In this episode I get together with a Brazilian cookbook author and chef, Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, first to taste and learn about some of the iconic dishes of Brazil and then to shop for the essential ingredients – dende oil, salt cod, and a spice, colorau – in Danbury Connecticut. Who knew that Danbury had a large Brazilian population? Who knew Brazilian cooking was based on such unusual ingredients?
After we finish our shopping we head home to make two Brazilian weeknight one pot meals: salt cod with potatoes, onions, olives and hard-boiled eggs and chicken and shrimp stew with peanuts, cashews and coconut milk. Finally, of course, we had to taste the national drink of Brazil, the caipirinha. If you are looking for a new kind of cuisine to liven up your weekly repetoire, well then, this is the show for you.
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Teacher and cookbook author Leticia Moreinos Schwartz has built a career on the passion for her native Brazilian cuisine. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Leticia’s passion for food began at a very early age. She studied French, English, and Spanish as after-school programs and started to translate recipes into Portuguese as a hobby.
Leticia received a BA in economics and worked briefly in finance in Brazil. She then followed her dreams to pursue a career in the culinary industry.
She moved to New York in 1997 and got degrees in both Culinary and Pastry Arts at the French Culinary Institute. She continued her training cooking at legendary New York restaurants such as Le Cirque 2000, La Grenouille, La Caravelle and Payard Patisserie and Bistro.
Marriage and kids brought on a move to the suburbs of CT, where she created “Chef Leticia”, a boutique culinary company.
Her first cookbook The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook quickly became the number one reference on the subject.
Leticia appeared on Martha Stewart Living Radio Program, Better Homes and Gardens Better.TV, and NBC’s LX TV. She is a regular guest chef on WTNH-TV, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Fine Cooking Magazine, CT Cottages and Gardens.
She is a proud member of IACP and NYWCA.