Most Helpful First | Newest First
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly different,
This review is from: Cook Brazilian (Hardcover)I have never been so torn about a recipe book. It's like a culinary version of the legendary split personality of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. One the one hand, this book contains the type of traditional Brazilian dishes that I was after. On the other hand, the author presents us with contemporary recipes that sparkle and stun with the sheer volume of creativity and sophistication they reflect; but it is clear from reading them that this style of cooking (elegant as it no doubt is) lacks the charm, the heart, and the soul of the true Brazil. It will always be reserved to those gourmet temples people like Claude Troisgros established in Rio and Sao Paulo, and a culinary elite of advanced foodies - forever separated from the food of the ordinary men and women of Brazil.
In other words, I was not prepared for such an array of European-style cooking with a Brazilian veneer. Fusion is not really my thing. And yet, Leticia singlehandedly sold some of those recipes to me. These are:
Pineapple & Manchego Skewers - the pineapple is tossed in a chile-flavored caramel sauce
Salmon with Caipirinha Risotto - a creamy risotto flavored with lime juice and cachaca
Red Pepper and Brazil Nut Pesto - a red bell pepper puree with ground Brazils and malagueta chiles
Fish in Spiced Honey - succulent halibut in a honey-orange marinade then oven-cooked
The dessert chapter is where new-style Brazilian cooking departs from culinary snobbery, to form an entity with the real Brazil:
A dark chocolate version of the famous brigadeiros
Avocado Creme Brulee
Guava Paste Souffle with Mascarpone Cream (a recipe credited to reputable Brazilian chef Carla Pernambuco)
Coconut Cheesecake with Guava Sauce
These are featured alongside the longstanding Brazilian dishes that have evolved over the centuries from Portuguese, indigenous, and African roots, thus creating the unique combination of flavors and textures that are the spirit and soul of Brazilian cooking, and without the pretentiousness of haute cuisine:
Fish Moqueca - a spicy fish stew in coconut and tomato
Ximxim de galinha - the famous Bahian surf-n-turf of chicken and shrimp with a coconut-cashew-peanut sauce
Chicken Moqueca - stew with chicken, bell peppers, plantains, and coconut
Vatapa - (here you might want to add some dried shrimp to the puree for authenticity; the Chinese ones we get here are quite meaty)
Canja de galinha - a simple and tasty chicken soup with rice (though this one's perhaps more Portuguese than Brazilian)
Brazilian Chicken Pie
Beef Jerky Empanadas
Acaraje - Black-eyed Pea fritters (with or without shrimp)
... and of course Pao de queijo - cheese-infused mini dinner rolls
Though I have a real bone of contention that needs to be aired. The book shines through the seeming absence of an editor. And an editor would've been much needed: fully repeated sentence in one instance; inconsistent accentuation; differing information in the same recipe about how long something can be frozen for; ingredients mixed with others, then re-added out of thin air; the linking of Cheddar cheese to Mexico... Things like that. Please don't panic, as you'll notice long before you start to question your sanity; but it does give the impression that the author wasn't completely with it when she wrote the book.
Another thing that I personally don't like is that instructions on how to prepare ingredients most of us will probably use infrequently - like salt cod, yucca, and pastry cream - are given in one recipe, and then you get referred to that page in subsequent recipes. I just hate flipping back and fro, then back again through a book to cook one dish.
But I love the book nevertheless, as it gave me what I was looking for: traditional Brazilian recipes. I now have a sizeable collection (together with those in Elisabeth Luard's "The Latin American Kitchen," which is now sadly out of print).
5 stars for creativity. 5 stars for flavor. 5 stars for execution. 5 stars for promoting a truly fascinating, though not yet so widely known, cuisine. And most importantly, the recipes work. 5 stars for that, too.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So far, so good!,
This review is from: Cook Brazilian (Hardcover)I made the moqueca (Brazilian fish stew) from this book, and it was wonderful - tasted like the real thing I had eaten in Bahia. Make sure you get dende oil though! Looking forward to trying another one of the recipes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Present,
This review is from: Cook Brazilian: 100 Classic and Creative Recipes (Paperback)A Christmas present for my sis in law. Loves to cook and always on the lookout for interesting books. After raving about a Brazilian restaurant she had been to i thought this would be ideal and i was right!!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Brasilian cookbook!,
This review is from: Cook Brazilian (Hardcover)All the recipes I have tried so far in this cookbook have lived up to my expectations of truly delicious Brasilian food as experienced throughout my life. A real must for anyone who enjoys Latin American food. The recipes are easy to follow and uncomplicated to make.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Cook Brazilian by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz (Hardcover - 11 Feb 2010)
Used & New from: £7.20