Blog-checking lines: Rachel Dana was our October 2012 Daring Cooks' Challenge hostess! Rachel brought Brazil into our lives by challenging us to make Feijoada and Farofa along with some other yummy side dishes traditionally served with Feijoada, which is a delicious black bean and pork stew.
I don't think that I had ever eaten Brazilian food, let alone cook it before this challenge. Let's just say that it was so tasty (and relatively easy) that I will be doing both again soon. Feijoada is a traditional black bean and pork stew, served over rice. Rachel's recipe called for smoked/salted meats that I couldn't find, so I went with a plain old piece of pork roast, along with spicy sausage and chirizo. I was doubtful that the overall stew would have a lot of flavour, given the simplicity of the ingredients, especially the lack of a lot of spices. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was full of flavour and richness.
The Farofa is an odd dish that is hard to explain for both taste and texture. The recipe called for Yucca (manioc) flour, but that was just not be found in Halifax. Our hostess suggested that corn flour (not corn meal) could be used to substitute. Since we had a lot left over from making tamales, I was all set. Farofa is basically fried onions that you fry an egg on top of, add already cooked bacon, a whole lot of butter and then the flour. So you really end up with flavoured fried flour. It tasted great, especially alongside the stew, but it did have an odd flour-y consistency.
The other 2 sides were sautéed greens (we had farm fresh Swiss Chard) and a vinaigrette which was very much like a fresh salsa. All the flavours complimented each other well and made for an overall delicious meal.
A strange coincidence happened the same day that this challenge came out. I got a Groupon email for a 50% a Feijoada meal at a local Brazilian restaurant. Of course I signed up for the coupon right away. We haven't had a chance to use it yet, but I look forward to seeing how my meal compares to the real deal.