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In part two of our World Cup inspired Brazilian street food special, we are heading over to the party capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro to get inspired for the British summer by Carioca beach street food and the Mardi Gras spirit. Remember, whether or not you’re still in on the kitchen sweepstakes, when match day comes grab a beer and cheer on Roy’s boys!

Party Food, Brazilian style

Everyone knows that Brazilians love a good beach party, so we just had to include some top tips on the best Brazilian beach food around, and there’s no place better to start than the street food carts of the Copacabana beach! For a light, refreshing bite go for a tapioca, a thin crepe made of manioc flour with filled with anything from cheese to doce de leite, the delicious caramel made out of condensed milk, ubiquitous to South America. Give your sweet toothed customers a Brazilian-inspired treat of salted popcorn covered in doce de leite for an irresistible summer snack. The greatest beach snacks however have to be empadinhas and pasteles, baked or fried pastries filled with delicious savory fillings, best eaten with a refreezing cup of fresh coconut water. After a hard day’s work, nothing beats the rich, greasy goodness of a cheese empadinha with chilli sauceand after trying our recipe below, we think you’ll agree as well!

A word on… Brazilian cheeses

Another Portuguese import which has been embraced by Brazilian artisans, cheese production in Brazil is little known because of a prohibition against exportation. Due to the high demand for beef, most cheese is made with either pasteurised cow or buffalo milk and matured for 4-6 weeks, depending on climate. Requeijão is a creamy cow’s cheese of Portuguese origin eaten in the same way as cream cheese, whilst catupiry is a saltier, soft cow’s milk cheese typically used in fillings for empadinhas and pasteles. A sharper, crumbly cow’s milk cheese from the Island of Marajo is often used in salted cod fritters and empadinhas as well, however it is almost impossible to buy in the UK. Lancashire, Cheshire, Caerphilly or Wensleydale are credible substitutes. Many cheeses are grilled over charcoal and eaten with a sweet chilli sauce, which inspired the pairing for the following recipe.

Wensleydale & Summer Vegetable Empadinhas with Sweet Chilli Sauce

No Brazilian fiesta would be complete without a plate of empadinhas. These buttery, savoury pies are traditionally filled with either a creamy chicken filling, spicy dried shrimp or palm hearts. To celebrate the sweetness of British summer vegetables, we decided to do our own take on empadinhas with an artichoke, fresh pea and sharp cheese filling, balanced by a tangy and sweet chilli sauce. Perfect for a summer day snack.


For the Empadinhas 225g unsalted butter

450g plain flour

8g salt

120g egg, beaten

30g egg yolk mixed with 30ml olive oil for pastry glaze

30ml extra virgin olive oil

30g Spanish white onion, finely diced

10g garlic, crushed

50g plum tomato, deseeded and finely chopped

15g tomato puree

50g fresh peas

200g chargrilled artichokes, roughly chopped

15g flat leaf parsley, chopped

15g coriander, chopped

1 spring onion, finely sliced

50g Wensleydale

3g ground nutmeg

100g cream cheese

For the sweet chilli sauce 20g garlic cloves, approx 4-5, left whole, skins on

10g thai red chilli, left whole

60g roasted piquillo peppers

30g red bird’s eye chillies

190ml mango vinegar

375ml caster sugar

15g salt

30ml white cachaca

17g cornstarch


Pastry In a food mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter over a low speed until pale and malleable

Add the flour and salt, mix on a low speed until it resembles breadcrumbs, 3-4 minutes

Once crumbly, add the beaten egg mixture and beat on a medium speed until combined into a paste, 2-3 minutes

As soon as the mixture is combined, remove from mixer and roll into a thick log-shaped piece in cling film, diameter approximately 6-8cm. Refrigerate for a minimum 8 hours, preferably overnight.

Filling Over a low heat, sautéthe onion until soft and translucent, about 4-6 minutes

Add the garlic and stir continuously for 30 seconds until fragrant, followed by the diced plum tomato and cook for another minute until the juices are released

Stir in tomato puree, coating everything in pan and cook for three minutes to release the flavours. If mixture stars to caramelise or burn then take off the heat immediately.

After the puree has been cooked, remove from heat and add the chargrilled artichokes, fresh peas, spring onion, crumbly cheese and fresh herbs, mixing until combined. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Once the artichoke mixture has reached room temperature, mix in the cream cheese and nutmeg. Taste for seasoning, adding up to 5ml of lemon juice if mixture needs a kick. The mixture should be soft but not runny. Cool completely in blast chiller before using.

Sweet Chilli Sauce Preheat oven to 150C, roast the whole garlic cloves and the thai red chillies in their skins for 18 minutes until blistered. Remove skins and the chilli stalks and put into a food processor.

Add half off the roasted piquillo peppers and blend to a rough paste, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Without washing, blend the bird’s eye chillies with the remaining piquillo peppers in the food processor to a coarse paste, discarding any liquid which forms. Add to the garlic/thai chilli paste.

In a pan over a low-medium heat, combine the mango vinegar, salt, cachaca and half of the sugar and stir until it has reached boiling point, approximately 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.

On the same hot ring, melt the other half of the sugar in a heavy based saucepan and bring it to a golden caramel. As soon as the caramel reaches a golden brown, remove from the heat and trickle in 50ml of cold water whilst stirring vigorously to make a smooth sauce. Add the chilli garlic paste to the caramel and mix thoroughly. Leave on the lowest possible heat so that the caramel is still liquid but not cooking any further.

Bring the vinegar mixture back to a rolling boil and ladle spoonfuls into the caramel mixture, whisking vigorously to combine completely before adding the next ladle. Repeat until all the vinegar mixture is whisked into the caramel.

Dissolve the cornstarch in 200ml of water and add to the chilli sauce, whisking constantly.

Increase the the heat until the chilli sauce reaches a simmer, whisking constantly until the sauce reaches the gelling point and resembles a thick sugar syrup. Remove from heat immediately and leave to cool completely before storing in airtight containers. Keeps for 1 week.


Preheat oven to 180C and prepare pastry trays for use. It is common to use large muffin tins for empadinhas. Remove pastry from the fridge and leave to soften for 5-10 minutes.

Slice the pastry log into slices, approximately 1cm thickness each. Roll each slice between two pieces of greaseproof paper until it is approximately 5-7mm thick.

Fill the prepared muffin tins with rolled pastry circles, placing carefully to ensure there are no tears. Then proceed to fill with 2 tsp of filling for each pastry case.

Top with another rolled pastry case and crimp to give an attractive crust. Using a paring knife or a baker’s scalpel, make a small incision in each empadinha to let out excess moisture.

Glaze using egg yolk and olive oil mixture and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Once cooked, remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving with a pot of sweet chilli sauce.


Lockhart Catering on 24 June 2014 5:14 AM

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