Friday, November 14, 2014

Pork and Lamb "Cozido" with Chickpeas, Carrots, Butternut Squash and Potatoes

Recipe by Paula

Cozido is similar to a stew but instead of a thick sauce the meat and vegetables are cooked in a flavourful broth. I love this heady broth. Each area of Portugal has their own version of Cozido and this one comes from the Alentejo region and features the addition of chickpeas. Cozido is a healthy one dish meal that will satisfy your hunger and soothe your soul. The Cozido is even better the next day so make lots and enjoy!


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 oz cured Portuguese chouriço, sliced 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, add the butter and oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the chourico and cook for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove the chourico from the pan and set aside.

2. Season the lamb and pork with salt and pepper. Add the lamb and pork and brown the meat on all sides for about 5 minutes. You may have to work in batches depending on the size of your dutch oven. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside along with the chourico.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions to the pan. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are soften and slightly caramelized. Stir the onions often. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the paprika, cayenne and tomato paste. Cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Return all the meat to the pan and add stock and bay leaves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low and cook partially covered until the meat is tender. This should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

5. Add potatoes, carrots, squash, and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Discard bay leaves and stir in half the mint and parsley. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Ladle the Cozido into bowls and garnish with remaining mint and parsley. Serve warm


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Octopus & Tomato Salad with Lemon & Orange Vinaigrette

Recipe by Paula.

The Portuguese love their octopus and I think my mom prepares it the best. It is always tender and perfectly seasoned. This salad combines octopus with the bright flavours of tomatoes, citrus and herbs. The quail eggs are an elegant touch but if you can't find them, use regular eggs sliced into quarters. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

3-4 lb octopus, cleaned and beak removed (thawed if frozen)
1 medium onion cut in half
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon sea salt

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey (or more if you want it sweeter)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or more if you want it sharper)
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

6 quail eggs
3 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly and soaked in water for 10 minutes
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Fill a large pot with two thirds full with water and bring to the boil. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and lemon to the water. Using tongs to hold the octopus, dip the octopus into water for 3 seconds then remove, repeat 3 times and then leave octopus in the water in a high simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until tender.

2. Take the pot off the heat and add sea salt. Remove the octopus from the water after 5 minutes. Allow it to cool  down then slice the octopus into pieces.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, zests, garlic, red pepper flakes, honey, mustard and vinegar. Slowly add the oil while you whisk to incorporate the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. The vinaigrette can be made ahead of time and kept in a jar until needed. Just shake the jar to combine the ingredients before dressing the salad.

4. Fill a small saucepan two thirds full with water and bring to the boil. Gently add the quail eggs and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and cool them down under cold running water. Peel the eggs carefully and cut them in half.

5. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, octopus, onion, parsley and mint. Dress the salad with as much vinaigrette as you like.  Leftover dressing can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the salad garnished with the sliced quail eggs.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mussels in Red Pepper & Lemon Vinaigrette

Recipe by Paula.

The bright flavours in these mussels will awaken your palette and are an ideal appetizer for a dinner, party or just to enjoy with a glass of white wine after a long day. As always, adjust the vinaigrette to your taste by adding more or less olive oil. I like mine sharp but you may prefer it milder. Enjoy!

Serves 2-4

2 large red pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 dried red chillies
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 lb fresh mussels, washed and beards removed
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons of honey (depending on your taste)
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges for garnish

1. Set your oven to broil. On a baking sheet, place peppers and drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Make sure each pepper is well coated in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Char the peppers in the oven, turning them until the skin is completely charred. Place peppers in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The steam will loosen the skins. When the peppers are cool, scrape the skins off with the back of a knife and remove the seeds. Chop the red pepper flesh and set aside.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat for 1 minute. Add garlic and chilies and cook for another minute. Add the wine and stir. Add the mussels and stir well. Cover and steam over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Allow the mussels to cool down completely. Remove each mussel from the shell transfer them to a bowl. Break the shells in half and keep half the shells for presentation. Store the shells in the refrigerator until needed. 

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and honey. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the vinaigrette by adding more olive oil, vinegar or lemon to suit your taste.  Stir in the chopped red peppers, onion, parsley and reserved mussels. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Stir occasionally.

4. When you're ready to serve, taste the mussels and adjust seasoning if required. Rinse the reserved shells and place them on a large platter. Fill each shell with a mussel and some dressing. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for garnish and serve with lemon wedges.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Salt Cod Fritters

Recipe by Paula.

