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THE OTHER IBERIA

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    Posted: 15 February 2019 at 07:09

Here are a few more main dishes, to show the diversity of Portuguese ingredients and techniques:

PATANISCAS DE BACALHAU

(Salt Cod Pancakes)

With minor variations, this batter-fried fish dish found all over Portugal. The word “pancake” in the title presumably comes from the pancake batter-like consistency of the breading.

     Frankly, this is the only Portuguese dish we’ve tried that we weren’t 100% happy with. Despite soaking for two days, the fish remained particularly salty.  But that might have been the package we used?

     Pataniscas de Bacalhau is typically served with juicy cabbage rice, which we’ll examine when we look at vegetables and sides.

1 lb soaked salt cod                                                               

1 tbls lemon juice

2 cups milk           

1 egg                    

4 tsp olive oil        

1 cup all-purpose flour                                                           

1 small onion, chopped                                                          

1 small bunch parsley, chopped                                            

Oil for deep frying

Cut fish into serving sized portions. Mix together 1 ¼ cups milk and the lemon juice and pour over the fish. Let marinate 30 minutes. Beat the egg with the olive oil in a bowl. Stir in the flour, onion, parsley and enough remaining milk to make a medium-thick paste.

Heat the oil to 350F. Remove the fish from the marinade and pass them through the paste to coat. Add the hot oil and deep-fry 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Drain and serve.

COZIDO A PORTUGUESA

(Portuguese Style Boiled Meat and Veggies)

The Portuguese version of a New England boiled dinner, this popular dish includes several types of meat and sausages, as well as veggies.  Soaked chickpeas are often included as well. If you go that route, add them with the meat because they take a while to cook.

     Morcela is a Portuguese blood sausage. If you can’t find it, just leave it out. 

1 lb stewing beef  

1 lb chicken

12 oz spare ribs    

4-5 oz morcela

5 oz chourico        

2 flour sausages, or sub 4-5 oz smoked bacon, diced            

1 pig’s ear (optional)                                                                  

1 cabbage             

8 medium carrots

8 medium potatoes                                                                 

4 medium turnips

10 oz rice              

Salt to taste

In a very roomy saucepan, cook the meat in enough water to cover and add a little salt. Skim as needed. Cook until meat is tender. Set meat aside and cook all the vegetables at the same time in the same water. Cut them in big chunks and boil until tender, 25-30 minutes. Remove enough stock from pan (you may have to add more water) to cook the rice. When everything is cooked, return the meat and vegetables to the stock to reheat. While you are doing this, dry the rice in the oven at 375F for 3-5 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.

To serve, make a mound of rice in a dish and surround with the sausages, cut in thick slices. Put the meat and vegetables in a tureen with a little of the stock to keep them moist. Serve at once.

LOMBO DE PORCO ASSADO COM LEITE

(Portuguese Braised Pork with Garlic and Onion Sauce)

Easy enough to make for a family meal, I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this dish at a sit-down dinner party. It puts me in mind of an up-scale version of Southern Smothered Pork.

                                                  

3 lb center-cut pork loin                                                         

1 tbls salt

½ tsp white pepper                                                                 

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 tbls butter          

1 bay leaf

3 cups milk, as needed                                                          

1 recipe onion sauce:

2 tbls butter          

1 med onion, sliced

2 tbls cornstarch   

2 tbls water

½ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350F.

Season the roast all over with the salt and pepper. Put the meat in a rectangular roasting pan with the garlic, butter and bay leaf. Pour in enough milk to almost cover the meat about ¾ of the way up the side of the roast.

Put the pan in in the oven. Periodically, as the top of the roast browns, turn the meat, so that the browned part becomes submerged in milk. Continue doing this, and, eventually, the whole roast will be caramelized and the flavor will infuse the milk. Continue to cook until the internal temperature reaches 150F, about 1 ½-2 hours. Discard the bay leaf.

Transfer roast to a cutting board, cover, and let rest while making the onion sauce.

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute until richly golden, 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.

Measure out and pour the milk from the roasting pan into the onions, adding more milk if needed, to make 2 cups. Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch, nutmeg, and water together, then stir in the milk. Bring the milk to a high simmer and continue stirring until the milk becomes the consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes.

