B is for Brazil


March 29, 2013 by Joanne T Ferguson


                                 Brazilian Rice and Beans with Pancetta

For those of you who read A is for , you may remember my YEARNING to find Princess Svetlana (of Lucky “Peeking” Peking Pork fame lol)

We both “thought” we would “always” be together as “lifelong friends

When I started writing my book (currently still unpublished 😉 ), I had “hoped” somehow through our mutual interests, I would be able to find her one day! But HOW?

This Brazilian Rice and Beans with Pancetta recipe is POSTED WITH LOVE today (the name of the future to be published book 😉 ) and I hope I can “inspire” people to not only make this “slightly” adapted “The rice of beans” of Brazilian foods recipe on Authentic Brazilian Cuisine but pursue their dreams too! :):)

In Brazil, it is my understanding Brazilians use bacon or pancetta to “liven up” a recipe; seeing I had some pancetta on hand, I used that today!

Princess Svetlana and I used to LOVE bacon and pancetta! 🙂

Perhaps if she sees this post, Brazilian Rice and Beans with Pancetta will reunite Princess Svetlana again with me…one can only hope! 😉

Ingredients for Brazilian White Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped (original recipe called for onion; I chose to admit today)

1 cup white rice (long grain)

2 cups cold water, approximately (preferably filtered)

1 tsp salt

I used the Absorption Method 😉

Place “washed” rice into a saucepan on stove top.

Place finger in the rice and pour water up to your knuckle. (May use less than 2 cups)

S-L-O-W-L-Y boil water.

Cover and take off heat for 12 minutes; “fluff with a fork” 😉


I soaked both black turtle beans and kidney beans overnight covered with cold water.
The next day, I drained, washed, sorted any “undesirable” beans lol. I place the beans in separate pots on the stove top; boiled the water, then reduced the heat and simmered both pots for about 30 – 40 minutes or until beans are done!

WHEN you make this recipe, you will know when they are done, TRUE! 🙂  I “hope” I can “inspire” you to make Ingredients for Brazilian Rice and Beans with Pancetta too!

The sauce was reserved until after the first photograph 🙂


Ingredients for Brazilian Rice and Beans with Pancetta
16 ounces beans (your choice for combination amounts ;-))
30 grams (~1 ounce) pancetta
3 cloves of garlic, minced (Princess Svetlana and I used to LOVE garlic too! ;-))
1 – 2 cups of water
2 tablespoons chives or spring onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons red chilli flakes (optional)

Heat pan, add pancetta; fry until golden brown.

Add minced garlic and chilli flakes; saute until aromatic (about 2 – 3 minutes)

Add “cooked” beans; mash beans with a potato masher; lower heat.

I used a plastic potato masher as you want to make sure you do not damage your pan by using a metal one. You can always mash the beans prior to adding to the pan too! 😉

Add water and S-L-O-W-L-Y bring to a boil, then simmer.

Cook until “the broth is thick (heavy cream consistency) and brown colored”

A little more water “may” be needed.

Season with salt to taste.

Add chopped spring onions or chives before serving.


Stop here if you wish ;-) ;-) :) :)

For those curious what I wrote to Princess Svetlana about B IS FOR BRAZIL…read on :) :)

I welcome any comments on the post about Brazilian Rice and Beans with Pancetta or about Chapter 2 B IS FOR BRAZIL too! ;-) ;-)




Peter Allen’s I Go To Rio released in 1976
When my baby, when my baby smiles at me

I go to Rio De Janiero, my oh, me oh

I go wild and then I have to the

Samba and La Bamba

Oh, how I remember we could not wait to have this 45 record! The day we bought it we were over your house and played this song almost non-stop. I am sure your mom thought we were trying to drive her insane! We dressed up as Carmen Miranda as we saw a movie once which said she was a Brazilian Samba dancer. Carmen became famous for wearing a fruit basket on her head and in our child-like play, we too thought we would one day become rich and famous and dance the night away!
The only problem with the fruit baskets on our heads is the bananas and oranges kept rolling off our hats and your dog thought they were new play toys!
Remember how we tried to get your poodle to join us in the Conga line? What a HOOT! I don’t think he was as excited as we were to be dancing our way to Brazil!
At the time, we didn’t even know where Brazil was, or about the Mardi Gras, but we made our own Carnivale and think if we played the song just one more time, we would have been told to “go play in traffic!” (An expression your dad used on us more than once!) Ha!

Little did we both know at the time, that I would end up living in the Land Down Under Australia where the infamous Peter Allen was born and raised. Oh, how I wish I could return to the days where we were carefree! And the only thing that worried us was who was going to keep the 45 record at their house, you or me!
Oh, I wonder if you ever did travel to Brazil? Did you ever attend a Mardi Gras and experience the electric excitement of the crowds and did it give you a thrill?
Your mother was never so relieved when we had practically worn out I Go to Rio, only to find out we found out what La Bamba was! So off to the record store we went with the monies we saved and bought Ritchie Vallen’s La Bamba!
How funny, even to this day when I hear the song, I feel the need to yell out the lyrics and think of you! We thought we were so sophisticated in those days singing a song in another language. We even went to school to try and recruit our friends to learn a new language too! Our recruitment efforts were fruitless (no pun intended) as the only ones who had sign up to learn the rest of the lyrics by heart was you and me!
Remember how we cried The Day the Music Died? We added that 45 record to our collection too, but somehow we could play it only once as it made us both sad to think that just like Ritchie died in the plane crash with Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and was no longer “larger than life” to us, one day one of us might go missing from each other’s life. JUST even the thought of that back then made us beyond sad.
And here it is me writing my heart out not knowing whether you are alive or dead, whether you went down in a plane crash or have your mastered balancing a fruit basket on your head and appear on a float during the middle of Mardi Gras somewhere in the world; perhaps in “Our Rio”.



5 thoughts on “B is for Brazil

  1. I’m really loving the theme/design of your site. Do you ever run into any web browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any recommendations to help fix this problem?

  2. […] DO enjoy dancing like in B is for Brazil (especially the Conga line ) and the Chicken Dance […]

  3. Kim says:

    I thought I had left this, but apparently I didn’t. Rice and beans … how can that possibly be bad. Add pancetta, and you have something delicious. Your photo is also beautiful.

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Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!


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