Frozen Pão de Queijo, Brazilian Cheese Bread

This is a simplify version of the Brazilian “pão de queijo”, it is cheesy and gluten free.  It makes a great appetizer and can be made way ahead.

I already share so many versions of the famous Brazilian pão de queijo…recipes which each little ball is hand shaped, blended and pour in a waffle iron, Asian style and now blended and frozen for later enjoyment.

– What is “pão de queijo”?

Pão de queijo when translated from Portuguese should be cheese bread. In reality, it is not a bread as you know as bread…it is usually small baked roll with cheese and the base of the roll is mainly tapioca flour and not wheat flour. The texture is not like your regular bread, it is sort of chewy, cheesy and let’s say very different. In my opinion it is a sort of popover, choux pastry…there is no any raising agent such as yeast or baking powder, the air pockets in the little cheese bread are mainly due to the combination of egg, oil, liquid (milk) and tapioca flour.

– History of “pão de queijo”

Pão de queijo recipe is typical from Minas Gerais, which is a state located on the eastern side of Brazil, north of the state of São Paulo. The recipe is traditionally passed from grandmother to their daughters and from the daughter to the granddaughters…the difference in the ingredients may vary from water to milk, oil from lard, but the idea is the same. Apparently started with a piece of leftover cheese, since wheat flour was not common at the time being that tapioca flour from yuca (cassava) was available, somehow in between “pão de queijo” emerged.

– Why you need to make “pão de queijo”?

Because is it easy and a crowd pleaser.  I always have a “bag” of these in my freezer…and I bake whenever we feel like having a small snack, a something to go with a bowl of salad or soup, as an appetizer when entertaining.

– Why this is a great version?

This is the simplest version of all and can be made way ahead…all the ingredients are mixed in a blender and pour is a small silicone mold and place into the freezer. Once frozen they can be stored in a plastic frozen bag (to save freezer space) and store for months until time to bake.

– Have I convinced you? Okay…let’s look at the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil such a sunflower, canola or corn
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 125 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 345 g tapioca flour
  • 120 g grated Cheddar cheese

Method:

Place milk, oil, eggs and salt in the blender. Blend until all the ingredients are mixed.

Add the parmesan cheese and blend in.

Add tapioca flour in thirds and pulse after each addition, making sure that the batter is smooth. Scrapping the side of the blender cup as needed.

Now, you can either add the cheddar cheese and pulse a couple of times or remove the blender cup from the motor and add the cheddar cheese and mix carefully with a spatula, until the cheese is incorporated into the batter.

Pour the batter into small silicone mold (approximately 0.6 oz or 18 ml each cavity). As the silicone bakeware are flexible, place them on a cookie sheet or any metal tray.

Place the trays in the freezer for a few hours until the batter is frozen.

Once the cheese bread (balls) are totally frozen, quickly remove the frozen cheese balls from the silicone bakeware and place them into a freezer bag and in the freezer until time to bake.

When baking the cheese bread, place the frozen cheese bread directly in a preheated oven of 350oF for approximately 15-20 minutes. Make sure to leave at least 1 in (2.5 cm) in between the cheese bread (balls).

Serve hot/warm.

Take a look…it is soft and chewy and loaded with cheese…

– Looking for other versions of the Brazilian pão de queijo?

Did you know that tapioca flour is a product of the cassava? Cassava, yuca or manioc is a root like yam, taro,  and potato, therfore totally grain and gluten free. Cassava is  very popular in South America, parts of  Asia and Africa.

Thank you for visiting Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Homemade Spinach Pasta

This pasta recipe calls for lots of spinach…it is so tasty and pretty to look at. The pasta can served topped with any sauce you and your family like or just with your favorite cheese.

 

Let me make a confession, this is not my first pasta…I made egg pasta once before I attempted to make this spinach pasta. It was so much fun playing with the dough, passing the dough over and over again through the pasta machine. Cutting it using different settings that I forgot to take pictures…

I want this spinach pasta to be the “star” of this post, therefore, after I cooked I just served with a drizzle of olive oil and lots of shaved pecorino cheese…nothing fancy…

Since I made enough pasta for a big crowd, I froze them into small “nests” and already used most of it with different sauces.

Making pasta seems overwhelming, but in reality it is very simple. I did not buy the pasta attachment for the mixer…I decided to go for a manual one, to me it seems that I have more control over it than the one electrically powered.

Anyway, I am happy that I did get this pasta maker as recently I see many recipes that use pasta maker to roll bread dough…this will be my next experiment…

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh spinach leaves
  • 200 g bread flour
  • 200 g semolina
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 eggs

Method:

Steam the spinach leaves for about 3 minutes, the leaves should still be bright green and softened. Let cool slightly. Squeeze out the liquid as much as you can. Puree spinach in a food processor.

