Celebrating Brazil Through Food

11 Feb

On January 28th the AGC community celebrated the vibrant culture of Brazil through food. Our very own Chef Stephen prepared a traditional Brazilian menu of spicy sliced chicken with peppers, spicy black beans and rice, bananas, kiwi and sweet coconut greens. All of it was made from 100% organic ingredients, and the reaction from our students and staff was a resounding delicioso!

Before the big feast, Chef Stephen visited all classrooms and shared his experiences living in Brazil. He even brought along and played a berimbau, a traditional one-stringed instrument made from dried gourd and wooden bow. During lunch, students were seen dancing in the isles to the energetic sounds of Samba.

This Coconut Greens recipe was a big hit for Brazilian Day. The next international menu day is planned for Wednesday, February 23rd, and is being planned by Ms. Harris’ 3rd grade class. The focus for February will be on Spain, and we will be preparing Chicken Paella, Tofu Paella, and Leeks with Romesco sauce, among other dishes. In tune with AGC’s focus on developing global citizens, we will continue to celebrate foods from around the world once a month on our lunch menus!

Ingredients

2 bunches collard greens
1 tsp crushed red pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 12 oz can coconut milk
½ cup grated coconut
Agave syrup or sugar, salt, black pepper to taste

  1. Strip the leaves of the collard greens from the ribs by hand, or remove ribs by using a sharp paring knife against a cutting board.
  2. Chop or tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Wash thoroughly. Double wash if the greens are at all gritty after the first wash.
  3. Heat heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add crushed red pepper and half of the minced garlic, and reduce heat to low.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, until crushed red pepper and garlic create a lightly browned, very fragrant paste, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add washed collard greens and adjust flame to a steady medium heat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until greens are wilted and their shade has changed to a darker green color.
  6. Meanwhile, cook remaining minced garlic and all of the minced ginger in separate saucepan. When light-brown and fragrant, add coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  7. Using a ladle, add the coconut milk mixture to the collard greens, adding as much as you need to prevent sticking and to create a nice thick flavorful broth for the collards. Cook greens for 15-20 minutes with the broth, or until desired doneness.
  8. Just before serving, add grated coconut. At this point, add just enough of your chosen sweetener to offset the bitterness of the greens, but not so much that anyone would describe the dish as ‘sweet’. If using sweetened grated coconut, you may not need additional sweetener.
  9. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and serve warm. Enjoy!
  10. NOTE: This dish will keep well in the fridge for up to a week, and also freezes beautifully.
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