Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Calamari filled with Rice, prosciutto and chorizo - Lulas Recheadas


I know I know, seafood again. I think I should have named this blog Portuguese seafood kitchen.
I guess you all know by now that my heritage is from the Algarve, so I do love my seafood. It may seem as though my family and I eat nothing but seafood but I promise we don't. Usually just once per week. Seafood I find is really easy and quick to cook. I know some people out there are afraid of seafood, thinking it's really hard to cook and very time consuming.
A lot of the dishes I feature are traditional fare and so the majority of recipes were made up by peasants who had little money, time and culinary skills to design anything very complicated. This is not to say the food isn't tasty, on the contrary it's delicious. Simple I feel doesn't mean it lacks flavour or depth.
These recipes are very simple and easy to prepare, with a hectic life I have little time to spend slaving over a hot stove especially in this 30+ degree weather. 

  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped small dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced small
  • 6 slices, prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 chorizo, skin removed,chopped small pieces
  • 2 rashes bacon, rind removed, chopped 
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 tea paprika
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped, keeping stalk part aside
  • 300ml white wine
  • 800g tinned tomato pulp
  • 1 lt water
  • 3 tea salt
  • 2 kg calamari fresh, medium size
  1. Holding the calamari firmly, grasp the head and pull gently, twisting if necessary, to pull the head away from the body without breaking the ink sac. The internal body and tentacles will come with it.
  2. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. 
  3. Set aside the the tentacles and the wings to use (they're edible and tasty).Keep the ink sack, if desired.
  4. At the top of the body, there is a clear piece of cartilage. Pull it out and discard.
  5. If the squid has an outer spotted membrane-type skin, pull it off.
  6. Under cold water, wash the tube carefully, inside and out, to get rid of any sand or other remaining tissues, and wash the tentacles carefully as well, making sure you don't break the tube.
  7. Keep the tentacles and wings on the side, cutting them into small bite size pieces.

On a medium heat place a fry pan and heat  the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic saute for 1 min then add the capsicum, and bay leaves, saute a further 3 min until the ingredients are soft. Then add chorizo, prosciutto and bacon and fry for 4 min. Add the tentacles and the wings of the calamari.

Add the rice stir for 3 min adding paprika and the stalks of parsley. Coat the rice well with all the ingredients, then add the white wine, tomato pulp, chopped parsley, water and salt. Bring to the boil then turn off the heat immediately (the rice will at this stage still be raw, this is what you want).


With a large sieve drain the rice mixture, into a bowl keeping the liquid. Transfer the rice to separate bowl.

Once the rice mixture is a bit cool, fill each calamari tube with some rice with a teaspoon. Secure the end of the calamari tube with a toothpick so that none of the mixture falls out. Place each filled calamari tube onto a plate.
In a baking dish place some rice if any is left.  Then place calamari tubes on top of the rice. Then place the reserved liquid on top and cover  the calamari tubes. Place a drizzle of virgin olive oil on top of the calamari. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes on 180 degrees.

  • I always separate stalk and leaf. I then fry the stalk part, as this add extra flavour to the food.
  • Try to get medium size fresh calamari. I find that  the frozen calamari is usually too large and only good to be used for deep fried calamari.
  • Bring the rice to a boil then switch off heat immediately otherwise the rice will over cook. The rice finishes cooking in the calamari. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roast Pork - Porco Assado

I thought I'd post something a bit different, instead of my usual seafood dishes. The Portuguese love roasts believe it or not. Typically  meat dishes are from the North of Portugal. The north is beautiful country, that has lush green hills & so much history. I hadn't ever been to the north until I married my husband whose family is from this region.

The famous Bom Jesus. I've been here several times, the baroque stairs are a sight to be seen.

An old building. I just had to take this photo, as is was just around the corner where my father in law grew up. This was a typical house 50-100 years ago.

Northern country side, taken from the car window

  • 2kg rolled pork shoulder
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 1 tab paprika
  • 1 tab mixed dried herbs
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tab salt
  • 8 potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 piece (or 3 cups) pumpkin, deseed & cut into chunky pieces
  • 2 medium brown onions, cut into thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup white wine
1.  In a bowl add all the dry ingredients, then add the olive oil. Rub some of the mixture onto the meat & rub all over. Let stand while you cut the vegetables.

2. Peel the potatoes & cut into chunks, then leave aside. De seed the pumpkin & cut into chunks, leave the skin on if you like, add it to the potatoes. Peel the onions & cut them into round chunks, set aside.

3. Add the potatoes & pumpkin to the rest of the marinade mixture & toss the vegetables.

4. In a roasting tray add the pork shoulder then add the vegetables scattering them around the pork. Place into a medium heat oven 170- 180 degrees for 40 minutes.

5. After this time add the onions, placing them around the tray. Turn  the vegetables over, add the white wine & cook a further 30 min.

6. Remove the pork from the tray & let it stand for a few minutes. Remove the string from the meat. Then remove the skin & cut the crackle.

7. Cut the pork into slices. Place the vegetables onto a platter, add the pork slices.
Serve with the pan juices.

  • Check after 50 minutes to see if the pork is cooked, if it is remove it & place covered in a warm place.
  • The reason I add the onions at a later time instead of straight away is that it takes less time to cook.
  • If the meat is cooked & the vegetables aren't, remove the pork & keep cooking the vegetables.