Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stroganoff Pizza

On Saturday morning, I had a meeting with one of the directors of the school to discuss various newbie questions, which I'd been accumulating. Having gotten through the first week of the semester, I spent the rest of Saturday doing not much of anything except going to the supermarket and procrastinating on next week's lesson plans.

I had to pass on an excursion to the Parque da Grutas because I'm trying to get over some kind of heel fascia injury - running around with the kids this week exacerbated it badly.  The park will still be there in a few weeks' time - if all my injuries over the years are meant to teach me something, it must be PATIENCE.

I did see a little nature on Saturday morning, as this fella was hanging around the yard.  A large bird, about the size of a crow with longer legs, and some iridescent feathers around his breast.  He was missing one foot, so I didn't try to get any nearer and possibly startle him.  This was taken from about 20m away, so it's not very detailed.  It is the second time I've seen him here, so I'll probably be able to get a better photo someday.

Last evening the rain came back, and today it's been raining most of the day, which was all right as I was working on lesson plans much of the day anyway.  I also cooked up another batch of Canja da Galinha for dinners this week, and tried my hand at baked pineapple, inspired by a local Gaucho (southern Brazilian) specialty, rotisserie grilled pineapple with cinnamon.  I'll post the photos and recipe when I've perfected it, as this one was a bit too sweet and baked  a bit too long.  It still tasted scrumptious, so I will definitely make it again until I get it right!

This evening the rain let up long enough for all four new teachers, myself included, to go out for dinner.  We had planned to go to the local churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ), but sadly it was closed on Sunday evening.  I don't know whether it's just because it's "Brazilian Father's Day" or if it's always like this on Sunday evenings, but pretty much everything downtown was closed.  We asked a local passerby for "the best pizza place" and he sent us a few blocks away to a place called Fornalho.  It was open but mostly empty.  The pizza is made in wood fired ovens, and it's all you can eat, but not buffet style.  The waiter brings the small, freshly baked pizzas around on a paddle and passes out slices to diners at their tables.  There were so many kinds, we didn't have a single repeat.  There were pizzas with sausage, ham-tomato-egg with nutmeg, tomato and bacon, sundried tomato and arugula, four cheese, beef stroganoff and even chopped chicken hearts.  And a few others I can't remember at the moment. There wasn't a single one with a tomato based sauce, all were cheese based.

The beef stroganoff pizza looked absolutely awful, but the beef was very tender and I thought it tasted quite good, although I would omit the layer of cheese that was lurking underneath it.

As for chicken hearts - I have not liked them in the past, because of the texture, but if I hadn't already stuffed myself to the gills, I would have tried the chicken heart pizza anyway just for the heck of it.  In this case, however, since it was the last round offered and I was already too full, I passed in favor of dessert.

And what was for dessert?  You guessed it, MORE PIZZA.  First up, banana and cinnamon.  And cheese.  I think they must make a whole bunch of cheese pizzas and then just add toppings at random.  The banana and cinnamon was delicious.  (Sorry, the photo really doesn't look good.  Next time I'll try to photograph the pizzas while they are still on the wooden paddle.)

And even this was not the last one; the pizzas kept on coming, and somehow hypnotized by the experience of these new and interesting things, we all kept on eating.  The next was chocolate and strawberry, which was a cheese pizza (naturally), spread with Nutella and sprinked with freshly sliced strawberries.  It looked every bit as awful as the stroganoff, but the chocolate was tasty.  Again, would have been better without the cheese layer.

Last but not least, chocolate and ice cream pizza: a crispy crust, spread with Nutella, and each slice topped with a scoop of rich vanilla ice cream.  And, miracle of miracles, NO CHEESE!  This was absolutely wonderful.  All this for about R$25, not including drinks.

Somehow we all managed to waddle our way home, and now you know why I'm still up at 11:35pm.  Can't lie down until some of this ginormous meal is digested.  Burp.


  1. Hi Mary! Wow, sounds like a great pizza experience. How funny tht Brazil closes everything down on Sundays too. They do that in Scandinavia too. Only gas stations and some restraunts stay open Sundays. Think most religious "church" countries are like that. You get used to it after a while though. I used Sundays as my hiking/touring day and gotalot of exploring done. Sure sounds like you coud use a free day/ day of rest too. Take care!! =Reidun

  2. Hi Reidun! Good to hear from you. So far I've been splitting Sundays between lesson planning and going out and about. Can't do too much exploring until my heel heals.

  3. OMG...the stroganoff pizza looked APPALLING!!! Go you, for being brave enough to try it!

    I hope your footie feels better soon! (See him eat his footie?)

    I LOVE churrascaria! That roasted pineapple is irresistibly delish...

    Love you!

  4. Bite the green duck nose!