Party on Brazilian Independence Day

September 7, 2010 9:52:43 AM PDT
It's Brazil Independence Day and it's a good reason to celebrate, says Chef Dan Tucker of SushiSamba in Chicago. Brazil became an independent country on September 7, 1822 following three centuries of Portuguese rule. The largest country in South America, Brazil comes alive with parades, dancing and singing; Brazilians gather in the streets waving balloons, the national flag, streamers and banners to inaugurate this important holiday.

You don't have to leave home to celebrate, says Chef Dan. Just prepare some traditional Brazilian dishes: Arepja is a classic Brazilian-inspired breakfast made of Braised Short Ribs and Sweet Corn Arepa with a sunny side egg. Feijoada is a savory stew of black beans, shredded pork, seared beef, carne seca and poached egg. Top a Churrasco Burger with crispy onion and chorizo mayo and put it on a pretzel bun. You can try them at home with Chef Dan's recipes or enjoy them at SushiSamba, 504 N. Wells, Chicago. For reservations, call 312.595-2300 or visit www.sushisamba.com

FEIJOADA: THE NATIONAL DISH OF BRAZIL

1 lb. black beans
1 lb. chorizo Spanish
1/2 lb. Brazilian "carne seca"
1/2 lb. pork tenderloins
3-4 strips of smoked bacon
1/2 lb. Brazilian / Portuguese linguica
1 large onion diced
1 large red pepper diced
5 ea tomatoes seeded & diced
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight in large container. Next morning, cook beans for 4-5 hours at low heat. Place ham hocks, chorizo, ribs and Canadian bacon in deep pan with plenty of water and bring to a boil. In a large frying pan sauté onion, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic using either vegetable or olive oil (smoked bacon strips optional) for two or three minutes. Toss in cubed pork and beef. Sauté an additional two-three minutes.

Mash 5-10 tablespoons of beans and add to large pot. The resulting paste will thicken sauce. Add two tablespoons of olive oil, three garlic cloves all chopped-up or mashed, along with a tablespoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of red-hot pepper. Stir, heat over medium fire for two-three minutes, then transfer to contents of frying pan. (You may use two frying pans, if necessary) Let simmer for 10-l5 minutes. Add contents of frying pan(s) to the beans and let boil at medium heat for 1-2 hours. Serve with rice and collard greens.

CHURRASCO BURGER

Burger ingredients:

1 and one-half lbs. Kobe beef, ground churrasco or robata steak seasons hanger, ribeye, filet, short rib or skirt steak churrasco with salt and pepper )
4 oz. Kobe beef fat
4 pretzel buns

Method:
Place beef and beef fat in freezer for 15 minutes. Once meat is very cold, grind it together with Kobe fat. Return mixture to the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. Remove from freezer and form mixture into 12-14 oz. patties. Return to refrigerator if necessary to prevent fat from melting.

Chorizo Mayo ingredients:

one-quarter lb. roasted Brazilian or Argentinean style chorizo
1 cup Japanese mayo
smoked paprika, lemon juice and salt, to taste

Method: Roast the chorizo and cool to room temperature. Roughly chop and place in food processor with mayo. Pulse food processor until chorizo and mayo are well mixed. Adjust the seasoning with salt, smoked paprika and lemon juice.

Onion Ring ingredients:

1 large Spanish onion
One-half cup togarashi seasoning
1 egg
flour, for dredging
vegetable oil, for frying

Method:
Slice Spanish onion into thin rings, about one-quarter inch thick. Toss sliced onion with togarashi first and then dredge in egg and flour. Make sure to shake as much flour off the onions as possible before frying, otherwise they will be soggy. Fry onions in 350 degree vegetable oil until crispy.

Assembly:
Roast burger patty to desired temperature. Butter and toast pretzel buns and spread with chorizo mayo. Place burger on bun and top with crispy onion rings. Garnish with desired vegetables (lettuce, tomato, pickle, etc?) Serve and enjoy!

BRAISED SHORT RIB AREPA

Arepa Ingredients:
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup maseca
8 oz fresh mozzerella
4 oz butter

Method:
Grind 1 cup frozen corn in meat grinder. Combine Corn, Maseca, Cheese, Butter, and Salt in food processor. Run until a smooth dough is formed. Form into discs.

Braised Short Ribs Ingredients
2 pounds Boneless Beef Shortribs
1 ea Spanish Onion
4 oz Aji Panca
2 oz Aji Rocoto
2 oz Tomato Paste
1 qt. Beef Stock
Salt

Method:
Season and sear shortribs in a hot pan until well caramelized. Remove shortribs from pan and pour out excess oil. Add onion and saute until softened. Add aji panca, rocoto, and tomato paste and saute until caramelized. Add shortribs and beef broth to cover. Bring to a simmer on the stove top and then braise in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours. When cooked allow to cool to room temperature before removing from the cooking liquid. Slice the short rib into inch by inch pieces.

Reserve the cooking liquid for the dish.

Assembly:
Cook the arepa in a non-stick skillet over low heat until golden brown. Warm the shortrib slices up in a little of the reserved cooking liquid and finish with a little butter.

Cook a sunny side up egg.Cover the arepa with the shortrib slices and sauce. Top with the egg and some chives.

About Chef de Cuisine Dan Tucker

With a colorful culinary repertoire under his toque ? and a knack for technical perfection ? Executive Chef Dan Tucker is a warm-welcomed addition to the team at SUSHISAMBA rio. A member of the restaurant industry since his teenage years, Dan is well-conditioned to the hard work and dedication demanded by top restaurants. Growing up, he was drawn to the creative freedom of the culinary world and the satisfaction of executing the complex and difficult tasks required of a chef. "I've always looked to improve my technical skills, while at the same time allowing the simple perfection of fresh ingredients to shine through. It's an interesting juxtaposition - that the simple dishes often demand the most precise techniques."

Dan's culinary career began in earnest when he accepted a position at Biaggi's Restaurant in Champaign, Illinois. Rising quickly through the ranks to become the Sous Chef, he left the company after three solid years of experience. Thirsty for knowledge and new adventure Dan enrolled at Kendall College in Evanston. In 2006 he earned his A.A.S. in Culinary Arts as well as the prestigious Ian C. Maclean Scholarship Grant for culinary excellence. By the time he graduated, he'd already started work as a Chef de Partie at Chicago's famed Alinea restaurant. Throughout the course of his term there, he was honored to work with some of the top chefs in the world, including Chef Grant Achatz.

In January 2007, Dan left Alinea's kitchen to accept a position as Chef de Cuisine of Chicago's Room 21. In 2008, he was promoted to Executive Chef in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the restaurant's growth. As Chef he refocused Room 21's cuisine and created an ingredient-driven American menu that was quickly recognized by Chicago Magazine as one of "2008's Best New Restaurants" and by CS as one of "Chicago's 50 Best Restaurants and Chefs." As if the work at Room 21 wasn't enough, Dan assumed the role of Consulting Chef for Chicago's Park 52 restaurant for 2008. There, he created a new, casual American menu and helped put the location on the map by achieving a spot on Chicago Magazine's distinguished "Best New Restaurants for 2009" list.


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