One of the most desired cuts of beef in Brazil is called (picanha) . It is also very common in higher end restaurants in Yucatan these days. What is it?
Picanha is a cut of beef called sirloin cap in the United States or the rump cap in the United Kingdom, that is popular in Portugal and Brazil. In the United States, it is little known, but referred to as the rump cover, rump cap, or culotte.
In a Brazilian restaurant it is often served on large skewers…
I chose to roast it whole.
There are THREE steps to the recipe, which involves marinating overnight in the refrigerator (see below) with a citrus-herb salt rub.
Simple Roasted Picanha Recipe
Step One – Citrus-Herb Salt Rub
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- Zest of one small lemon, approximately 2 teaspoons
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Score the fatty blanket on the picanha by making criss-crossing cuts into the fatty blanket covering one side of the picanha. Fat behaves differently than meat when cooked. It loses more liquid and therefore shrinks more. By scoring the fat, you can prevent the piece from curling and dis-forming while it grills.
Rub the salt mixture into the cross cuts of the fat. Refrigerate overnight.
Step Two – Preheat oven to 400 degrees, letting the picana come to room temperature.
Prepare the chimichurri sauce by mixing the following ingredients…
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili pepper flakes (less for milder flavor)
- 2 teaspoons minced oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Step Three – Sear and Roast the picana as follows
Heat a large oven-safe skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Sear the beef until browned on both sides,approximately 2 minutes per side.Transfer the skillet to the oven with the fatty side of the piranha facing up.
Cook the roast for 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 128-130° for medium-rare. Remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. The temperature will rise 10 degrees while resting!!
Slice against the grain for tender cuts.
Here is my recent attempt to duplicate that restaurant experience in our oven…in case there is too much snow to fire up the Barbie, mates. Sliced after resting with chimichurri sauce.
Eureka! Shrimp in the freezer. What to do? Checked the ingredients I had on hand and found this recipe for dinner. The worst part is cleaning the shrimp, so just cheat and buy them already cleaned and deveined…LOL. Substitute whatever protein you have available. As always, my changes are in red lettering.
Shrimp, Tomato and Spinach Pasta
- 5 medium tomatoes, fresh, chopped into large cubes ( one can of diced with juice depending on how much you like tomatoes)
- 1 cup cooked spinach
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 or 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 small lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more)
- 10 oz fettuccine pasta
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving
- Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil until melted. Add fresh shrimp and half the minced garlic. Make sure shrimp is not crowded. Cook for 1 minute on one side until pink on that side. While it’s cooking, generously sprinkle paprika and salt over uncooked side of the shrimp. Flip the shrimp over and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes until pink on the other side.
- To the skillet with shrimp, add chopped fresh tomatoes, cooked spinach, and remaining amount of minced garlic. Add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more). Mix everything well, remove from heat while you cook pasta.
- In the mean time cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent pasta from cooking and getting mushy.
- Add pasta to the skillet with shrimp and vegetables with 1 or 2 tablespoons of butter. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on the juiciness of your lemon, it could be 1/4 of small lemon or 1/2 lemon). Don’t add too much lemon juice. Season with salt and more crushed red pepper. Warm it up on medium heat until shrimp is cooked through, and all ingredients are heated through.
- To serve, top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Okay Cousin Bonnie, here is the salad recipe you asked for…it was yummy!
Lemony Chickpea, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe by Michela Chiappa from Michela’s Tuscan Kitchen
600g ripe tomatoes (I just drained a can of diced tomatoes)
1 small bunch fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small handful walnuts
½ jar good quality chickpeas (about 300g)
pinch of dried cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 good handfuls of arugula
1 small round of crumbly, soft goat’s cheese
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to a serving bowl. Rip in most if the basil leaves, keep the baby leaves to one side. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and season with black pepper and salt.
- Place a small frying pan on a low heat, add the walnut halves and cook for 5 minutes until toasted and smelling delicious. When ready tip into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, drain and the chickpeas. Add the cumin, oregano, lemon zest and half the juice and a drizzle of oil. Toss together with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chickpeas to the tomatoes and toss together. Add the arugula and crumble over the goat’s cheese and walnuts.
Always looking for a great appetizer and this one surely qualifies. In the case of both the oregano and basil I would use fresh in place of the dried. If you are ever caught with cocktail sauce, a simple recipe blends 1/2 cup ketchup + 2 Tablespoons horseradish!
Roasted Parmesan Garlic Shrimp (http://inspiredbycharm.com)
1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I prefer fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (I prefer fresh)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Parsley leaves, chopped for garnish
Cocktail sauce (optional)
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with oil or nonstick spray.
