Brazilian tapas platter


BRAZILIAN BEEF BAGUETTES (Picanha de chapa com salshina)

CHEESY RICE BALLS (Bolinhos de Arroz)


SALT COD FRITTERS (Bolinhos de bacalhau)

MINCE AND CHEESE PASTIES (Pastelzinho de carne)



Picanha de chapa com salshina

Serves 6-8

500g Picanha or rump steak

salt and black pepper

olive oil

2-3 onions, peeled and sliced

micro herbs or lettuce for serving

1 long baguette, sliced


1red onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

60ml chopped parsley

60ml olive oil

30ml white wine vinegar

Rub the steak with salt, pepper and olive oil and fry in a hot griddle pan until medium rare.

Remove, cover and rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the meat into thin slices.

Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until soft and starting to caramelise.

To serve, put a few micro herbs or lettuce on the baguette slices, top with a few slices of meat, some onions and a spoonful of the salsa.

SALSA: Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

* Picanha steaks are available at Checkers stores.



Bolinhos de Arroz

Makes 18-20

500ml cooked long grain rice

45ml milk

1 egg, beaten

1 red onion, finely chopped

125ml grated cheddar cheese

125ml grated Parmesan cheese

45ml chopped parsley

180ml cake flour

5ml baking powder

5ml salt

oil for frying

Combine the rice, milk, egg, onion, cheeses and parsley in a bowl.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt and mix into the rice.

Shape the mixture into golf-ball sizes and fry in deep hot oil until golden brown.

Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with extra salt and serve warm.




Makes 12-15

250g chicken breast fillets

1 litre of chicken stock

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 onion, peeled and halved

2 bay leaves

125g cream cheese, softened

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

30g butter

5ml chopped garlic

1 onion, finely chopped

750ml flour

2 eggs, whisked

500ml dried breadcrumbs

oil, for frying

Put the chicken in a pot with the stock, carrot, onion and bay leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through. Set chicken aside to cool. Strain and reserve the stock.

Shred chicken finely with a knife or place in a food processor and blend until fine.

Stir in the softened cream cheese, lime juice and salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a pan and fry the garlic and onion until golden and soft. Add to the chicken mixture. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile, measure 750ml of the reserved chicken stock into a pot and bring to the boil. Gradually stir in the flour.

Stir vigorously and cook for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will turn into a stiff dough. Remove from the heat, cover and chill for an hour.

To shape: flour your hands, take a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball and roll into a ball.

Press a hollow in the middle for the filling. Place a spoonful of chicken filling inside the ball of dough and press the dough closed around the filling.

Shape into an approximate drumstick shape, flouring hands as necessary. Stand the coxinhas on a baking sheet so that the pointed end sticks upwards.

Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.

Dip the coxinhas first in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs to coat. Chill for 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a pot or deep-fat fryer. Fry a few at a time until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Serve warm.



Pastelzinho de carne

Makes 12-15


750ml cake flour

7ml salt

3ml baking powder

30g cold butter, cubed

1 egg, slightly beaten

15ml white wine vinegar

15ml vodka or cachaça

180-200ml warm water


15ml olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

5ml chopped garlic

500g beef mince

2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped

10ml paprika

15ml tomato paste

15ml chilli paste or sambal oelek

10ml sugar

salt and freshly ground pepper

60ml chopped spring onions

60g Gouda cheese, cubed

vegetable oil, for frying

DOUGH: Place flour, salt, baking powder and butter in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs.

With the machine running, add the egg, vinegar, vodka and enough warm water to make a soft but not sticky dough.

Place dough on a floured surface and knead gently until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover and rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.

FILLING: Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onion and garlic until golden.

Add the mince and brown, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.

Add the tomatoes, paprika, tomato and chilli pastes, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Fry for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove and cool. Add the spring onions.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out quite thinly and cut out 10cm discs.

Place a spoonful of filling in the centre, top with a cube of cheese, fold the disc over to form a semi circle or half moon and press the edges together with a fork.

Deep-fry a few at a time until golden.

Drain on a paper towel and serve warm.



Bolinhos de bacalhau

Makes 15-20

250g salted codfish (bacalhau)

500g potatoes

30ml olive oil

1 egg

60ml flour

125ml chopped parsley

5-6 spring onions, finely sliced

salt and pepper

oil, for deep frying

limes wedges, for serving

Soak the fish in cold water. Discard and refresh the water every 3 hours. Refrigerate overnight in the water. Drain well.

Boil the fish in fresh water for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Flake the flesh finely with a fork and discard any bones.

Boil the potatoes until tender, drain and return to the pot on the stove and heat, on low, for a few minutes to remove any remaining liquid.

Mash with olive oil.

Add the fish, egg, flour, parsley and spring onions and mix well.

Season with salt and pepper, watching carefully how much you use because of the salty codfish.

Oil your hands and form balls or croquettes, or make quenelles using two spoons.

Deep fry a few at a time in the hot oil, until they are golden brown. The croquettes can be rolled in flour or breadcrumbs, if preferred.

Drain on paper towels and serve while still hot with lime wedges.



Beer may be associated with soccer, but why not exchange it for a caipirinha, which is considered Brazil’s national cocktail?

The drink is simple to make, using cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime.

It is said that this drink was used to treat colds and flu. A medicinal version could contain lemon, garlic and honey.


Serves 1

1 lime

30ml castor sugar

crushed ice

30-50ml cachaça (spirit distilled from sugar cane)

Cut the lime into eighths and place in a glass. Add sugar and, using a thick wooden spoon or a pestle, muddle the limes and sugar to release a lot of the lime juice.

Add the crushed ice and cachaça and serve.

* If you don’t have cachaça, you can use white rum instead.




Serves 2

25ml cornflour

500ml milk

200g dark chocolate

80-100ml sugar

Mix cornflour with a little milk.

Heat remaining milk in a saucepan with chocolate and sugar to taste. Mix until smooth.

Add cornflour and bring to the boil, stirring.

Pour into mugs, and top with marshmallows if desired.

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