Friday, July 19, 2013
Sabores – Tasting the Flavors of Brazil with Chef Sue Torres
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to attend a nicely organized event by the folks from Brazilian Specialty Foods, to help us get acquainted with Brazilian-style cuisine and its many delightful flavors. Held at the International Culinary Center (aka The Center) in SOHO, I was excited to embrace this delicious topic in one of the best academic culinary settings in NYC.
Attending the event with new friend and fellow food blogger, Connie from Urban Bakes, we enjoyed learning about Brazilian cuisine through a three course tasting and food demo by esteemed NYC Chef, Sue Torres.
Course 1: Pao de Queijo
It’s always great to start a Brazilian meal with a classic pao de queijo appetizer. For those of you not familiar with this snack, it’s a typical Brazilian cheese bread that adorns the table prior to any sit-down meal. While the bread is bite sized and it’s easy to eat several pieces at once, it’s actually more filling than it looks, essentially being filled with cheese. Sue showed us that the process of making it is easier than you’d think, consisting of cheese and tapioca flour – no rising agent required.
Course 2: Brazilian Pork Sausage with Red Peppers and Onions
Since the theme of this meal was brunch, Chef Sue showed us how to prepare a Brazilian pork sausage dish, called Calabresa. Once again, the preparation was quite simple, using basic ingredients found in anyone’s pantry, including red peppers and onions. Sauteed and caramelized for a few minutes before combining it with the sausage, it was a dish that was high on aromatics and flavor. On a side note, we received a package of this sausage to take home, and I’ve been using it on things such as pizza, pasta and sandwiches—making them all that much more delicious.
Course 3: Guava Cream Cheese Crepe
Even though I’m usually not a huge fan of guava, I was surprised by how much I liked this dish. The filling for the crepes consisted of a thick guava paste you can find in any Latin market, which was then mixed with cream cheese for some additional silky texture and tang. The end product was fantastic and surprisingly light—another surprise coming in the form of crispy tortilla strips that served as a topping along with sticky strawberry jam.
I really enjoyed this event, and loved meeting Chef Sue in person, and further understanding her appreciation of Latin American food. Chef Sue herself is a Mexican American, and owns the popular Suenos restaurant in the West Village that I’m eager to try. Thanks for the exposure to this delicious, vibrant cuisine, BSF, Chef Torres and team!