Oven baked kibe

This recipe is for my dear friend Stephanie (fellow culinary student), she tasted it at home and wanted the recipe. Score! So here it goes.

Kibe is how we write in Brazil, but kibbeh is the Arabic name. This is a Middle Eastern dish, but very popular in Brazil. The football shaped fried version is found in every cafe in Brazil and to make it you can use the same meat “dough” that I’m giving the recipe here, fill it with cooked ground meat and fry. Serve with fresh squeezed lime juice. Awesome (what doesn’t taste better fried, right?). But the recipe here is the family-style oven baked kibe, also very common, but not in cafes, rather in family homes.

Brazilian cuisine has lots of Middle Eastern influences, as kibe or sfiha. Like Italians, Brazil had a lot of Levant, Arabic, or Lebanese immigrates.

This recipe in actually pretty light, at least my version is, because I used a lot of bulgur wheat which is a whole grain and has high fiber. If you want something more meaty, just omit some of the bulgur, no big deal. Making it with ground lamb would make this dish even better for you, because lamb meat has more omega 3 (good fat) than beef; and not just that, lamb is super tasty too. I didn’t have lamb, and of course I was too lazy to go out shopping, so I used the old-non-creative ground beef.

Tell the kids or hubbie that this is a meatloaf and the dish is sold. Nobody needs to know that has bulgur on it! You will be impressed how tasty this is.

This dish NEEDS fresh squeezed lime before serving. Or lemon, it doesn’t matter, as long as you squeeze it!

Oven baked kibe

Serves six

1 lb ground beef or lamb meat
2 cups hydrated bulgur wheat
1/2 onion
2 gloves of garlic
1/2 tablespoon dry parsley
1/2 tablespoon dry chives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 juice of half lemon
Salt, pepper
Lime to garnish and serve

To hydrate the bulgur you add 1 cup bulgur, 1 cup warm water, 2 oz olive oil, 1 tb lemon juice, and salt together in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap for 10 to 15 minutes. If you still have water after 15 minutes, strain before using and let it cool.
Mix all ingredients together and bake it in a half sheet pan at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until you have some color in the meat (I cheated and used the broiler for 5 minutes before serving).
Bom apetite.

Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 1:07 am  Comments (1)  

Quinoa patties

This recipe is not Brazilian at all; although I think quinoa is more well known there then it is here in the US, Brazil is not Peru and quinoa is not part of our culture.
I’m posting this recipe because this is my first original recipe. I created it all by myself and I was very pleased with the results, so I decided to share it. I think my classes are working and I understand food and cooking a lot better… It’s fun!

My quinoa patties are called patties and not cakes because I think is a lot more suitable. Since every time I hear the word cake I expect something sweet and baked, these are definitely patties, not cakes!

You can make this dish next Monday and be part of the “meatless Monday” movement. I’m not actually a member of the movement, but I certainly try to be meatless at least two times a week. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat and do not intend to become a vegetarian, but I like good quality meat – meaning, for me, organic and grass feed – and those are really expensive, so I think it is worth to cut down the quantity and prime for the quality. Not mentioning that it is good for our beautiful little planet too!

One fact about quinoa: quinoa is a seed, and not a grain, and quinoa is actually the only non animal food that has the 8 essential amino acids needed to form a complete protein, in other words quinoa is the only food that is not meat that is a complete protein, like meat. Cool right?

The recipe is very simple, but remember that this is not meat, and the patties will not be as firm as meat hamburger, so careful when shaping, sauteing and flipping the patties, deal?

The picture is from my own blend of quinoa: blond, brown and black.

Quinoa Patties
Serves 4

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 carrot
1 celery stick
1/2 onion
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

To cook the quinoa, just place 1 cup of quinoa in 5 cups of boilling salted water, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is soft. But know that quinoa has a harder shell and the shell will not be as soft as the inside, and it is all good! Stir and chill before mixing the quinoa with the other ingredients.
In a multiprocessor process the peeled carrots, celery and onion with a little bit of olive oil, just to help processing.

In a bowl mix all ingredients together.

In a saute pan, get some olive oil hot while shaping with the palms of your hands the little patties. Saute the patties in the hot olive oil until you have a beautiful crunch golden crust, saute both sides and your done. Bom apetite.

