During a visit to Sao Paulo, my dear friend, Elizabeth, introduced to me the kiwi caipirinha, which is a relatively recent version of the traditional lime classic. Clean-tasting and refreshing, this exotic cocktail is great anywhere and at any time of year. After you and your guests are done sipping, you may want to offer spoons so you can eat the remaining kiwi!
Brazilian Cheese Puffs
My two children, Sofia and Wes, couldn’t get enough of these when we visited Brazil. The best Brazilian cheese puffs – pao de queijo – are supposedly made in the state of Minas Gerais, but we found delicious ones along the coast in the state of Sao Paulo, thanks to our friend, Elizabeth, and her family. Warm and soft on the outside and cheesy in the center, these snacks are addictive. You can prepare them ahead of time, then bake them just prior to your guests’ arrival. They’re best served straight from the oven, with caipirinhas – or any fruit drink.
Makes about 6 dozen small cheese puffs
Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a medium saucepan, combine the oil, water, and mild and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, pour the starch into a large bowl. When the liquid has boiled, add it to the starch and mix well. Let it rest for about 15 minutes. Then stir in the eggs and the cheese.
For into medium-size balls (about the circumference of a half dollar) and place them an inch apart on lightly greased or parchment paper – covered sheet pans. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate them – even up to a day in advance – and then prepare them as your guests arrive.) Bake on the top rack of the oven until the tops start to brown. 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. You can keep any remaining (if you have any left!) cheese puffs in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat, wrapped in a paper towel, for about 15 seconds in the microwave.
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