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Brazilian Cinnamon Sugar Beignets (Bolinhos de Chuva)

Brazilian cinnamon sugar beignets or bolinhos de chuva

There is a Brazilian version of nearly every dessert you can think of, and donuts are no exception. These bolinhos de chuva are actually closer to a Southern beignet: crisp and golden on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and rolled in a generous coating of cinnamon sugar. 

Meaning of Bolinho de Chuva in English

These Brazilian fritters get their name from their signature, tear-drop shape. “Chuva” means rain, or raindrops in Portuguese. The word “bolinho” has numerous translations, from “cookie” to “scone.” It is also used to describe a kind of croquette. Bolinhos de bacalhau, for example, are a croquette made from salted cod and a favorite street food during Carnival

Beignet vs Donut

We are comparing these bolinhos de chuva to American beignets as opposed to donuts. The difference between a donut and a beignet lies predominantly in the texture, which is due to a slight variation in preparation and ingredients.

Beignets have fewer eggs than donuts and have a lighter, airier texture. They are also traditionally square-shaped and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Donuts have a signature ring shape, are chewier in texture, and glazed to finish. 

You will notice that, unlike either an American beignet or donut, these Brazilian bolinhos de chuva do not contain yeast. Instead, the leavening agent used is baking powder. Yeast-free beignets do not require any time to rise and come together in as little as fifteen minutes.

Brazilian Beignets Recipe (Bolinhos de Chuva)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1.5 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
4 cups all purpose flour
Vegetable oil
Cinnamon sugar for coating

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot of about 3-4 cups of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. (If using a deep-fryer, heat to about 350-360 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Prepare a dish with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Start with about two tablespoons of cinnamon and ¼ cup of granulated sugar. If you need more, you can always make extra.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
  5. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and mix to form an even dough. It should be a fairly soft dough, like chocolate chip cookie dough.
  6. Check the temperature of your oil. If you do not have an oil thermometer, you can test the oil with a small amount of your dough. It should bubble as soon as it hits the oil but there should be no smoke.
  7. When the oil is ready, form your bolinhos de chuva using two regular soup spoons. Scoop a good amount onto one and then push this out into the oil using the other spoon.
  8. Fry in batches of six or so. When the beignets are golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and roll immediately in your cinnamon sugar mixture.

Serve right away plain or with your favorite dipping sauce. These taste especially good with raspberry jam or dulce de leche.

Enjoy!

More delicious recipes to try:

Texas de Brazil Picanha at Home

Did you know you can now enjoy Texas de Brazil’s signature meats at home? Our online Butcher Shop features curated boxes and a la carte options delivered right to your door. Visit our site to purchase premium cuts of spiced picanha, rack of lamb, pork chops, or our signature smoked Brazilian sausages. 

Easy Picnic Food Ideas

Brazilian Chicken Salad (Salpicão de Frango)

Brazilian-style chicken salad over lettuce and topped with potato sticks

Brazilians love their mayonnaise, and it features heavily in a variety of dishes and dips. In the summer, salads made using mayo are an especial favorite at barbecues, potlucks, and picnics. They are cooling, but satisfying, and can be made well ahead of time. 

This chicken salad recipe is similar to American versions, but with a few classic Brazilian twists. Corn, shredded carrots, and raisins add sweetness and crunch, and green olives lend a tangy, earthy flavor. And, of course, we top it off with batata palha, the crispy potato sticks Brazilians adore and put on everything from hot dogs to rice. 

If you don’t have the potato sticks, you can get a similar effect by crumbling some ridged potato chips on top. The effect is crunchy, salty, and delicious. 

What is Salpicão in English?

The word salpicao is a Portuguese derivative of the Spanish word salpicon. A salpicon in Spain refers to any number of salad-like dishes combining meat, vegetables, and dressing. It translates most closely in English to a “medley.” 

A similar dish in the UK is referred to as “salmagundi,” a word that is also used in general to describe a medley or hodgepodge of things. 

Healthy Chicken Salad Options

Mayonnaise-based salads are not at the top of the list for diet friendly meals, but you can make a few simple tweaks to this recipe for a chicken salad that is actually quite healthy. For example, you can skip the potato sticks topping all together if you are looking for a healthier version. 

Another way to cut calories in chicken salad is to substitute half of the mayonnaise with nonfat Greek yogurt. (You can replace the mayo entirely with yogurt, but the dressing will not be as creamy.) 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise has a whopping 90 calories. By comparison, 1 tablespoon of nonfat Greek yogurt has about 10 calories, much less fat, and a considerable amount of protein. 

In addition, if you are planning to use your salpicao as a sandwich filling, you can use lettuce cups in place of bread. 

How to Make Brazilian Chicken Salad (Salpicao de Frango)

Makes about 8 servings

Ingredients:

For the Salad:
4  boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz each)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
Half of one medium yellow onion, diced (about ¼ cup)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup sweet corn
½ cup raisins, brown or golden
¼ cup diced green onion
½ cup whole green olives
Brazilian potato sticks or crushed potato chips

For the Dressing:
½ cup of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil saute your chopped yellow onions until softened (2 minutes or so). Add in the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in with the cooked garlic and onions. Cover with just enough water to fully submerge. 
  3. Add in 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to a medium simmer and cook until chicken has reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit (about 25 minutes). 
  5. When the chicken is cooked through, remove it and shred it on a plate using two forks. Discard the water in your stock pot. 
  6. While the chicken cools, prepare your dressing. Add mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons olive oil, dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar to a large bowl and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. When chicken has cooled to room temperature, add it to the bowl with the dressing. Combine with your carrots, yellow corn, raisins, olives, and green onions and mix until all ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing. 
  8. Top with the batata palha or crushed potato chips.