These salt cod fritters were one of the most popular items at my last Portuguese supper club. They are perfect little bites of salty and savoury. You can make the batter ahead of time right up to the part where you add the whisked egg whites. Add the whisked egg whites just before frying so the fritters are light and airy. Enjoy!

Serves: 6-8

500 gr dried salt cod,
1 large potato (200 gr), unpeeled
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Soak the salt cod in cold water for 24 to 48 hours, changing the water occasionally then drain. In a large pot over medium high heat, add cod and enough water to cover the cod by 2 inches. Remove the cod and bring the water to a boil. Add the cod and boil it for 3-5 minutes. Drain the cod and let it cool for 5 minutes or until you can handle it with your hands. Remove and discard all the skin and bones. Flake the remaining cod flesh and reserve.

2. In a medium pot, add enough water to  cover the potato. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until the potato is cooked through. Drain the water and let the potato cool down until it is easy to handle but still warm. Peel the potato and mash it with the milk and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and set aside.

3. To a frying pan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and let it heat for 1 minute. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until they have softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat. 

4. In a large bowl, combine cod, potato, onion mixture, flour, egg yolks and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff then gently fold the egg whites into the cod mixture.

6. In a deep frying pan over medium high heat, add 3 inches of vegetable oil. Bring the oil temperature up to 365°F. Adjust the heat to keep the temperature at 365°F while frying. Drop heaping tablespoons  of the cod mixture into the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes (about 4-6 fritters at a time), or until puffed and golden and cooked through. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel lined tray to absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle fritters with a little salt. Let them sit for about a minute to cool slightly or they will burn your mouth. Serve immediately.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tapenade Twists

Recipe by Paula. 

I like to put my own twist on Portuguese food and this appetizer is literally a twist. ;) I love using puff pastry to make appetizers. It is buttery and rich and light and airy at the same time. I always use my tapenade recipe here but in a pinch, you can use a prepared tapenade. Make lots of these, they won't last long. Enjoy!

Serves: 6-8

1 cup of Olive Tapenade
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, unfold puff pastry sheet and roll into a 12 x 10 inch rectangle. Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.

2. Spread olive tapenade over 1/2 of the lengthwise half of rectangle leaving a 1 inch of the border. Fold the empty half of the pastry sheet over the tapenade. Repeat with the second puff pastry sheet.

3. Pinch the edges to seal both pastry sheets. Gently roll the sheets with a rolling pin to make sure the tapenade is pressed into the puff pastry. Cut the sheets into 1/2 inch strips, twist the strips and place them on  the parchment paper lined baking sheets.

3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and puffy. Remove them to wire racks to cool. Serve at room temperature.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Mushroom & Bacon Soup

Recipe by Paula.
I love mushroons and I always buy more than I need because I get to make this soup with the extras. ;) This soup is scented with thyme, a perfect herb for mushrooms. The addition of Port is my little Portuguese indulgence but it really works in this soup. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

6 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
1 medium onion,chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 sprigs of thyme
10 cups sliced mushroooms
2 tablespoons Port
6 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. In a large pan over medium high heat, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve. Add the onions to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Saute onions for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add the thyme and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are browned. Add the Port and saute until the Port is reduced.

3. Add the broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Purée soup in 2 batches in a blender (hot liquid, be careful!) until very smooth, about 1 minute per batch, then transfer the soup back to the pan over low heat. Add the cream. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve hot and garnish with the reserved bacon.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops with Herb & Chili Dressing

Recipe by Paula.

These beautiful lamb loin chops will make you dream of summer in Portugal. This dish combines the classic lamb flavours of lemon and rosemary with the freshness of parsley and marjoram and the heat of chillies. If you can't find fresh marjoram, don't use dried marjoram, use fresh thyme instead. You can also substitute lamb chops for the lamb loins. Enjoy!

Serves 4

8 Lamb loins chops
2 garlic clove
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon.
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or thyme
2 small fresh birds eye chillies, (seed the chillies if you want less heat)
2/3 cup olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste


1. Make the dressing by combining the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, parsley, marjoram, chillies and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is combined but not liquified. Season with salt and pepper. Separate the dressing into halves and set aside. One half will be used to brush on the lamb while grilling and the other half will be used to dress the lambs at the end.

2. Pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Brush the grill surface to make sure it is thoroughly clean.

3. Season the lamb loins on both sides with salt and pepper. Place lamb loins on the grill and brush the tops with some of the one half of the dressing. Grill for 2 minutes then flip and brush the other side with more dressing. Grill until you get the desired doneness then remove the lamb loins from the grill and let them rest on a plate (loosely covered with foil) for 5 minutes.

4. Serve the lamb loins with the remaining dressing drizzled on top of them. You can also finish the dish with an extra drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Quindim (Quindao) "Coconut Custard"

Recipe by Paula.

This delicious coconut custard dessert was created in Brazil but has it's roots in Portuguese cuisine. The use of egg yolks and custards is characteristic of many Portuguese sweets and pastries and the addition of coconut is a brilliant Brazilian twist. I love how the coconut separates from the custard and settles on the bottom. This dish is also known as Quindao which means it was baked in a ring mold (instead of individual ramekins) and is served in slices. This is a rich dessert so you may want to lighten it up by serving it with fruit and/or freshly whipped cream with a hint of vanilla. Enjoy!

 Serve 4
1/2 cup sugar plus extra for preparing ramekins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, very soft and divided in half
6 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup coconut milk
100gr flaked sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
25 gr flaked sweetened coconut, toast


1. Pre-heat the oven at 375F.

2. Using 1/2 the butter, generously grease 4 (1 cup) ramekins. Sprinkle the ramekins some sugar on the bottom and along the sides.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the eggs yolks and whole eggs. Beat and slowly add the 1/2 cup sugar. Continue to beat until the eggs are thick and pale.

4. Continue to beat and add butter, coconut milk, vanilla, salt and flaked (untoasted) coconut. Divide the mixture between the 4 ramekins.

5. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and fill the pan half way up the sides of the ramekins with boiling water. Cover the pan with foil. Bake 15-20 minutes (check on them after 15 minutes) or until the custard is set and a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove the ramekins from the hot water and allow them too cool for 15 minutes. Carefully unmold them while they are still a little warm and allow them to cool completely. Serve these topped with toasted coconut.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Golden Saffron Rice

Recipe by Paula.

This beautiful golden rice has the creamy consistency of a risotto but it is a lot less difficult to make. The key to this dish is to make sure you saute the rice before adding the broth. You'll make this one time and time again. Enjoy!

Serves: 6

4 cups chicken broth
Pinch of saffron strands
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups long grain rice


1. Add the saffron to the chicken broth and let it steep for 1 hour.

2. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onion, red pepper, and salt cook until onions are soft and translucent.

3. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat. Continue stirring until the rice smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Add the saffron broth, increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to a medium low, stir the rice and then cover pan with a lid.

4. Cook the rice for 15 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes without removing the cover. Remove lid from the pan and turn rice out into a serving bowl.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Monkfish & Chouriço Skewers with Herb, Lemon & Chili Dressing

Recipe by Paula.

This is a beautiful summer appetizer or main course. This delicious and simple dish is perfect for entertaining. The skewers and dressing can be prepared ahead of time and then all that's left to do is grill some bread along side the skewers. If you can't find monkfish, use any firm white fish such as swordfish or haddock. Enjoy!

Makes 2 mains or 4 appetizers

500gr monkfish skinless filets, cut it in cubes
200 gr sweet chouriço, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 small birds eye chilies, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3-4 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for grilling
Juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Grape tomatoes
4 slices of French baguette
1 large garlic clove

1. Pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat. Brush the grill surface to make sure it is thoroughly clean.  Soak 4 long wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes. This will prevent them from burning on the grill.

2. Assemble the skewers by adding 1 slice of chouriço, 1 piece of fish, another slice of chouriço and one grape tomato. Repeat this sequence one more time. Keep the prepared skewers in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

3. Make the dressing by combining the chilies, parsley, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the dressing is combined but not liquified. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. When the grill is ready, brush the prepared skewers (each side) with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the skewers on the grill and grill them for 3 minutes a side or until the fish is cooked.

5. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and add them to the grill along side the skewers. Toast for about 20 seconds or until you get some grill marks on the bread. Rub the toasted bread with the garlic. Keep warm.