Slice the pork into serving pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Ladle some of the sauce over, and serve with extra sauce on the side. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 18:08
Dave, keep in mind those are baby eels---which is a different, highly specialized market. Those things are really small, often looking like short lengths of string, and are eaten whole. 

Margi, I don't think elvers are a separate species. The word "elver" normally applies to young eels, which would include those baby eels.  I have no idea when one of them stops being an elver and becomes just an eel.

It's sort of like the difference between lamb and mutton.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 15:26


Hoser, 

That is a pretty hefty Price tag in Japan.  I believe that has to possibly be due to importing, and also the price the Japanese pay their distributors  and so they serve it in their best restaurants and charge an arm and a leg ..

I am not sure if eel is commonly found in Japan  but quite possible as they have alot of islands.  





 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 15:22


In the Mediterranean, Spain, Southern France & Italy, there are several types of Eel:

1)  Common Eel -  Anguilla -  Family  Anguillidae.  This eel is predominately found in Commacchio, Italy,  The Albufera of Valencia and Portugal.  

2)  Elver Eel - Angula -  This variety is found in The Basque Country and it is served with tiny Chili Peppers, known as Esplette, a lovely red chili pepper.

3)  The Conger Eel -  Family Congridae.   This species is common in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. 
It is called Congrio or Congro in Galician and is quite large and found in rocky crevices  and ship wrecks. 

4)  Moray Eel:   The Muraenidae Family.  This variety is found in Senegal and Italy.  It has a snake appearance and The Ancient Romans considered it a delicacy and dates back  2,000 years.  It is called Morena in Spanish and Moreira in Portuguese.    Muraena Helena in Latin. 





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 February 2019 at 13:25
Am enlightening read on the price of eels:
$1,300 per pound last year!


And yet if I go to the bait shop in Quonachontaug, I can get them for 8.99 per pound....different species perhaps?
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At Margi’s request, here is the procedure for making pimento moidas (hot chili paste). As you can see, it’s a time-consuming and complex process, which is why I buy mine ready made in jars.

For starters, you have to make salted peppers.  I would start with only a pound or two of chilies, to see how it works out for you. Later on you can make large batches if you desire.

It might be a good idea to wear rubber cloves and eye protection when working with these chilies. And, when grinding them, a face mask would not be out of order. Traditionally, a hand-grinder was used. Nowadays, a food processor, using the pulse mode, is more common.

Hot, red finger peppers, 6-8 inches long

Coarse sea salt

Wash the peppers well. Divide in half, lengthwise, and remove all the seeds. Layer them in a container, covering each layer generously with salt. Cover and set aside in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks. If some of the peppers seem to darken, don’t worry about it. The salt preserves them.

When the peppers are ready, grind them to the desired consistency. Transfer the peppers and their juices to canning jars, filled almost to the top. Pour a layer of olive oil over them, to fill the jars.  Put on the caps, and store in a cool, dark place. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2019 at 22:39
re: eel. It's not a specific recipe, Margi. Just a possible part of the stew.

One trick when using multiple species is to layer the toughest fish first, and finish with the most delicate at the top. So, if I had eel to include, I would use it as the first layer, then build from there. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2019 at 15:40

Thanks for the chili salsa récipe !!

This would be wonderful .. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2019 at 15:39


Yes, please see if you can locate the Eel récipe .. 

Thanks  !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2019 at 08:43
Sure thing, Margi. Post away.  The more input on one of these explorations the better.

Meanwhile, I'll dig up the chili paste recipe and type it up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2019 at 08:38


Thank you for the heating of oil tip ..  Good advice.

Yes, do please post the eel récipe if you can fine it .. 

I have a Portuguese cook book of their regional dishes, if I can find it in the Antique Trunk !!!  It is in Spanish actually !!  

I should post up a couple of the ones that you have not that could be of interest.  It has excellent historical background notes !!

Have a lovely day.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2019 at 08:35


Like Portuguese fish stews of all types.  Surely very common all over the long Atlantic Coastline of Portugal and especially in Lisbon and the north, where winters are cold and wet.   

Copied this one too ..  