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 5:56 am  Comments (2)  


This is my husband’s favorite single thing to eat!
We have been living in the US for almost three years, and for two and a half years he would ask me every week to make this for him. And I know, I’m a bad wife I never did it before. And the reason why I never did before, is because I thought it was difficult to make and to be honest, I’m not crazy about this desert, but all others Brazilians are, so here it goes.

Quindim is basically egg yolks and sugar, like all the other Portuguese origin sweets. But my favorite part is the crunchy coconut bed that is formed in the bottom.

The picture that you are seeing is half recipe, but the recipe that I am providing is the full recipe, ok?

The first time I made it, I made in individual portions, they look way more cute, and it is a lot more work. But doing like I’m doing now is actually really easy. In that first time I didn’t have time to take pictures before my husband ate all the little quindins like the world was about to end. I think he approved the recipe.

Now I did what we Brazilians call quindão, one big quindim recipe.

The quindim has to have a strong yellow color, has to be shiny and moist and the coconut in the bottom has to be crunchy and have a brownish color.

Oh, and the pronounciation is like “keendeen”.


2 Cups of water
3 Cups of sugar + sugar for sprinkle
50 g Butter + butter for grease
14 Egg yolks
2 Eggs
2 Cups of sweetened shredded coconut

Heat water and sugar in a medium pan, stir until the sugar dissolves and let it boil for about 6 minutes, when it starts to thicken a little. Take out from the stove, add the butter and let it cool down.

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees.

Strain the egg yolks and eggs in a bowl (with this you will get rid off the strong egg taste) and add the sugar syrup, then add the coconut and stir all together.

To cook this you will have to use the hot water bath technique, so boil 1 liter of water (or enough to cover half way up in the cake form) and cover a baking sheet (big enough to fit the cake form, like the ones for lasagna) with two sheet of aluminum foil.
Grease with butter one round cake form (those with a hole in the middle), sprinkle sugar over the butter and remove the excess sugar, then pour the egg mixture.
Place the boiling water over the baking sheet, place the cake form inside and take it to the oven.

Cook for 50 minutes or until the coconut bed that forms on top starts to get brown and crunch. Take out of the oven, let cool for a couple of minutes and turn the quindim over a serving plate while still warm. Let it cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 4 hour or up to 48 hour and bom apetite!

Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 8:48 am  Comments (2)  

Coconut-cheesy cups

I have had a goal in my life these lasts few days: to nail a French macaron recipe!
So far I tried three different recipes and dedicated three day of my life for the project, and the result was… not very satisfying.
I need to get this right because that’s what I want to take to the Christmas party that I was invited to, and I will be very disappointed if I have to buy French macaron at Starbucks before the party.
When I’m done with my attempts I’ll post the recipe that worked best for me and I’ll try to convince you to never do it yourself…

But for now an easy and delicious Brazilian treat, the name is queijadinha, and I have no idea how to translate it, so I made this new name up that is actually more suitable for the dish!
Your queijadinha should be crunch in the top and moist in the bottom, and very good from top to bottom!
For this recipe you will have to use sweetened condensed milk, and this is not a very usual ingredient in the American cuisine, but with all the Mexican and Asian influences this ingredient is becoming more and more known. And with that it is getting easier to find. Just last week I saw condensed milk at Safeway for the first time! Before that I used to buy at Mexican markets. It’s basic evaporated milk with a lot of sugar, so it’s very sweet!

To cook listening to João Gilberto

Coconut-cheese cups
Serves 12

1 Can of condensed milk
100g of shredded sweetened coconut
2 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
2 Egg yolks
12 Big cupcake cups or 24 small cupcake cups

Preheat oven at 350F Degrees.
Prep: Arrange the cupcake cups in a cup muffin baking sheet, and place this muffin baking sheet inside another bigger regular baking sheet. I used my turkey baking sheet.
Boil enough water to go halfway through the cupcake length.
In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients together, then scoop the coconut mixture in the 12 cupcake cups. I used an icecream scoop to do this job, it is much easier.
Pour the boil water in the bigger baking sheet, place the muffin baking sheet inside and both in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the coconut-cheese cups starts to brown on top.
After cooling down remove the cups and bom apetite!

Published in: on December 23, 2009 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Chicken in broth

This a family style meal. I’m sure it has Italian influences, but it’s very common in Brazil. I usually remember more of my gramma’s food, but this one is so my mom.
I love this dish, the tasty broth, the creamy polenta, the fall off the bone chicken… hum!

