Archive for the ‘Recipes/Receitas’ Category
This is a common domestic recipe which produces a tasty and hearty chicken stew often served with boiled white rice or potato purée. Using jointed chicken with pieces on the bone adds to the taste but you can use breast pieces though only cook them for 15 minutes in the sauce after browned. Needless to say that you should use the best chicken you can afford for best results. A potato and celeriac purée complements the sweetness of this dish perfectly. Almost as good as the dish itself are the leftovers of boned chicken pieces which can be used to make excellent chicken pies (empadas de frango)!
Portuguese figs are a real treat in the summer when you can pick them off the tree alongside any country path… Different varieties excel in either taste, juiciness or sweetness. Figs are common all across Portugal and the Algarve region is particularly known for producing the best. This noble fruit (they say Louis XIV kept 700 fig trees in Versailles to supply the royal table) is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of salads to add sweetness and looks! The dried variety used for this recipe is easily obtained in most supermarkets but the quality of the figs is crucial for this to work. Here, a basic flavoured syrup is added to dried figs, making them rich with moisture and producing an excellent fig flavoured syrup. The combination of lemon peel and cinnamon is widely used in Portuguese deserts and produces a delicately spiced flavour. Figs in syrup are ideal as a topping for a special fruit salad or ice-cream, as a dessert garnish or just on their own!
Courgettes are a relatively recent addition to the Portuguese pantry . This salad turns this rather bland vegetable into a flavourful dish with with the help of a bbq, good quality olive oil, garlic and parsley. This is a great salad to accompany grilled meat or fish and can be served hot or cold.
A small round version of the popular pão com chouriço found in bakeries across Portugal… This is easy finger food, great for a party or picnic and delicious hot or cold. The richness of the taste will greatly depend on the quality of the chorizo.
Not exactly a Portuguese tradition and perhaps a bit Christmassy… Still a great hot starter for a party which is easy to prepare in advance in large quantities and get ready in 15 minutes in a hot oven.
Squid is an incredibly versatile food. In this recipe tubes and tentacles are used in combination with chorizo and tomatoes to end up with a rich flavorful dish. The relatively long cooking time gives the squid a tender texture and enriches the tomato sauce. Great for a slightly chillier summer evening.
This is an excellent way of using the heat from the a nice charcoal barbecue to lend a smokey flavour and crispy texture to fresh squid. This recipe is a mix between grilled squid, commonly served in skewers (espetada de lulas) and octopus salad (salada de polvo).
This dish is common across the north of Portugal and uses the octopus to provide an intense flavoured stock in which to cook a moist risotto served with long crispy strips fried in a light batter. Octopus is normally boiled before it is used in a dish such as Polvo à Lagareiro in which the octopus is grilled to achieve a crispy texture on the outside while remaining soft on the inside. Since my post on Polvo à Lagareiro the number of tips on how to properly boil an octopus has increased yet again… My favourite is to hold the octopus by its head over a boiling pot of water and dip the end of the tentacles three times (about 10 cm into the water) then finally adding the whole octopus. This is done to achieve a nice curly finish at the end of the tentacles. My new preferred tip is to use an un peeled onion to provide a richer colour and a cork from a wine bottle…
Admittedly not for everyone, moray eel is a delicacy most common in the south of Portugal and is either bought fresh or dried. Here, small portions of eel are fried until crispy and served on a bed of a tomatoey bean stew…
The trick here is to briefly brine the eel. A fisherman’s wife would gently lick a piece of eel to check whether it is salty enough. Tasting the brine before you add the eel will do just as well…
With barbecue season now completely established it’s time for matching a great way of cooking with delicious fresh ingredients. Monkfish Skewers are a common feature of any seaside restaurant in Portugal. They’re extremely easy to make and absolutely delicious served with a simple butter and lemon sauce. The one important thing to keep in mind with any mixed skewer is that all ingredients should be cut to more or less the same size to allow for even cooking.