Muqueca's Casquinha de Siri
Brazil is a brilliant and colorful mix of Europeans, Amerindians, Africans and Asians. This diverse range of people and ancestry is reflected in the country’s creative cuisine. While each of Brazil’s five regions (North, Northeast, Central-West, Southeast, and South) has its own culinary heritage, they all share certain typical ingredients and dishes which remain distinctly Brazilian. Casquinha de siri is one such dish, made with crabmeat, tomatoes, and bread crumbs, and common in all of Brazil’s different regions.
2 Tbs. annatto seed
1 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups yucca flour
1/4 lb. crab meat
2 Tbs. lime juice
Salt (to taste)
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
4 small sweet rolls or other soft bread, chopped
1-1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Prepare Urucum Color
Add the annatto seed and olive oil into a cooking pot. Place it over a medium-low heat. Keep smashing it until the oil incorporates the color. Turn the heat off before the oil starts to boil, then filter out the seeds and and leave the liquid aside.
Prepare Farofa (Toasted Yucca Flour Mixture)
In a saucepan, combine 1/4 of the urucum color with 1 clove of garlic and 1 finely chopped onion. When it is golden brown, mix in the yucca flour and mash.
Prepare Casquinha de Siri (Crab Cake)
In a mixing bowl, combine the crabmeat with the lime juice and a dash of salt.
In a saucepan, sauté the other clove of garlic with the rest of the urucum color, then mix in the other onion. When golden brown, add the tomatoes.
Turn up the heat and add the bread, which will soak up the sauce.
Add in the crabmeat. Stir with care so as not to smash the crab, and let it cook for 3 minutes only. Finally, stir in cilantro.
Divide the mixture the serving dishes, top with farofa, and serve.
(The crab cake may also be topped with Parmesan or another cheese. If desired, sprinkle cheese on top and broil in the oven until golden brown.)
Serves: 8 to 10
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