Food & Drink

Rio-inspired food and drinks for your Olympics-watching party

Kyle Books

Cue a national anthem you’ve never heard before — it’s time for the Summer Olympics!

While host city Rio de Janeiro hasn’t exactly shined like a gold medal in the days, weeks and months leading up to the XXXI Olympiad, thousands of athletes from around the world will march behind their flags into Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Friday night. The world will hold its collective breath to see if the Olympic torch lights up the cauldron or — like athletes hoping to catch a few Pokemon Go Pikachus during boring speeches — flames out.

Then, as we do every four years, we arm-chair Olympians will yell at swimmers on TV, rate the “stuckness” of gymnasts’ landings and pretend we give a flip about shot put.

Naturally, it all calls for a party! Here are some Brazil-inspired foods and beverages to prepare and pull out during the Opening Ceremony or any time you’re watching the 2  1/2 weeks of round-the-clock coverage.

Now, stir up a caipirinha and let the Games begin!

Writer Celestina Blok contributed to this story, which contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

XXXI Olympiad Opening Ceremony

  • 6:30 p.m. Friday
  • KXAS/Channel 5
  • Hosted by Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Hoda Kotb
  • For a complete schedule of TV coverage, visit

Kyle Books

Feijoada (Brazilian black bean stew)

Serves 8-10

There are various theories as to the origin of feijoada. Some believe it was created by African-Brazilians during colonial times using leftovers from animal parts; others believe the dish was inspired by European meat and bean stews; and still others say that feijoada first became popular in the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio. Today the origin of feijoada means little to most modern Cariocas, but it has become a habit on some Saturdays and a desperate craving on others. Saturdays in Rio were made for feijoada.

  • 8 ounces carne seca, optional
  • 1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound fresh pork belly, cut into 2-inch strips
  •  3/4 pound smoked ham hock
  • 4 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 1  1/2 pounds linguiça, chorizo or other spicy fresh sausage
  • 1 pound dried black beans, picked and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  •  1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  •  1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 navel oranges, peeled and cut into segments, for garnish

1. If using carne seca, rinse it under cold running water, place it in a bowl, cover with water, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, changing the water at least 3 times. Drain the carne seca and discard the water.

2. Place all the meats in a large pot and add water to cover by 1 inch. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 to 1  1/2 hours. The meats will be done at different times; check frequently, and, using a slotted spoon, transfer each meat to a bowl as it’s done and cover with foil to keep it moist. You are looking for the meat to be tender, but keep in mind that it will be cooking for another hour or so with the black beans.

3. Place the beans in a large pot or pressure cooker. Add about 6 quarts of water, cover the pot or lock the pressure cooker, and cook until the beans are cooked through, but not mushy (1  1/2 hours for a pot, 30 minutes for a pressure cooker). Reserve the beans and water in the pot.

4. In a very large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook until it just starts to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and scallions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bay leaves, season with salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and nutmeg, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

5. Pour the beans and all the liquid into the pot with the vegetables. Add the meats and any juices that have accumulated. Bring to a simmer over low heat and simmer gently, checking frequently, making sure the liquid level is just right, not too soupy, not too dry. Continue cooking until the flavors meld, 1 to 1  1/2 hours. While the feijoada is cooking, prepare the rice, collard greens and toasted manioc flour (recipes follow).

To serve: Place a mound of rice on a plate, ladle the beans with meats on top. Add the toasted manioc flour and collard greens alongside, and garnish with the fresh cilantro and parsley and peeled and segmented navel oranges.

Nutritional analysis per serving, based on 8: 1,039 calories, 63 grams fat, 50 grams carbohydrates, 66 grams protein, 192 milligrams cholesterol, 1,524 milligrams sodium, 11 grams dietary fiber, 55 percent of calories from fat.


Serves 8

  • 2 cups basmati or jasmine rice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt

1. Wash the rice in cold water several times, going back and forth between a bowl and a colander, until the water becomes fairly clear. Let the rice sit in the colander to air dry for 5 minutes.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat, add the onion and cook until it just starts to become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until the grains are shiny and covered in oil.

3. Add 3 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt and partially cover the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 189 calories, 4 grams fat, 33 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, no cholesterol, 164 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 21 percent of calories from fat.

Collard greens

Serves 8

  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Trim the stems and thick center ribs from the collard greens and discard them. Stack a few leaves and roll them tightly into a cigar shape. Cut into very thin strips crosswise and place the strips in a bowl. Repeat with the remaining leaves. You should have between 2 and 3 packed cups total.

2. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add about 1 tablespoon salt, then add the collard greens and blanch for 30 to 60 seconds, until wilted. Drain, transfer to an ice bath to cool, then drain again.

3. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the collard greens (you might need to do this in batches) and stir to coat them in the oil. Season with salt and pepper, add about  1/4 cup water, and cook until the greens are soft but still bright green, about 3 minutes.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 26 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, no cholesterol, 137 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 68 percent of calories from fat.

Farinha de mandioca (toasted manioc flour)

Serves 8

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •  1 1/2 cups manioc flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped, green parts reserved

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the manioc flour and toast, stirring constantly, until it is a light golden color, 8 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully, as the flour can burn easily. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the toasted manioc flour. Season with salt and pepper, pour into a serving dish and garnish with the reserved scallion greens.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 102 calories, 6 grams fat, 11 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 5 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 55 percent of calories from fat.

