Last Friday our supper club headed out to Michelle’s house as she was hosting our Brasilian barbecue. When I first had the idea to start these supper clubs I knew I wanted Michelle to host the summer one as I had visions of us cooking outdoors with a big fire going, enjoying an evening outdoors. I also knew what cookbook we were going to focus on “Cabana – The Cookbook: Brasilian Barbecue & Beyond”. Sadly, the weather did not play fair and we had a lovely day of rain and cold temperatures, but we were undeterred, we said we were going to cook outdoors and that’s exactly what we did, we just had to take it all indoors afterwards to eat! However whilst the weather did disappoint, the cookbook most certainly did not!
Cabana have a number of restaurants throughout England, sadly none up here in Scotland and if the cookbook is anything to go by, it’s worth a visit. In the books introduction the authors emphasise that traditional Brasilian (at Cabana they spell Brasil with an “s” just like they spell it over there!) food is rooted in home cooking, shared around the table with family and friends, and that is what we aim to achieve at each of our supper clubs – good food, great friends, lots of laughter all washed down with a couple of cocktails.
Our menu for the night was difficult to pin down as we all enjoyed reading the book and there’s something we wanted to try on every page! In the end here’s what we cooked, all served on to Michelle’s kitchen table with everyone helping themselves. Michelle’s 12 year old daughter jumped in on the fun by creating a menu for us on arrival (and claimed it helped with her homework!)
Sweetcorn Soup Shot with Molho Vinaigrette
Malagueta Jumbo Prawn
Chilli & Cumin Marinated Hanger Steak
Tomato & Palm Heart Salad with Cabana Simple Dressing
Avocado & Mango Salad with Cabana Simple Dressing
Coconut & Lime Sorbet – which we poured a shot of Cachaca over and created an adult style ice cream float – we highly recommend it!
Crazy Lady Cake – officially the best name for a cake!
At this point I’d also like to say a big thank you to the lovely ladies at The Veg Company , based in Ellon, for providing us with the freshest chillies, locally grown. We used the chillies in the marinade for the prawn, chicken and steak dishes, they packed a punch both in heat and flavour. We are so lucky to have something this fresh available to us on our doorstep. Our beef was purchased from Davidson’ of Inverurie.
Obviously we washed this down with some lovely drinks. We would like to thank Adrian Gomez from 10 Dollar Shake for his recommendation as regards to making the Caipirinha’s and the best Cachaca to use, which he kindly ordered in for us. Here’s our list:
- Red Wine – Argentinian Malbec from Aldi
- Dessert Wine – Chocolate Ruby from Marks & Spencer
- Cocktails – Strawberry & Kiwi Pimms, Traditional Caipirinha and a Strawberry & Lime Caipirinha (both Caipirinha recipes came straight from the book)
Onto the book! Well this is the first book we’ve followed where the recipes were accurate, easy to follow and faultless in their execution. There is no faff with this book, just simple recipes that make you want to cook and we all agreed that we would all cook everything again as the food was packed full of flavour. We all prepared in advance, and even taking into account marinating times we found that the dishes were very quick to create. It’s also worth mentioning that each recipe uses a small list of ingredients, much of which we already had in our cupboards. In addition, many of the marinades and dressings worked for more than one dish, allowing us to prepare an extra dish with little in the way of extra preparation. The book itself is bright, colourful and an all-round good read. It provides some menu suggestions for anyone planning their own barbecue. Michelle and I both have copies of this book already, but both Laura and Paula will be buying their own copies – I don’t think there is any better recommendation than that. In fact, after I’ve written this review I’m handing my copy to Laura as her copy has not yet arrived, however she has friends coming this weekend and is planning a Brasilian inspired barbecue.
A great cookbook, fabulous recipes – this one remains firmly on my bookcase!