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Steakhouse Crispy Brussels Sprouts (Couve-de-Bruxelas)

Crispy steakhouse style Brussels sprouts in a white bowl.

Brussels sprouts were seemingly once the bane of children’s existence. “Eat your Brussels sprouts” was about the worst thing you could hear at dinner time. But Brussels sprouts have come a long, long way from their boiled, bland origins. Like many misunderstood vegetables, they have the potential to be truly delicious, even addicting. It’s all about how you prepare them. Steakhouse Brussels sprouts, for example, are one of the most ordered side dishes, thanks to their crispy-yet-tender texture and the addition of a sweet and spicy sauce. Today, we will teach you how to prepare the perfect steakhouse style Brussels sprouts at home. We bet even your kids will love them. 

Where Do Brussels Sprouts Come From?

As the name suggests, Brussels sprouts originated in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. They have been cultivated in this country since around the 13th century. They were valuable as a hardy winter stock vegetable. They resemble mini cabbages that grow on a vertical stalk, each of which can produce up to two pounds of sprouts! 

The original preparation method was simply to boil the sprouts until tender. Nowadays, however, there are myriad ways to cook them, including the now-famous crispy steakhouse style Brussels sprouts we will make today. 

Brussels sprouts are in the same family as cabbages, broccoli, kale, collards, and other cruciferous vegetables. They are unusually high in vitamin C and vitamin K, and also have appreciable amounts of B vitamins.

Do Brazilians Eat Brussels Sprouts?

Despite a love of many cruciferous vegetables, including collards and kale, the Brussels sprout remains elusive in much of Brazilian cuisine. Brussels sprouts are cultivated in moderation in the southern regions (not coincidentally where Belgian colonists settled in the sixteenth century). Still, it can be difficult to find fresh varieties in the mercados. 

There are few Brazilian foodies working to bring more attention to this “gem” of a vegetable. With their help, perhaps the Brussels sprout will earn a more important place in Brazilian cuisine. For our part, we are adding the Brazilian siren’s song of crunchy potato sticks on top of our steakhouse sprouts to sweeten the deal! 

Tips for the Perfect Steakhouse Brussels Sprouts

The most important part of steakhouse Brussels sprouts is a crispy texture. You can ensure your sprouts have the perfect texture by following a few simple tips:

  • Blanch the sprouts beforehand. This gives them a headstart in the cooking process and will ensure they are tender. If you skip this step, you run the risk of a crispy outer layer but a tough, bitter center. Don’t skip the blanching!
  • Use fresh Brussels sprouts. Frozen sprouts will have too much water to be able to crisp up properly. You may be able to attain a similar texture if you wring out the frozen Brussels sprouts in a paper towel to expel the excess moisture. For best results (and less elbow grease), however, use fresh Brussels sprouts for your steakhouse recipe.
  • Bake brussels sprouts at a high temperature. This is necessary in order to obtain that crispy, caramelized texture. If you bake them at a lower temperature they will still be good, but they will miss out on those crunchy edges that are essential in steakhouse style Brussels sprouts. 

Best Steakhouse Brussels Sprouts Recipe


1 lb of fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (remove any damaged outer leaves as well)
Extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp melted, unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste)
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
3 tsp honey
Potato Sticks for the crunchy topping


  1. Blanch your Brussels sprouts in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Move them to a bowl filled with ice water to halt the cooking process and chill for a minute or so. Strain and drain the spouts over paper towels to let them dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Make the glaze for your sprouts. Mix the melted butter, ½ tsp kosher salt, red pepper flakes chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and honey together until you have a smooth mixture. Set aside. 
  4. Put your Brussels sprouts on a lined or greased cookie sheet. (Tip: don’t use parchment paper. It tends to steam the sprouts, rather than crisp them.)
  5. Drizzle the Brussels sprouts with a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Season with kosher salt (about ½ tsp) and a few twists of black pepper. 
  6. Bake the sprouts in the preheated oven until they are crisp and golden brown. This should take about 25 minutes. Stir them halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning. 
  7. Remove your Brussels sprouts and transfer them to a bowl. Drizzle all over with the glaze mix and toss to coat. Serve warm, topped with potato sticks, crispy onion straws, or toasted sesame seeds. 


