Saturday, February 13, 2010

Brazilian Tofu-Chicken, Peanut Vegetable Soup (Bolivia) and Stovetop Muffins (Botswana)

Well, despite my lack of posting them we've been doing a lot of world tasting this week!  So, I thought I would throw a bunch in together.  Once again, my inspiration came from Extending the Table, which I am cooking my way through (along with the challenge).  I may have mentioned, but I am trying to work my way through the alphabet.  Because I am finding so many tasty things I may revisit certain letters, but my goal is to not visit a country until I've reached that letter, every letter previous is fair game.  Sound like fun?  Well, you should try it out yourself!  Feel free to click the link on the side to visit Crafty Kook's entry on the event.

According to the book, this is a typical way to prepare meat in northeast Brazil.  In Northeastern kitchens cumin, coriander, and colorau (red powder that adds color) are essential.  According to Wikipedia colorau is another name for annatto.  Annatto comes from the achiote trees found in tropical regions in the Americas, "used to produce a red food coloring and also as a flavoring.  Its scent is described as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg" and flavor as "slightly sweet and peppery"."

Brazilian Tofu (Chicken)
2 1/2 lbs. tofu     
1 onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
16-20 oz. diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
3 potatoes
2 carrots
1-2 t. gr. ginger
1-2 T. tamari
1-2 t. lime juice
2 T. ground cumin
1 T. coriander
3 t. paprika
gr. pepper to taste

Heat a bit of oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan) over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 3-5 min. You want the onion to become soft, but not brown yet.  Add garlic and saute about 1 min.  Add tofu and sprinkle with ginger, ground pepper, tamari, and lime juice to taste (the above are approximations on what I used).  Saute until tofu has browned to your liking (7-10 min).  Remove all from pan and set aside.

Add more oil to the pan and saute tomatoes and green pepper for 5-7 min.  Add tofu, potatoes, carrots and all spices.  Pour in water just until covering (see above picture). Bring to a boil and cook on low until everything is tender, 30-45 min (this will depend on how big your potato and carrot pieces are).  Serve over rice.  Below you will also see this served with a tasty slice of Tomato Basil Bread from Baker Creek!

Peanut Vegetable Soup or Sopa de Mani (Bolivia)
I wish I could post this recipe.  It has been one of our favorite dishes, but the only thing I changed was to substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.  The peanuts created a wonderful, thick and somewhat creamy texture.  We were extremely impressed with how much of a difference they made without the addition of milk or something else to thicken.  I have contacted the company to see if I can post this recipe.  But, just in case, I would recommend trying to locate a copy of this book.  It is traditionally garnished with french fries, so we did!  This is a standard dish served at Bolivian celebrations.  I found another version here.  If you try it, add more peanuts than it suggests (you won't regret it)!
Thanks to the publishers of Extending the Table, I am able to post this wonderful recipe:
2 c. raw peanuts
8 c. broth or water
1 onion,diced
4 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, diced
1/4 c. uncooked rice
1 can peas

Grind peanuts until very fine.  Put broth/water, peanuts, onion, potatoes, and carrot in a large pot and cook for 30 min.  I recommend bringing it to a boil and then allowing it to simmer.  Then add rice and peas and cook for 15 min.  Garnish with parsley and french fries (traditionally made a bit shorter and thinner than North American fries).  I do not think you will be disappointed!

Stove-Top Muffins or Diphaphata (Botswana)
I do not have a picture of the stove-top muffins.  These are very similar to English muffins except extremely dense.  We're talking 4 c. of flour to 1 cup of liquid dense. If you want to try it, it was basically like this recipe.  I decided to have some fun with flours I had on hand: spelt, wheat, garbanzo bean and sorghum.  Those made for an interesting taste as you can imagine.  Me?  I think I'll stick to English Muffins.  Speaking of, I just made some for the first time yesterday and will post results soon!


Lisa said...

the Brazilian tofu looks so hearty and delicious! Perfect for these snowy days.

miss v said...

i love the eat world concept! your food(s) looks delish! :)

Cassie - Vegan Fox said...

Thanks guys! Hearty has definitely been a theme around here lately. I think that might have encouraged the obsession with stew-like recipes :)

The world food theme has been wonderful so far (and we're just getting started!) in introducing us to new food/spice combinations, food prep., and so on. I definitely recommend using it to expand your skills and to inspire a little creativity. Which of course helps for those dark and dreary days! (Which I must admit, I have a certain fondness for.)

River - The Crafty Kook said...

The Brazilian tofu looks amazing! Doesn't cooking things in a cast iron pan make everything tastier?

French fries on top of soup? I'm in! All soups should have french fries on top!

I'm glad you're having so much fun discovering new foods! I'm loving it too! :)

Cassie - Vegan Fox said...

River - Yes it does! I just got mine (cast-iron) for my birthday and I love it! Oh man, do try the fries on soup, it's amazing!