LOCATION: Recipes >> Ethnic >> A Portuguese dinner for six.
A Portuguese dinner for six.
lots of crusty bread
starters: anchovy butter, cured ham (like prosciutto)
soup: Garlic Bread Pudding
starter: Iscas com Elas (liver with potatoes)
either: Grilled Fish
or: Porco a Alentejana
with: boiled or fried potatoes
and: side vegetable (Sauteed Spring Greens)
Garlic Bread Pudding
(actually a traditional dry soup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tb olive oil
1 Tb paprika
600 ml boiling water or light broth
salt & pepper
400 g stale bread, in 1 inch cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 Tb water
Fry garlic in oil til golden. Add paprika and boiling
water, salt & pepper. Place in an ovenproof dish. Add
the bread, press it in to soak well, and cover the top
with the beaten egg. Bake on the middle shelf of a
preheated oven - 375F. until golden bown, 20-25 mins.
Iscas com Elas
(Liver with Them)
1 Tb wine vinegar
3 Tb white wine
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
400g (14 oz) pig's liver, thinly sliced
90g (3 oz) spleen - well scraped, using only the pulp
(I omit this, adding a 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2
tsp water at the end)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 oz lard (I use a little butter or olive oil)
boiled potatoes (figure 3-4 small red potatoes per
Marinate the liver 4-5 hours.
In a large frying pan melt the lard & cook the liver
with a little marinade. Simmer on both sides over low
heat until the liver darkens, but not longer than 10
minutes, as it tends to harden. Remove from the pan,
set aside & keep warm.
Mix the spleen pulp in the juices left in the pan & add
the strained marinade. Cook gently 10 minutes to
thicken. (Instead, I add the marinade to pan & deglaze,
boiling briskly for 10 mins,then add cornstarch mixture
for a few minutes to thicken.) Return the liver to the
sauce & reheat gently 2-3 mins. Taste for seasoning &
serve with hot boiled potatoes.
Portuguese Grilled Fish
One mullet pulled directly from the sea per person. Ok,
the freshest red or grey mullet, red snapper, sardine,
grouper, sea bass, or any sweet white-fleshed fish
available. Gutted & cleaned, with head & tail intact.
Generously sprinkle sea salt or coarse kosher salt all
over the fish. Rub it in with enough strong olive oil
to coat. Sprinkle on a little chopped coriander. Leave
to marinate at least 30 minutes (i.e. cover & chill).
Prepare a very hot charcoal grill. Bring the fish to
room temperature. Grill the fish on both sides until
done, basting with a little marinade.
Serve with more chopped coriander sprinkled on top.
Porco a Alentejana
300 ml white wine
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
450 g loin of pork, cut into 1 inch cubes
450 g leg of pork cut the same way
110 g lard (or 2-4 Tb butter)
1 tsp concentrated tomato paste (or 1 sun-dried tomato,
2 Tb olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 sprigs parsley, chopped
675 g (1 1/2 lb) cockles (Long Island littleneck clams
are best, but any small clams will do)
Marinate the meat 4-5 hours. Drain meat, reserving
marinade, & fry gently in lard until golden brown all
over. Strain the marinade & add to pan. Cover & boil
with the meat until it is very tender and the sauce is
reduced by half.
Meanwhile, make another sauce with the tomato paste,
oil, onion, parsley, salt & pepper, simmering it on low
heat for 6-8 minutes.
Add the cockles & simmer until they open (discard any
that do not open). Shake the pan & transger contents to
the top of the meat. Cover. Simmer gently for 3 mins &
serve in same pan.
Side dishes depend on the season:
Spring - sauteed greens (recipe follows) or fresh favas
Summer - green peas perhaps cooked with onion, sweet
red pepper, and a splash of vinegar, or braised with
rounds of garlicky sausage.
Fall - cauliflower simmered in milk or water until
Winter - Intensely orange chunks of carrots, boiled
until tender & turned in salty butter.
And of course, almost everything is served with boiled
potatoes or fried shoestring potatoes, in any season.
Boiled potatoes are served with a small jug of
olive oil to moisten them.
If not potatoes (or sometimes in addition to) is a
medium grained rice cooked with a very little bit of
lard (it works here).
Sauteed Spring Greens
2 lb tender young mustard or turnip greens, or spinach
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tb olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pick over the greens carefully, removing withered
leaves and all coarse stems and veins. Wash well. Shake
off excess water. Bundle in several thicknesses of
paper toweling & let stand 10-15 mins. Rebundle in dry
paper toweling and store in the refrigerator overnight
or until ready to cook.
Saute the garlic in a large kettle over low heat 10-12
mins, until soft (DO NOT BROWN) Dump in all the greens
& toss well in the garlic oil. Stir-fry 2-3 mins over
high heat, just until greens wilt & are nicely glossed
with oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, toss again &
taste for seasoning. Serve immediately.
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