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Old 07-15-2008, 12:22 PM   #1
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Secret(?) Brazilian/Portuguese paste

A little while ago I had a Brazilian flatmate whose mom sent him some "sauce" from home, and I've been trying to find the recipe for it. Apparently it's a common ingredient for all sorts of things from rice dishes to marinades to soups and even dips. There are subtle variations from region to region, or even at the family level but there are significant areas of overlap.

All of them have garlic, but the rest i'm not sure about. The paste from his mom was slightly orange in colour (suggesting carrots). And when swirling a little of the paste in water, one could make out fragments of a green leaf .. celery or parsely maybe? It was very strong in taste, quite salty, and very addictive .. one teaspoon in a pot of rice was enough to make left-overs impossible to keep .. The only other clue he could give me was that his mom would spend ages crushing the ingredients in a pestle and mortar.

Another variation is a local Portuguese garlic sauce sold as "Prego Sauce". Similarly addictive, this one differs by being very very red, having a lot of oil in it, and some chillies too. But the other ingredients are equally obscure. The label simply says "garlic, chillies, veg oil, spices, mixed herbs, grape vinegar". When I called up the manufacturers, they were very cagey and said it was a secret recipe (of course!)

Please help! Does anyone here know the secret of Portuguese / Brazilian garlic sauces (or pastes or stocks) .. ????

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Old 07-15-2008, 01:16 PM   #2
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Do you remember which part/ city of Brazil your flatmate was from. I have a friend in BRazil I can ask, but I know the cuisines differ significantly depending on the region your friend came from. So if you can remember that info I may be able to get an answer from my friend ( assuming they are from the same region).
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:18 PM   #3
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Hi Larry - thanks for the speedy reply!

He was from Fortaleza in Cera state.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:25 PM   #4
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Ok, Ill ask my friend if she has an idea. She is actually on vacation now, so it may be over the weekend before I get a response. Hopefully someone else will have an idea too.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #5
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Only one I know is chimichurri
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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I can't answer your question but will be interested in other's answers! Sounds like a versatile sauce mix.
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Old 07-15-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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I have a recipe for a prego sauce - haven't made it myself and don't know how authentic it is though
First make a peri-peri sauce by blending 50g crushed dried chillies, 6 crushed garlic cloves, 40ml lemon juice and rind,10ml salt and slowly adding 90ml each olive and sunflower oil while the machine is running - blend for 10 min until smooth.
Blend 60ml of above sauce (keep the rest in the fridge) with 1 crushed clove garlic, 2ml cumin,15ml olive oil to make the prego sauce
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:21 AM   #8
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@JillBurgh -- thanks for the lead on chimichurri, I'll give that a try!

@TanyaK -- thanks, i'll give that a try too! And I see you're in CPT like me: the local red garlic sauce I'm referring to is available at some Spar outlets (the Rosmead Avenue one in particular) and is almost identical to another sauce called "Chippies" which you might have come across. It makes a paella wonder how it could claim to be ready, without a spoonful mixed in

The flavour is so addictive that I can't help wondering if there is something more exotic. Olive paste perhaps? I might even consider anchovies, except that it lasts forever, which casts a bit of doubt on that theory!

I'll try those suggestions and feedback here.
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Old 08-06-2008, 12:59 PM   #9
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Good having another Capetonian on board ! Will definitely have to try the sauce you're talking about !
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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Here is a recipe for my Chimichurri Sauce. It goes great with my recipe for Chimichurri Steak.
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