26/10/2011 00:10


2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 strips lemon zest ( removed from lemon with a vegetable peeler)
1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
1 cup sugar
7 eggs yolks, large
2 1/2 tablespoons flour, unbleached, all-purpose

1. Combine the milk, cream, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick in a medium-size heavy saucepan and bring almost to a simmer over low heat. Let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes, but do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. Whisk together 3/4 cup of the sugar and the egg yolks in a medium-size bowl. Whisk in the flour, then strain the milk into the yolk mixture in a thin stream and whisk to mix. Return this mixture to the saucepan and bring gradually to a gentle simmer over medium heat, whisking steadily. Once the mixture thickens, gently simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not boil rapidly or overcook, as the custard will curdle.

3. Immediately divide the custard among 6 individual gratin dishes or ramekins. Cool to room temperature, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours.

4. When ready to serve, sprinkle each custard with 2 teaspoons of the remaining sugar in a thin layer. Light a kitchen blowtorch following the manufacturer’s directions. Or preheat the broiler and set the rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source.

Feijoada (Bean Stew)

25/10/2011 00:19

Feijoada (Bean Stew)

Feijoada Bean Stew Some areas of Portugal include (about 1/2  pound each) pig’s snout and ears in this stew.

Keep in mind, this dish takes time.  If you would like a quick and shortened version of Feijoada, check out page 149, in my book.  The Brasilian version is a bit different, using black beans, beef jerky and manioca flour and served with rice . 

 2          pounds dried red or white kidney beans, rinsed

½         pound chunk fresh smoked ham 

1          pound linguiça sausage

½         pound salpicão sausage

1          pig’s knuckle

¼         cup olive oil

1          large onion, chopped

½         cup freshly chopped parsley1

          bay leaf

2          cloves garlic or to taste, coarsely chopped

½         teaspoon ground white pepper or to taste

Generous pinch crushed dried chili pepper or to taste

1          tablespoon sweet  paprika

Coarse salt  to taste if needed

Day ahead:

1.  Soak beans overnight in a bowl of coldwater, enough to cover by 2 inches.

2. Place the meats in a separate bowl and cover with water.  Keep both bowl in the refrigerator.

Next Day:

1.  Drain the beans, rinse and place in a large pot with enough water to cover by 1- inch..  Cover and bring the contents to a boil over medium-high heat.  Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 to 55 minutes. 

2.  While the beans are cooking, Transfer the meat into a separate large pot and cover with water.  Bring the meat to a boil as well and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the meats are done, about 45 minutes.  As the meats become tender, remove them from the pot and cut into slices  or chunks and set aside.

3.  In a skillet, heat the oil until it is hot but not smoking. Toss in the onions and sauté them until they are lightly golden.  Add the remaining spices and aromatic herbs, stirring to blend well. When the beans are fork tender, mash about a cup and stir in the onion sauce followed by the sliced meat.  Stir well, heating the meats through. Serve with cooked rice.  


Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado)

24/10/2011 23:49


Purple stew" is what someone called this when they inquired about an octopus recipe popular with the Portuguese. The color purple comes in to play when cooks use red wine in the dish instead of white. It is a matter of preference.

Day 1

  • 2 1/2 pounds octopus fresh or thawed eyes and mouth (hard center beak) removed
  • 1 cup white or red wine
  • 1 tbsp coaarse salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground white or black pepper  or to taste
  • 4 to 5 tbsp crushed red pepper paste (pimenta moida)
  • 2 bay leaves

Cut octopus into large pieces, about 2-inches long, and place in a bowl. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn to coat evenly, cover and chill overnight. (You will notice that I am not instructing you to beat the octopus with a stick to tenderize it. Some Portuguese cooks still do this and you can if you wish.)

Day 2

  • 1/2 cup or olive oil as needed
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 heads garlic, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped
  • big handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • cornstarch slurry(1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water)
  1. Reserving the marinade, transfer octopus to another separate bowl
  2. Pour just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Fry the onions until golden. There should be a brown caramelized coating on the bottom of the skillet (called a fond by professionals). Add the garlic and parsley.
  3. When the garlic is aromatic,toss in the octopus. When it starts to take on some color, recover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it sweat for 30 minutes. It will release a lot of water.
  4. Add the potatoes and continue to cook on medium-low for another 30 min. Test the fattest piece. If it is still chewy or tough, let it cook some more (around but not usually over 30 min.)
  5. Anytime the liquid looks like it is evaporating, add the reserved marinade in small amounts. Thicken the liquid with a cornstarch slurry. If you overcook it, it will shrink to almost nothing but if you don't cook it enough it will be tough. Enjoy!!

Portuguese Salt Cod Stew (Bacalhoada) Recipe

24/10/2011 23:40

Portuguese Salt Cod Stew (Bacalhoada) Recipe

  • 1 lb salt cod fillets, preferably skinless and boneless
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Milk (optional)
  • 2 large yellow or sweet Vidalia onions, sliced
  • 2 lbs waxy potatoes (Yukon gold work great), peeled
  • 4 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
  • About 40 pitted black olives (I used Kalamata olives, can also use green olives)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper



1 Salt cod typically comes either in dry fillets, already boned and skinned, or it comes whole. The fillets need to be rinsed, then soaked in water, and kept chilled, for 24 hours, with one or two changings of the water. If you are using a whole fish, not prepared fillets, it needs to be soaked in water for up to 48 hours, also with several changings of water, and the bones and the skin removed and discarded after soaking.

2 Put salt cod in a saucepan. Add enough milk, water, or a mixture of milk and water to just cover. Bring mixture to a simmer. Let simmer for a couple minutes. Remove the fish and set aside.

3 Parboil the potatoes for 20 minutes (you can cook them in the water you used to cook the fish if you want). Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

bacalhoada-3.jpg bacalhoada-4.jpg
bacalhoada-5.jpg bacalhoada-6.jpg

4 In a large pyrex casserole or Dutch oven (use Dutch oven if making on stove-top), generously coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Place a layer of onion rings over the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of sliced potatoes over the onions. Breaking up the salt cod with your fingers, place pieces of salt cod in a layer over the potatoes. Taste the fish for saltiness. After a day of soaking and further cooking, there should be just a hint of saltiness in the fish. If most of the salt was soaked out of the fish, and the fish doesn't taste at all salty, you may need to sprinkle some salt back on to the fish as you place the layers down.

Generously pour some olive oil over the fish. Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper.

Repeat with another layer of onions, potatoes, fish, olive oil, pepper (and more salt if needed). Then finish with layers of onions, potatoes, more olive oil, sliced hard boiled eggs, and olives.

5 Place on stove top on medium heat, and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Or heat an oven to 350°F and cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until everything is completely through.

Serve with sides of rice and salad.



First blog

10/10/2011 20:15

Our new blog has been launched today. Stay focused on it and we will try to keep you informed. You can read new posts on this blog via the RSS feed.