Feijoada – Brazilian Celebration Meal! Cultural Connections

This month for Cultural Connections I am making Feijoada, it is the national dish of Brazil. This hearty meal is traditionally served on Saturday and is a celebration meal served with family and friends. I can see why, it makes a lot! I originally posted this on my blog The Tiny Skillet and thought it would be perfect to bring it back for this time of year. You can try it with a Coquito a Puerto Rican eggnog and have a festive time!
All I want to say is, I don’t know what made me research this and make it, but I am glad I did! I am definitely keeping this recipe in with our regulars.
It was said that it originated in the sixteenth century from slaves, where the dish was first made using all parts of the pig such as ears, feet, snouts and what ever else they could use and cooked with beans. I suppose like the chili recipes in the US, and paella in Spain, feijoada has many different recipes, each family or region has it’s variation.

I started out by stopping at our German meat market and store, Geiers Sausage Kitchen. I had a blast checking out all the different sausages, fresh and smoked…so many choices.
I picked up some Hungarian cured bacon to use in the Feijoada, polish sausage, and smoked chorizo. A lot of the recipes called fore dried beef to add some depth, but I found mine had plenty of depth with out it. It is also commonly made with black beans, but my husband is not crazy about them so I mixed in some pinto beans because I like the flavor of them. Pork is usually the star, but again I had my reason for not using much. I just had some pork loin which was too lean in my opinion, pork butt (shoulder) would work better. This is my version after plenty of research! I will try to get the amounts down for you, but as always with cooking (not baking) nothing is exact! (You can use all black beans or great northern if that what you like, and adjust or change the meats, but it is so worth it to make this dish) Give it a try!

1 1/2 cups dried black beans -soaked overnight
1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans -soaked overnight
3 or 4 slices of bacon (I used Hungarian bacon cut in small cubes like lardons)
1 link smoked chorizo -sliced
1 pound Polish sausage (I used one large one)
1 pound eye round steak -cubed (not the best choice, but ok)
1 pound ox tails
3 shallots or 1 yellow onion – chopped
2 carrots – diced
2 stalks celery -diced
4 cloves of garlic – sliced
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons Mew Mexico green chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 dried chilies
6 bay leaves
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch of parsley chopped with stems
4 cups broth (I used organic beef broth) and some water to cover

Near the end I added some cubes sweet potato and chayote, you can add butternut squash or skip it. I added some purple sweet potatoes, and I was going to add some chopped cilantro to it at the end too, but forgot!

After the soaked beans are rinsed and added to a pot with broth, start to cook them. I used my crock pot for this because it was one thing that was large enough to hold it all. Because I bought fresh polish sausage I pricked some holes in it and roasted it in the oven with the ox tails for 30 – 40 minutes. While the sausage is roasting and the beans are started, in a large pan , saute the bacon to render the fat, then brown the lean beef.
Add the shallots, celery, carrots, and cook 2 -3 minutes, then add the garlic and tomato paste, cook a little more. I then added the coriander, chili powder, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
Slice the chorizo sausage to add to it. Some recipes had you slice the polish sausage and some had you leave it in big chunk, so I did both with that!
Combine the meat and remaining ingredients…

I added some water to cover everything to cook in my crock pot. It probably took another 3 – 4 cups of water, (you can use more broth is you wish) once you add all that meat to the beans…

If using a crock pot cook on low for around 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5 0r 6. I had it on all day around eight hours. I started high for about an hour to get it going then turned it low for the remaining time. Then we went out a played on the boat all day, and the last hour or so I added the sweet potato, but of course that is optional.
If making it on the stove top, it cooks for around 3 hours until everything is cooked through and tender.

The meat should be falling off the bones…if using meat with bones, like ox tails or pork ribs…
Don’t forget to remove the bay leaves and dried whole chilies.
Serve over some nice fluffy rice.
Traditionally served with steamed kale, orange slices and toasted manioc flour. I only had cassava flour, which I understand is too fine to use and just wouldn’t work, so I skipped it. My kale was a little sorry looking, but that’s okay, it wasn’t the star!
We all loved this dish, and I am so happy I tried it. I brought some to work for my co-workers, and I still had some left over to freeze for later. It sounds like a lot of work, but it was not really(and it was worth it)…the hardest part was trying not to forget anything that goes in it!

Now I have to find some of this manioc flour!
Hope you enjoy it! Happy Holidays!
Feliz Natal!”


