IMBB – 5th edition: Moqueca Baiana de Peixe

Wena from mum-mum is our host for this 5th „Is My Blog Burning“-Event, thanks a lot for giving a fascinating theme: Fish!

So here’s my „Catch of the Day“:

My daughter Kathi spent one year (2000/2001) as an exchange student in Brazil (Ouro Branco, Minas Gerais). She loved her guest family, the people, the country – and the food. She told us so much about this beautiful country that we decided to travel with her to Brazil last summer.

We spent one week in Minas with her family before we went to Bahia, where we first had a really relaxing week in the quiet and very small village of Imbassai with beautiful uncrowded beaches, barracas (beach restaurants) with nice finger food, mostly fresh seafood, cold beer and Caipirinhas. Then we moved for one week to the lively Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, with a a lot of music and drums everywhere (it’s the home of Olodum, who played with Michael Jackson in his video „They Don´t Care About Us“). Our trip ended with one week at Morro de Sao Paulo on the Isle Tinharé (no cars allowed :-): only white beaches, clear water ideal for snorkeling, breathtaking sceneries, nice little restaurants in the small village and a lot of stands on the beach, offering caipifrutas (fruit-cocktails) and fresh juice every evening.

When thinking over which recipe I should chose for this day I immediately thought of a special dish we had quite often in this three weeks in Bahia: Moqueca („moo-keh‘-kah“).

Moqueca is a stew which exists in numerous varieties: mostly with fish („Moqueca de peixe“) or fish mixed with shrimps („Moqueca de peixe com camarão„, you can find a photo of this dish here) but also with shrimps alone or crabs (there even exist some vegetarian moquecas), all traditionally served in shallow, thick earthenware bowls.

An important influence on Bahian cuisine came from the enslaved Africans, who not only brought their own style of cooking, but also modified Portuguese dishes with African ingredients as for example the red dendê oil extracted from an African palm, coconut milk, cilantro and hot peppers. You find all these things in the moqueca. For me this recipe brings back memories of wonderful holidays in a great country with nice and warm people.

Die Rezepte in Deutsch finden sich hier!

MOQUECA BAIANA DE PEIXE (Bahian Fish Stew with Coconut)
serves 4

600 g firm white fish fillets (e.g. halibut, redfish)

TEMPERO (Marinade)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tb salt
1 bunch of cilantro
4 scallions
1-2 limes: juice

3 large tomatoes; peeled, seeded and diced
2 large onions; diced
1 red bell pepper; seeded and diced
2 tb olive oil
1 can coconut milk
2 tb Dendê oil; palm oil

Rinse fish fillets and pat dry. Remove any left bones. If necessary cut in larger pieces.

Marinade: Using a mortar and pestle pound garlic, salt, the green of half of the cilantro sprigs and the scallions, mix with the lime juice (or use a blender, as most Brazilians nowadays do ;-)).

Put fish into an airtight bag (ziplock bag) and add marinade. Let marinate for 1-2 hours in a cool place.

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat and sauté diced tomatoes, onions and peppers until the water is gone for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk and let simmer for a few minutes until sauce thickens. Now add the fish with the marinade and stir gently. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until fish is tender but still firm. Season to taste with salt and lime juice. Add the dende oil and sprinkle on some
minced cilantro.

Serve directly from the pan accompanied by white rice, farofa (roasted manioc flour) and vinagrete or molho de pimenta (a spicy vinaigrette sauce). These last dishes are also a must for the famous Feijoada completa (Black Bean Stew), the Brazil’s national dish.

Here are two recipes for farofa (a side dish with roasted manioc flour, which you sprinkle over your food): a typical bahian yellow farofa with dendê oil and a richer version with egg (you can substitute dry breadcrumbs for manioc flour, if you don’t get it):

FAROFA DE DENDÊ (Farofa with dendê oil)

2 tb dendê oil; palm oil
1 tb onions; finely chopped
100-150 g manioc flour

Sauté onions in dendé oil until soft, add manioc flour and cook over low heat stirring constantly until golden. Sprinkle with salt, to taste.

