Cook’s Corner

Go Brazilian with festive feijoada


Main dish

Texas de Brazil’s Feijoada

2 pounds dried black beans

1/2 pound smoked bacon, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 pound Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1-inch slices

1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 small yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

2 bay leaves

2 small malagueta or other hot chiles (optional)

Salt to taste

Rinse the beans well and soak in water to cover plus 1 inch for about 2 hours. Water should be almost completely absorbed.

In a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, sauté the bacon with the oil briefly. Add the chorizo and beef and sauté until nicely browned. Add the onion and garlic and cook about 2 more minutes

Add the beans and any left water from the soaking plus the bay leaves and chiles. Add enough water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 1 hour or until the beans are soft and the sauce thickens and is a chocolate color. You may need to add more water; the feijoada shouldn’t be a thick paste, but should be be creamy. Add salt to taste. Makes 16 servings.

Source: Adapted by Linda Cicero from Texas de Brazil.

Per serving: 455 calories (41 percent from fat), 20.5 g fat (6.9 g saturated, 9 g monounsaturated), 57 mg cholesterol, 30.5 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 8.8 g fiber, 696 mg sodium.

Side dish

Garlic Kale Salad a la Whole Foods

1 bunch raw kale, about 1 pound, rinsed and patted dry

3 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

4 tablespoons lemon juice or cider vinegar

2 tablespoons, or to taste, low-sodium soy sauce

3 to 4 larg garlice cloves, minced

About 2 tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish

Remove the stems from the kale and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Place in a large container. Measure the tahini, yeast, lemon juice, soy sauce and garlic into the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until ingredients are pureed and frothy. Pour over the kale. With clean hands, toss well so the leaves are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow kale to wilt slightly. Just before serving, toss with the sesame seeds. Makes 6 servings.

Source: Linda Cicero’s Cook’s Corner.

Per serving: 93 calories (39 percent from fat), 4.5 g fat (0.6 g saturated, 1.5 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 4.7 g protein, 4.5 g carbohydrate, 2.2 g fiber, 235 mg sodium.


Citrus-Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies

1 cup light-flavor olive oil

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine olive oil, sugars, juices and zest. Beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt to mix. Add to liquid mixture a cup at a time, mixing between additions. The dough should be firm but not brick-hard. Add more orange juice 1/2 teaspoon at a time if needed to make a dough you can work.

Roll dough into balls and place on a baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 48 cookies.

Source: Adapted from chef Fabio Viviani and Bertolli.

Per cookie: 90 calories (46 percent from fat), 4.6 g fat, (0.6 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), 0 cholesterol, 1 g protein, 11.3 g carbohydrate, 0.2 g fiber, 31 mg sodium.


Cranberry Snowdrift Cocktail

4 ounces (1/2 cup) gin

1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice

1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) Cranberry Ginger Syrup (see note)

1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) pasteurized egg white

1 cup ice

Candied ginger and cranberry on a pick for garnish (optional)

Measure all ingredients except garnish into a blender. Blend on high until drink is frothy. Pour into glasses. Garnish with candied ginger and cranberry if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Note: To make syrup, combine 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, 4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger, 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a saucepan. Simmer for 1 minute, then turn off heat. Let steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing cranberries. Makes about 20 ounces.

Per cocktail: 105 calories, 0 fat, 0 cholesterol, 1 g protein, 9.6 g carbohydrate, 0.2 g fiber, 17 mg sodium.

Source: Kathy Casey of Liquid Kitchen for Martin Miller Gin.

Q: I would like to make a traditional feijoada for Christmas Eve like the one you get at Texas de Brazil. Can you give me a recipe?


A: This recipe, graciously supplied by the restaurant chain, is a perfect recipe for entertaining. You can make it in advance, the ingredients are inexpensive and the flavor is delicious. The chefs at the restaurant tell us it is traditional in Brazil to serve the feijoada with rice, sauteed collard greens and sliced navel oranges, which provide a bright counterpoint to the creamy beans.

Q: I have long loved the garlic kale at Whole Foods. Is there any way they would give you the recipe for the delicious creamy garlic dressing they use for this dish?

Dorothy Seniw

A: Alas, Whole Foods does not share proprietary recipes, but I have tried to duplicate the dressing using their ingredient list.

The real secret is to let the dressed kale leaves rest for an hour or so in the refrigerator so they soften and pick up the dressing flavor. Use your hands to toss the salad, spreading the dressing evenly on the leaves.

Nutritional yeast, for those unfamiliar, is grown on molasses. It is used frequently in vegan cooking to replace cheesy flavors and add protein and B vitamins. Popular brands include Red Star and Bob’s, and it can be found in health food stores and many supermarkets.

Q: I have been told to cut dairy out of my diet and to use olive oil as much as possible in cooking. I am wondering whether I can substitute olive oil for butter in my baking. I love to make cookies this time of year. Can you help?

Rae Anne Rice

A: Yes, you can use olive oil instead of butter or vegetable oil in your baking recipes, but you need to keep two things in mind.

The first is flavor. Olive oil can have a mild to an assertive flavor, so I would use the lightest taste you can find; Bertolli actually makes one titled Extra Light Tasting. I’d also keep in mind that even the lightest flavor will still be a bit fruity so I would not use it in recipes where that would not be compatible.

The second caveat is that while you can substitute it directly with vegetable oil or melted butter, olive oil is not a direct substitute for solid butter. You would use less oil to keep the ratio of liquid to solid and even after adjusting risk a flatter baked good. In substituting, the general rule is to replace 1/2 cup butter with 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil.

The citrus cookie recipe here was developed by chef Fabio Viviani for Bertolli. I’ve adapted it for clarity. It turns out quite well, and the lemon, orange and olive oil flavors work well together. If you are a fan of the sweet and salty trend, adding a sprinkling of kosher salt just before baking.

Holiday cocktail

Martin Miller Gin, whose U.S. offices are in Miami, shared a great cocktail recipe for holiday parties. The cranberry ginger syrup, which can be made in advance, would make a nice last-minute gift. To make large batches, change the ounce measurements to cups. Then blend 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of the mix with 1/2 cup of ice per serving. For those who don’t indulge, mix the syrup with sparkling water or club soda with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Send questions and responses to or Food, The Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Doral, FL 33172. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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