Although typically from the Northeast, escondidinho is now considered standard, buteco fare all over Brazil. It is probably most comparable to Shepard’s Pie, however the name escondidinho (“little hidden one”) lends itself to an inappropriate amount of naughty jokes (ugh, Brazilians). When I lived in Minas Gerais, I had a friend whose mother was a native Baiana, her escondidinho evidence of her roots. Before I left Brazil last year, my Baiano’s coworker made us dinner and I will never forget the image of the bubbling, cheese covered glass pan with creamy, chunks of meat spilling out of the side. Most of all, I will not forget the way Renato shamelessly filled his dish three times with the hearty concoction, my blood boiling every time he raved about his colleague’s culinary abilities.
Escondidinho is essentially a layer of shredded meat hidden in between two layers of purê de aipim/mandioca/macaxeira (cassava puree) or purê de batata (potato puree), sealed together with layers of cheese. Everyone has their own version: some add pots of requeijão in between layers or swirl the creamy cheese into the purees; some use creme de leite, some add extra layers of cheese and bacon. I’ve made escondidinho de carne de sol (salted beef- classic), escondidinho de carne moída (ground beef) and today, lunch consisted of a very well seasoned escondidinho de frango.
For the cassava puree:
1 kg aipim
2 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1 small onion, grated
First, peel the mandioca/aipim/macaxeira, making sure to remove the thin, blush-colored layer as well. And for the love of god, peel the root away from you, not towards.
Cut the mandioca in half lengthwise, and then into 4-5 smaller segments. In either a pressure cooker (faster) or a pot of salted, boiling water, cook the mandioca until fork tender. Once tender, the long, stringy fibers of the cassava should come out easily. Remove them and pour out the boiling water.
In a separate pan, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and add the grated onion. On low heat, allow the onion to cook a bit and next, add 1 cup of milk. Stir until the cream thickens and then toss it into the pot with the aipim. Some people like to puree the cassava in a blender or an emulsifier if you’re fancy, I use a hand held potato masher (or in Brazil, otherwise known as a fork), because I prefier a lumpier consistency.
For the filling:
For a chicken escondidinho, simply boil around 500g of chicken breast. Once cooked, shred finely and sautee with onion, garlic, tomato, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, saffron and toss in a few chopped green olives. If you like, add a touch of creme de leite (heavy cream), to the mix for a creamier filling.
Mounting the escondidinho:
In a heat-proof baking dish, first add a generous layer of puree. At this point you can add a layer of requeijão or catupiry, or even a slice of mozarella cheese. Next, add the meat filling, top with more cheese, one more layer of puree and finish off with an extra-thick layer of cheeses. Finally, allow the cheese to melt and the top to brown in the oven on about 400 degrees.
Serve with white rice and a salad (so you feel less guilty)
Escolher as férias ideal é uma decisão importante. Escolher o agente certo é uma decisão ainda maior. Não deixe suas férias ao acaso. Insista no melhor serviço de viagens com atendimento profissionalizado e com anos de experiência.
Seja a trabalho ou a lazer, Brasil-USA Receptivo é sua opção segura e garantida. Com mais de 18 anos de [...]