FAROFA DE OVOS (Farofa with egg)

2 tb butter
1 tb onions, finely chopped
1 tb minced cilantro or Italian parsley
2 eggs, beaten
100-150 g manioc flour alternatively dry breadcrumbs

Melt butter in a nonstick skillet, add onion and sauté until translucent, add herbs. Add eggs and stir as for scrambeled egg. Then stir in enough manioc flour to get a rather dry mass. Continue stirring until the meal gets crumbly and a little bit roasted. Sprinkle with salt, to taste.

MOLHO DE VINAGRETE (Vinaigrette Sauce)

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper
4 Malagueta-Peppers or red cayenne peppers or more if you like; finely chopped
1 tb vinegar
1 lime: juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Italian parsley, finely chopped

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well and serve either at room temperature or cold.

Bom apetite!

Creamy Rice Terrine with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote

My contribution to the IMBB 4th edition: Around the world in a bowl of rice

When I was a child, one of the few dishes I absolutely disliked
was sweet milk rice. Even the smell of it seemed to make me sick. Funny
enough, my children and my husband adore "Milchreis mit Zimtzucker"
(milk rice with sugar and cinnamon), from time to time I cooked it for
them but never joined them eating it.

Years later I gave the dish a new try. I had some guests for an
asia-style dinner and wanted to make something sweet for dessert, so I
offered sticky rice in coconut milk besides some nice fruits. I really
love coconut milk, so I tried the rice and – surprise, surprise – it
didn’t taste bad at all 🙂 Now the world of sweet rice desserts was
open for me 😉

The recipe I want to present to you has its origin in a book by
Roberto Galizzi: "Ticino in Cucina" (presenting a new view of the
cuisine of the swiss canton of Tessin): "Savarin di riso su lamponi"

Whereas the original recipe comes with fresh raspberries and a
puree of raspberries, sugar, white wine and "Himbeergeist" (Fruit
spirit made with raspberries) and also uses Himbeergeist in the rice
terrine, I decided to make a compote with fruits of the saison, using
rhubarb and strawberries with a little exotic touch by adding lime,
star anise and ginger. I think this fresh, tartish compote matches
perfectly with the creamy consistence of the terrine to which the rice
grains add a special kind of texture.

It’s best to make the compote fresh, otherwise the strawberries will lose their nice colour.


100 gram Arborio rice
500 ml milk
1 vanilla pod
1 pinch salt
5 leaves gelatine
100 gram sugar
300 ml cream

100 gram sugar
250 gram rhubarb, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) pieces
75 ml water
1 lime: Juice and grated peel
1 Teel. Ginger; freshly grated
1 star anise
250 gram strawberries
sugar; as required

whole strawberries with hull
confectioners‘ sugar

Bring water to a boil and cook rice for 5 minutes, then strain rice through a sieve.

Cut the vanilla pod open and scrape out the tiny seeds with a pointed knife.

Soak leaf gelatine in cold water.

Combine milk, vanilla pod, seeds and salt and bring to a boil.
Add the precooked rice and let simmer for about 25 minutes until rice
is tender. Remove from the heat and discard the vanilla pod (or let dry
and use for vanilla sugar). Add sugar and the drained gelatine, stir
until dissolved. Let cool.

When the rice mixture starts to stiffen fold in the whipped cream.

Place plastic wrap in a terrine pan (1 litre) or loaf pan coming up over the sides.

Scrape the rice mixture into the prepared terrine pan. Smooth
the top with the rubber spatula. Tap the pan on the counter to
eliminate any air bubbles. Cover the top of the terrine with the
plastic wrap overhang. Refrigerate overnight until set.

To prepare the compote place the sugar in a medium-sized, heavy
bottomed saucepan. Place the pot over medium heat and melt the sugar
until golden brown. Carefully add the water (attention! May splatter!),
then the rubarb, lime juice, lime peel, star anise, and the grated
ginger. Cook until the rhubarb is almost tender. Stir in the quartered
strawberries and let cool.

To unmold the terrine unfold the plastic wrap from the top of
the chilled terrine, and use it to lift the terrine out of the loaf
pan. Invert the terrine onto a plate. Slice the terrine with a hot, dry
knife into even slices.

Place a slice of the rice terrine onto a dessert plate and
surround it with some of the compote. Garnish each with a sliced
strawberry and sprinkle lightly with confectioners‘ sugar.