Pasto

Cooking from a Portuguese perspective

Prawn Rice/Arroz de Camarão

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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).

 

Prawn Rice/Arroz de Camarão

Prawn Rice/Arroz de Camarão

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

February 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Rabbit stew with figs/Coelho estufado com figos

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Small traditional “quinta” across Portugal commonly have a rabbit hatch to supply a meat treat for the family. This guarantees high quality home-bred rabbit meat which features in a number of traditional dishes. The most famous, “cabidela”, being a wet risotto to which rabbit blood mixed with vinegar is added towards the end of the cooking. This achieves an extremely rich, nutritious and contorting one pot meal.

This recipe is a basic rabbit stew with a flavour twist provided by the sweet and complex aroma of dried figs. Rabbit has a relatively subtle flavour and the figs here add a layer of fruitiness which makes for a unique combination. As with all good stews, any left overs should be deboned and make it into small home made pies (empadas)!


Rabbit stew with figs

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

February 16, 2013 at 9:00 am

Posted in Meat, Recipes/Receitas

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Algarve Squid/Lulas à Algarvia

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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.

lulas_argarve

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

February 2, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Pheasant Pies/Empadas de Faisão

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“Empadas” (pies) are a common snack in cafes all over Portugal and part of portuguese culinary tradition for centuries (royal chef Domingos Rodrigues dedicates 41 recipes to empadas in his “Arte de Cozinha” from 1680, the first Portuguese cookbook). Today, you are mostly likely to find them filled with chicken, roast piglet or perhaps salted cod. This is a recipe that takes advantage of the dense taste of pheasant to provide an absolutely moorish filing for this exquisite finger food. Shortcrust pastry is ideal for this as it is light enough to let the filling shine but you could experiment with puff pastry as well. Perfect as a snack, light lunch or for a picnic. Can be served hot or cold but much, much better hot out of the oven…

empadas_faisão

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

January 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

Posted in Meat, Recipes/Receitas

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Mussels “Bulhão Pato”/Mexilhões à Bulhão Pato

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Mexilhões à Bulhão Pato/Mussels Bulhão Pato

Mexilhões à Bulhão Pato/Mussels Bulhão Pato

 

A variation of the classic clam dish, this works equally as well with mussels. This recipe based be used as a base for preparing mussels vinaigrette.

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

December 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Fish, Recipes/Receitas

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Grilled Salted Cod with Olive Oil/Bacalhau à Lagareiro

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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.

Bacalhau à lagareiro

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Written by Pedro Rebelo

July 1, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Fish, Recipes/Receitas

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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

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