When I lived in Brazil, among the many things with which I fell in love, I fell hard for pão de queijo (cheese bread).
Made with tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch), eggs, milk, oil, water, salt and parmesan cheese pão de queijo (pronounced sort of like pow de kayjo) are non-gluten and easy to make. They go perfectly with coffee in the morning. Or even with an ice-cold beer on a summer afternoon. And a drop or two of pimenta (hot sauce) goes great with them as well.
There are different variations of the pão de queijo recipe that you can find online. But here is the recipe I use passed along to me by my Portuguese teacher who hails from Rio de Janeiro.
While you're making the pão de queijo, please enjoy this radio program created by Rocco's Música!Musica! A nice selection of Brazilian music to play in the kitchen!
1lb Tapioca flour aka tapioca starch (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup filtered water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp table salt
2 medium eggs (beaten)
6-8oz parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
1) Grate parmesan cheese (you can buy pre-grated, but I find nothing beats the scent and flavor of freshly grated parmesan)
2) Mix milk, water, oil and salt in a sauce pan.
3) Bring to a boil. (careful! It boils quickly to the top!) remove from burner.
4) Pour contents of sauce pan into a large metal bowl.
5) Add tapioca flour. Mix with wooden spoon.
6) Add beaten eggs and mix until smooth (it will be sticky. patience.)
7) Gradually add the grated parmesan. Once dough is cool to the touch, you can start kneading it with your hands. Knead well.
8) Once dough is fairly smooth, you can start making little 1-inch balls and place them on a baking pan.
9) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (Of course every oven is different. I've been baking mine in a Cuisinart toaster-oven)
10) Bake 18-25 minutes.
Serve hot with coffee or as an afternoon snack with the beverage of your choice. Bom apetit!
Mugs L-R: Copacabana, Ipanema, São Paulo, Ipitanga