“My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook” by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz (Kyle Books, $29.95)

Kyle Books

Brigadeiro (sweet milk and chocolate fudge)

Makes about 20

This iconic Brazilian sweet was named after Eduardo Gomes, a brigadier who, in the early 1900s, was admired for his good looks and notoriously loved chocolate. When sweetened condensed milk was invented (in Switzerland) and brought to Brazil, chefs created this fudge using the sweet milk and chocolate. This recipe is inspired by the brigadeiro sold at Colher de Pau. Eating their sweets is a journey into the past, and Colher de Pau is a landmark in Rio.

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Ghirardelli)
  •  1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles

1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is thick and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when you swirl the pan around and the whole mixture slides as one soft piece and leaves a thick residue on the bottom of the pan.

2. Slide the mixture into a bowl. Don’t scrape the pan — you don’t want to include any of the burnt batter that stayed on the bottom of the pan. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

3. Scoop the mixture by the teaspoonful and, using your hands, roll it into little balls about  3/4 inch in diameter. Place the sprinkles in a shallow dish. Pass the brigadeiros, 4 to 6 at a time, through the sprinkles, making sure they stick and cover the entire surface. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, after which the condensed milk will crystallize (making a crunchier brigadeiro that is still OK to eat).

Nutritional analysis per piece: 83 calories, 3 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 26 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 31 percent of calories from fat.

“My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook” by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz (Kyle Books, $29.95)

A Caipirinha drink at Villa’s Grill Ron T. Ennis Star-Telegram


Makes 1 drink

The caipirinha is Brazil’s signature cocktail. Use a tasty recipe from Villa’s Grill Brazilian churrascaria (now closed in Arlington but with a location in Irving) to make a batch. The drink is a compilation of muddled lime and cachaca (pronounced “ka-sha-sa”), Brazil’s national spirit, made from fresh sugarcane juice.

  • 1 lime, quartered, plus 1 additional wedge for garnish
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons sugar
  •  1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 2 ounces cachaca
  • Club soda, for topping off

Combine and muddle lime, sugar, triple sec and cachaca in a glass. Fill with ice and club soda and stir well. Garnish with lime wedge.

Nutrition analysis per drink: 219 calories, trace fat, 17 grams carbohydrates, trace protein, no cholesterol, 8 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 2 percent of calories from fat.

Villa’s Grill, 137 S. Main St., Irving, 972-59-2939,

Crunch Donuts1
Brazil nut doughnuts Ross Hailey

Brazil nut cake doughnut

Makes 12-15 doughnuts

It’s only appropriate to have a bowlful or two ready for your watch party guests’ snacking enjoyment. The protein-rich food is high in antioxidants, but because of the nuts’ elevated fat content, they can spoil quickly. Keep them in the fridge until game time. Or try FunkyTown Donuts’ Brazil nut cake doughnut recipe for a gathering that’s sure to win big.

For the doughnut batter:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  •  1/4 cup chopped Brazil nuts
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  •  1/2 cup warm Brazilian brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1. Mix doughnut batter ingredients until well-incorporated and cover until ready to use.

2. Combine glaze ingredients until well incorporated.

3. Place batter in a doughnut dropper and fry in oil at 375 degrees. After 30-45 seconds, flip and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Remove doughnut from fryer and allow to cool slightly.

4. Dip the doughnut in the glaze and place on a drying rack to set.

Nutritional analysis per doughnut, based on 12: 325 calories, 6 grams fat, 63 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams protein, 46 mlligrams cholesterol, 260 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 17 percent of calories from fat.

FunkyTown Donuts, 1000 Eighth Ave., Suite 101, Fort Worth, 817-862-9750,

Coconut Fish Stew Courtesy Texas de Brazil

Coconut fish stew

Serves 6

“This is a fish dish that we only serve in select locations of on special occasions,” writes Evandro Caregnato, culinary director of Dallas-based Texas de Brazil in his cookbook, “Churrasco: Grilling the Brazilian Way.” “It is very popular in the northern parts of Brazil, where fish is a dietary staple and coconut is largely available. Azeite de dende — oil from a palm tree — is essential in the cuisine from Bahia. It gives a lovely golden color to the dish, and I highly recommend using it if you can find it. There is some flexibility when it comes to the seafood in this recipe: You can use any white fish (such as cod) and you can select shrimp of any size, which can be left whole or peeled and deveined as desired. Like paella, this dish can be cooked and served in a skillet. White rice or boiled potatoes are good accompaniments.”

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or palm oil
  •  1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 6 6- to 8-ounce fillets of white fish (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1/2 pound whole, unpeeled shrimp
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, divided
  • 3 bell peppers — 1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green, cut into 1/4-inch strips, divided
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped, divided
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the butter or palm oil and half of the olive oil over medium heat. Season the fish and shrimp with salt and white pepper, then dredge both sides of the fish with flour. When the butter and oil mixture is hot, fry the fish fillets 2 or 3 at a time for about 3 minutes per side, just enough to cook the exterior and give it some color. Transfer the fish to a plate and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, saute the garlic, shrimp and half of the onion for about 2 minutes. Add half of the peppers and saute for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir.

4. Turn off the heat and return the cooked fish (along with its juices) to the skillet. Pour the lemon juice over the fish and shrimp, then sprinkle with half of the chopped cilantro. Stir the coconut milk with a fork and pour over the seafood. Place the remaining raw peppers and onions on top of the seafood, season with salt and white pepper, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil.

5. Transfer the skillet to the hot oven and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the fish and vegetables are cooked through and the coconut milk starts to bubble. Before serving, sprinkle with the remaining cilantro.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 428 calories, 26 grams fat, 10 grams carbohydrates, 40 grams protein, 136 milligrams cholesterol, 204 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 54 percent of calories from fat.

“Churrasco: Grilling the Brazilian Way,” by Evandro Caregnato (Gibbs Smith, $30)

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