To continue my series on Brazilian food, today, I wish to share with you the recipe for a delicious starter ("Salgadinho") called "Torradinhas De Castanho De Cajù" or "Cashew Nut Toasts"...
In Brazil, the cuisine is influenced by many factors (geographical and ethnic). There is not one Brazilan cuisine, but many depending on places, traditions and the origin of the inhabitants that populate a certain area (see infos).
The following recipe, for example, has been more influenced by the European colonizers than by either the native Indians or the African slaves, although it comes from the Northeast of Brazil. It is a region were cashew nuts (see infos) are grown and used in various dishes.
Those delicate toasts are very simple, yet they are very tasty and pleasant. The flavor of all ingredients is present, yet not dominant. They just coexist in perfect harmony. The bread's crispiness brings an element of surprise and contrasts with the soft texture of the cheese. The delicate crunch of the nuts adds another thrill and a slight touch of exotism. It is really a great and fulfilling dish!
This recipe was adapted from "Café Brazil", a cookbook by Michael Bateman and which was gracefully gifted to me by the lovely Brigitte at "Café Créole" in Guyana.
6 Slices of bread or toast bread
140g Fresh ricotta cheese
1 1/2 Tbs Onion, finely chopped
1 Tsp Ground paprika
Seas salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tbs Cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200° C (400° F).
2. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, onion, paprika, salt and black pepper.
3. Toast the bread in the oven until crispy and golden brown.
4. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the slices of toasted bread and sprinkle with the chopped cashew nuts.
5. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Serve warm
The original recipe uses grated "Minas Cheese" (from Minas Gerais), but since it's difficult to find this cheese, you can replace it by Ricotta cheese.
I prefer to make this speciality with normal white bread, but you are free to use toast bread and then to cut it in four, diagonally.
To add a special taste to those toasts, I also added a bit of smoked paprika to the cheese mixture.
You can either it the toasts as a meal with a fresh salad or serve them as starters.
(Fernando de Noronha -Pic by Marie-Ange Ostre www.trekearth.com)