Wife Jan is having her Burner friends over and asked me to cook for them—this seemed a very popular idea with her friends. Thinking about what to make I settled on a Caldeirada—Portuguese fish stew. Like many fishermen’s stews there is not set ingredients list—“what did we catch today? Throw it in.” What makes this dish Portuguese is the addition of Portuguese ingredients, chouriço, Portuguese dry white wine, and pimentón red pepper.
Tag Archives: Portuguese cuisine
I am making Caldeirada—Portuguese fish stew—for wife Jan’s Burner friends. This soup sometimes contains potatoes, but I decided to make a second dish Patatas bravas—roasted potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce—with the potatoes. A pickled cucumber and tomato salad and bread from a Portuguese bakery round out the meal.
Portuguese salad is a fairly standard Mediterranean salad of bell pepper, cucumber, onions, and tomatoes with a red wine vinaigrette. I had several days to plan this meal, so I thought I would pickle the cucumbers—taking a page from Japanese cuisine. While I am calling these pickles Portuguese, they are more “Portuguese flavored,” as I am using common Portuguese seasonings.
Caldo verde is a traditional Portuguese soup—caldo: broth/soup and verde: green. I have made this soup before, but various food issues with my family have prevented me from making it “authentically.” In its simplest form it is just greens, potatoes, onions, garlic, pepper, and chicken broth. Last time, I had to make this soup without potatoes and this time I need to eliminate the garlic and onions. I am not sure I can still call this a “Portuguese” caldo verde, because—even though it will still be a “green soup”—I am eliminating three of the six basic ingredients.
I am making caldo verde—“green soup” for dinner and—as I was looking at various recipes—people mentioned that Broa—Portuguese corn bread—was the normal side dish for this soup. My family has developed several food avoidances. Son-in-law Chris is currently avoiding starches, as a result I eliminated the potatoes from my soup. This bread gave me a way to provide a starchy dish for those not on his diet.
I am making “pigs in a blanket” for Sundays dinner, but man does not live on bread and meat alone—as much as some might try. I had found how to make the perfect crust dough, so I thought I would make a vegetable empanada. I decided that broccoli was a good choice, with maybe some onion and a little potato and some sharp cheddar to give it some bite.
This was a rather spontaneous meal. I was wondering what to do with several things that were cluttering up my refrigerator: one quarter pound homemade pork sausage, one quarter pound of ground pork, a Russet potato—that I had peeled for another meal and ended up not using—half a red bell pepper (ditto), one small yellow onion. I could just chop it all up, throw it in a skillet, fry it up, and call it “hash,” but that would not be me. I am not the first person to face this dilemma, World Cuisine is full of solutions. Hash in a pocket bread is called an empanada.
Adapted from a Leite’s Culinaria recipe
Happiness for Jan is a pot of steamed clams and/or mussels. Since I am doing a Portuguese feast with a salt cod dish and caldo verde, I thought clams would go very well. The first dish I looked at was roast pork smothered in steamed clams. Jan was quick to reject this. She does not mind a little pork in her clams as a flavoring, but in her mind it is all about the clams.
Adapted from a chef Manuel Azevedo recipe
Traditionally this dish is serves as a casserole. Chef Azevedo, born on the island of São Jorge in the Azores, turns this Portuguese dish upside down. This allows the exposed codfish to brown slightly and the layer of potatoes on the bottom to crisp.
Adapted from a Leite’s Culinaria recipe
Most of the people of Portuguese ancestry in San Jose actually come from the Azores. Although many families have been here for more than one hundred years, they still maintain a strong sense of cultural identity and family ties to the home islands. If they have room in their yard for a garden, you may be sure that kale is growing in there. Caldo Verde, green broth, a kale and potato soup is a staple of Portuguese cuisine.