Pair your chicken salad with a refreshing class of Brazilian lemonade and you have a simple but delicious summer meal. Enjoy!

Brazilian Caldo Verde Recipe (Green Soup)

How to Make Portuguese Green Soupbowl of caldo verde with spoon on table with orange tiles

Caldo verde (“green soup”) is a northern Portuguese dish that is also very popular in Brazil. It is a perfect Springtime dish, being lighter but still satisfying. It gets its name from one of its primary ingredients: collard greens. 

Like other dishes such as corn cakes, peanut toffee, and mulled wine, caldo verde is an especial favorite during the Festivas Juninas, also known as the Festas de São João. This Catholic summer festival honors John the Baptist and is also a celebration of Brazilian rural life.

The soup incorporates many flavors reminiscent of the American South: smoked sausage, collard greens, onions, and garlic. While a Southern soup might call for beans or rice, this recipe uses potatoes for a bit of starch. The potatoes act as a naturally thickener and give the soup a satisfying texture. 

We will be using smoked Brazilian sausage (also known as linguica calabresa), which has a lightly spiced and garlicky flavor. If you do not have smoked linguica, you can substitute with any smoked sausage. Chorizo and andouille are especially good, since they have a similar taste and texture to the linguica. 

You can further customize your soup however you like. Some recipes call for kale in place of collard greens, for example. You could omit the greens entirely, but then it wouldn’t really be a “caldo verde!” If you don’t care for collards or kale, try spinach, Swiss chard, or even bok choi. All have a mild, sweet flavor when they are stewed and lend to the heartiness of this soup.

Brazilian Caldo Verde Recipe (Green Soup)

Ingredients:

6 yellow potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
7 Texas de Brazil hickory smoked sausages, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound collard greens
2-3 tbsp olive oil
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Remove the stems from your collard greens and slice it into thin strips. You can do this by stacking a few leaves on top of each other, rolling them up, and then slicing them. This is called a “chiffonade.”
  2. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Add the sausage and cook until evenly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage and allow it to drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. Add another drizzle of olive oil to your pot. Put the onions in the pot and cook them until they are softened and translucent, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Add all the potatoes and cover with chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a medium simmer. Allow to cook until potatoes are fork tender (about 20-25 minutes).
  7. When the potatoes are cooked, remove half of them and set them aside with the sausages.
  8. Using an immersion blender, blend the remaining ingredients in the stock pot until they are smooth and fully incorporated.
  9. Now add the rest of the potatoes, smoked sausage, and collard greens to the pot. Let the greens simmer for a minute or two, until their color brightens and they are slightly softened.
  10. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve piping hot with a little drizzle of olive oil and some red pepper flakes. Pair your caldo verde with crusty bread or pao de queijo for dipping. 

Visit Texas de Brazil for Your Next Night Out

Texas de Brazil has over 50 locations in the US and internationally. Visit your local restaurant for a truly unique and delicious dining experience. Or, bring the taste of churrasco right to your door with one of our beautifully curated grill packages. Go online to order premium lamb, pork, and sausages-and don’t forget to try our new spiced picanha.

How to Make Brazilian Lemonade (Limonada Suiça)

Refreshing Summer Drink with Limes and Condensed Milk

Brazilian lemonade in glass with lime slices

Brazilian lemonade is a popular non-alcoholic drink that is sweet, tart, and frothy. Blended with ice and condensed milk, it is especially refreshing in the warmer summer months. 

Brazilian lemonade is actually made with limes. In the States, we would call it a “limeade.” However, in Brazil, the word for “lime” is  limao-taiti, which translates to “Tahitian lemon.” The drink made from the limao (“limonada”) therefore translates to “lemonade” in English. 

While there are several variations of the drink, the most popular version is known as limonada suiça, or “Swiss Lemonade.” It is thought that the reference to Switzerland comes from the fact that the beverage is sweetened with Nestle brand condensed milk. Nestle is a food and beverage company based in Vaud, Switzerland. 

The traditional recipe for Brazilian lemonade calls for whole limes, including the peel. If you find the flavor of the peel too bitter for your taste, you can certainly omit it. You can also use some peeled, and some whole. We personally like the bite of the peel, which offsets the creamy sweetness of the condensed milk. 

That being said, if you are using whole limes, you will want to drink your limonada right away. The drink can become extremely bitter if left for longer than one day. You can also reduce the bitter taste by blending only for a short period of time. 

How to Make Brazilian Lemonade (Limonada Suiça)

Ingredients:

4 large, ripe limes
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
4 cups of water
Ice

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients except ice into a blender. Blend for no more than 10-15 seconds.
  2. Fill a pitcher with ice.
  3. Pour the juice from your blender through a mesh strainer into the pitcher filled with ice.

If you like, you can line the rim of your glasses with a little sugar. Garnish with lime wedges. 

For a blended version of this drink, strain your juice then put it back in the blender with as much ice as you need to make it creamy, but pourable. This version pairs nicely with a little coconut rum or cachaça. 

What to Eat with Brazilian Lemonade

The tartness of this drink is well-suited to smoky churrasco dishes, like picanha or bacon-wrapped chicken. You can now easily prepare Brazilian-style dishes at home with one of Texas de Brazil’s premium grill packages, delivered right to your door. 

 

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