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.