Thank you for posting.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2019 at 12:10
Although I have a recipe for it, Margi, I actually just buy it in jars.  If you want, I'll dig out the recipe and post it.

I'd pay the price for eel, if I could get it at all. Which, other than canned, I can't.  

When fried correctly, food does not absorb oil. Doesn't matter what "breading" you use, or even if you add the item naked.  The secret is getting the oil hot enough. 350F is the accepted lowest temperature. Personally, I work a little higher, especially with things like squid, so I can keep them from overcooking. I shoot for no more than 90 seconds. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2019 at 10:59


Eel is scrumptuous ..  Unfortunately the Price tag is quite prohibitive and most of it ( wild and fresh) is sold to Japanese Restaurants at a Price of course !!!    

So, squid shall do !!  

Shall give this a definite on list.  Need to go check what my fish monger has fresh & wild ..

Some rock fish from Cádiz should be lovely too ..  Pairs well with squid ..  or jumbo prawns !!!  

I use Ecological  Chick Pea Flour from Cádiz, which is un-porous and does not permit the oil to enter the product and GREAT RESULTS  !!!  Tender interiors and Crispy melt in mouth exteriors and alot healthier than the White flour.


How do you prepare your hot sauce  ????????????????????


Take care, truly lovely récipe !!!
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Here are some additional Portuguese main dishes.  As above, I’ve chosen them to show a diversity of proteins.

LULAS EM VINHO D’ALHOS

(Fried Wine and Garlic Marinated Squid)

While I love fried squid, I’m not, usually, a fan of it heavily breaded. And I’ve never before used a three-bowl fry station for them. This is an exception. The squid comes out tender and juicy, with a nice crunch from the breading.

     For the hot sauce in the marinade I used pimento moida, the ubiquitous crushed hot pepper paste found throughout Portugal. But any hot sauce will do.

1 lb cleaned squid cut crosswise in 1-inch rings

¾ cup white wine 

½ cup cilantro or parsley, chopped fine                                 

¼ cup wine vinegar                                                                     

¼ cup chopped onion                                                             

2 garlic cloves, chopped coarsely

1 tsp hot sauce     

1 tsp salt or to taste

¼ tsp white pepper or to taste                                                

1-2 cups white flour or as needed

2 eggs, lightly beaten                                                             

1-2 cups bread crumbs

Corn or grapeseed oil as needed

In a non-reactive bowl, combine the squid, wine, cilantro, vinegar, onion, garlic, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Cover and marinate the squid for about 30 minutes.

Reserving the marinade, strain out the squid in a separate dish.

Set up a three-bowl breading station with the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Heat 4-5 inches of oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat, to 350F.  Lightly coat the squid in flour, shaking off the excess. Next, dip the squid into beaten egg, then coat with breadcrumbs.  Working in batches, fry the squid no more than 2 minutes. Do not overcook, or they’ll be rubbery.

Pour the reserved marinade into a small pot. Reduce slightly over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Serve on the side or drizzle over the fried squid. Serve hot sauce on the side.

ALMENDAGAS A ALENTEJANA COM FIEJAO BLANCO

(Alentejo-Style Meatballs with White Beans)

Even though Portugal is Mediterranean in nature, meatballs are not commonly prepared. This exception, from the Alentejo region, is a bit complex to make, but the results are rewarding. Even people who profess not to like lamb enjoy it.

For the sauce:       

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped                                           

1 tsp sweet paprika

½ cup finely chopped cilantro                                               

1 bay leaf

¼ cup white wine

1 ½ cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes or 14 oz can tomatoes

2 cups rough-cut Yukon gold potatoes                                  

1 cup water or as needed

For the meatballs: 

1 lb ground lamb  

Juice of ½ lemon (2 tbls)

2 tbls white wine  

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped                                              

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper                                                                 

4 thick slices stale bread, crusts removed                              

½ cup milk

1 cup flour

Olive oil as needed

For assembly:        

2 cups precooked or canned white kidney beans, undrained

Salt to taste

Make the sauce:  In a 4-5 quart pot, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and sauté until lightly golden. Add the garlic, paprika, ¼ cup of the cilantro, and the bay leaf. When garlic is aromatic, pour in the wine. Simmer for 1 minute.

