Rabbit becomes Terrine, part 1

Posted on October 16, 2007. Filed under: food, local ingredients, rabbit, terrine | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Novilhão, a great local butcher shop, called me up saying they received fresh rabbit. I said that I’d be their in 10. I got there in about 8. A few days before I had left my number for them to call me when they receive their rabbits. I wanted to buy a fresh one before they stored them away in the freezer. I bought two.

When I got home, knowing that I had to pick up the kids, go to ballet practice….all that Mom stuff… , I decided to let the rabbits soak in a bottle of brandy and some fresh oregano, thyme and rosemary in a large bowl at the back of the fridge. The rabbits stayed there for about 48 hours.

Rabbit with HerbsWhen I was at Novilhão, like always, I like to look over their less common offerings. Most Brazilian butcher shops carry amazing beef from the best parts of the cow hanging in large sections. Whole loin regions and whole rib regions hanging on hooks. There are usually chicken, whole and in pieces and pork loins and sausage. A fancier place may have a freezer stocked with a lamb shank, a few ducks, frogs legs and maybe some wild boar. Novilhão, and Frangão, their poultry-selling counterpart next door, sells the whole animal in all its glorious parts. They treat all the “lesser” cuts like beef and pork shank, osso bucco, tongue, tail, and innards just like they treat the sirloin and filet mignon. At Frangão you can find free-range chicken whole, in pieces, just hearts, all the innards, necks and feet, along with guinea hens, turkey and duck. All the poultry (except for the turkeys) is brought in live and butchered on the premises.

When I went in for the rabbits I eyed the fresh pork knees, thinking of the stock I’d need for the recipe. I also spied the fluffy white pork fat (toucinho). I left Novilhão with two fresh whole rabbits, two pig’s knees and about a pound of toucinho paying R$52,00 (about US$26.)

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Welcome to my Kitchen

Posted on October 5, 2007. Filed under: Brazil, food, more food | Tags: , , , , , , |


Welcome to my kitchen in Brazil. I am an American living in Brazil for quite sometime. I am creating this blog to capture some of the interesting things that we do with the treasures from our butchers, bakers, green grocers and on really special occasions our garden. I feel extremely fortunate to live in a small town in the state of Rio de Janeiro where we have access to a great variety of locally produced materia prima, from meats and poultry, to year round fruits and vegetables and local fresh dairy and eggs. There is even a nearby cremerie making a french style chevre. It is ingredients paradise.

I am not a trained chef, but I have worked in kitchens. I teach cooking and do a culinary spot for a local TV station. My greatest experiences in the kitchen have happened in trying to bridge the gap between the world I left and the world in which I live. For instance when I learned to make my own tortillas in a world where there are none, or walked a local butcher through Martha Stewart’s Pork Crown 101. And, I have learned so much from Brazilian cuisine, since attempting a Brazilian recipe for the first time. It was João Ubaldo Ribeira’s fish moqueca. My pocket português-inglês dictionary couldn’t help me make a dent in his subtle ironies.

I hope that anyone reading these entries will come away with something new, something they didn’t know or only assumed about Brazil, or living abroad or cooking with local ingredients, or whatever comes out of this. I hope that the recipes are clear and easy follow. Most of all, I hope that what I have written will inspire the reader to cook with love and joy.

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