In the last few weeks Brazil is everywhere, of course thanks to the World Cup. Italy and England didn’t exactly set the world alight and went out equally embarrassingly on the first round; thankfully some good Brazilian vibes were to be found last week at London Foodie’s beautiful London home. Sponsored by Tilda Rice and Wild Card, the event was a one-off dinner for a group of bloggers and friends which was going to be cooked by no less than Dhruv Baker, 2010 MasterChef winner and my friend Rosana McPhee of Hot & Chilli fame (and hosted by Luiz for once not behind the stove).
Rosana serving the amazing cheese balls
The dinner was organised to showcase Tilda’s new limited edition Samba rice range and of course, let us learn more about Brazil culinary traditions. For me, it was all new and it was a great way to taste some delicious food while also learning about the country’s geography (north Brazil!)
We first enjoyed some canapés in the garden, while Dhruv was preparing the main course on Luiz’ full size BBQ (envy!). The Pao de queijo were just amazing, and the right size for me (as I am on a sad low carb diet); I even ventured to try chicken heart skewers and actually enjoyed them, surprising myself in the process. I also loved a cute vegetable mini pie. Rosana had done a great job and the canapés looked so professionally made, they were perfect.
We then took our seats at the lovely laid out tables, where we each found a friendship bracelet – Rosana explained kids in Brazil ask their friends to tie them on their wrists, with three knots, each one having a wish to match. I made my wishes, who knows if they will come true!
The first starter was fiejoada, famous Portuguese sausage and black beans stew, served with Tilda Samba which I found also delicious.
Feijoada and friendship bracelet
This was followed by another great course, a fish stew called Moqueca. A lot of protein for me, which was great. I loved this course too, the fish broth very rich and warming. It was accompanied by a fish stew, made with fish, onions and herbs and thickened with cassava flour.
Finally the main course, which we had been watching Dhruv cook: Picanha with pimenta de bico, a cut of beef which is seldom used in the UK but which is intense and very beefy and delicious. I opted for the ‘well done’ slices and added the palmito and tomato salad, and some incredible stewed cassava, known as yucca in Cuba, which I adore. So pleased Rosana had made it, and I so need to get the recipe off her! I refrained from trying another favourite of mine, fried plantain, sadly, but it looked great. The little Brazilian chilli peppers on the meat were a surprise highlight for me, so sweet and bursting with flavour.
Palm hearts salad
We then were served a trio of desserts, also made by Rosana. Here my good intentions crumbled completely! The little cute Cashew nut fruit sorbet was refreshing and sweet, the brigadeiro was divine and finally the egg and coconut quindim superb, with crunchy coconut and the gooey egg yolk.
Trio of moreish desserts
Even the coffee, which I did not drink to avoid a sleepless night, was of course 100% Brazilian: the aroma was so tempting!
The Brazilian event was a success: the food was of high standard indeed, cooked by expert hands using top quality ingredients. It was a great opportunity for me to learn about a country I have yet to visit, its heritage, its geography, its culinary products and of course its people. I loved listening to Luiz and Rosana speak in Portuguese, such a beautiful language! It was also great to meet Dhruv, a lot of new people and see many familiar and friendly faces.
Thank you Tilda & Wild Card for inviting me and thank you Luiz, Rosana and Dhruv for hosting a fantastic night!
Dhruv, Rosana and Luiz
An article by Rosana on Brazilian food and culture for Morrisons magazine is here.
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