What to Eat With Steakhouse Brussels Sprouts

Steakhouse style sprouts pair beautifully with grilled chicken, flank steak, or white fish. They are just as tasty on their own as an hors d’oeuvre or appetizer as well. If you need something to grill alongside your glazed Brussels sprouts, visit the Texas de Brazil online Butcher Shop. You can find premium selections of beef, chicken, pork, and lamb in specially curated boxes or a la carte. Go online today to get the best cuts of meat delivered right to your door. 


Savory Hand Pies with Chicken (Empadinha de Frango)

Brazilian savory hand pies with chicken and green olives

Empadinhas are a very popular street food in Brazil, along with classics like kibbeh, acaraje, and pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread). They are a savory hand pie that can be filled with any kind of meat and vegetables. In many cases, you may also find sweet empadinha with fillings like fruit and dulce de leche. Our recipe today is for a creamy and delicious chicken hand pie. A flaky, crisp crust is stuffed with shredded chicken mixed with herbs, spices, and of course, requeijao (Brazilian cream cheese). 

What are Hand Pies?

As the name suggests, a hand pie is a filled pastry that is designed to be eaten with your hands. It is small enough to eat on the go, and contained enough so that you don’t get too messy while eating it. Nearly every culture around the world has some version of savory hand pies, from Cornish pasties to Mexican empanadas. The size, shape, and filling of the pies can vary greatly, depending on local tastes. 

In Brazil, savory hand pies have a signature round shape that can be attained using a muffin tin or cupcake pan. 

Tips for the Perfect Mini Pie Crust

You want your savory hand pies to have a crust that is both flaky and tender. Everyone has their own tips and tricks for a good pie crust, but we feel the answer to the perfect shell is simplicity: butter, flour, salt, and, instead of water, an egg yolk or two for moisture and a deep golden color. The following tips will help keep your crust flaky and tender:

  • Make sure the butter you are using is cold. You want it to crumble into the flour, not mix into it completely. 
  • Use your fingers to pinch the butter in with the flour until it resembles coarse sand. It doesn’t have to be perfect. 
  • When it comes time to add the yolk, don’t over mix. Blend just enough to incorporate the ingredients relatively uniformly.
  • Don’t skip chilling your dough. It allows for two things: 1) the gluten in the flour can relax, making it less tough and easier to roll out; and 2) it re-hardens the butter, which will help the pie shells maintain their shape. 

Empadinha Filling Ideas

Today, we are using shredded chicken, parsley, garlic, onion, boiled eggs, green olives, seasonings, and requeijao cream cheese as the filling for our savory hand pies. You may notice some similarities between these ingredients and another Brazilian favorite: pizza! Brazilian pizza is often topped with boiled egg and olives, and a favorite variation is drizzled with Catupiry (a popular brand of requeijao). 

With that in mind, you could channel your kitchen alchemist and add in other Brazilian pizza toppings, like ham, calabresa sausage, and bell peppers. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the fillings you choose! 

Vegetarian Savory Hand Pies

There are also plenty of options for vegetarian fillings for you empadinhas. We love a mixture of curried potatoes, green peas, and hearts of palm. A simple filling of burgundy mushrooms encased in a flaky crust also wouldn’t go amiss. 

Empadinha de Frango Recipe (Savory Hand Pies with Chicken)

Makes about 10 mini pies


For the pie crust

2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 eggs, plus one for egg wash
1 tablespoon water
1 tsp kosher salt

For the filling

1 cup shredded chicken (chicken breast or leftover rotisserie chicken is great)
½ sweet yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 oz diced green olives
2 oz fresh parsley, chopped
7 oz requeijao
1 tbsp paprika (not smoked)
Freshly ground black pepper
Two boiled eggs, diced
Salt to taste 


Make the Crust

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the flour, cubed butter and salt. Pinch the mixture together with your hands until it is fully incorporated, resembling coarse sand.
  2. Add in one egg yolk and one whole egg and continue kneading until you have a uniform, smooth dough.
  3. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for thirty minutes.

