Posts Tagged ‘seafood’
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.
The archetypal Portuguese wet rice, flavoured by a rich prawn stock is a must in any coastal restaurant. The capacity for producing a perfect arroz de camarão can make or break a chef’s reputation.
As with most prawn and shrimp dishes, the secret is to extract as much flavour as possible from the shells and heads. To cook with shelled shrimp meat is no more than a allusive reference to the unique taste of this remarkable seafood. Frozen at sea prawns are the most practical way of guaranteeing good results as sourcing fresh prawns is usually rather tricky. This recipe achieves its richness and flavour through the preparation of a stock used to cook the rice. The same stock can be used as a basis for a prawn velouté soup (creme de camarão).
Algarve Squid/Lulas à Algarvia
The Algarve region in the south of Portugal is renowned for guaranteed good weather, high levels of tourism but also excellent sea food, especially if one avoids restaurants serving chips with everything… This is an extremely simple recipe for small squid which brings out their natural salty taste and soft texture. Like with all squid cooking, timing is everything!
Serve with simple boiled potatoes and greens.
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…
This recipe is based on the Portuguese classic way of serving sapateira (crab), a defining presence in any seafood restaurant throughout the coast. As with any shellfish it must be bought alive. There is some intricate work involved and some of the tasks are admittedly not for the squeamish. The work is well worth it though as this presents the meatier parts of the crab in their natural state accompanied with a flavorful sauce made out of the smaller bits. If you live in a country with relatively cheap fresh crabs such as the UK or Ireland this can easily become a regular feature and you’ll soon get used to the cleaning routine! This way of serving crab is great as a starter to share and keeps for one day in the fridge.
A variation on the classic Portuguese wet rice, this type of dish has become increasingly popular in restaurants and homes throughout Portugal. This recipe is stolen from an excellent cook who in turn got it from the fishmonger in the village… The idea is to make a stock as flavourful as possible for cooking the pasta in. Any type of small shaped pasta can be used though the most common is small macaroni.
Moqueca is a Brazilian stew made from different types of fish and seafood and is particularly traditional in Bahia. It’s characteristic taste comes from palm oil (azeite de dendê) and coconut milk. This is a simple version using squid.