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Simple and Delicious Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

In Brazil, Pão de Queijo (a.k.a. Brazilian Cheese Bread) is an airy, cheesy treat that is a great accompaniment to any meal. Just a few simple ingredients are needed to make this traditional bun, which has the added bonus of being gluten-free! The dough can also be sectioned, formed, and frozen for later use.

Where Does Pão de Queijo Come From?

It is likely that Brazilian cheese bread originated in the Minas Gerais region in the 1700s. Then a Portuguese colony, the area underwent a population boom after the discovery of gold in Ouro Preto. Wheat was not yet cultivated, so cooks replaced it in bread dishes with starch made from local cassava root, as taught to them by the indigenous Tupiniquim.

The original recipe used this starch and a hard cheese, known as “Minas” cheese, similar to parmesan. Today, the starch and cheese used can vary from region to region. In place of the traditional “manioc” cassava flour, many recipes use tapioca flour. Both are made from cassava, but tapioca starch contains less fiber. The most common types of cheese are the Minas cheese, parmesan, and mozzarella cheese.

Today, pães de queijo are enjoyed as a popular breakfast food or snack in Brazil. They are often paired with an afternoon coffee. Pre-made mixes are sold, or the dough can be bought frozen in many grocery stores. Some bakeries offer stuffed versions, with delectable fillings like dulce de leche or goiabada, a favorite national dessert made from guavas and plenty of sugar.

A photo of Brazilian Cheese bread and coffee
Brazilians often take an afternoon coffee break, which might feature a few freshly-baked pães de queijo dipped in dulce de leche.

How to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread

Pão de Queijo is simple, delicious and very easy to make. The consistency is less like bread and more like a “puff,” with a crispy outside and a chewy, almost hollow center. Each roll is about 50 kcal and made with tapioca starch, which makes them light and gluten-free.

Recipe for Simple and Delicious Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Puffs)

 Makes about 30 cheese puffs

Equipment:

Stand mixer

Ingredients:
  • 16 oz tapioca flour
  •  8 oz whole milk
  •  2 oz vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  •  2 eggs
  • 1.5-2 tsp sea salt
A photo of Brazilian Cheese bread and coffee
Your Pão de Queijo, or Brazilian Cheese Bread, is ready to cook

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a saucepan, bring your oil, milk, and salt to a boil.
  3. While the milk and oil mixture heats, put all the tapioca flour into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Once the milk and oil mixture begins to bubble, pour it over the tapioca flour. Mix together thoroughly on medium speed. The mixture will be sticky and clumpy.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool so that it is warm, not hot, to the touch (about 5 minutes). Once it has cooled enough, add your eggs one at a time with the mixer going at medium speed. The mixture should now look smoother.
  6. When the eggs are fully incorporated, add the grated parmesan cheese. Mix to combine.
  7. To form the dough balls, wet your hands with a little cold water or grease them with vegetable oil. Shape the balls to be about 2” across, about the size of a ping pong ball. Alternatively, you can scoop the dough into a greased mini muffin pan. The puffs will not be the traditionally round shape, but will still taste delicious.
  8. Place the balls at least 2” inches apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp and golden-approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy right away with hot coffee or as a side dish with a delicious grilled-meat entree, like Brazilian-style flank steak.

Note: if you do not want to bake off all your dough, you can freeze a portion of it. Pre-form the dough balls, place them on a cookie sheet, and freeze them. Once they are frozen, place them in a container, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to use them, allow them to thaw and bake them according to the above instructions.

Try Brazilian Cheese Bread at Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil has over 50 locations in the US and overseas. We offer an array of delicious meats cooked in the churrasco style, and a vast selection of traditional accompaniments, including Brazilian black beans, moqueca fish stew, fried bananas, and the famous pão de queijo. Visit our site to find a location near you.

In Churrasco it's all about the ingredients
A traditional spread with Brazilian cheese bread ready to consume

Brazilian Hot Dogs Take Toppings to a New Level

In America, hot dogs can be found virtually anywhere. More than just a staple at ballparks or Independence Day cookouts, the hot dog has become an expression of various regions’ cultures and tastes. Newark, for example, has an Italian spin with a deep-fried frank in pizza bread. The Sonoran dog in Arizona makes a nod to the state’s Hispanic population, with toppings like pinto beans, jalapenos, and guacamole. We’re breaking down the Brazilian Hot Dog, and while we don’t serve these gems as a complete meal at Texas de Brazil, keep reading for a great tip!

Hot dogs are not just a favorite food in the United States. While many countries around the world have their own version, from the shrimp-salad adorned tunnbrodsrulle in Sweden to the simple and snappy Czech parek. Just like in America, the choice of bread, sausage, and toppings is unique to a country’s own tastes and history.

