Predator in Brazil (#82)

Our August movie was Predator. I struggled to come up with a dinner theme for this one, so I decided I would base the film on the region the story takes. Only one problem, the movie never actually says where they are. A Google search showed that most people on the internet agreed that it was supposed to be Guatemala, so at first I was planning to make Guatemalan food. I have a DVD of this film and decided to fast forward through it to see if there was any food scenes. Almost as soon as the movie started I came across a scene where there is a map showing where the helicopter went down that they were being sent in to rescue.

I paused the film and studied the map. Using the names of the landmarks and the visible coordinates, I was able to deduce that it was a map of Brazil. How no one else on the internet caught this, I have no idea. For this reason, I decided to base the meal on Brazilian food. Now, as it turns out, later in the film there is some dialogue that suggests that they were in Central America, but I didn't catch that until we watched the movie. It seems like the makers of this film were intentionally vague about the location.

When looking up Brazilian recipes I found a super helpful website full of authentic Brazilian Recipes. According to that website, beans and rice are a regular part of meals in Brazilian homes. After reviewing several dishes, I decided to serve a meal of beans and rice with fried chicken wings and cheese bread. For these dishes, I stuck very close to the original recipes, so I won't repeat them here. The biggest substitution I made was swapping the bacon in the beans with smoked paprika. I don't eat pork, so I used the smoked paprika to create the smokey flavor that bacon would normally provide. Also, instead of making the cheese bread, I bought some frozen cheese bread from Publix to save myself a little bit of work, since everything else was going to be homemade.

It was not a fancy meal, but it was good and filling. This dish might not look very Brazilian, but it's all in the flavors. The beans and rice are both seasoned heavily with onion and garlic. Also, they both require a bit of prep work and aren't cooked quite as simply as I am used to making beans and rice. The chicken was marinated overnight in lime juice with garlic, salt, and pepper before being floured and fried the next day. This made the chicken very moist and flavorful even when the fried coating is crispy and dark. So yes, even though this might look like a traditional American plate of fried chicken with sides, the seasonings and flavors used were unique. The cheese bread and chicken were especially popular. We had absolutely no leftovers of either.

For dessert, one of the dinner guests helped me out by making some homemade dessert empanadas filled with guava and cheese. They were delicious and a great addition to the evening. I also used our mid-movie dessert break to make Brazilian lemonade. For this one, I did not follow the online recipe. I saw several different recipes that all had some similarities and differences, so this is how I did mine.

Brazilian Lemonade

Despite the name, this drink doesn't actually contain lemons and is made nothing like traditional lemonade. What is does have in common is that it is both sweet, citrusy, and refreshing. It uses very few ingredients, but does take a bit of prep work to make. The exact amount of limes, condensed milk, and ice that you use is adjustable depending on the size of the limes, how sweet you want it, and what have you.

4 medium limes or 8 small limes
1 14 oz can of sweetened condense milk

  1. Remove any stickers, wash the limes, and then slice into quarters or smaller. Try not to squeeze the limes or waste too much juice while you slice.
  2. Put the lime pieces (peel and all) in a blender and using the pulse setting, blend the limes until it is just mush.
  3. Using a strainer, strain the lime mush over an empty bowl. Use a wooden spoon or spatula the press down on the mush to get as much juice out of it as possible.
  4. Rinse the blender clean and then pour the juice into it. Add the condensed milk and a few scoops of ice. I filled mine about three quarters of the way up with ice. You can use more or less condensed milk if you want to adjust the sweetness.
  5. Blend it all together. The goal is for the drink to be light and airy. Serve as is, or add a little tequila to make a cocktail out of it. Enjoy.

To say this drink was a hit with guests is an understatement. Many started immediately planning to make it at home or for friends. While my guests watched me work, I could see they were a bit skeptical about the drink. That all disappeared with their first sip. I would highly recommend you bring this drink to any summer outing or latin inspired event.

Overall, I have to say that this event was a big hit. The dinner theme didn't tie super close to the movie, but both the film and food were enjoyed by all.


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