Monday, September 6, 2010


We seem to be on a culinary kick.
The most recent Kubu Newsletter mentions hákarl, fermented shark.
It’s an Icelandic specialty that Yrsa brought to Crimefest for everyone to try. I have heard some pretty cruel descriptions about the way it tasted, and some people have written to tell me I was lucky not to have been there.

Not yet subscribed to the Kubu Newsletter? Click on Stan and Michael’s picture (right here on the page). It will bring you to their web site, where you can access the archive. There are some nice pictures.

And then there was Tim’s cake.
Actually, Lauri’s cake, the one she surprised him with, when he visited her shop, Murder by the Book, in Denver.

If you have yet to read about his visit, you can do that – and admire photos of the cake – simply by scrolling down.

Today, it’s my turn to talk about food.
And I’m going to tell you a little about feijoada,  Brazil’s most famous dish.
Beth Kanell floored my wife and I by cooking two different varieties of feijoada (one was a vegetarian version for her non-meat-eating customers) when we visited her and hubby, Dave, at Kingdom Books. (
Could this be the start of a new trend?
Serving food to authors?
I hope so.
With the book market the way it is, many of us are starving.
But I digress.
Feijão, in Portuguese, means bean. And feijoada is a bean stew.
It’s served, as you can see here, with a number of different accompaniments.
The pork crackling, and the fried manioc (yucca) are optional.
The rice, pieces of orange, sautéed manioc meal (farofa), kale (couve manteiga) and pepper sauce are not.
It’s not an evening meal. It’s too heavy.
In restaurants, it’s traditionally served on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
If you visit São Paulo on those days, you’ll see it on the menu in thousands of places, from the most elegant restaurants to the most simple.
The most common belief about feijoada’s origins is that it was first concocted by slaves who used meat scraps to create a delicacy for the slave quarters. This belief is somewhat strengthened by the fact that the original recipes called for things like pig’s snouts and ears.
Others say feijoada is a Brazilian variant of the Portuguese dish, caldeirada, or possibly the Spanish (French) cassouletAngola and Mozambique also have variations...
...but all share the common base of having beans and salted meats as the basis of the stew.
Eide, my wife, leans toward a “light” version of the dish. No snouts, no ears, no fatty meat.
Want her recipe?
Click on my picture. That will take you to my website.
Next, click on the “contact me” button.
When the form appears, send me an email with the word “recipe” in the subject line.
If you don’t have the software to read a Word .doc file, add the word “embed” and I’ll incorporate the recipe into the body of my return email.
And, if you would like the recipe sent to another address other than the one you’re writing from give that as well.
My recommendation is that you enjoy your feijoada with a caipirinha or two. It's said to "cut the fat".
You’ll find a recipe for it in one of my previous posts.
The post is entitled Cachaça – The Brazilian Tipple, published on the 28th of March. Look for it in the archives on the lower right, or in the index at the bottom of this page.

Bom Apetite!

Leighton - Monday


  1. Oh, Leighton, I'm drooling! Kubu is drooling! Somehow he will have to get involved with a case in Brazil so that we can come to do research on the food front for him!

  2. Leighton, you've left out the part about you and Eide actually bringing the farofa -- the manioc meal -- to complete our feast and make sure the feijoada would be authentic! But it wasn't just the Brazilian cuisine that kept the readers at the table with you: It was the two wonderful hours of hearing about your research, your writing, your books. Which, I need hardly say, Dave and I have trouble keeping on the shelf because they sell so quickly. Here's to Chief Inspector Mario Silva!

  3. Looks amazing, Leighton. Jun, my husband, found farofa in San Francisco in a tiny Brazilian store and cooked feijoada a few months ago. But now he'll use Eide's recipe.
    I remember in Rio, up in Santa Theresa buying shrimp pastry-like delights on the street..can't remember the name. Does Eide make these?


  4. Hi Beth!
    A hug for Dave.
    You are great people.

    How about a recipe from South Africa, huh?


    Hi Cara,

    Yes, she does make those little shrimpy things.
    They’re called rissoles de camarão.
    Camarão means shrimp.
    Brazilians also make rissoles with salted codfish (bacalhão), chicken and meat.
    They fall into the greater category of petiscos salgados, salty nibbles, which doesn’t mean they are necessary salty, just that they aren’t sweet.
    In this category, too, there are other delicious snacks such as coxinhas and empanadas.
    I’ll send you the feijoada recipe.

  5. Hi Leighton,

    Sounds & looks delicious!


    oooh, warm empanadas with ice cream