Friday, July 26, 2013

Fusion Friday - Couve Fritters

Couve Fritters  

For Fusion Friday I thought I'd combine my husbands culture with mine. We both grew up eating tons of couves/collard greens. So I thought I'd add a little soul food flair to a Portuguese pastel dish. When I was a little girl I remember my grandmother by the stove making her usual pastels with what was left over from dinner the night before. Typically it was meat from carne assada or chourico from a cozido. Crispy outside and warm and soft inside. I tried it with some greens and it turned out excellent! Here's how I did it. 

Makes 10 fritters
1lb potatoes – peeled and cut into large cubes 
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp butter
1/2 sweet onion – chopped finely
3 cloves garlic – chopped finely
1lb collard greens.(or any greens you love. I added half Swiss chard)  Stems and ribs removed. Chop coarsely.  
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup olive oil

Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add milk, 3 Tbsp of butter and s+p to taste. Mash the potatoes. Cover and set aside in a clean large bowl.

In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute onions until softened then add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute more. Add the greens and 1/2 cup of water. Cook the collard greens for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain. 

Add the cooked collard greens to the potato mixture and mash together to combine really well. I use the best kitchen tool I have, my clean hands! 

In a separate dish combine flour with paprika and s+p to taste. Spoon out a large spoon full and form into a patty. Dust each patty with the flour.

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven skillet or whatever you like to fry in. When oil is ready carefully place your patties into the oil. Let them cook for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. 

Very simple to make. Hope you enjoy! :) 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

FUSION FRIDAY: Maracuja No Bake Cheesecake with Bolacha Maria Crust

I don't know how the heck I came up with this, but I'm glad I did.  Please note, this dessert is NO BAKE which means, no kiddies or pregnant women should be eating this :)

Maracuja No Bake Cheesecake with Bolacha Maria Crust

2 packages of Bolacha Maria cookies (the green package one are made in the Azores)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons of Maracuja Liqour

Put bolachas in a large resealable plastic bag, and crush them with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs form. Pour crumbs into a medium bowl; stir in sugar. Add butter, and stir until well combined. Press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side; press flat. Chill crust in freezer at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling: Using an electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice, liqour and vanilla. Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Unclasp sides of pan, and remove cheesecake.

It doesn't get much easier than that!  and you don't even have to turn on the oven :)


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pudim Flan

This dessert is my mother's specialty.  So much so, that I was afraid to make it.  The thought of it frightened me, and I'm not sure why!  I called her approximately 49283634 times while I was making this (OK, so it was more like 5 times, but you get my point).  I put it in the oven, and said a prayer, because I was certain this was not going to come out right.  I could have put money on this collapsing.  Even today while I was at work, I kept thinking about coming home, flipping it over and it just falling into a pile of goo.  But lo and behold, it didn't.  AND IT TASTES AMAZING!  *does a dance*  Don't be scared like me.  Try it.  You'll family and friends will thank you for it :)  
First things first: Make sure you have the correct pan to make a flan in.  Most people use something like this. 

Pudim Flan

6 eggs
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
2 cans (14oz) sweeten condensed milk
2 cups of while milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take your 1 1/4 cup of sugar and put it in a small sauce pan on low heat.  Let this continue to slowly cook while you stir occasionally.  Please do not burn yourself!  This will be VERY HOT.
While the sugar is starting to heat up you can make your actual flan mixture.  
Place eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar in a mixer and beat on high.  Once the eggs are beaten well, add the rest of your ingredients and mix well.  You can just let this go on low until well mixed and then shut it off.
Once you sugar starts to melt and make the caramel, stay there and wait.  One minute too much and you'll burn it.  Continue to stir and help the sugar break down.  at this point,  take your flan pan and put it in the oven to heat it up a bit.  Once the sugar is completely melted take the flan pan out of the oven and pour your caramel in.  try to coat the entire bottom of the pan and sides if you can (sometimes you can't get the sides because it hardens so quickly, but that's ok!)  The pan being heated up just a bit helps you move the sugar around. Once you are done covering as much of the pan as possible, pour your batter in.  You'll hear lots of crackling from the caramel cooling.  
Get a water bath together to fit your flan pan in.  (I used a 9x13 pyrex dish with water about 2 inches deep) cover your pan with the lid that came with it (or if you didn't get one, that's ok too) Pop your pan in and put it in the oven for 1 hour.  (1 hour 10 minutes if you don't have a lid)
Your flan won't look ready.  I swore it wasn't done, and I, of course, called my mother who said it's done, it's going to jiggle that's normal.  I listened and I took it out, and it was perfect.
Let the flan cool a bit and then cover and pop in the fridge until completely cooled.
To flip, get a bowl with hot warm and put your flan pan in it to take the chill out.  Once the pan is warm to the touch, it's ready.  Take a pie plate and put it on top of the flan pan and FLIP!  You'll hear a PLOP and that's when you know it's done ;)
take off the flan pan, and ta-da!  perfection!  If you notice that you have a lot of caramel left in the bottom of you pan, you can put it on a low heat on the stove top to melt it and then pour it over the flan.

