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.