4 cups of the corn kernels, salt and pepper; stir.
  • Let cook for about 12 minutes or until potato is fork tender. Blend soup with the yogurt or heavy cream in a blender until creamy. Adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  • Add the remaining 1 cup of corn kernels and serve while soup is warm. It can be garnished on top with chunks of cooked sausage and chopped fresh chives.


Creamy corn cake

1 cup yellow corn -- if using canned corn 
drain before measuring, or 200 g
1 cup coconut milk
¼ cup water
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted (plus more to grease the pan), or ½ cup
1⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 cups coarse yellow corn meal
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (about 177 degrees C). Grease very well a 10-inch (about 25 cm) ring pan and set aside. NOTE: Grease the entire pan well. Do NOT miss one single corner!!
  • In a blender, blend together all ingredients until corn is completely pureed and the mixture is homogeneous and creamy. You may need to stop the blender once or twice to stir in the mixture, making it easier to blend together the ingredients.
  • Pour mixture in the greased ring pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes (mine baked in 35 mins) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let corn bundt cake cool down completely on a rack (corn bundt cake will break apart if unmolded while still warm) and run a knife gently around the edges. Place an inverted plate on top and invert corn bundt cake to unmold. This corn bundt cake is mildly sweet and can be served either for breakfast or as a snack -- warm with butter, at room temperature accompanied by a cup of coffee, or chilled and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. 

Brazilian coconut kisses

1 can sweetened condensed milk 14-ounce or 396 g1 cup sweetened coconut flakes plus more for dredging
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter softened (plus more for greasing a plate and your hands)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract optional

  • Mix the condensed milk, coconut flakes, and butter together.
  • Cook in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture starts to show the bottom of the pan when you scrape it with your wood spoon (about 5-8 minutes). 
  • When coconut kisses 'dough' is ready, remove from the heat, mix in the vanilla extract, and spread the mixture onto a greased plate.
  • Let cool to room temperature before starting to roll them into balls with greased hands. Use a 1/2 Tablespoon as measurement. Then, dredge gently in the coconut flakes until totally covered.
  • Place into paper bonbon cups. Stick a clove atop (center) of each coconut kiss if desired. The clove is only for decoration and must be removed right before eating!!!
  • Cloves for garnishing optional