Pickled Carrots

(makes 2 cups)
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 pound carrots (peeled and cut to match stick size)
  • Mix the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolves.
  • Place the carrots in a container and cover with the pickling liquid.
  • Let pickle for at least and hour and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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1/4 pound thick bacon, chopped
1 small bunch green onions, sliced
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup Gorgonzola crumbles

  • In a large skillet cook bacon until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on papertowels.
  • Add onions and green beans to bacon drippings and stir fry until crisp tender.
  • Drain off any remaining bacon drippings.
  • Toss onions, green beans, bacon bits and gorgonzola crumbles.

Buffalo Chickpea Patties

I’ve been enjoying a lot of vegetarian meals lately. I LOVE beans, they are healthy and cheap!

I’ve made bean patties before but so far, these are my favorite. I got the recipe from Veggie by Season and I even attempted to copy her presentation!  It looked so nice! 

I liked how she pureed some of the oats, I think that led to them sticking together better.  They made a very nice appetizer! 

We ate these with a delicious Apple and Caramelized Onion Pizza
Buffalo Chickpea Patties
Adapted from Veggie by Season
1 – 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 c. buffalo sauce, I used Franks
1 egg white
1 small onion
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper

For serving:
Buffalo sauce
Ranch or blue cheese
Carrot Sticks

Add chickpeas to a bowl, use a potato masher or fork to mash, some chunks are okay.  Add the buffalo sauce to the chickpeas. 

Add half the oats to a food processor, pulse to create a crumb, add to the chickpeas. Then add the rest of the oats. Beat the egg white into the chickpeas.  Grate onion into the chickpeas, finally add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Combining ingredients well. 

Heat a griddle over medium, spray with nonstick spray.  Use a 1/4 measuring cup to portion out chickpea mixture onto griddle.  Cook patties for about 5 – 7 minutes, until crispy and brown, flip gently and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes.  Serve immediately to retain crispness. 

I served these as an appetizer and got about 7 patties.  You could make larger patties and serve as a burger as well. 

Total calories = 616 calories
7 patties = 88 calories per patty


I found this awesome recipe for Onion Panade over at Stone Soup.   She called it the ultimate comfort food or a savory bread pudding so I needed to try that. She flavored with golden brown onions and the fragrance of thyme. Rustic bread provides the perfect contrast of textures.  I changed it up a bit.  You’ll find my changes in red.

I had couple of pieces of Havarti cheese left so tore them into pieces and added them the last few minutes of baking.

1 large Vidalia onion 

1 red onion, sliced into rings

1 large bunch green onions, sliced thin

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 medium loaf rustic bread (1/2lb), torn in to chunks I used sourdough buns that I had in the freezer for future croutons
5 ounces cheese, grated or crumbled
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken pieces
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees 
  • Cut onion in half lengthwise. Peel, then slice into half moons about 1/4inch thick. 
  • Heat 4 – 5 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan. 
  • Cook onion stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown. 
  • Stir in the thyme. 
  • In a medium heatproof dish layer about a third of the onions. Sprinkle over some of the bread and cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used. You want to be able to see a little of each on the top. 
  • Bring stock to a simmer.
  • Pour over the onion dish. 
  • Season. 
  • Cover and bake for 30 minutes. 
  • Remove cover and bake for another 20 – 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crunchy and the stock has been absorbed by the bread.

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I’m always on the look out for great ways to spice up vegetable recipes.  I found what sounded and looked like an awesome recipe in a magazine for a carrot side dish recipe.  I was excited to make it, but then oh so disappointed.  They looked pretty, but they tasted awful.  So, we sat around the dinner table deconstructing AND reconstructing the recipe!  My family is so good at dinner conversation.  Well, maybe not, but at least they tell me what they don’t like and then help turn it into something they will like.

