SOPHISTICATED CULINARY: Brazilian “Trooper Beans”






Feijão Tropeiro, as this delicious Brazilian dish is called, can be roughly translated as “trooper beans,” or a dish used in colonial times over a century ago when troopers would leave the densely-populated east coast of South America and venture into the dense jungle–that’s how they ended up conquering and populating half of that continent. To this day this dish is still very well known and popular in that region.

Ingredients for pressure cooker:

black beans, 1 whole bag (16 oz), dry
garlic cloves, 8, whole, peeled
table salt, 2 tbsp
water, 6 cups
As part of a new experimental task, I haven’t been soaking beans prior to cooking to see what happens: Because I heard a few different opinions on the matter. In this case, soaking was absolutely unnecessary. Rinse black beans and place them together with garlic, salt and water in a pressure cooker, bring fire to high to reach high pressure quickly, then lower fire and cook for 25 minutes. Turn off fire and wait for natural release. While this is cooking, let’s get ready for the next step.
Ingredients to finalize this dish:
scallions, 4, chopped finely
bacon, 4 oz, extra thick, cubed in 1/4-inch pieces
eggs, 6, scrambled
garlic cloves, 3, minced
farofa or cassava flour, 1 cup
pork rinds, crumbled, 1 cup
table salt, 1 tsp
cilantro, chopped, 1/2 cup
In a very large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon for 8 minutes. Put bacon aside on paper towel, reserving half of the fat in a ramekin, leaving the other half in the skillet. On low heat, cook the scallions in the remaining bacon fat for about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook for one minute. Add eggs, scrambling them well and making sure they don’t burn. Add cassava flour or farofa, cooked and drained beans, salt, bacon, porn rinds, cilantro and  the reserved fat in the ramekin if necessary. Stir well. Serve with collard greens on the side.

Ingredients for collard greens:

collard greens, 2 bunches, finely chopped
garlic cloves, 4, crushed or minced
table salt, 1 tsp
olive oil, 1 tbsp
Heat a big iron skillet on high heat for 5 minutes. Lower heat to low setting, add olive oil, collards, oil and salt. Stir occasionally as it cooks for approximately 5 minutes. Ready to serve.
Yields: 8 servings. (One of my tricks is to serve 2/3 collards to 1/3 beans, as a way to help keep my body weight low.)