I like to eat this dish with creamy polenta but if you can’t find it, use corn meal. Adding cheese to the polenta or corn meal makes them even better…

In Brazil we all use pressure cook, and I used to make this dish in the pressure cooker over there. But here, I don’t know why, they are not very popular. Not mentioning the not so popular price either. So in the pressure cooker or not, this dish is worth the wait. And if you are doing in the pressure cooker, the chicken will be ready in half the time.

For some kick, add chili or red pepper flacks (my favorite) to the broth.

To cook listening to Chico Buarque

Chicken in broth
Serves two

4 Chicken thighs
2 Carrots
1 Onion
2 Garlic gloves
1/2 Cup of white wine
2 Tablespoons of tomato sauce
1/4 Cup of fresh parsley
Chicken broth
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preps: Cut the carrot, the onion, garlic, and parsley in big pieces. And set two pan in the range.

Start heating the chicken broth in one pan. In another medium pan heat some olive oil.

Salt and pepper the tights and then sear the chicken in the pan with the oil. Fry both sides until golden color, seat aside.
In the same pan, stir fry the onion until translucent, then add the garlic until you can smell it and then add the carrot and the parsley and fry for a minute.
Place the thighs back in the pan and add the white wine. After the wine evaporates, add the tomato sauce and enough broth to cover the thighs.
Cover and reduce heat and let it simmer for about 50 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle some parsley on top and bom apetite.

Published in: on December 11, 2009 at 4:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Little hidden

It’s been over a week since I published here, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been cooking… I actually have been cooking a lot, but nothing Brazilian inspired. Like all other Americans responsible for the Thanksgiving dinner, I made turkey, green beans, potatoes and pecan pie for some friends. But I had a lot of help of my friend Lalita, she is an great cook also. Aaahh, I love to cook with friends and a beer in my hands… And everything was amazing, the food, the mountains and specially the weather at Lake Tahoe where I spent my holiday, where the snow came in the perfect day and time.

Drinking and eating a lot last week made me try to go easy on the food this week. That’s why I thought about showing you another very popular Brazilian dish, that can also be made in the lighter side.

The dish is called escondinho, which literally means “little hidden”. The reason behind the name is because the meat gets hidden underneath purée or mashed potatoes. Cute, right?

This became very popular in bars in Brazil, it’s kinda like an individual appetizer plate. They come in a small bowl and in a diverse variety of flavors: meat with pumpkin purée, chicken with mashed potatoes, fish with cassava purée, etc.. My favorite is carne seca com mandioquinha or dried meat with arracacha, two ingredients very important and largely used in Brazilian culinary, but almost impossible to find here. So that’s why I’m making the chicken and potato version, also delicious, lighter and very easy to find the ingredients over here.

Other ingredient in this dish, the brie spread, is a substitute for the requeijão. Requeijão is the Brazilian cream cheese. It’s a cheese spread but it doesn’t have the sourness of the cream cheese, and it’s a lot more creamy. It’s used here to make the chicken more moist and flavorful. Here in the US a friend of mine found the brie spread that looks and tastes pretty much like the requeijão. Actually I think that tastes better, but don’t let any of my Brazilians friend know that I said that. The recipe would work just fine with regular brie (and a splash of milk), cream cheese, or bèchamel sauce.

Little hidden

Ingredients (for two)

To cook listening to Marisa Monte

Chicken filling

1 Chicken breast

1 Bay leaf

1 Cube of chicken bouillon or 1 liter of chicken broth

2 Shallots or 1/2 small onion

1 Garlic clove

1 Tomato

1/2 Cup of pea

1/2 Brie spread

1/2 cup of Grated Parmesan cheese

Olive oil


Mashed potato

1 Potato

1 Tablespoon of butter

Splash of milk

Salt or Garlic salt

Preheat the oven at 350F degrees.

Cook the chicken in the boiling broth with the bay leaf for 20 minutes or until the meat starts falling apart. Strain the meat and toss the bay leaf, let it cool.

In the meanwhile, peel the potato and cut in pieces and boil for 10 minutes or until the potato is cooked all the way. To know if the potato is ready, stick a fork in it and if it falls out the fork, that means it is all cooked. Strain the water and add the butter, splash the milk and salt, mash the potato and set aside.

If you don’t like the tomato peel like me, remove the peel before cutting the tomato. To do so, place the tomato in boiling water for about 2 minutes, or until the peel starts to fall out. Let it cool down. Remove the peel and the seeds and cut the tomato in small pieces.