Friday, July 12, 2013

FUSION FRIDAY: Pizza de Camarão

FUSION FRIDAY: Pizza de Camarão 

Who doesn't love pizza?! We all love a slice here and there. When I think about Portuguese appetizers, I think of camarao e alho. Shrimp full of flavors from wine, tons of garlic and just enough spice. Why not combine the two and make a delicious garlic shrimp pizza. 

Here's how you do it!

For the shrimp
2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb of shrimp (peeled, deveined, and tail off)
1/4 cup of dry white wine
1 tbsp tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp of piri piri or tabasco sauce 
s+p to taste 
Marinate shrimp with olive oil, minced garlic, pepper flakes and piri piri for a minimum of one hour. In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium high heat. Add the marinated shrimp and saute until it starts to turn pink. Only takes a couple minutes. Reduce heat and add s+p and white wine. Let cook for only one more minute to burn off the alcohol. Sprinkle parsley on top. 

For the Pizza
1 store bought pizza dough 
1/2 of tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4 plum tomatoes diced. 
Preheat the oven to 425ºF
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough onto a floured counter top, until you get the ideal shape you are looking for. Place the pizza dough on a baking sheet. With a fork prick fork marks all over the pizza dough to avoid creating large bubbles while baking. Bake for 10 minutes. 
After 10 minutes take your pizza dough out and spread tomato sauce evenly. Then sprinkle cheese over. Arrange the shrimp and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with evoo. Bake for 15 minutes. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


This is not something I grew up eating, but I had many friends who loved these.  When I decided to try out all these recipes, this was one I was dying to try.  I had heard so much about them, but had never tried them.  I have to say, these were easy, and were really delicious!

Cavacas (Portuguese Popover)

2 cups of flour 
1 cup of oil 
1/2 cup of whole milk 
8 eggs at room temp
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Sugar Glaze: 
2 cups of confectioner’s sugar 
zest of one lemon 
about 2 tablespoons of milk 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease regular size muffin tins.  Make sure you grease them really well, any sticking ruins the entire popover. 
Using a mixer,  beat (on med.-high)  all ingredients for at least 20 minutes without stopping. Fill the muffin tins to about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Place on the middle rack. 
Bake for about 45-50 min.
Combine all of the glaze ingredients and stir until smooth. I tend to use slightly more than 2 tablespoons milk. While Cavacas are still warm, spoon the glaze over each one or just submerge each one in the glaze. Serve on the same day since they will dry even more for the following day. (Although I think I liked them even more on the second day!)

Friday, July 5, 2013

FUSION FRIDAY: Portuguese Macaroni and Cheese

This idea of Fusion Friday seriously has the creative juices flowing.  
What's everyone's favorite comfort food?  About 85% of the country would answer Macaroni and Cheese!  So why not take it, and twist it just a little bit.  PORTUGUESE STYLE of course!
This was seriously amazing.  The cheese with the hint of mustard made it taste like it was made with Quejio Sao Jorge.  The next time I make it, I will be using the Quejio Sao Jorge instead of the 4oz of American and the mustard.   I also will add  bread crumbs and throw it in the oven for a bit to make it all crunchy on top :)

Portuguese Macaroni and Cheese

1 pkg of elbow macaroni
2 links of chourico-We love Mello's as you already know, because it's just so lean! (about 1-1 1/2lbs)
1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup of flour
2 1/2 cups cream (or milk if you want to lighten it up)
4 oz. American Cheese-shredded
8 oz. of Extra Sharp white cheddar-shredded
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of hot sauce
2 teaspoons of pimenta moida

1. Cover macaroni to directions on box, once done reserve about 1/2 cup of water for sauce
2. Cut your chourico into slices and then cut into quarters, giving you little triangles
3.  Melt the butter on med-low heat.  Once melted add in the flour and whisk until smooth.  Let it cook for a minute or two to break up the starches. 
4.  Whisk in cream slowly.  Continue to whisk until smooth.  Add in dijon mustard, hot sauce, salt, and pimenta moida and whisk.
5. Add in cheese and continue to stir until completely melted.  
6.  Add in chourico and let it simmer on low for about 5-7 minutes.
7.  Add cheese sauce to macaroni and combine completely.  If your sauce is too thick, add in some of your reserved water until the sauce is the consistency you'd like.
8.  Once completely mixed, put into a 9x13 pyrex and serve!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Galinha Sentado

Galinha Sentado

Who doesn't love a roasted chicken? I used to bake chicken standing up onto an open can of beer, until I was given this nifty baking form. It catches all the drippings making it easier to baste. 

1 whole chicken
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp course black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 sprig of rosemary chopped 
1 tsp pimenta moida
1 tbsp crushed garlic
course salt to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Brush or rub the marinade all over the chicken. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. 

From time to time baste the chicken with the drippings. 

Cut into pieces on a serving dish. You can make a gravy with the drippings to drizzle on top. Serve with greens and Enjoy!