Make the Filling

  1. If your chicken is not cooked already, boil two chicken breasts in a pot of salted water or chicken stock. Simmer on high for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through. Remove the chicken breasts and shred them with two forks. Set the chicken aside. 
  2. Next, heat a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Add in your onions and cook until they are softened and translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds, just until fragrant. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in your shredded chicken, paprika, and Brazilian cream cheese. Simmer the ingredients for a few minutes, until warmed through.
  4. Add in a few twists of black pepper, then taste for salt. You may not need much: Brazilian cream cheese is already salty, as are the olives you will be using. 
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in your chopped eggs, parsley, and diced olives. 

Assemble the Savory Hand Pies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Retrieve the pie dough from the refrigerator. 
  3. Take about two tablespoons of the dough and press it into the bottom of your muffin tin (grease it first!), lining it completely to form a cup shape. Let a little of the dough hang past the top of the well.  
  4. Repeat this process until you have ten shells.
  5. Fill each shell to the brim with your chicken filling. 
  6. For the tops of your savory hand pies, take another tablespoon of dough and flatten it into a disc to cover each one. Pinch the seams to seal your pies. 
  7. Make an egg wash with one large egg beaten with around a tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of your hand pies with the wash, then put them in the oven.
  8. Bake the empadinhas until they are golden brown (around half an hour). Enjoy hot or at room temperature. 

More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:

Brazilian Coconut Cocktail (Batida de Coco)

Brazilian coconut cocktail with straw, mini umbrella, and lime wedges

Coconut features heavily in much of traditional Brazilian cuisine. This is especially true in the north and northeastern regions of the country, which account for more than 80 percent of the country’s entire crop. You can find coconut milk enriching soups and stews, added to desserts, and of course, blended into drinks. Today’s recipe is a refreshing coconut cocktail called a batida de coco. Creamy, frothy, and incredibly simple to make, we’re certain you’ll be adding this to your list of poolside cocktails. 

Shaken Drinks in Brazil

For many of us, fruity adult beverages mean blended beverages: pina coladas, blended margaritas, daiquiris, and even frozen wine cocktails are a favorite in America. But Brazilians tend to favor shaken and muddled drinks over blended ones. The word batida itself means “shaken” in Portuguese. 

While today’s coconut cocktail recipe does involve a blender, it is merely to incorporate the liquid ingredients and produce a frothy texture and appearance. The ice will remain separate. If you wish, however, you can blend the ice with the other ingredients to make a blended version. 

Cachaça Substitutes for Batida de Coco

Your Brazilian coconut cocktail wouldn’t truly be Brazilian without a key ingredient: cachaca. Cachaca is the national liquor of Brazil. It is strictly regulated and, like rum, can be produced in light or dark varieties. Unlike rum, however, cachaca is made from fresh sugarcane juice that has been fermented. Rum is also derived from sugar, but it is made from the by-products of boiling it (namely, molasses). 

Cachaca has become more popular outside of Brazil in the last few years, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it at a larger liquor store. If you simply cannot find it, though, you can substitute a spiced rum or vodka. It may not be authentic, but you will still be getting a taste of Brazil with the coconut and condensed milk flavors. 

How to Choose Cachaca?

Again, cachaca is gaining in popularity, so you may be able to find several varieties at your local bottle shop. Cachaca may be consumed young or aged, light or dark. So what makes a good cachaca? In general, you want to look for small batch cachaca that has been pot distilled. Column distilled cachaca is mass produced and will lack depth of flavor. 

In terms of age, this will be your preference. Younger cachaca will retain some of the grassy, bright flavors of the sugarcane, while older varieties will incorporate the flavor of the wooden barrels in which they were aged. This can lend a smoky layer that you may or may not like. 

