Pasteis (Fried Dough Wraps)

Pastels

Now that we are able to find flour again, Minha Namorada made an old favourite of hers from Brazil this weekend. These are simple fried dough wraps, which can be filled with whatever you prefer. They work as your main entree, side, and dessert – we had chicken, cheese, and chocolate for ours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 500 g of wheat flour
  • 200 ml of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of (Canola) oil
  • additional Canola Oil (amount depends on size of fry pan)
  • Filling of your choice (precooked if adding meat)

1. Put the flour in a bowl and add the tablespoon of oil, salt and vinegar.
2. Mix well and gradually add the water and knead the dough.
3. Knead the dough until it is very smooth and even throughout. If necessary, add a little more water to help.
4. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
5. Roll out the dough cut it into squares.


6. Fill with the filling of your choice (I heavily recommend chicken, beef, cheese, or chocolate), close with a fork and fry in hot oil (again, the amount of oil depends on your pan) until golden brown. Note: Make sure any meat is precooked, as this will not cook it sufficiently on its own.

Farofa

farofa_brazil
User Carioca [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D
Another great use for Cassava Flour, besides Pao De Queijo, is to make Farofa. Farofa is a very Brazilian dish, its simple to make, and you will find it served regularly with many different types of meals. It is sometimes used as a topping for foods (such as steaks, chicken, or hot dogs), but more commonly you will find it served as a side on it’s own. While a first-time eater might be a bit shy to try it on one’s own, it actually does a great job of satisfying a craving for a starchy side – and it is much healthier to eat than french fries. I think part of the reason why the food works well as a topping or on its own is that Brazilians, much to my personal chagrin, like to mix their food on their plates. So, many foods have remnants that become toppings for the next food. Farofa is not spicy in the least, and I find it is a good replacement for seasoning salt atop steaks (it has some salt, but less than the store-bought seasonings), or for anyone seeking a gluten-free alternative.

What you’ll need:

  • two cups of Cassava Flour
  • One third cup of butter
  • half an onion (small)
  • two cloves of garlic
  • Salt

Steps:

1. Either mince or grate the onion and garlic. Protip: chewing gum can prevent tearing while cutting onions.
2. Melt the butter in a medium size pan on medium heat.
3. Add the garlic and onion, let it fry to a rich golden colour.
4. Add the Cassava Flour and salt to taste. It burns very easily, so do not leave it unattended at this point.
5. Stir/fold the mixture regularly until golden brown, which should take about four minutes.
6. Serve either hot or at room temperature.

meat-1407840_640
I’m not sure if this is using it as a side, or as a seasoning, but its lovely either way!