Oi Gente!

Do you mind if I vent for a second?  Cool, thanks!

Living abroad definitely makes you feel a disconnect sometimes.  No matter how present we make ourselves with the support of technology, you still have days when you feel helpless.  I speak to my family and girlfriends daily, pretty religiously.  I hear their voices, watch my nieces grown on video, see my parents get old…  I’ll be honest, thanks to Skype and Whatsapp, 90% of the time I feel like I’m just down the street.  But there’s that amount of time where I feel like only their physical presence can close that gap.

There are a few things I do every morning when I wake up, before I even get out of bed – look for my mother, then check on everyone else in the family and then my girlfriends.  With the time difference, I almost always wake up and already have my mom’s Good Morning message, filled with hearts, flowers and smiley faces waiting to greet me!  When I don’t, I chase her to complain “Hey!!! Where are my good morning kissies, Ma!?”  Then, I check my family group, laugh at my father’s struggle with his choice of emojis, hug my phone when there are audio messages or pictures of my nieces…  I have to check the group with my girlfriends last because sometimes I wake up to over 400+ unread texts and audio messages.  Yes, 13 girls yapping all day long!!!  We laugh, we cry, we get political, we complain, and sometimes we argue a little bit too.  Then I get on Skype with my mom while I get ready for work.

This morning was no different to me.  I woke up, and checked my “Brazil” messages like I do every day.  Then when I caught up to my girlfriend’s messages, my heart broke down into a million pieces when I saw that one of them had a pretty bad seizure and really hurt herself.  Moments like these really remind me of the physical distance between the ones I love and am emotionally close to.  I felt so useless… all I wanted was to be able to hug her, treat her to some warm soup, help her feel better, heal.  It sure is tough sometimes, but it is the life I chose.  Knowing I can’t afford to go home as often as I want to, I have to just manage the emotional times and continue to make myself present the way I can.

What about you? Do you or did you ever live away from your loved ones?  If so, how do you make yourself present?

Beijinhos!

xoxox

Now, moving on to food, which I know is why you came here for

I know corn is the poster child of the American summer, but Sopa de milho (Brazilian Corn Chowder), is one of the many popular dishes Brazilians savor during the winter when we have our Festas Juninas (translates to something like June parties).  These parties are also known as Festas de São João (St. John’s Parties), to highlight the celebration of the birth the Saint John the Baptist, a custom introduced to us by the Portuguese during colonial times.  For Catholic Brazilians, this is an opportunity to give thanks to St. John and other Saints, as well as celebrate rural life through food, clothing and music.

Either way, this soup is amazing no matter the time of the year, the season, or the occasion!!! I hope you love it as much as I do.  Make it, take a picture, feed a loved one then post it on IG #CookingWithAline

So here is the step by step

First, and most likely the most important, most meaningful step of all, if you want to do this suuuuuper Brazilian style, I’d highly recommend you put some traditional Festa Junina music, like these by Luis Gonzaga so you can make this soup dancing like we would back home haha true story!

Now that you are dancing (trust me, I know you are dancing), you can start to remove the husks from about 8 corn cobs so they are nice and naked like this… oh haaaaaay corn, how you doin’ 

Then, roast them so they blister a little bit – you can use your grill, or, if you have a gas stove, you can just carefully hold your corn over the burner with thongs until they are nicely charred.

Slice off the kernels from the cob, like this (don’t thank me, thank the Pioneer Woman for the bundt cake pan trick – she says she’s learned from other people, but I learned it from her! Thanks girl!)

Ok, now finish prepping the rest of the ingredients

Btw, are you still dancing?  Remember, this is really important!

Ok, good! So brown the sausage with some of the butter

Yeah, buddy… now remove the sausages, and set them aside (on a plate lined with some paper towels)

Add more butter to the pan, and add the onions, then after a few mins, add the garlic

OMG, smell that!!??? *eyes rolling with delight*

Now add the corn, stir a little bit

Add the yams…. Stirrrrrr

Add salt and pepper, stirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Add the stock and let it simmer until the yams are cooked

Using a slotted spoon, scoop about half the corn and potato out and set aside

Then, using an immersion blender, blend what’s left in the pan

Add the sausage and the corn back to the pot (you can save some to use as garnish) and boom, you are done!

Drop some more butter in there, throw on some garnishes and EAT!!!!!! 

Bom Apetite!

Brazilian Corn Chowder
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Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1lb smoked sausage, cut into cubes
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 grilled corns, cobs removed
  • 1 cup of yams cut into cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • about a quart of chicken stock
  • green onions for garnish

Method

  1. In a large soup or stockpot brown the sausage with ½ stick of butter, then add more to avoid browning of the butter
  2. Remove the sausage and set aside
  3. Add onions and cook until they are transparent, about 3 mins
  4. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute or 2
  5. Add corn and potato
  6. Season with salt and pepper
  7. Cover with the stock and let it cook until potatoes are soft
  8. When the potatoes are cooked, scoop half of the corn/potato with a slotted spoon, and set aside
  9. Using an immersion blender, blend what’s left in the pan
  10. Add the sausage and the corn back to the pot (you can save some to use as garnish)
  11. Give it a stir and done
  12. Bom Apetite!!
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http://www.alineshaw.com/braziliancornchowder/

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