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13 July 2013 / leggypeggy

At home and cooking in Curitiba

Roast dinner

Newton’s masterpiece—an English roast dinner

A big bonus of going to Curitiba was the chance to stay with Eduardo and his family in the Italian district of this city filled with people from all over the world.

By chance, we took this multiculturalism into the kitchen too.

Roast dinner

Newton and his roast dinner

On our first full day in Curitiba, Newton, Eduardo’s father, made an English roast dinner with lots of delicious sides. It was a great meal, and the sort of thing you never get to have on an overland adventure (it’s not easy to make a roast over a gas burner).

We also had a starter of bread with Newton’s secret health sauce. It’s his grandmother’s recipe. An amazing sauce with just the right amount of spice and heat. I’m hoping to make him good on his offer to share the recipe if I promise not to give it to any other Brazilians. I promise.

The meal was topped off with a yummy chocolate dessert—brigadeiro—made by Eduardo’s sister, Cristina. This concoction of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa (or Nesquik) and chocolate sprinkles is very popular at kid’s birthday parties, although all the big kids at this party loved it too. Cristina’s batch was more like chocolate mousse without the sprinkles. I didn’t get a picture, but I know how to make it and will try it out at home.

Healthy sauce

Newton’s grandmother’s secret recipe for healthy sauce

Anyway, I wanted to repay this wonderful hospitality, so offered to make moqueca, a stew popular throughout Bahia and Espirito Santo, coastal states north of Rio.

Moqueca (also spelt muqueca) can be made with meat or seafood, and may (moqueca baiana) or may not (moqueca capixaba) include coconut milk. Many years ago, I was taught a recipe that calls for prawns and coconut milk.

Ken, who lived in Brazil for three or four years and who taught me the recipe, is a master of moqueca. I couldn’t quite remember all his recipe—it’s on the computer at home—so I winged it. The end result wasn’t nearly as good as Ken’s, but it was more than okay, and certainly nicer than any version of moqueca we have ordered in South American restaurants.

Moqueca, muqueca

Making moqueca

The finishing touch was that I managed to find a key ingredient—Lee Kum Kee’s chilli garlic sauce—in Curitiba’s large food market.

We had another treat—pinhão—as a starter to our meal. Eduardo bought a big bag of them in the market. They are a sort of pine nut from the pinherio tree (an araucaria) and taste rather like a chestnut. Newton put them in the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes. You eat them by biting down on the base of the pod and letting the nut ooze forward into your mouth. I loved them. Poor John thought they were okay.

P.S. We’re stopping in New Zealand to visit Ken on our way home from this trip. I promise to get the exact recipe and post it here for everyone to enjoy. I must remember to ask Ken who taught him to make moqueca.

Ken has also given me a recipe for pão de queijo (cheese puffs). I’ll pass that on too when I get home.

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  1. weggieboy / Jul 13 2013 10:01 pm

    Remind me not to read your blog before eating breakfast! It was delicious! I devoured it! I definitely am hungry now.


    • leggypeggy / Jul 13 2013 10:04 pm

      I’ll try to warn you next time. 🙂
      But so you know, unless you love leftovers—which I do—moqueca really isn’t breakfast food.


  2. London Caller / Jul 13 2013 11:17 pm

    Everything looks so yummy!
    I would love to try them all.


  3. skippersy / Jul 13 2013 11:47 pm

    Peggy, congratulations you managed to post about several subjects i am interested in.. besides your traveling adventures. That is FOOD, FOOD and more delicious local FOODS. The “English Roast” looks great, so does the “Moqueca” dish (reminds me a of New England Clam Chowder and using seafood and coconut flavors)… And the “Pinhao” nuts was something new as well. Also, you weaved into this post a photo of “Da Dawgs.” I love the photo of the one dawg upside down, must be hot in the house. Very good, thanks LeggyPeggy.


    • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2013 1:56 am

      You are most welcome Sy. Very pleased to introduce you to something new with the pinhão. Stay tuned because more food is coming. 🙂


  4. Laurie / Jul 14 2013 1:48 am

    Lovely. I so enjoy your blog.


    • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2013 1:57 am

      Thank you Laurie. I appreciated you taking the time to drop in and comment.


  5. Rhonda / Jul 14 2013 7:34 am

    It all sounds delicious! I’ll look forward to those recipes you’ve promised us.


  6. Joanne T Ferguson (@mickeydownunder) / Jul 14 2013 11:06 am

    What a great experience, for you and Poor John too!
    I recently made brigadeiros on my blog in honor of my friend Eduardo (the general they are named after) too!
    Cheers! Joanne


    • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2013 1:06 pm

      It really was a wonderful experience. I’ll have to check out your brigadeiro recipe. 🙂


  7. Eduardo Macarios / Jul 16 2013 8:20 am

    Its was a great weekend, with lots of cooking! And I must say that one the best Moquecas i had was made by an Australian (actually, american)! Now I’m gonna have to try Ken’s recepie next time i’m anywhere near New Zeland!


    • leggypeggy / Jul 16 2013 11:32 am

      Oh Eduardo, we had the best time with you and your family in Curitiba. So glad you enjoyed it too. I promise to post the moqueca recipe here (after I get all the details from Ken) and to make it for you when you come to Australia.


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