7 Recipes Bringing the Best of Brazil to Your Home

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Between the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016, we’ve got Brazil on the brain — and not only when it comes to sports. Brazilian food draws on other cuisines, like Italian and Portuguese. Dishes vary by region, with localities putting their own stamp on meals and specific recipes. Before Brazil takes over your television, let it take over your kitchen with these seven recipes.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rosapomar/

1. Rabanada

Take the French out of your French toast by making rabanadas, the Brazilian (and Portuguese) take on the popular breakfast item. Common at Christmastime, make rabanadas when you want a special treat for breakfast. Although this recipe from Chow says to soak the bread for at least four hours, other recipes shorten the time considerably — such as this one which only soaks the bread for about half an hour. It also skips the candy thermometer, judging the heat of the pan by the sizzle of the oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet or sourdough baguette
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions: Cut baguette on the bias into 1-inch-thick slices (you should have about 16 slices). Place eggs, condensed milk, whole milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until evenly combined. Pour mixture into a shallow dish that will snugly hold all of the bread (a glass baking dish or a large pie plate) and add baguette slices. Turn slices to coat well in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until egg mixture is almost completely absorbed, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Place sugar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix until evenly distributed; set aside. When the bread has finished soaking, fill a medium pot with oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium heat until the oil registers 330 degrees Fahrenheit on a deep-fat, or candy thermometer. Place reserved cinnamon-cocoa mixture on a plate and set aside. Line another plate with paper towels and set aside.

Remove bread slices from the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Place 4 to 6 pieces of bread in the hot oil but don’t overcrowd the pot. Fry until bread slices are dark golden brown on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. (You’ll want the oil to maintain a temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit while the bread is frying; adjust the heat as necessary.) Flip and fry another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to the paper-towel-lined plate to drain. While still hot, dredge French toast in the cinnamon-cocoa mixture and shake off any excess. Repeat the frying process with the remaining bread slices and serve.

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