Zephyr

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The pantheistic Hellenes had many deities. All the usual events of nature — wind, day, night, the arrival of Spring — these could all be explained by the actions of those immortals. Zephyr was one of the four winds, representing the soft, warm West winds of Spring. Botticelli depicted Zephyr in one of his most famous paintings, The Birth of Venus. The winds lived on an island, imprisoned underground by Aeolus, Master of the Winds. There were four tunnels leading to the outside in the direction of the four Cardinal Points. At the direction of the gods, Aeolus would open one of the tunnels and release the correct wind. Unfortunately, Zephyr has been locked up again, for the kindly wind has died and the air is hot and sultry in much of North America. For us in New Hampshire, the wind of Summer is from the South-West, bringing hot and humid weather from the Gulf coast. The Greeks had no wind like that, and no deity represents it. Perhaps these ‘un-godly’ weather conditions arise from another origin….

In honor of Zephyr and his fellow winds, our foods will be light and full of air. The Pao de Queijo are a new treat for us, while the Cheese Soufflé is an old favorite.

Brazilian Breakfast: 233 calories 11 g fat 1 g fiber 11 g protein 25.5 g carbs 201 mg Calcium  PB GF – if made with tapioca flour Here’s a breakfast to get a Brazillian out of bed in the morning: cheesey pao de queijo with meat and fruited yogurt.

2 pao de queijo 1 slice uncured bacon [20 calories] 2 oz fat-free plain yogurt + 2 fl oz applesauce, unsweetened   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories

Prepare the Pao de Queijo** in advance. Cook the bacon and stir together the yogurt and the applesauce. And that was simple.

PAO DE QUEIJO:  makes 15 puffs. recipe from thekitchn.com  Each = 79 calories 5 g fat 0 g fiber 2 g protein 7 g carbs 44 mg Calcium  This is a Brazillian favorite. Easy to make, with a super taste of cheese.

1/3 c olive oil ½ c water + ½ c skimmed milk 1 tsp salt 2 c. tapioca flour OR 1 c. tapioca flour + 1 c. white whole wheat flour [yeah. I know. NOT traditional.] 2 two-oz eggs 1 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 450F. Place the milk-water-oil and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until you see no more dry flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous. Put dough in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it is smooth + is cool enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds. With the mixer on medium speed, beat in eggs, one at a time. Wait until the 1st egg is fully incorporated before adding the 2nd. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in cheese on medium speed until fully incorporated.  For small puffs, scoop dough by level tablespoons onto parchment-covered baking sheets, spacing about 1½“ apart (24/ baking sheet).  For larger puffs, scoop dough with a 1 oz/ 2 Tbsp scoop, spacing about 2” apart (12/ baking sheet). 

I used a 1.5 Tbsp scoop and made 15 puffs. Nice size. Place baking sheets in oven and immediately turn heat to 350°F. Bake 15 mins. Rotate baking sheets between racks and from front to back. Bake further, until puffed, dry on the outside, and just starting to turn golden-brown on the bottoms, 10 to 15 mins.

Cheese Souffle:  293 calories 19.5 g fat 1.4 g fiber 20 g protein 9.5 g carbs 290.5 mg Calcium Few foods are as amazing as a good souffle, which rises to airy heights of flavor. HINT: The recipe serves 2 [two] people.

2 egg yolks 2 egg whites ½ cup Bechamel sauce, no cheese 2 Tbsp chives/scallion green parts, snipped or sliced 2 oz Cheddar cheese, grated   per serving: 1½ oz steamed or roasted green beans

Separate the eggs, being very careful not to get any yolk in the whites. Whisk the yolks with the bechamel, then stir in the cheese and chives, along with salt & pepper to taste. Heat the oven to 400 F. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff. Combine a half cup of the whites with the egg yolk mixture and gently whisk together. Fold remaining egg whites into the yolk mixture and pour into a 1-quart oven-safe dish. [I like to use a 1-quart glass casserole with straight sides, which fits in the toaster oven.] Being as gentle as possible, pour the souffle mixture into the ungreased/unbuttered/unoiled baking dish and smooth out the top a bit. Bake for 25 minutes. Cook the beans. Serve the souffle by scooping it out onto the plates. Some like a soft souffle, which will sink rapidly. I prefer mine to be cooked through yet still be creamy on the inside. Absolutely delicious!