Pasto

Cooking from a Portuguese perspective

Archive for the ‘Ingredients/Ingredientes’ Category

Quince Jam/Marmelada

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Those who grew up with the yearly autumn tradition of making large quantities of marmelada (quince jam) will not easily forget the sweet aromatic smell that fills the family home as a tick puree of quince simmers in sugar before it is poured in porcelain bowls to set (unless of course it is eaten before it gets a chance!).

This family recipe produces a smooth and rich marmelada which is delicious on the day and develops into a complex, almost cheese like consistency over months. Portuguese marmelada-making families spend a considerable amount of time debating the pros and cons of fresh versus set marmelada. Best thing is to try making it, eat one bowl straight away with fresh bread, crackers and cheese and keep the rest to eat over the winter months.

The jelly is a way of using up some of the quince flavour that stays in the cooking water and can be used for glazing cakes, in gravies and sauces or simply on bread.
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Written by Pedro Rebelo

October 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Serra da Estrela Cheese and Quince Jam Rolls/Rolos de Queijo da Serra e Marmelada

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As they say… if there was a restaurant in heaven this would be on the menu…

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

May 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Requeijão

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This extremely versatile milk product is delicious on its own, in salads, sauces and deserts with honey, pumpkin compote. Pictured here is a slice of requeijão dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Requeijão is a form of ricotta, and made out of sheep, cow or goat’s milk whey during the production of cheese. Made in baskets which give it its traditional shape and texture, requeijão is the result of compressing the coagulated whey into a creamy white paste.

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

July 15, 2011 at 8:43 am

Wild Garlic

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Now in season and pretty easy to find in forests and shady locations, wild garlic makes for an excellent addition to the normal herb repertoire.
The leaves can be finely chopped and added to an omelette while the flours add great looks and taste to a salad. Pictured is a simple tomato and basil salad, dressed with fleur du sel, freshly ground pepper and olive oil, garnished with a few wild garlic flowers!

Wild Garlic Flowers

Written by Pedro Rebelo

April 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Ingredients/Ingredientes

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The Ham Project II

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After all the curing, smoking and 4 months of hanging our ham was finally ready to play!

Presunto

Still surprisingly moist, next time it will hang 6 to 8 months. People making home made cure hams in Portugal often leave them hanging from one year to the next. If the ham is too moist it becomes harder to cut thinly which is essential for this kind of ham. A ham holder together with a a special ham knife can facilitate the process considerably. As with all meat, the diet of the animal is key to taste and texture of the final product and maybe next time we will be able to experiment in a more controlled environment and perhaps with the famous acorn diet…
The ham was smooth in texture with a light smoky taste. It is reassuring to have an entire ham to cut from to serve for impromptu gatherings  and snacks. The fat makes for an excellent addition to stews and roasts.
More from the ham project next year…

Written by Pedro Rebelo

May 17, 2010 at 8:20 am

The Ham Project

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Hanging cured hams must be one of the signs of a happy dwelling. Restaurants, bars and homes across Portugal, Spain and Italy feature hanging hams which can receive as much attention as a small Picasso on the wall! Presunto, jamon and prociutto are not so much a food stuff as a synthesis of methods, techniques and tastes particular to each region and community.

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

February 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm

From deer to rillettes…/rillettes de veado

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After a considerable amount of organisation a whole fallow deer arrives from Fermanagh! Cleaned, skinned and hanging for three days, the job of butchering was remarkably quick (2 hours) and produced an array of extraordinary roast cuts and sirloin for steaks. There is very little waste and off cuts in a deer but I was determined to keep some meat for sausages and for rillettes. This is a recipe for a slightly unusual approach to rillettes using venison neck and duck fat.

Venison Rillettes

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

February 4, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Garlic/Alho

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

August 3, 2009 at 1:39 pm

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Bay Leaves/Louro

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Dried Bay Leaves/Folhas de Louro

Dried Bay Leaves/Folhas de Louro

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

June 25, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Toucinho

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Portuguese smoked bacon.

Toucinho

Toucinho

Written by Pedro Rebelo

May 30, 2009 at 3:44 am

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