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Flavors of Brazil

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  1. I can't say that I experience meat hunger on a regular basis, but I've always been struck by the fact that whenever I'm recovering from a bout of the flu, just when I'm at the point that I feel that I'm going to survive (and that I WANT to survive) I experience a craving that can only be satisfied by red meat. Usually a thick steak, but even a good homemade hamburger will do the trick. I have no idea if the craving is physical or merely psychological, but it's definitely something that demands to be dealt with.
  2. Having experienced chef Edward Tuson's cooking at Sooke Harbour House, I'm willing to bet that EdGe is a great addition to the great Vancouver Island food boom. I'm adding it to my "must try" list right now.
  3. Here in Brazil, all supermarkets sell small frozen packets of fruit pulp - no sugar, no sweeteners, no preservatives. Just pure pulped fruit, and meant to be popped into the blender with water to create fruit juices. The variety is enormous - guava, mango, passion fruit, pineapple, tangerine, lime, graviola, acerola, açaí, caju, cajá and on and on. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try blending one of these packets of pulp, undiluted, with a good shot of cachaça in an attempt to create a frozen caipifruta. It worked marvelously, and has become my new favorite quick cocktail. I'm slowly working my way through the variety of fruits. Some particular favorites so far are tangerine and passion fruit. Maravilhoso! Note: some fruits do require the addition of sugar to taste.
  4. Brazilian carne seca (also known, depending on the region, as carne de sol is an unspiced, salted, partially air-dried piece of meat. It's normally, though not exclusively beef. Carne de sol can also be made from lamb and goat. To make a very good simulation of Brazilian-style carne seca, just follow these steps: 1 piece top sirloin, 2 lbs. (1 kg.), sliced horizontally into 2 pieces, 1 inch (2 cm.) thick 2 Tbsp. kosher table salt Bring meat to room temperature before working. Rub salt into all surfaces of the meat. Let rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cover each piece tightly with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 12 hours. Remove from freezer and immediately grill, over medium heat, for 15 minutes. Then serve, or cool and reserve for use in another recipe.
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