Mix in the tomatoes, stir, cover, and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes. Pour in enough cold water to barely cover the potatoes. Recover and let simmer over medium low heat until potatoes are nearly fork tender, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Make the meatballs:  In a large bowl, combine the lamb, lemon juice, white wine, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper. Moisten the bread with the milk, squeeze out excess milk. Shred the bread into the lamb. Mix thoroughly.  Shape into balls the size of a golf ball, about 1 ½ inches. Roll them in the flour and fry them in the olive oil until brown on all sides. Drain.

Assemble: Add the meatballs to the reserved sauce along with the beans and remaining cilantro. Adjust seasoning. Cover and simmer about 25 minutes, until meatballs are thoroughly cooked.

FEANGO NA PRICAEA

(Slow-Cooked Chicken)

This dish is traditionally made in a clay pot, which is how I did it. I’m a great fan of cooking in clay, so this was right up my ally. If you don’t have one, don’t sweat it. Any heavy pot---whatever you normally use for braising---will work.

     Rather than a whole, broken-down chicken, I used thighs, because I happened to have them on hand. Worked like a charm!

4 oz smoked bacon, chopped                                     

5 tbls butter

1 tbls paprika        

1 lb small onion, halved

4 garlic cloves, smashed                                                         

1 bay leaf

¼  cup chopped cilantro                                                         

½ cup parsley, chopped

1 tbls salt or to taste                                                               

¼ tsp black pepper

4 lb chicken, left whole or cut in serving pieces

½ lb chourico, cut in 6 pieces                                                 

2 cuts white wine 

2 tbls tawny port

Heat the bacon in a heavy-bottomed pot or clay casserole over medium heat. As it starts to sweat and release its fat, mix in the butter, paprika and halved onions, and sauté the onions until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Toss in the garlic, bay leaf, cilantro, ¼ cup parsley, salt and pepper.

Add the chicken and sausage pieces, give everything a turn to coat, and let the chicken brown a bit to give is some color, 5-10 minutes. Pour the white wine over, stir and cover tightly. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly with an occasional stir. After 30 minutes, place the cover slightly ajar and continue to slowly simmer until the meat is just about falling off the bone. Add the port wine, stir to blend and simmer for 1 minute. Discard the bay leaf.

Serve with the remaining ¼ cup parsley over the top and roasted potatoes and green beans on the side.   

ENTRECOSTO ASSADO COM MILHOS

(Roast Pork Ribs with Polenta)

Milhos, popular throughout the country, is merely the Portuguese version of polenta. Note the cooking time, which concerned me, at first, because it seems rather short. But it worked!

     A note about the size of the ribs, which is ambiguous in the recipe. It actually refers to the width of the ribs. This makes sense if you’re using baby backs. Otherwise, the only way to do it is to waste a lot of the meat.

     I used St. Louis style (often marketed simply as “back ribs”) and it worked just fine. If you want, cutting each rib in half, or even thirds, is a viable approach as well.    

2 ½-3 lbs pork ribs cut in ¾-inch pieces                                 

3 garlic cloves, chopped                                                        

4 cups olive oil

2 bay leaves          

Salt to taste

For the milhos:     

¼ cup olive oil      

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, peeled & cut in 8ths                                           

4+ cups chicken stock or water

2 ¼ cups coarse cornmeal                                                           r

Preheat the oven to 275f.  Place the meat on a baking tray or in a shallow, oven-proof dish about 2” deep. Sprinkle with salt, add the garlic and bay leaves, then pour over the olive oil, and bake about 2 hours.

Towards the end of the baking time, prepare the milhos. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes.

Add a generous 2 cups of the stock or water and bring to a boil. Sprinkle in the cornmeal, whisking constantly. As the mixture starts to thicken, add the remaining stock. Season to taste with salt. Simmer for about 3 minutes until creamy.

Remove the meat from the pan, place on a dish and serve immediately, handing out the milhos separately at the table.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2019 at 07:09
Yes, it is, Margi.

I wish I could have included eel---which is a common element in such stews. Unfortunately, eel is hen's teeth around here, so I had to forego it. Alas!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 February 2019 at 12:19


The fish stew ( there are 365 at least ) is lovely.  