6. Place the baguette slices on a platter and set the grilled skewers on top of them. Drizzle the prepared dressing over each skewer. Serve hot with the remaining dressing on the side.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Seafood Stew "Caldeirada de Marisco"

Recipe by Paula.
For me, this is Portugal in a pot. This dish is an abundance of fresh seafood and fish in a rich broth with onions, potatoes and peppers. It is easy to prepare and a delight for anyone who loves seafood. Be sure to serve this with lots of wine and crusty bread to dip into the broth. Enjoy!
Serves: 4 - 6   


1⁄4 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more if you like it spicy
2 medium onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and sliced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored and sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 lb squid tubes, cleaned and cut into large strips
1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick slices
1  16-oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained, crushed by hand
1 1/2 cups vinho verde or any other dry white wine
Salt and black pepper, to taste
12 mussels, rinsed and beards removed
12 clams, rinsed
1 lb boneless, skinless monkfish or firm white fish such as swordfish or haddock,  cut into large chunks
20 large shrimp, peeled but tails left on, deveined and shells reserved
1 8 inch square of cheesecloth
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped


1. In a large pan over medium heat, add oil and heat for 1 minute. Stir tomato paste into the oil cook for another 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, onion, bay leaves, bell peppers, garlic and squid.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for a another 10 minutes.

2. Increase the heat to medium and add the potato, tomato and wine, to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Wrap the shrimp shells in the cheesecloth and add to the pan.  Bring to a simmer then lower the heat to medium low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the potato is just tender (don't overcook them or they will turn to mush).

3. Add the monkfish, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add mussels and clams, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until mussels and clams open. Remove and discard any mussels and clams that have not opened. Stir in shrimp. cover and turn off the heat. The heat in the pan will cook the shrimp in a couple of minutes.  Remove the cheesecloth with the shrimp shells and discard. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

4. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.  Add parsley. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and lots of bread to dip into the broth.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup with Chourico

Recipe by Paula.

This soup is a complete meal in a bowl with the nutrient rich sweet potatoes and spinach and protein from the beans and chourico. You can easily convert this to a vegetarian soup by replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock and eliminating the chourico. 

The texture of this hearty soup is divine and I like the thickness that the while beans provide. If you'd like a thinner consistency, add a little water or more stock to get your version of perfection.  Enjoy!

Serves 8-10

8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large onions, quartered
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 19oz can white beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for garnish
8 oz chourico (whole)
2 bay leafs
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (or more if desired)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more if desired)
5 cups baby spinach

1. In a large soup pan, combine all the ingredients except for the spinach. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

2. Remove the chourico and let it cool. Chop the chourico into cubes and fry them in a dry pan until they are crispy. Reserve.

3. Remove the bay leafs from the soup. Transfer soup to a food processor or blender and puree in batches until smooth. Transfer soup back to the pot and add the spinach. Cook spinach until it’s wilted. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, nutmeg and smoked paprika.

4. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish each serving with a few chourico cubes and a drop of extra virgin olive oil.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Olive Tapenade

Recipe by Paula.
Olives awaken the appetite and go really well with a glass of wine. I rarely start a dinner party without serving olives in some way. My secret to making this bold and richly flavoured tapenade is anchovy. Don't skip the anchovy. Your guests will never guess they are in there and they add such great flavour to the tapenade. If you can't find Kalamata olives use any other strong tasting olives. Enjoy!

Makes 2 cups


400 grams Kalamata olives, pitted
100 grams black olives, pitted
2 anchovy fillets
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed dried piri piri or red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brandy (or more to taste)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is coarsely pureed.

2. Taste the tapenade and adjust it with more vinegar, piri piri or olive oil, if needed.

3. Keep the tapenade refrigerated until needed then bring it to room temperature before serving. Serve with fresh bread or crackers.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Vinho Verde Citrus Sangria

Recipe by Paula

Vinho verde literally means 'green wine' in Portuguese and is produced in my family's home province of Minho. It's a young wine that is not meant to age and is best consumed the year it was bottled. I love this refreshing and effervescent wine. I especially love it in this sparkling citrus sangria.

The lemon, lime and orange flavours pair well with the citrus notes of this wine. I guarantee this will become your new favourite summer sangria. I like the refreshing tartness of this sangria but if you want it a little sweeter, increase the amount cointreau, orange juice or ginger ale. Enjoy!

Serves: 9-10

6 cups vinho verde wine
1 1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 or 3 limes, thinly sliced
2 or 3 oranges, thinly sliced
2 or 3 lemons, thinly sliced
3 cups ginger ale

 1. In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients except for the ginger ale and ice cubes. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.