When it comes to a coconut cocktail, we tend to find that a semi-aged, small batch cachaca adds both a level of brightness and sophistication to an otherwise heavy drink. But again, you can customize this ingredient to suit your own palette.

Related: How to Make a Caipirinha

Coconut Cocktail Recipe from Brazil (Batada de Coco)

Makes eight 8 oz cocktails


8 oz cachaca, rum, or vodka
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups coconut water
20 oz of sweetened condensed milk (more or less to taste)
Ice cubes


  1. Fill a large pitcher with ice and pre-chill serving glasses in the freezer.
  2. Put all ingredients except for the ice in the belly of a blender. Blend or pulse until the mixture is frothy and uniform.
  3. Pour the mixture over the ice in the pitcher. If any of the ice has melted during blending, replace it with fresh ice.
  4. Fill the chilled glasses to the brim and garnish with fresh grated coconut and lime rounds. Enjoy responsibly! 

More Great Brazilian Drinks  to Try:

Grilled Chicken Hearts (Coração de Galinha)

grilled chicken hearts on skewers over a piece of lettuce

Skewered and grilled chicken hearts are a Brazilian barbecue staple, and for good reason. They are cheap, delicious, and easy to make; not only that, they are perfectly bite-sized! Chicken hearts are not quite as popular in the US, but they are still easy enough to find at the supermarket. Surprise the guests at your next get-together with these tasty chicken heart kabobs and a few of our other go-to Brazilian cookout recipes

What Do Chicken Hearts Taste Like?

Chicken hearts taste much like dark meat, but with a slightly metallic, gamey flavor. They have a satisfying, chewy texture when grilled. The taste is noticeable but not overpowering. This makes chicken hearts highly customizable; the bite-sized morsels lend themselves to all sorts of marinades and seasonings. That being said, Brazilians tend to favor simplicity when it comes to their churrasco: rock salt and nothing more is the preferred seasoning for grilled chicken hearts and other barbecued meats. 

Are Chicken Hearts Good for You?

Yes! Chicken hearts are high in protein and chock full of vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron, folate, and B6. A single 3.5 oz serving also contains more than 300% of your daily vitamin B12!

Like other organ meats, chicken hearts do contain higher levels of cholesterol. However, research has not shown any appreciable link to dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels. You may wish to avoid them anyway if you are concerned about your cholesterol, or you can consult with your healthcare provider. 

Likewise, if you have gout, it is not recommended to consume chicken hearts. Organ meats are high in a compound called “purines.” When the body breaks down purines, uric acid levels in the body are increased, which can cause or worsen gout. 

Overall, however, chicken hearts are highly nutritious. Not only are they good for you, they are good for the environment! Consuming all parts of an animal reduces food waste, which is an important step in the fight against climate change. 

How to Prepare Chicken Hearts

You can cook chicken hearts a number of ways, including pan frying, stewing, and braising; but our favorite method is skewered and over the grill. 

You can find chicken hearts in most grocery stores in the butcher section. If you don’t see them in the case, ask the butcher if they have any available. In some cases, they keep them in the back for on-demand orders. 

Chicken hearts don’t need much prep, but you may want to trim them a little if you notice any extra fat or blood vessels (don’t be too squeamish!). Season your chicken hearts all over with rock salt or kosher salt (about 2 tsp of salt per pound of hearts will do). 

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Make sure it is very clean and run a paper towel soaked with vegetable oil over the grates so the hearts don’t stick. 

Skewer your chicken hearts on wooden, bamboo, or metal skewers. If you are using wooden or bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them beforehand to avoid burning.

When the grill is hot, place the chicken hearts over the direct heat and cook them for about ten minutes, flipping them halfway. Then move the skewers to indirect heat and continue cooking for another  fifteen minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Cooking times will vary depending on the size of your chicken hearts and the type of grill you are using. Check frequently for doneness to avoid overcooking the hearts. We want a chewy texture, but overdone chicken hearts will progress to a decidedly unpleasant rubbery texture (nada de bom!). 