Place the shrimp in a single layer on the baking. Evenly distribute the olive oil, parmesan, garlic, oregano, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss together with a spoon or your hands.
Place the pan of shrimp in the oven and roast the shrimp until just pink, firm, and cooked through. This should take 7-9 minutes. When done, sprinkle with lemon juice.
As a kid we used to pick asparagus along the ditches near our home in early spring. Mother always boiled it…YUCK!
Both of us love asparagus and it is in season here right now. In the past I always have done it on the grill, with garlic and Parmesan cheese. Sometimes I make asparagus fries in the oven with panko, egg and Parmesan. Feeling lazy I looked for something simpler. It was a lot less time consuming.
Baked Lemon Asparagus (http://natashaskitchen.com)
• 2 bunches asparagus
• 1 lemon
• 4 Tbsp butter
• Olive oil
• Salt & Pepper
• ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Rinse 2 bunches of asparagus and break off the ends by holding the base end and snapping it wherever it snaps.
2. Place asparagus in a large baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Squeeze ½ of a lemon over the asparagus. Cover the top third of the asparagus with lemon slices from the other half of your lemon (optional).
4. Thinly slice 4 tbsp of butter and line the center of the asparagus with butter.
5. Bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Remove asparagus from the oven and set oven to Broil.
6. Sprinkle the center of the asparagus with Parmesan cheese and broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.
MIXED FRUIT CRISP
This crisp is just Larry’s version of an old-fashioned apple crisp. Be creative, and adventurous!
Servings: about 8 – 10 medium size
You will need 1 oven proof casserole, with lid or use foil to cover.
(He used our French white corning approx. 11” x 8.5” x 3”. It was the perfect size for this quantity.)
Grease with shortening or a bit of coconut oil.
Set oven at 350 F.
1.5 cups pear: peeled and cubed ½ ‘’ size
1.5 cups fresh figs: cut in 1/8ths
1 cup mango: cubed ½” size
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup flour
4 Tbs fresh grated ginger
1 lemon: zest the lemon and squeeze the juice of ½ lemon into the fruit mixture, cut the other half into small segments, skin removed
1 cup of toasted slivered almonds
Amaretto for drizzling lightly over the almonds (optional)
½ cup of flour
2/3 cup rolled oats: large flakes, not quick cooking
1 cup of toasted coconut
I cup brown sugar
1/3 cup of softened butter
1 tsp salt
¼ cup of coconut oil (or use ½ cup of butter instead of 1/3 cup)
The remainder of the lemon zest
Coconut liqueur (not coconut rum) for drizzling over the topping
Honey for drizzling over the topping
Toast the almonds and the coconut separately and put them aside to be added in later.
Whisk flour, ginger, lemon zest and sugar together. Mix fruit together, adding in lemon juice, then sprinkle the flour mixture over the fruit and and mix well to coat all fruit. Place mixture in the greased casserole. Cover the mixture with the toasted almonds and drizzle with Amaretto.
Combine the dry topping ingredients, flour, oats, coconut, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the coconut oil and butter. Mix well and press on to fruit and almond mixture. Drizzle with the coconut liqueur if desired.
Put in oven with lid on and set timer for 30 minutes. Remove lid after 15 minutes to allow top to become “crisp”. Reset timer for 20 minutes. Check after 10 min. to see if topping is becoming brown. If you see the topping becoming too brown, replace the lid. Total cook time should be between 30 and 45 minutes.
Best served with a scoop of coconut ice cream or French vanilla if you cannot find coconut.
I have made this recipe twice in the last week, since I erred in the amount of pasta to make and had a lot left over. As a matter of fact I still have more left and am going to use it today to make Pad Thai, a traditional Thai dish. I will send that recipe another time. It called for baby shrimp, but I chose a larger one and it looked nice when served….
Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta and Lemon (adapted from Rachel Ray/Food Network)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large shallot or two green onions finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zested (if you don’t have a lemon, use orange zest)
- 1/3 pound baby shrimp, (I used 15 – 20 count shrimp)
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine, eyeball it ( I used the vermouth)
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/3 pound angel hair pasta, cooked to al dente
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped or snipped fresh chives or fresh cilantro
Get your pasta water going. Start the scampi sauce when you drop your pasta into boiling water to cook.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and melt the butter into it. Add shallots and cook a minute or 2, stirring constantly. Add lemon zest and shrimp and heat shrimp through, another minute or two. Add vermouth or wine and tomatoes. Toss another minute to heat the tomatoes through. Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat evenly in sauce and to distribute the shrimp. Season liberally with salt and pepper and serve with chives to garnish.
NOTE: This recipe can be easily doubled for four people!!! Serve it with a great salad…..