Thanks for posting it ..  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2019 at 14:22
Of that group, Ron, I'd start with the stuffed pork. Absolutely delicious. And right up your ally. But they're all good. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2019 at 09:28
These are some foods I would really like Brook - I'd be happy to try any of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2019 at 07:46

What people eat, in Portugal, is, to a great degree, determined by both the varied geography and climate, on one hand, and inheritance rules, on the other. 

Traditionally, land is divided among the children, each of whom, in turn, divides their land among their children.  Thus, with the exception of the fertile south, where large estates are more the norm, rural Portugal consists of numerous, rather small, holdings.  Combine that with the geography, and it explains what can be grown and gathered, and the many regional culinary differences.

Obviously, cattle raising is not suitable to most of the country, and beef is not very common. When it is eaten, it’s primarily in the form of steak.  Lamb (and goat), poultry, and particularly pork, however, figure very highly in the Portuguese diet. Pork is utilized both fresh, especially at the annual hog-killing time, and in the form of sausages and other cured meats.

It should go without saying, seafood reigns supreme, on the mainland as well as the islands. With the exception of salt-cod---a national mania---seafood is always fresh. Y’all know the old saw: this fish was swimming two hours ago? That could sum-up the Portuguese approach. 

Game, too, plays a significant part of the Portuguese table.

When it comes to proteins, the Portuguese have a long history of making do with what’s available. As a result, meat is often used as a flavoring component, rather than a main ingredient. For the Portuguese housewife, a dish might include “meat” rather than a specific type. If meat is available, it gets tossed in the pot. If not, not.

In an almost Asian-like approach, the Portuguese also have a tendency to combine meat---particularly pork---with seafood. 

As I sampled Portuguese main dishes, I’ve tried to maintain that same sort of balance. But I’ll present them in no particular order, other than mixing up the proteins as much as possible.

CALDEIRADA RICA or CALDEIRADEA A FRAGATEIRA

(Rich Fish Stew)

Caldeiradas are layered fish stews, varying primarily with the type fish and seasonings used. Basically, they are a fisherman’s dish, made with the catch of the day.  What makes this one “rich” is the use of several different fishes.  At least three are called for.  I used equal parts of cod, halibut, and salmon.

     It’s important that there be more fish than potatoes by volume. So don’t be surprised at the apparent imbalance.

3 lbs mixed fish in equal portions                                          

1 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes, cleaned and chopped                         

4 med onions, sliced thinly                                                             

1 lb potatoes, peeled & thinly sliced                                      

2 garlic cloves, sliced

4 fluid oz olive oil

3 springs parsley, chopped

3 sprigs cilantro, chopped                                                      

2 bay leaves

1 green pepper, chopped (optional)                                       

3 tbls dry white wine, or 1 tbls                                              

Salt and pepper to taste                                   

3 tbls dry white wine or 1 tbls white wine vinegar

Clean fish and cut in pieces 1 ½-2-inches. They shouldn’t be too small.  Have all other ingredients ready.

Use a roomy casserole with a thick base, to prevent sticking. Put half the oil in first and assemble alternate layers, starting with the onions, then tomatoes, potatoes, fish, sprinklings of salt and seasonings, etc., leaving the most fragile fish for the top layer. Sprinkle a bit more salt, add the wine or vinegar, the rest of the oil, and enough water to barely cover.

Bring to the boil, then reduce to simmering to avoid burning. Do not stir but merely shake the pan now and then.  Cook 25 minutes. The potatoes should be very thinly sliced, to make sure they will be tender. Serve in the same pan, after tasting for salt.

There will be considerable liquid left over. Strain it and use for stock.

BIFE A SAO MIGUEL

(St. Michael Island Style Spicy Beef Steak)

Tourists in the Azores, particularly on St. Michael Island, often come away with the idea that island food is bland. This tends to be true for restaurant food. But the natives love spicy food, as this dish reflects.