 2. Just before serving, stir in the ginger ale.

 3. Serve over ice.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Portuguese Supper Club - February 2014 Recap

On February 23, 2014, I hosted my first Portuguese Supper Club in Toronto at the Aphrodite Cooks Studio.  24 guests joined me for a night of delicious Portuguese food and wine. It was a fun and emotional night as friends (new and old) helped me celebrate my heritage through food. I'm already planning my next supper club! I couldn't have done this on my own and I'm grateful for my partner Peter's support and help in the kitchen. I also want to thank Peter and Sid Friedman for taking such great photos.

I wanted to share with you the evening's menu and some photos. I've added links to the recipes on my blog.

The Menu

Petiscos ~ Appetizers
Warm Citrus & Herb Olives and Lupini Beans
Sardine Pate on a Crostini with Quail Egg
Rissois de Camarao “Shrimp Turnovers”
Piri Piri Chicken Lolipops

Primeiro ~ First Course
Salt Cod Salad

Segundo ~ Second Course
Caldo Verde “Green Soup”  (Portugal’s national dish)

Prato Principal ~ Main Course
Drunken Pork with Madeira Sauce
Herb & Garlic Green Beans
Potato Puree

Enjoy some of the photos from the night. The music is by Amalia Rodrigues, one of Portugal's best Fado singers.

Portuguese Supper Club - Feburary, 2014 by Slidely Slideshow

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spicy Chicken Meatballs

Recipe by Paula

If you're looking for killer meatballs, look no further. These little darlings are a hit every time I serve them. I even had a husband and wife fight over leftovers. ;) This recipe makes a lot of meatballs, so use what you need and freeze the rest of the meatball mixture in small bags so they are ready anytime you need to make some. Use your favourite hot sauce in the recipe and add as much or as little as you like. I serve these with a creamy Lemon, Garlic & Parsley Aioli (recipe below) but they are also great on their own. Enjoy!

Serves 8-12

2 slices bacon
2 slices white bread
2 tablespoons white wine or beer
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons piri piri sauce or your favourite hot sauce (to taste)
2 lbs ground chicken
1 large egg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
Oil for frying


1. Fry the bacon in a frying pan until it is half cooked. Allow the bacon to cool then chop into small pieces.

2. In a food processor, combine bread, wine, onion, garlic, parsley, oil and hot sauce. Process until smooth and combined.

3. In a large bowl, combine chicken, egg, salt, pepper, oregano, chopped bacon and the mixture from the food processor. Thoroughly combine the meatball mix. Test the seasoning of the mixture by cooking a small amount (microwave for 20-30 seconds). Adjust the seasoning if needed and refrigerate the meatball mix until needed.

4. Form the meat into 1 inch round balls. You can make them bigger but they will take longer to cook.

5. In a deep frying pan over medium high heat, add 2 inches of oil. Bring the oil temperature up to 350°F. Adjust the heat to keep the temperature at 350°F while frying. Fry the meatballs (in batches), until they are golden brown and cooked through (about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes per side depending on the size of the meatballs). Cut one open to check doneness. Place meatballs on a paper towel lined tray to soak up any excess oil.

Lemon Garlic & Parsley Aioli
Recipe by Paula

Makes: 1 1/2 cups

1 egg
1 teaspoon Dijon
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In blender combine egg, Dijon, garlic, parsley and lemon juice.

2. Process at high speed until completely combined.

3. With bender still on, add the oil in a slow stream and blend until mixture is fluffy and creamy. (If the aioli gets too thick, add a little cold water and continue blending)

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sardine Pate

Recipe by Paula 

Sardines are as synonymous with Portuguese cuisine as salt cod. Enjoying grilled sardines with a glass of wine while sitting at a Portuguese seaside restaurant is something everyone should try in their lifetime. But if you can't get to sunny Portugal just yet, you can always try this way of enjoying sardines. There are many different versions of this recipe but this is my favourite. I love this quick and easy appetizer simply smeared on toasted bread but you can also top it with chopped olives, pickles, pickled onions and hard boiled egg. Enjoy!

Makes: 1 cup

120 grams sardines, canned in olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1-2 teaspoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of crushed dried piri piri or chili flakes
Splash of Brandy
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Drain the sardines but reserve about half of the packing oil.  

2. In a food processor combine and process, shallot, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes and sun-dried tomato oil. Add remaining ingredients (including reserved sardine packing oil) and process until smooth.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill until needed then bring to room temperature (spreadable) before serving.