Add the flours and salt and mix until well combined. Add the eggs in the food processor until the dough comes together.

Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes, adding little flour if dough is still too sticky. Cover the dough with plastic film and let it rest for 1 to 2 hours.

Cut dough into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keep the other pieces covered. Flatten the dough, dust lightly with flour and feed through the pasta machine at its widest setting. Fold lengthwise into thirds and pass through again. Repeat a couple of times.

Set the pasta machine to the thickness you desire and pass the dough a couple of times, dusting flour as needed. Plate the pasta sheet on the counter as you work with the other pieces.

Pass the pasta sheet on the machine using the cutting attachment. Dust with flour as needed to they strands do not stick.
At this point you can cook the pasta or let it dry slightly on the rack, about ½ hour. Or make small nest (portion) and freeze.

Once the little nest of pasta are frozen, store in a airtight container.

When cooking frozen pasta, just place it in a boiling water and proceed as usual.

If you like spinach, you might want to check on Spinach with Ponzu Sauce or Sautee Spinach recipes.

 

Did you know that spinach is very rich in iron? Moreover, spinach are a very good source of vitamin K, A and C.

Thank you for stopping by Color Your Recipes…have a colorful week!




Panko Crusted Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes…with Panko, and Some Pictures…

I am baaaack…and want to share with you a simple recipe for crab cakes and some of my vacation pictures.

I love crab cakes, every time when in restaurants that serve crab cakes I am ordering…so I decided to make myself. After searching for recipes throughout the internet I opted out to come out with my own version, which I must confess that I kind of mix and match what I thought I would like in my crab cake…and yes I used panko for the crust. After making these crab cakes I realized that they are so simple to make…

The good thing about making your own crab cakes, is that you can store them in the freezer and bake or pan fry anytime when you feel like having it. Just freeze on a flat tray until frozen so the cakes stay nicely shaped, then you can place them in a Ziploc bag.

When it is time to serve, just defrost for approximately half an hour (do not have to be totally defrosted) and you can either bake or pan fry with a little oil. I can guarantee you that you will not be able to tell that they were frozen. It is very good to have it handy in the freezer.

Ingredients:

1 lb. crab meat in can
2 small potatoes, cooked and slightly mashed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions finely chopped
1 egg
1 teaspoon dry parsley (I’d rather use fresh one, but did not have at the time)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste.

Panko

Canola oil, spray

Method:

In a big bowl, add the crab meat, green onion, bell pepper, parsley, bay seasoning, salt and pepper and mix gently. Add to the crab mixture the lemon juice, lemon zest and the egg. Again very gently because I like my crab cakes with lumps of crab meat and not all smashed.

In a deep dish place the panko, make

Make small patties and coat with panko.

Spray the patties with the canola oil and bake in a 400F pre heated oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Serve hot.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe for crab cakes and as I mention, great to have them in the freezer for an elegant appetizer of even as a meal with a side of salad.

Now the pictures…lots of pampering and relaxation. Can you guess where did we go?

and yes…those are my toes :-)

 

If you still wondering where we were…it was Cancun, Mexico!

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes!

 




Panko Crusted Panela Cheese

If you already are amazed by the large quantity of Costco products you will be speechless once you see the sizes of the cheeses, meat, and produce at their Business Center.
Well, I came back with a huge piece of panela cheese and I knew that we would not be able to finish the cheese before it started to turn bad, and decided to prepare it in a way that could be stored in a freezer…this was sure an experiment, but luckily it worked great.

First, I need to admit that I was a little nervous since I never froze this kind of cheese, so I prepared an extra batch just to be frozen. After a few days, I pan fried the panko crusted cheese and voila, I could not tell the difference from the freshly prepared ones, so I went ahead and prepared all the remaining cheese.

I like this cheese because it has a similar texture to paneer. Once you cook it, it holds its shapes, not like mozzarella which will, in this case, “leak” out of the crust. Moreover, you can serve it as an appetizer or as a main dish, paired with salad.

Ingredients:

Panela Cheese
Flour
Panko + dry oregano to taste
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
Oil for pan fry

Method:

Slice the panela cheese into approximately ½ inch thick and 2 ½ by 1 inch size rectangles. Coat with flour and dip into the egg mix. Then cover with panko mix. At this point, you can pan fry with a little oil, until the panko crust turns golden or freeze for future use.
Serve hot/warm.

To freeze the cheese, place the cheese coated with panko in a tray, single layer. After a couple of hours in the freezer, remove the frozen cheese from the tray and store in freezer bags.

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe using Panela cheese.

 

Panela cheese or queso panela is used in many Mexican dishes. When fresh, it has a similar texture to mozzarella, but once cooked, it carries a very different texture, since it does not melt like mozzarella cheese.

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