Bananas.

Earlier today I posted this on Facebook:

I’ve never considered bananas as an easy, filling, healthy hot breakfast…until now. Another gift from brazil.

The general response was oooh yum bananas yay what? Hot? Hot bananas? WTF?!

So here’s my recipe for quick, healthy, delicious, easy, HOT banana breakfast, which I learned from my host Tânia:

Brazilian Breakfast Bananas

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 bananas
1/4c shredded mozzarella
Cinnamon to taste

Directions:
Melt the coconut oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cut the bananas in half lengthwise, and put in the pan, cut side down. Cook until they get brown, then flip them over and brown the other side. At this point they should be fairly soft; using a fork mash the bananas in the pan forming a banana mash pancake. Sprinkle with the mozzarella until it melts, then sprinkle with the cinnamon and serve.

Optionally, if you want to skip the cheese, you can just brown both sides and sprinkle with the cinnamon. The mashing just creates a nice platform for the cheese.

Enjoy!

Cheesebread.

I help out in some classes at an English school across the street from my Portuguese school. (There are, in fact, approximately 5 English schools in walking distance around here.  I’m surprised more people can’t speak it!)  It’s one of the highlights of my week, not just because I have a chance to speak English for a while and give my mushy brain a break, but the students and teachers are all super awesome people and I have a lot of fun with them both in and out of the school.

During one of the classes, we came up with the fabulous idea to have a cooking-themed class, and one of the students, Marcos, offered to teach us how to make the original Minas Gerais pão de queijo - one of the iconic Brazilian foods.  And luckily for you all (sort of, because you might find yourself addicted), I managed to get a copy of the recipe in English!

Minas Gerais Pão de Queijo (Cheese bread)

Ingredients:
3 cups sour mandioca flour (polvilho azedo)
2 cups of grated semi-aged cheese (If you can get it, get the cheese from Minas Gerais; otherwise, a semi aged cheddar should suffice)
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of salt
2 eggs

Directions:
Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees.
Put the flour in a bowl. Heat the milk, oil and salt until it just starts to boil. Pour the heated milk mixture over the flour to scald it and then mix them to start forming a dough. Mix in the eggs until combined, followed by the cheese and mix thoroughly. The dough should not be too sticky; add more flour if necessary.
Roll the dough into small 1 inch balls and place in a baking pan or cookie sheet. Heat until they start to turn brown on the bottom and are the consistency of bread on the top. Remove from oven, let cool a few moments and eat! For a truly cheesy experience, add some of any leftover grated cheese inside one of the rolls.

The trick to this recipe I think is getting the right flour. It is a very fine sour flour called ‘polvilho azedo’ (Hikari makes a decent one, and you can find it on Amazon). I’m not sure exactly what it’s made from. The cheese is cheddar-like but white; a white cheddar or similar aged cheese should work if you can’t find ‘Minas cheese’ from Minas Gerais (although Marcos insisted that it was the key ingredient!)

Here’s a couple pictures of the cheese bread making: