Esfiha is a Lebanese meat pastry that we eat often in Brazil. The largest concentration of people with Lebanese ancestry is in Brazil — about 7-10 million people. My cousin, Carla, taught me how to make Esfiha. I’m not sure where she got the recipe. Maybe she will post and let us know. The recipe for the dough is easy. The key is to add the flour slowly until the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers. I love to knead dough and because I spend so much time kneading the dough, the pastry turns out very soft.

The inside of an Esfiha is filled with ground meat seasoned with onions, parsely, green onion, tomatoes, garlic, vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Iused almost 3lbs of ground meat and two of the dough recipes to make a batch of 90. This is a recipe that takes at least 4 hours to make because you have to roll out the dough for each Esfiha separately, form the meat into balls, place the uncooked meatball inside and close the pastry. Watch the demonstration video.

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Lookie, lookie…

I must have sensed them coming because I was at the door when the UPS truck pulled in front of our house.  These are to blame for the delay in posting Lesson #6.  What would our world be like without shoes?  Even Draculily was excited about them.  Now that all the ingredients are available, let me break these babies in and record on Lesson #6.  Check back after the Carnaval weekend.

Recipe Ingredient for Samba Lesson #6.  Photos by Priscillakittycat

Recipe Ingredient for Samba Lesson #6. Photos by Priscillakittycat

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Carnaval happens this weekend in Brasil!  The official day of Carnaval (always on a Tuesday) is February 12th but many Brazilians have already begun celebrating.  My plan was to prepare some nice samba lesson videos for you during this past weekend, just in time for the festivities…but the lingering cough (after a bout with the flu) left me unable to conduct the lessons.  Of course I can multi-task but somehow I couldn’t synchronize the dance, talk and cough steps.

Now that the cough suppressant has done its job I invite you to participate in the fun and click on Lesson #6!

Roasted Vegetable Spread

This is a recipe my friend Ricardo Quintao gave to me.  Spread sliced eggplant, onions, and red, yellow and orange peppers on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil on top and add a little salt.  Cover with foil and bake at 400F until soft, about 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake about 15 – 30 minutes longer.  Place vegetables in a bowl and add more olive oil, oregano, salt and chopped green olives.  Refrigerate and serve the following day with baguette slices.

Vegetable Spread, Recipe by Ricardo Quintao, Photo by Priscilla Ferreira

Roasted Vegetable Spread, Recipe by Ricardo Quintao, Photo by Priscillakittycat