Tag Archives: cheese

Pão de Queijo!

I’ve been wanting to make Pão de Queijo since I first came back from Brazil in 1999. Pão de Queijo is a chewy, cheesy, delicious little roll. Many Brazilian restaurants including Rodizios, Tucanos and Fogo de Chão have them, so you may have come across them. They’re often listed as ‘Brazilian Cheese Bread’ or something similar.

Pão de Queijo is made mainly from manioc flour. Back in 1999 you couldn’t get manioc flour in Ironwood, MI where I lived. Actually, I wouldn’t be too surprised if you still couldn’t get it there, but that’s not where I am at the moment, so better success was had.

Mmmmm
Mmmmm

After some friends were recently discussing Brazilian foods on Facebook I decided to try to find tapioca flour again. Manioc is also known as casava or tapioca. It’s a tuber that grows in hot places. Caroline found it at the Easside Food-Coop.

I used this recipe from Tudo Gostoso — Pão de Queijo Mineiro.  It’s very healthy.

The Recipe

  • 4 cups manioc/tapioca/casava flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup oil
    • Note: My dough turned out super oily. I’ll probably cut back by a couple tablespoons next time.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups shredded dried Minas cheese
    • Note: We used 2 cups Romano, 1 cup Mozzarella and 1 cup Parmesan
  1. Pre-heat an oven to 350
  2. Put the tapioca flour in a big bowl
  3. Heat the salt, milk and oil on the stove
  4. As soon as it starts boiling, pour it over the tapioca flour and mix it really well until no little flour balls remain
  5. Let it cool until you can handle it
  6. Add the eggs and cheese bit by bit, kneading it well after each addition
  7. Make cheese balls and put them on a pan.
    1. The recipe says to make 2cm diameter balls, but we did them bigger
    2. To accommodate the larger dough balls, I lowered the temp to 300 for the 2nd set I put in the oven.
  8. Bake until golden brown (about 30 minutes, but watch them!)

Action Shots

Here are all the ingredients laid out. Cheese, tapioca flour, eggs, oil, salt and milk.

All the Ingredients for Pão de Queijo
All the Ingredients for Pão de Queijo

We bought some Queso Fresco to use next time we make Pão de Queijo. It’s wet right now, so we can shred it. We’ll leave it up here on top of the fridge until it gets hard. Seems a little questionable to just leave it out, but that’s what I remember my host mom doing with the Minas cheese. So we’ll see.

Queso Fresco For The Next Batch
Queso Fresco For The Next Batch

Heating up the milk, oil and salt mixture. As soon as it started boiling I took it off and dumped it into the tapioca flour.

Heating oil, salt and milk
Heating oil, salt and milk

At this point I knew we be successful. It smelled just like Pão de Queijo. It’s super oily, very stretch and pretty hard to stir.

Mixing Hot Liquid With Tapioca Flour
Mixing Hot Liquid With Tapioca Flour

After it had cooled, I folded in the cheese and eggs, then made some balls. Most were just smaller than ping-pong balls, but we made a couple of big ones.

Pão de Queijo Dough Balls
Pão de Queijo Dough Balls

Baking…

Pão de Queijo Baking
Pão de Queijo Baking

Success! They’re stretchy, chewy and super delicious just like they’re supposed to be!

Heaven In a Cheesy Delicious Bun
Heaven In a Cheesy Delicious Bun

 

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Twice Baked Squash for Twice the Fun

It feels like I’m back from the dead. After a new job, a 3 day bike ride, a 77.5 hour work week to make up for the 3 day bike ride and a mostly normal week to catch up on family life and sleep and I’m finally back in the blogging saddle. What a couple weeks to miss too. The garden has been very productive. I’ll get a full progress report on that this week (Wednesday?) but today’s treat is a delicious dish we made with zucchini and squash. We liked it so much we made it twice!

Squashy Squash with Squash

The idea is the same as with twice baked potatoes. Bake it, scrape the insides, mix them with other delicious ingredients, put it back in the shell and bake it again.

Twice baked squash with melted cheese on top
Twice baked squash with melted cheese on top

With the process and some ingredient suggestions the combinations are really endless. We made these twice.

Zippy Tangy Twice Baked Squash

Twice baked squash with relish, ginger and garlic
Twice baked squash with relish, ginger and garlic

Filling ingredients were:

  • Sweet Rellish
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Mashed potato flakes (just enough to thicken it, see below)

Cheesy Chicken and Roasted Veggie Twice Baked Squash

Twice baked squash with chicken and roasted vegetables
Twice baked squash with chicken and roasted vegetables

Filling ingredients were:

  • Shredded chicken
  • Roasted tomatoes
  • Steamed green beans
  • Chopped roasted turnips
  • Onion
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Yellow summer squash (as filling only, we used Zucchini for the shells since it was bigger)
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaves
  • Mashed potato flakes (just enough to thicken it, see below)

Can We Build It?, Yes We Can!

Regardless of what you decide to put in your twice baked squash, here’s the process:

Choose a large squash, this recipe uses up a lot of squash very quickly. Depending on the fillings chosen the actual squash flavor doesn’t come through very prominently. These two factors make it an excellent recipe for using up the older, larger, squash which might not have as much flavor as the small ones. You could use a zucchini or a yellow summer squash. In general I prefer squash with soft edible skin, but for this recipe a thicker skin might be an advantage.

  1. Slice your squash lengthwise and discard the seeds.
  2. Microwave or bake your squash until the meat can be scraped out with a spoon.
    1. Probably about 15 minutes, but check it at 10. Don’t let it get too soft.
  3. Choose the shell(s) you are going to use.
    1. On those shells, scrape until there is just enough meat left to hold the shell’s shape. With our zucchini that meant just under 1/2 inch.
    2. For the other shells scrape all of the squash out and discard the shell.
  4. IF the scraped out meat is extremely watery and drippy, let it sit in a colander until it stops dripping.
  5. Mash the scraped out squash until smooth.
  6. Mix the fillings (except the cheese and potato flakes) with the scraped out squash meat

At this point the filling will likely still be a little bit too watery to refill the shells with. Squash holds a lot of water and the cooking and mashing will release that water. Slowly add potato flakes until the mixture is smooth and creamy instead of soupy. We want the filling to be able to stand above the edges of the shells we saved, not just fill them up.

Sprinkle the cheese on top and throw it back in the oven. If ingredients have cooled, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warm again. When everything has cooked, put the broiler on for a few minutes until the cheese has developed a nice golden crust.

Enjoy!

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