Cut the shallots and garlic in small pieces. Shred the chicken.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the shallots and stir fry for a minute, then add the garlic for another minute. Add the shredded chicken. Add the brie spread and stir until it liquefy and gets absorbed by the chicken. Then add the tomato, peas and parsley. Stir and set aside. Adjust salt and pepper.

Divide the chicken filling between two oven safe bowls, just until half way of the bowl. Than cover the chicken with the mashed potato, top with Parmesan cheese and place in the oven on top of a baking sheet for 40 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt. And bom apetite.

Published in: on December 3, 2009 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Little chicken drumstick

It’s really difficult to translate the name of this snack. Little chicken drumstick it’s a very literal translation that doesn’t sounds good, but coxinha is an a-m-a-z-i-n-g treat!

Another very traditional and easy to find snack in Brazil. There, unlike the US, when you go to a caffe or bakery, the amount of salty snacks are usually bigger or at least the same amount as the sweet goodies. And coxinha is the most popular.

This version that I did is the party version. In a small, finger food like size. But in caffes or bakeries around Brazil they are bigger and almost as satisfying as a full meal.

It’s not difficult to make, but it is hard work. You have to cook the chicken, shredding, then saute, then doing the dough, then rolling the coxinhas and finally frying them. But I can assure you, it’s worth the long working hours.

I also did some little cheese balls, known in Brazil as bolinhas de queijo, because it’s absolutely the same process, but instead of stuffing with chicken, you stuff it with cheese in a ball shape. Because I always like to have a vegetarian friendly snack in a party too.

This recipe makes about 100 units, but if you don’t have party plans for soon, do the whole thing (since it’s almost certain that you will going to get addicted too) and freeze the left over. For freezing it, go until just before frying (after dipping in the egg and rolling in the bread crumbs) and freeze the little chicken drumstick individually first then transfer to Ziploc or closed container. When ready for some more coxinha, fry it still frozen.

Little chicken drumstick

Adapted from “Entre panelas e tigelas” by Heloisa Bacelar

To cook listening to Vanessa da Mata

For the filling

600g of chicken meat (I like to mix thigh with breast meat)

1 Cube of chicken bouillon or 2 liters of chicken broth

1 Bay leaf

25g of Butter

1 Small onion

1 Garlic glove

3 Tomatoes

1/3 Cup of corn starch


Olive oil



For the dough

4 Cups of chicken broth (from the chicken cooking)

75g of Butter

1 Teaspoon of salt

4 Cups of all purpose flour

1 Teaspoon of paprika (just for the color, can be skipped)

For dipping and rolling

3 Cups of bread crumbs

3 Eggs

Cook the chicken in the broth or in water with the cubes and the bay leaf for 40 minutes, or until the meat is soft and falling out the bone. Strain the broth, and save the chicken broth for later. Let the meat cool down and shred it (to me it’s easier shredding with my own hands).

Stir fried the onion for a minute with the butter, then add the garlic. When the garlic is fragrant it’s time to add the meat, diced tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper. Dissolve the corn starch in 1 cup of the chicken broth, from the chicken cooking, pour over the meat and stir until boil and the broth is thick. Take the pan out the stove and place in a cool water, to cool faster.

Heat the 4 cups of broth, butter, salt and pepper. When gets to a boil add the flour at once! So have all the 3 cups of flour together in one container before adding it. Without stopping mixing, cook the dough until becomes a big ball that gets totally loosen out the pan. And let it cool.

The fun starts! Beat the egg in a soup place, and place the bread crumbs in another soup plate. Butter your hands. Get a small portion of the dough and make a ball. With your thumb make a hole in the ball, put 1 teaspoon of the chicken filling in the hole and then work the dough making that format (see picture above). Dip the coxinha in the eggs mixture, and than roll it in the bread crumbs.

Congrats, you have one coxinha ready, just 99 more to go!

After all the coxinhas are ready, fry it in a hot oil (Between 200F Degrees and 210F Degrees) until golden crisp perfection! Bom apetite.

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm  Comments (4)  

Cheese Bread

This is my single favorite thing to eat!

Very Brazilian, very delicious. I never found anything quite like it anywhere else, and I still don’t know why this isn’t a worldwide sensation by now.

In Brazil they are called pão de queijo, literally cheese bread, and you can find it at any Caffe or market. At markets you will find frozen versions or just the mix that you add egg and water or milk.