The Brazilian Hot Dog has it ALL

In Brazil, the Cachorro quente is an indulgent on-the-go meal that takes toppings to the extreme. Vienna-style franks are cooked in a tomato-based sauce, placed on a mashed-potato lined bun, and finished with any number of toppings. While nothing is off-limits, really, the preference for toppings varies according to region. But a standard, completo-style Brazilian hot dogs (that’s a hot dog with “the works”) might include:

  • Potato sticks
  • Diced ham
  • Cilantro
  • Ground beef
  • Parmesan cheese
  • A quail egg
  • Peppers and onions
  • Corn and peas
  • Shredded carrots

 

What the Brazilians Pair with this Meal

In the States, we usually eat our hot dogs with a cold beer. So you may wonder: What do Brazilians drink with their hot dogs? Brazilians turn to something a little stronger: the cachaça. Made from fermented sugarcane and heavily regulated, Brazilians produce nearly 800 million litres of cachaça a year. It is the drink of choice for most occasions and may be drunk straight or mixed into a cocktail, such as a Caipirinha.

When mixed with a little sugar and lime juice, the cachaça is refreshing with a subtle spice, much like rum. In the case of the hefty cachorro quente, a strong drink is just what the doctor ordered to cut through those bold and filling layers.

Where Can I Find Brazilian Hot Dogs in the US?

Unfortunately, the Brazilian hot dog has yet to make its way into mainstream American cuisine. There are a few places on the East coast serving up traditional cochorros, like Hot Doogy and Love Dog Hot Dog Buffet. Outside of those areas, your best bet is to make them yourself. Texas de Brazil has over 50 locations across the US and overseas. Next time you visit, you might try doctoring up one of our rodizio-style Brazilian sausages with a ciabatta roll, a side of our garlic mashed potatoes, and any number of toppings from our yummy salad bar. Perfeito!

Recipe for Authentic Brazilian Flank Steak with Zesty Chimichurri Sauce (Texas de Brazil Inspired Recipe)

In Brazil, churrasco and the churrascaria have a long and cherished tradition. Churrasco broadly translates to “barbecue,” and its origins in Southern Brazil can be traced back to the indigenous population. In its early iteration, cuts of meat would be roasted outdoors on green wood grill over a stone fire. Today, gauchos trained in the art of rodizio roast the meat on skewers in a churrascaria, or steakhouse. They move about the churrascaria, slicing off tasty morsels directly from the roasting spits onto customers’ plates.

Chimichurri is also a South American staple. A tangy, garlicky sauce with a deep, herbaceous flavor, it can be used as a condiment or marinade. It is traditionally attributed to Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisine, but Brazilians (and the rest of the world, for that matter) enjoy it with their meat dishes. In Argentina, the recipe calls for garlic, olive oil, parsley, red wine vinegar, oregano, salt, and red pepper.

A Fan Inspired Recipe for Flank Steak

At Texas de Brazil, we enjoy finding fans of the brand that have put their own gaucho spin on the traditional recipe: cilantro! The standard recipe uses parsley as the primary herb ingredient, which is what earns it the nickname “Argentinian Pesto.” We find the addition of cilantro gives it an even greater depth of flavor that perfectly complements any meat dish, especially steak. Just ask Cheryl at 40aprons, who very kindly calls our version the “Holy Grail” of chimichurri recipes.

This authentic Brazilian flank steak served with our zesty chimichurri sauce is the perfect summer BBQ dish. It is simple, flavorful, and eye-catching. Enjoy it with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, fried bananas, or a light and crunchy cucumber salad. If you’re looking for an exact match of this recipe, you may order the exact meat we use here at Texas de Brazil to be delivered to your door.

Authentic Brazilian Flank Steak with Zesty Chimichurri Sauce (a Texas de Brazil Inspired Recipe)

 

Equipment

Food processor or blender

Ingredients

For the Chimichurri sauce:

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice or red wine vinegar
2 TBSP garlic
½ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup fresh cilantro
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste (start with 1.5 tsp salt)

For the Steak:

1 ½ lbs flank steak
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
½ cup orange juice
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP minced garlic
2 tsp paprika
2 TBSP salt
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 TBSP brown sugar or honey

Instructions:

Step 1: Make the Steak Marinade

While at Texas de Brazil, we want the meat and flavor of the grill to speak through, so we only use rock salt to flavor, this particular recipe uses a marinade. First, whisk together marinade ingredients. Pour over flank steak in a shallow dish or in a re-sealable bag. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Chimichurri Sauce

In your food processor, pulse the fresh garlic to a fine mince. Add the fresh herbs and pulse to uniform consistency.
Add in the salt, red pepper flakes, lemon juice/vinegar, and olive oil, and pulse to combine.

NOTE: avoid using the “blend” setting on your food processor, as over-mixing will result in a paste-like consistency. We are looking for a sauce that can be drizzled. You can also use a blender for these steps, but again, avoid over blending.

Step 3: Cook Your Steak

Preheat your grill, grill pan, or nonstick frying pan to medium-high heat. Cook your steak to your desired level of doneness. We recommend medium-rare for this dish, which is 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to rest for ten minutes, then slice in thin strips. Fan the strips on a serving platter and drizzle with chimichurri sauce.

Desfrute! (Enjoy.)

 

Visit Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse that offers delicious meats carved tableside in the traditional churrascaria method. With over 50 locations, we look forward to serving you in true gaucho style. Visit our website to find a steakhouse near you or to explore our new meat delivery service-Brazilian recipes delivered right to your door.

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