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The SAMBA Montclair Cookbook by Chef Ilson Gonçalves

Samba Montclair Cookbook - Chef ilson Concalves
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The SAMBA Montclair Cookbook by Chef Ilson Gonçalves is a glorious celebration of authentic Brazilian homestyle cooking. Originally from the state of Santa Catarina in the south of Brazil, Chef Ilson Gonçalves makes his home in Montclair, New Jersey where his creative cuisine has dazzled patrons with restaurant, SAMBA Montclair, since it opened in December 2010. His cookbook takes the reader on a visual and taste bud tour of Brazil with his delectable recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts. It is the perfect "souvenir" to remember past trips to Brazil, for lovers of Brazilian cuisine, and for foodies looking to experience other cuisines.


Written in 2017, the 101-page cookbook is filled with stunning color photographs with interesting notations throughout that provide insight into the authentic homestyle Brazilian recipes. In the section on Appetizers, Chef Ilson Gonçalves includes some of the best loved and memorable recipes including Bolinha de queijo (little cheese pastries), Coxinha de frango (little chicken pastries), Pão de queijo (gluten-free homemade cheese bread) that is served hot from the oven, to name but a few.

In the Spices and Sides section, he includes the Brazilian "trio" of must-haves with his recipes for Arroz branco (White rice), Feijão Preto (Black beans), and Couve refogada (Sauteed collard greens), along with much more.

Chef ilson Goncalves - Samba Montclair, NJ USA
Chef Ilson Gonçalves

A few of the many interesting recipes in the Entrees section include Nhoque de mandioca (Yuca gnocchi), Bobó de camarão (Shrimp and yuca stew with tomatoes, onions, and cilantro), Moqueca de peixe com pirão (Mahi mahi and shrimp stew with yuca flour purée), Stroganoff de frango (Creamy chicken stew with mushrooms and tomatoes), the iconic Feijoada (Brazilian meat and bean stew) that is served on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as the recipe for Camarão na moranga (Creamy shrimp filled winter squash), which Chef Ilson graciously shares.

Camarao na moranga - SAMBA Montclair, NJ, USA

Chef Ilson Gon̤alves Recipe РSAMBA Montclair РCamaṛo na moranga (Creamy shrimp filled winter squash)
Yield: 4 servings

Camarão na moranga Ingredients:

Small, round
Acorn Squash (or other small winter squash)
Shrimp, peeled and deveined
Homemade "Sazon" (see recipe below)
Olive Oil
Garlic, minced
Onion, small diced
Tomato, peeled, seeded, and small diced
Tomato Paste
Heavy Cream
Cream Cheese
Parsley, chopped
Parmesan Cheese, shaved
Microgreens (optional)
Salt and Pepper


"Sazon" caseiro Ingredients:
Yield: One Half Cup

Garlic Powder
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Method for the "Sazon": Mix all the spices. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Chef Ilson Gonçalves notes, "I was inspired to start making my own sazon after a life-changing trip to Morocco where I studied the country’s methods of spicing."

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (191 Celsius). Wrap acorn squash in aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked. Season shrimp with homemade sazon, salt, and pepper.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion and garlic. Add the shrimp and cook for 1-minute, until it starts to change color. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and heavy cream, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Finally, add the cream cheese, parsley, and stir until combined. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Unwrap the squash and cut off the top part, saving it to be presented as the lid. You can also cut a thin layer off the bottom so the squash will sit still on the plate. Scoop out seeds with a spoon and season inside of the squash with salt and pepper.

Divide shrimp cream into 4 prepared squash and top with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with microgreens and serve with the top of the squash as a lid or on the side.

Chef Ilson Gonçalves notes, "I adapted this recipe to serve individual portions in a small squash and it is one of our best sellers at the restaurant. At home, my mother would use a large squash as a serving bowl in the center of the table with rice and beans on the side. Most of our meals are served family style."

Brazilians love their desserts, and the cookbook includes recipes for Bolo de mandioca (Flourless yuca cake with dulce de leche and passion fruit sauce), Mousse de maracuja (Passion fruit mousse), Pudim de leite (Flan Caramel) and more, that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.

The cookbook concludes with a section on how to create Juices (sucos) as Brazilians love to use fresh fruit to create creative juices. From the first page to the last, The SAMBA Montclair Cookbook by Chef Ilson Gonçalves filled with recipes and reminiscences will first delight your eyes and then your palate.

The SAMBA Montclair Cookbook by Chef Ilson Gonçalves is available for purchase at the restaurant and online at Amazon.

SAMBA Montclair is open for Lunch from Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 3:00 pm, for Dinner Monday through Thursday from 5:00 pm until 9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm, and Sunday from 12:00 pm until 8:00 pm, and for Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 pm until 3:00 pm. The restaurant is BYOB for wine and champagne only.

Read more about our dining experience at SAMBA Montclair in the Restaurants section.

Read more about Chef Ilson Gonçalves and SAMBA Montclair in the Chefs’ Recipes section.

Until next time, Bon Appetit!

Samba Montclair - Montclair, NJ USA

SAMBA Montclair
7 Park Street
Montclair, New Jersey 07042
United States
Telephone: +1-973-744-6764
Email: info@sambarestaurant.com
Website: www.sambamontclair.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sambamontclair/
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