     “Hot sauce” would be either piri-piri, or the ubiquitous “pimento moida” (crushed chili paste) popular throughout the country. I opted for the latter. But any hot sauce you prefer will do. Adjust it to your own taste. 2 steaks like rib eye or t-bone                                                

Salt & pepper to taste

4 tbls butter          

4 garlic cloves, chopped fine

1 ½ tsp flour         

½ cup red wine

1 tbls hot sauce or to taste

Season one side of the steaks with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet until hot but not burning. Add the steaks, seasoned side down. Season the tops with salt and pepper.

Sear the steaks for 4-5 minutes per side over medium-high heat, to your preference. Remove to a platter and keep warm.

Add the garlic to the pan, giving it a turn in the pan drippings. As the garlic becomes slightly aromatic, about 30 seconds, stir in the flour to form a roux. Whisk in the wine and hot sauce, then simmer for a minutes over medium-low heat, slightly reducing the sauce by about one third. Return the steaks to heat through, turning to coat in the sauce, for about a minute.

Transfer the steaks to serving dishes and drizzle the sauce over them. Serve with vegetables and rice or potatoes and extra sauce on the side.

LOMBO DE PORCO RECHEADO COM AMEIJOAS

(Clam and Chourico-Stuffed Pork)

Here we have an example of how the Portuguese combine pork and seafood.  I used canned clams (a 10-ounce can was just right), which didn’t provide enough liquid, so I supplemented it with bottled clam juice.

     If the filling is too loose, add some bread crumbs to stiffen it up.

     As is often the case, there was far more filling than needed. No problem. I used it to make risolles.

4 tbls butter, divided use                                                       

2 tbls olive oil

½ cup finely chopped scallion                                               

4 oz chourico, case removed and coarsely chopped              

3 garlic cloves, minced, divided use                                             

1 cup firmly packed bread cubes                                           

¼ cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten                                                             

1 cup chopped clams, juice reserved

4 tbls finely chopped cilantro                                                         

1 tsp salt               

1 tsp white or black pepper                                                    

3 lb center cut pork loin, butterflied                                      

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 cup reserved clam juice                                                       

1 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil. Toss in the scallion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chopped sausage and half the garlic. Cook 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.

In another bowl, moisten the bread with the milk, then add to the scallions and sausage. Stir in the eggs, clams, and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Sprinkle in ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Spread the filling lengthwise over half the roast to within 1 inch around the edges. Fold the other half over or roll it starting from the filling side. Tie the roast together so that the long edges meet.

Mix the remaining garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro and nutmeg into a paste and rub over the roast. Place seasoned meat in a roasting pan. Melt remaining butter and drizzle over the roast.

Combine the clam juice and wine and pour around the roast. Basting occasionally with the pan juices, roast for about an hour to 1 ¼ hours until meat is fork tender and internal temperature reaches 150F. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Place slices of the pork on a serving platter and ladle any pan juices over.

PREGO NO PRATO

(Garlic-Nailed Steak or Chicken)

As noted, the Portuguese are masters of making do with what’s available. This dish originated as a steak preparation. But, because beef isn’t all that common (not to mention expensive), enterprising Portuguese cooks adapted it to chicken, which is how I made it.

2 rib-eye steaks or 2 chicken breasts

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced                                                  

Kosher salt as needed

4 tbls butter, divided use                                                       

1 large onion, sliced thin

½ cup white wine

¼ tsp crushed pepper flakes

Pinch cumin         

1 tbls finely chopped parsley

Place the meat on a cutting board and lay the slices of garlic on one side. Using a mallet, “nail” the garlic into the meat by pounding the slices. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat on the opposite side, and let rest at room temperature 30 minutes.

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the meat in the butter, turning once and cooking the other side.  Make a small cut in the meat to check doneness. Set aside and keep warm.

In the same skillet, over medium heat, melt the remaining butter. Add the onions and saute until golden. Transfer the onions to the dish holding the meat. Pour the wine into the skillet. Scrape up the brown bits in the pan. Raise the heat to medium high and reduce the sauce by half. Reduce heat to medium low.

Season the wine sauce with the pepper flakes, cumin, and half the parsley. Adjust salt and pepper. Return the meat and onions to the sauce and heat through, about a minutes. Serve the meat and onions drizzled with the sauce.

Next time we’ll look at additional main dishes. 

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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