My name is Aline and I have cheese bread addiction. If I see one I have to eat it. If I smell one I have to find where the smell is coming from and eat it. If I dream about one, I have to bake it and eat it

It’s actually really easy to make, but one of the ingredients might be a little hard to find. If you live in a big city like me, you will find a Brazilian market around you for sure, and there you will look for polvilho azedo. I read that it works just fine with sour starch, also called cassava flour or tapioca starch, but I never tried neither of those options since in San Francisco there are many Brazilian markets and I can always can find the real thing. Other than that, everything else is pretty basic.

It’s a great finger food. Good for parties or afternoon snack, or as I like to do, bake even smaller breads and eat watching a movie, instead of popcorn…

To cook listening to Pato Fu

Cheese Bread

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

1/2 Cube of chicken flavor bouillon (not absolutely necessary, if skipping it, just add more salt)

300ml of Milk

150ml of Oil

500g of Sour starch

3 Eggs

2 Cups of grated mozzarella

2 Cups of grated Parmesan

Put the sour starch in a large bowl.

Boil the milk, salt, chicken cube and oil in the stop oven.  After boiling, pour the milk mixture over the sour starch and mix well until all the lumps disappear. Let it cool down.

After cooling down, add the eggs one by one alternating with the cheese, and mixing well after each addiction. Mix the dough with your hands until all the mixture is evenly mixed.

Preheat oven at 350F degrees.

Roll the balls and place it in a sprayed baking sheet leaving 1 inch around each ball because they will almost double in size. If the dough is a little sticky, oil your hands to be able to roll the balls.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the breads are bigger and golden on top. Bom apetite.

*This recipe will make around 45 balls. Usually this is too much to eat in one day, even for me. It’s fine to freeze the cheese breads. To do so, place the balls in a sheet in the freezer, not touching one another. After they are frozen, transfer to a Ziploc or any container. It’s very important to frozen them individually first, because if you skip this process you will end up with a bunch of cheese breads all glued together and it will be impossible to separate them to bake. Bake them still frozen for 30 minutes at 35oF degrees.

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 6:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Brazilian Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

This is a very traditional Brazilian cake, and one of my husband’s favorite recipes. You can find this cake in some cafes in Brazil, but this is mostly a home recipe.

I remember eating this cake at my gramma’s house when young, and her recipe is the best I ever tasted.

The cake has a beautiful color, it’s moist and not too sweet. I know that 2 cups of sugar sounds a lot, but trust me, the cake is not overly sweet.

It’s a very easy and quick cake recipe, made basically in the blender and with ingredients that we always have at home, but the simplicity of the recipe do not compromise the rich flavor.

I’m sure that kids and grown ups will love this cake!


To cook listening to Céu.

Brazilian Carrot Cake Recipe

For the dough

3 Carrots, medium size

3 Eggs

1 Cup of oil

2 Cups all purpose flour

2 Cups white sugar
1 Tablespoon of baking powder

Chocolate Topping

1 Tablespoon of margarine

1/2 Cup of milk

5 Tablespoons of chocolate powder

4 Tablespoons of sugar

Preheat oven at 350F degrees.

In the blender blend together the carrot cut in large pieces, eggs and oil.

Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.

Then combine the carrot mixture with the dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour the dough in a large sprayed pan and place in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

While cake is in the oven, in a medium pan mix all the topping ingredients together, bring to a medium-high heat and stir it until the sauce starts to get thick.

To make sure that the cake is ready, place a toothpick in the center of the cake, and if the toothpick comes out clean, that means your cake is ready.

Spread the topping all over the cake and let it cool down.

Cut in large pieces and bom apetite!

Published in: on November 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Welcome to Cooking Inside!

Yes, this is another recipe blog; cooking is my passion and I want to spread the love!

The magic happens in my tiny kitchen, literally 7 by 3 feet. That’s true! Neither the lack of space or tools stop me. Not even having to cook with my dog strategically seated in the middle of my feet, reducing even more my space. But he is there for a reason, he is always ready to help me clean all the dropping and spilling on the floor.

Oh, and also, since I’m Brazilian, you will all get tired of hearing about Brazilian dishes. Just a heads up. I’m going to be  primarily sharing some of my favorite Brazilian dishes with you, but I might also share any other recipe that I feel  it is worth the publication.

Hope you all enjoy my recipes, as much as my husband does!

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 6:40 am  Comments (1)