If you're looking for something to serve with moqueca, may I suggest pão de queijo? These Brazilian cheese buns are soooo good and easy to make! They kind of remind me of a savory mochi in that there's a chewiness from the tapioca flour but end up being more light and airy than dense.
The first time I made this recipe from Simply Recipes, I made the mistake of dumping the tapioca flour in my blender before adding all the liquids. When it came time to turn on the Vitamix, nothing happened. At first I was afraid the blender was broken but after digging around in there, I realize the blade just couldn't move around in the cement-like tapioca flour. I ended up dumping everything into a mixing bowl and whisking it by hand, which worked out fine. But if you'd like to make it in the blender, please learn from my mistake and put the tapioca flour in last.
I was able to find a soft farmer's cheese at my grocery store, but I've also read other recipes that use parmesan and cheddar cheeses, so you can probably use any cheese you like. The first batch I made had a way too strong olive oil flavor, so in the second batch I cut the oil with some canola, and it turned out a lot better, in my opinion.
Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread) (adapted from Simply Recipes)
makes 24 small buns
Oil for greasing
1/3 cup total olive oil and/or canola oil (adjusted to your preference)
2/3 cup milk
Scant 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour
1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated cheese
1 teaspoon of salt
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a mini-muffin tin.
Put all of the ingredients into a blender (tapioca flour last) and pulse until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well. At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Fill the mini-muffin tin wells until almost full. The buns will puff a lot in the oven but then shrink a lot upon cooling.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and just lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.
Eat while warm or save to reheat later.
I love how cute they look all puffed up like that, especially the ones with the dimples in the middle. They kind of remind me of minions. ^_^
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