What to Eat With Grilled Chicken Hearts

Chicken hearts make an excellent appetizer. They also pair nicely with grilled vegetables, fluffy rice, or your favorite maionese


More Great  Brazilian Recipes to Try:

Savory Pumpkin Stew (Quibebe)

Brazilian savory pumpkin stew served over white rice

Pumpkins are a staple of Brazilian cuisine. Known collectively as “aboboras,” the term can apply to many varieties of winter squash, including acorn squash and Japanese squash. While Brazilians are famous for their sweet tooth, they tend to favor savory pumpkin dishes over sugary ones. Quibebe is one example: a flavorful stew made from butternut squash that incorporates garlic, onion, spices, and coconut milk for a creamy and satisfying dish. 

Quibebe Origins

The word “quibebe” most likely comes from the Guarani word, “kiveve.” (The Guarani comprise three indigenous tribes of Brazil). It translates to “reddish,” which is a nod to the dish’s vibrant color. The original recipe was a simple, sweet gruel cooked in clay pots. In places like Paraguay, the dish continues to be more of a sweet snack or dessert: steamed pumpkin is pureed and mixed with cornmeal, sugar, and cheese. 

In Brazil, however, quibebe is a savory pumpkin dish that omits the cheese and cornmeal and incorporates warming spices, like ginger and chili. The pumpkin is also cubed rather than pureed to give it a more satisfying texture. Coconut milk gives the dish a creamy consistency and a boost of added sweetness. The overall taste and texture is not dissimilar from a Thai curry. Served over fluffy white rice, it is a surprisingly rich dish that is also ridiculously easy to make. 

Savory Pumpkin Stew Variations

Quibebe is highly customizable, so feel free to add whatever ingredients you like. If you want to maintain a vegetarian dish, try adding in garbanzo beans, fresh jalapeno slices, red bell pepper, and diced potatoes for even more flavor and texture. If you don’t mind a little meat, shredded chicken in savory pumpkin stew is delicious, as is zesty Brazilian sausage. 

Pumpkin Stew vs Soup

Quibebe pumpkin stew has a hearty, irregular texture. You can always blend it out with an immersion blender if you prefer a soup, but then we are no longer talking about authentic quibebe. 

Do You Have to Use Butternut Squash for Quibebe?

No. Any winter squash will work in this savory pumpkin dish. Ideally, though, you want one with a higher sugar content and bright orange, starchy flesh to stay true to the traditional recipe. Spaghetti squash may not be the best option, for example, since it is yellower in color and has a stringy texture when cooked. 

Boiled vs Roasted Squash

Traditional quibebe involves stewing the pumpkin or boiling it. You can use roasted squash as well, but it will alter the texture and cooking time. If you do use pre-cooked or roasted squash, reduce the time you stew the mixture to just until it is heated through (5-10 minutes).

You can also buy frozen, pre-cubed butternut squash if you do not have access to fresh pumpkins. It tastes just as good and saves you the step of peeling and chopping yourself. 

Savory Brazilian Pumpkin Stew Recipe (Quibebe)


2 cups butternut squash, chopped into 1 inch cubes
½ yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp lime juice (1 lime should do)
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
14 oz unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tablespoon chili paste (less if you don’t like spicy)
Chopped fresh parsley or coriander for garnish


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in a drizzle of olive oil, and cook the onions until they have softened (1-2 minutes).
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so (don’t let it burn!).
  3. Add in the cubed butternut squash and your sugar and seasonings (ginger, salt, chili paste, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper). 
  4. Stir in the lime juice and pour in the coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
  5. Stew your savory pumpkin stew over medium low heat until the squash is fork tender (around 20 minutes). 
  6. Serve over fluffy white rice or with a slice of crusty french bread for dipping. Garnish with chopped parsley or coriander. Enjoy!

More Great Brazilian Recipes to Try:

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