Posts Tagged ‘fish’
Inspired by Bulhão Pato’s coriander, garlic and shellfish magic, this is a flavourful and delicious approach to serving fish filets. The make or break aspect of this is to get the right flavour balance in the shell fish stock. The method works equally well with fillets of bream or bass.
Given the ubiquitousness of salted cod (bacalhau) in Portuguese cuisine, this blog has admittedly few references to it so on to the task of remedying that with a classic dish from the centre of Portugal (Beiras region) – Bacalhau à Lagareiro. Lagar is the portuguese term for olive oil press and lagareiro referring to the worker of the press. This recipe, not surprisingly, is very much about putting the best quality olive oil (azeite) at the centre of the dish. Together with flavourful garlic and “punched potatoes”, this is one of those simple combinations of flavours and textures that is characteristically Portuguese. As with most bacalhau recipes the cod needs to be soaked beforehand. Soaked cod freezes well so you can soak a larger batch and freeze individual tranches.
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.
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.
Whole fish grilled over charcoal is a central focus for the 900 km of Portuguese coast. Simply prepared, seasoned with sea salt and grilled to perfection, one hardly needs anything other than a cold bottle of vinho verde! This recipe prepares the fish by opening it across the middle to allow for a larger grilled surface, hence maximising the charcoal flavour. This way of preparing fish makes it easier to grill just the right amount. As your dealing with a relatively thin piece of fish there is no danger of having a burnt skin and a raw middle! This also makes it easier to negotiate your way through the bones as they become more visible with the fish open in half.
Sea bass and other fish can be prepared in exactly the same way.
One of the popular 1001 bacalhau (salted cod) recipes, this is certainly on entry level as far as eating salted cod is concerned. The flavour of the cod infuses the creamy sauce which in the oven forms a delicious gratin crust. This dish uses flaked cod so you don’t need prime cuts however, the better the cod the better the dish. This recipe uses fried potatoes but these can be replaced by boiled potato cubes though it is important that the whole thing doesn’t turn into mash so stay away from floury potatoes!
It is surprising that this south american way of serving fish is not common in Portugal. Fresh fish bought in the market or straight from fishermen is begging to be prepared like this! This is a light citrus marinade of raw fish which makes a tangy, light dish which makes an ideal starter for a richer fish dish or a main meat course. Ceviche is not worth considering unless you’re convinced the fish you’re using is absolutely fresh (i.e pre packed fillets do not qualify). You can ask your fish monger to de-bone/fillet a piece and you’re only left with thinly slicing or chopping it in small cubes. The photograph is a basic ceviche of “cherne” (a much appreciated large white fish in Portugal but constantly mistranslated – if you do know of a good equivalent in English, please let me know). It can be substituted by any meaty fish such as monkfish or tuna.
The cornerstone of Portuguese coastal lifestyle. The smell of sardines grilling outdoors flavours any recollections of walks trough Bairro Alto in Lisbon, Ribeira in Porto or a small town on the coast of Alentejo.
This is one of those incredibly simple dishes which can very easily go wrong. The two main elements are the sardines themselves and the “assador” the person who grills them. In restaurants specialising in grilled fish this is a specific person, different from the chef.
The traditional season for Sardines in Portugal is July during the religious festivals. Sardines feature in everything from large banquets to fast food stalls where you eat one on a piece of bread while standing and drinking a glass of wine or sangria.
Sardines for grilling need to be absolutely fresh, medium size and pre-salted for at least 30 minutes.
Chick peas and cod is a traditional Portuguese combo. This recipe mixes both key ingredients in a light dressing, all combined into a salad that can be served as main dish or starter.