After working briefly in the finance industry, Chef Leticia Moreinos changed professions to cooking. In addition to teaching cooking classes, Moreinos also has published two books: The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Contemporary Recipes for the Home Cook (2010), and the other is My Rio de Janiero: A Cookbook (October 2013). More about Chef Leticia and her recipes can be found in the September 2013 print edition of LatinTRENDS.
Latin Trends: What made you decide to become a chef and was there a dish that has always stood out to you?
Leticia Moreinos: I have been cooking since I was a little girl, but growing up in Brazil, I did not know that it could become a profession. The national dish of Brazil is Feijoada, a good black bean stew full of different kinds of meats cooked inside.
Some additional notes about the recipe: The recipe is a healthy, diabetes-friendly version of the feijoada. Also, Leticia developed the recipe as part of her work with Merck on the Cuida Tu Diabetes, Cuida Tu Corazón program to educate others about the high prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes among the Hispanic population in the United States.
Below is the recipe for Black Bean and Sausage Soup
Black Bean and Sausage Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 turkey or chicken sausages (about ½ lb)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Half onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 scallions (white and green parts), chopped
2 plum tomatoes, peeled seeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cup chicken stock
1½ cups cooked black beans (or ½ lb or 1 cup dry black beans)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1. In a skillet over medium low heat, warm the olive oil. Remove the sausage from the case, and add in chunks to the pan, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Cook the sausage all the way through, until it just starts to brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and cover to keep moist.
2. Using the same pan, add a little bit more oil if necessary, add the garlic and cook until it just starts to turn lightly golden brown, then add the onion and scallions, and cook until soft for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and oregano, and continue cooking, over low heat, until the mixture looks soft and flavorful. Season lightly with pepper.
4. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Add the beans, sausage, and juices that have accumulated in the bowl; bring to a boil again, and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Partially cover and cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.
Serves 4 people
Nutrition information (1 serving)
Calories269; Fat14 g; Saturated fat1 g; Cholesterol36 mg; Sodium738 mg; Carbohydrates21 g; Fiber7 g; Protein16 g