The original recipe:
12 medium carrots
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons grated onion
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1/8 teaspoon paprika
  1. Place carrots in a skillet. Add 1 inch of water.  Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until crisp tender.  Drain.
  2. Cut a thin lengthwise slice out of each carrot.  Scoop out carrot, leaving a 1/4 inch shell, set shells aside. Place the removed carrot in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped.  Transfer to a large bowl; add mayonnaise, onion, horseradish, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Spoon into carrot shells.
  3. Place in a greased 13 inch x 9 inch baking dish.  Combine the crumbs, 1 tablespoon butter and paprika; sprinkle over carrots.  Drizzle with remianing butter.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until tender. 
Do you remember Gilligan’s Island Season 3, episode 20?  No, I didn’t know the number or season either, but I remember the episode well.  Gilligan discovers a crate in the lagoon and pries off the lid, which falls face side down of course, and inside are all these beautiful seeds.  Mary Ann immediately plants a garden and they all have their favorite vegetables.  Because the seeds are radioactive they produce bigger and “better” vegetables that gives each castaway a special ability.  These were 2 1/2 inches in diameter!
I present to you the Gilligan’s Island Carrots:
12 medium carrots

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large bunch green onions, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/8 teaspoon paprika

  • Place carrots in a skillet. Add 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain. Cool.
  • Slice carrots into 1 inch lengths and then into 4 pieces each.
  • In a small skillet melt 1 tablespoon of butter.  Saute’ onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Drain of fat.
  • Transfer to a large bowl; add mayonnaise, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  • Toss with cooled carrots until well coated.
  • Place into a greased 9X9 baking dish. Combine the crumbs, 1 tablespoon butter and paprika; sprinkle over carrots. Drizzle with remaining butter.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until tender.

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3 large carrots, cleaned and sliced (about 2 cups)
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut bite sized (about 2 cups)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons almond slivers
4 slices thick bacon, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Cook the carrots and green beans in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until crisp tender.
  • Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • In a hot skillet brown bacon until crisp.
  • Remove with slotted spoon to drain on a papertowel.
  • Add green onions and saute’ until tender.
  • Add almonds and saute a minute more.
  • Remove almonds and onions with slotted spoon to drain on papertowel also.
  • Add brown sugar and vinegar to skillet and blend well until sugar is well dissolved.
  • Add green beans, carrots, onions, almonds and bacon.
  • Toss until well coated.

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This recipe originally called for ALL processed ingredients ~ from canned green beans to sweet and low, Hormel bacon bits and Campbell’s soup. I brought it into the “from scratch” world and it was a huge success around here!
4 cups fresh green beans, chopped
1 Vidalia onion, sliced thin & chopped, divided
1/4 pound bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili seasoning
2 + 2 tablespoons butter 
3 tablespoons flour 
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups milk
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, sauté chopped onions in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent. 
  • Remove from the heat. 
  • Whisk in the flour so that no lumps remain.
  • Slowly whisk in the tomato puree. 
  • Return to the heat and add salt to taste. 
  • Cook until just boiling.
  • Let cool 10 minutes then slowly stir in milk.
  • Set aside.
  • In a large skillet brown bacon pieces until crisp.
  • Remove to paper towel to drain.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter and saute’ green beans, onion rings and garlic until tender crisp.
  • Add brown sugar, chili seasoning, tomato soup and bacon bits.
  • Combine until well blended.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes.
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Italian Green Bean & Tomato Salad

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and washed
3 cups grape tomatoes
1 bunch green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
salt & pepper taste
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add green beans and blanch 3-5 minuted until just tender.
  • Drain and rinse with cool water.
  • Whisk together the oil, vinegar and seasonings.
  • Toss together the green beans, tomatoes and onions.
  • Pour marinade over and toss well.
  • Chill 24 hours before serving.

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12 asparagus spears
6 slices bacon
1 can Pillsbury breadsticks

  • Snap off bottoms of asparagus spears.
  • Wash and dry 12 spears of asparagus.
  • Wrap bacon around bottom of each stem and place on cookie sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees until bacon is cooked through.
  • Wrap 1 breadstick around each stalk.
  • Bake according to package directions.

Snap off bottoms of asparagus spears.
Wash and dry 12 spears of asparagus.

Wrap bacon around bottom of each stem and place on cookie sheet.
Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees until bacon is cooked through.

Wrap 1 breadstick around each stalk.
Bake according to package directions.

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Sesame Garlic Green Beans

Sesame Garlic Green Beans

1½ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 bunch green onions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons minced garlic (jar)

Cook the green beans for 5 minutes in boiling water.

While the beans are cooking, combine the soy sauce, sugar and oil, set aside. Spray a sauté pan with PURE. Over a medium heat sauté green onions and garlic until soft. Add the beans. Stir several minutes until well coated. Add soy sauce mixture, stirring constantly until most of the liquid is absorbed.
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