Portuguese food

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Quay Restaurant

Wow, how long has it been since I last posted. This wasn't intentional, but life has become incredibly busy and I just haven't had time to sit and write a post.
I'll try to keep going but if it proves too much then I'll have to retire I'm afraid.

So after a very long absence I'm not going to write about Portuguese food, I know outrages isn't it, but truth be told I haven't been taking photos of the food that I make, again time restraints.

A very dear friend of mine was going back to her homeland, so we decided to splurge and go to Quay.
What an experience! We went on a very cold winters day when it was pouring outside, but the rain did not dampen our mood. We were excited!

What can I say about the food, fantastic! I went several months ago and since then the menu has changed, so I haven't got the name of every dish, sorry guys.

We decided to go for the four course menu. Check out their website.

Sashimi of sea scallops,
 smoked eel flowers, apple, organic crosnes, horseradish, sorrel shoots, virgin pine kernel oil

Mud crab congee, fresh palm heart,
Hand shelled mud crab, Chinese inspired split rice porridge

Crayfish with a beautiful sauce. (Sorry guys I forgot)

Pigeon Breast with liver puree

Lamb & Pork

Sea Bass

Guava & custard apple snow egg (the famous dessert featured on Masterchef)

Eight texture chocolate cake

A very over cast day. The rain stopped enough for me to take this photo.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chorizo and Proscuitto Brioche Loaf - Folar de Chaves

Happy Easter everyone!

Several years ago, Easter for myself was relatively quiet, chocolate wasn't even part of the landscape. A year and a bit ago my 6 year old nephew came to live with me. Suddenly Easter has taken on new meaning, it's filled with chocolate, new and old traditions. It's funny when kids are part of your life you suddenly try to pass on traditions that had no meaning at all or you try to create new ones.
Last year, we had an egg hunt with my friends and their child, then we had breakfast filled with traditional Easter fair. This year we carried on that tradition.

As a child, I remember  having certain foods at a specific time of year. In a world where we can have anything and everything at anytime of year especially when it comes to food, its great to uphold yearly food traditions. I think we have forgotten that in previous decades, people would only  have fruit,vegetables, and sweets at a specific time of year and it was generally followed by a holy day; a celebration of a Saints Day.  In Australia we don't really identify a food with a specific day except for Easter and Christmas. We have Hot Cross Buns for Easter and Christmas pudding for Christmas but this last one can be argued by some to not be part of our modern fair and I'd agree.
For Easter the Portuguese make Folar. Their are two types of Folar, there is the sweet version and the savoury one, which has  preserved meats. Last year I featured the sweet version so this year I made the savoury one.

How can I describe Folar well it's like a brioche.  It's a soft bread and kind of buttery.
The savoury version is called by several names Folar de Chaves or Folar de Tras dos Montes, which just means it's from the North of Portugal. Anything from the north usually features meat, hence the name.
It's so delicious it was eaten in a day.

  • 200ml tepid milk
  • 10g dry yeast
  • 15g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 520g bread flour or plain flour
  • 100g soft butter
  • 155g chorizo, slices
  • 55g pancetta or 4 slices
  • 70g prosciutto  4 slices
  • 1 egg for brushing the  top of the bread

 1. In a bowl add the tepid milk, sugar and yeast. Leave to stand 15 min until it bubbles and grows.
Whisk the eggs into the yeast mixture.

2. In a mixing bowl add the mixture to the bowl and add the flour. Put the hook attachment on.

3. Beat the mixture till it comes together and beat for 2 minutes. After this time add the soft butter a bit at a time till all of it has gone in. Then beat a further 3 minutes on medium speed.

 4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and roll out to 15-20cm, the size of your loaf pan. It should be 10com in depth so not thin.

5. Lay the chorizo first then add the pancetta then the prosciutto.

6. Roll the dough bringing it to form a long roll. Then transform the dough into a loaf pan. Spray the pan so that the bread doesn't stick to the pan.

7.Allow the dough to rest for 30 min or until it has doubled in size. Brush the top of the dough with an egg. Then bake it for 40min at 180 degrees

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chorizo,Scrambled Egg Tortilla Wrap with Tomato Salsa & sour cream

This dish must go under the, 'Not So Portuguese' category which I intend to set up. This dish has all the ingredients the Portuguese love, but I'd say it's probably more Spanish than Portuguese. Never the less it's delicious. You can make this dish for Sunday brunch if you have the energy or for a weekend lunch.
I've made this dish for my family at dinner time when I don't want to slave over a hot stove.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4 people)

  • 1x12  pkt tortilla wrap small/med size
  • 8 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 tea salt
  • 1/2 tea white pepper
  • 2 chorizo, sliced
  • 1 bunch coriander,chopped
  • 2 tea tajine mix or paprika
  • 2 large tomato, diced
  • 1 bunch shallots(scallion), chopped
  • 50g shredded tasty cheese or 1 slice
  • 1 pkt (300ml) sour cream
  • drizzle of olive oil

1. Crack the eggs into a bowl lightly beating them, then add the milk,  salt and pepper.

2. Dice the tomato into small cubes, then add the shallots, coriander and the tajine mix,add a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Cut the chorizo into slices, grill or pan fry until crispy, then place to the side.

4.  Heat a fry pan add a drizzle of olive oil then add the eggs and scramble lightly. Don't overcook them, leave them a bit under done.

5. On a work surface place the tortilla down, lay 4 pieces of chorizo slices, a sprinkle of coriander, same scrambled egg(divide the eggs between 4 tortillas), cheese & tajine spice.

6. Wrap the tortilla. Then fry the tortilla in a non stick pan on low/medium heat or place the tortilla in a sandwich press.

7. Once the tortilla is golden brown cut it in half and place it on a plate. Add the tomato salsa and a tablespoon of sour cream. 

  • You can use parsley instead of coriander.
  • Use any type of spice that has a chili & paprika base, such as Moroccan, tajine or anything else.
  • The reason you want to under cook your eggs is that when you cook the tortilla the eggs will cook again, therefore you don't want them too dry and rubbery.
  • You can add a drizzle of oil to your salsa if you like. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bairro Portuguese - Petersham Food & Wine Fair

Every year in March, Marrickville council hosts the Bairro Portuguese - Petersham Food & Wine fair.
It's held on Audley and Fisher Streets, Petersham.  This one was on Sunday 13 March 2011. 
I've attended these before in previous years but never as a blogger.
I arrived early as I know in previous years it gets pretty crowded & it's generally hot.
The festival feature food & drink from some of the businesses in the area. The food isn't just from Portugal but also from the Portuguese colonies, such as Goa, Brazil.
Walking through the crowd I bumped into  family and friends I hadn't seen in a while.
There was one disappointment, this year there wasn't any Filhos which are fluffy dougnuts. I was eagerly anticipating trying these again. Hopefully next year they'll be there.

A stall selling Portuguese memorabilia.

Prawn Rissole  - Rissole de Camerao
These are a dough that's filled with prawn mixture, crumbed & fried.
I loved these when I was younger. You serve these at special occasions.

 Orange roll - Torta de Laranga
These are sweet & light

 Chorizo bread - Pao de Chorizo
These are filled with chorizo.
I'll have to admit that these weren't as good as other one's I've tried before. The dough was heavy & really doughy.

Portuguese dancers called Rancho. It's very traditional dancing. When I was a child I wanted to join this dance club. For me it felt really exciting to be able to dance in this way. It never happened unfortunately.

Watch these videos it features traditional Portuguese dancing. The group is called O Rancho.

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.