Traditional snacks that can be bought from any bakery, immensely popular,and always present at birthday parties, Brazilian cheese bread (pão de queijo) and chicken snacks enwrapped in dough (coxinhas) are as iconic to Brazilians as hamburgers and hot dogs are to Americans. What sets these two snacks apart is that, different from hamburgers and hot dogs, these two Brazilian snacks do not exist anywhere else in the world. However, this does not mean that the corresponding recipes are exotic or difficult. These two delicacies, both easy to prepare, have got what it takes to become popular in your kitchen as well. Check them out!
Cheese Bread (Pão de queijo)
500 gsour manioc starch (polvilho azedo)
200 mL water
200 mL milk
120 mL cooking oil
100 g grated Parmesan cheese
200 g grated white cheese (optional)
Salt to taste
How to prepare
Boil the water in a saucepan and then add the milk, the cooking oil, and the salt. Then add the sour manioc starch and mix well. Turn off the oven and dissolve the dough while still in the pan. Wait for it to cool and then add the grated cheese and the eggs. Mix well. Grease your hands with butter and then make small to medium balls. Put the balls in a baking tray greased with oil, leaving some space between them so that the cheese bread balls do not stick when they rise. Then bake at 180 degrees Celsius (about 300 degrees Fahrenheit, Gas Mark 2), in a preheated oven, for about 40 minutes. Makes between 15 and 30 portions, depending on the size of the balls as rolled.
Brazilian chicken dough snacks (Coxinha)
2 litres (3.5 UK pints) water
1 kilo (2.2 lb) sifted flour
2 cubes chicken stock
20 g butter or margarine
1 spoon salt
1 spoon of colorific (powdered yellow food colouring)
1 kilo cooked and shredded chicken breast
2 medium onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic
Cooking oil (or olive oil)
Parsley and salt to taste
Colorific to taste
2 egg whites
1 litre water
A pinch of salt
240 grams flour
2 kilos of breadcrumbs
In a saucepan, mix the water (use the water from cooking the chicken to get better flavour), the chicken stock cubes, the butter, salt and calorific. Bring to the boil. Next, add the flour and mix until the dough unsticks from the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and put aside on a surface greased with margarine.
In a saucepan, brown the garlic and the onions, in oil or olive oil. Then braise the shredded chicken. Add the salt and the calorific and stir for a few minutes. Switch off the cooker and add the parsley. Put aside.
Grease your hands with butter and make a small ball with the dough. With the aid of your index finger, press the dough to make a kind of cone. Place a portion of the filling inside the cavity and then close, pinching the dough using your index finger and your thumb.
Using a fork, mix the egg whites and the water. Add the salt and the flour, stirring well. Then pass the coxinhas in this mixture and then in breadcrumbs. Wait for it to dry, and repeat the process so that the coxinhas gain more crunchiness.
Fill a deep pan with oil and heat until it bubbles. Fry the coxinhas slowly, so that the oil does not cool down.
Makes between 25 and 50 coxinhas, depending on their size.