16 Mar 2013

Duck risotto

This creamy risotto with shredded duck on top is a colourful dish, perfect  for a cold night. I got the inspiration for this one from a trendy restaurant in Bairro Alto. It looks more complicated than it actually is. Prepare the stock beforehand then you can do the risotto and the duck at the same time.

Ingredients for 4 or 5

Duck stock
  • 2 or 3 duck legs or 1/2 duck
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • some parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
1. Prepare the duck stock by boiling the above in 3 litres of water for 1 hour at least.

Shredded duck
  • butter
  • 2 sliced onions
  • 1 tablespoon wholemeal flour
  • cooked duck from above, skinned and shredded
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • water
2. Remove the duck from the stock, let it cool, remove skin and bones and shred.
3. Brown the sliced onions in butter, then add the flour, and mix until not lumpy
4. Add the shredded duck, salt, pepper, soy sauce and water
5. Season with salt (if necessary, because soy sauce is already salty) and pepper
6. Cook gently until the sauce thickens

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • stock from above
  • 1 pinch some saffron
  • salt
  • pepper
  • a bit of parmesan cheese
  • butter
7. Stir fry the onions in olive oil in a large, deep casserole and mix until golden
8. Add the garlic whole
9. Add the rice and keep stirring
10. Mix in the saffron
11. Add the wine and keep stirring until it evaporates
12. Pour in a ladle of boiling duck stock over the rice and keep stirring until it evaporates
13. Pour in some more stock and keep mixing
14. Carry on until the rice is cooked
14. Turn off the heat and mix in the parmesan and butter

Serve the risotto with the warm duck on top and some green vegetables on the side.

26 Aug 2012

Mushroom risotto

My mum taught me how to get this right after she attended a chef's masterclass explaining how to prepare risottos. A real treat for when Júlia is away, as one of the few things that she doen't like is mushrooms.  Júlia, thanks for going to the Algarve so that we can all enjoy this lovely dish.

Ingredients for 5 or 6

1 chopped onion
1 clove garlic
olive oil
400 grams fresh mushrooms
50 grams dried mushrooms (melange forestiere or whatever)
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine
3 litres chicken or duck or vegetable stock
a bit of parmesan cheese
a knob of butter

  1. Pour boiling water over the dried mushrooms and let them soak while you do the rest
  2. Stir fry the onions in olive oil in a large, deep casserole and mix until golden
  3. Add the garlic whole
  4. Add the fresh mushrooms chopped and keep stirring until soft
  5. Add the rice and keep stirring
  6. Add the wine and keep stirring until it evaporates
  7. Add the dried mushrooms and water used to rehydrate them

This is where you stop if you have to wait for guests or journalist husbands who tend to arrive late at home. Half an hour before you serve dinner: 
  1. Pour a ladle of  boiling stock over the rice and keep stirring until it evaporates
  2. Keep mixing
  3. Pour some more stock and keep mixing
  4. Carry on until the rice is cooked   
  5. Last of all, mix in the parmesan and butter

Serve with a green salad

20 Mar 2011

Arroz de peixe (Fish rice)

This is a great way of using leftover baked or grilled fish. We sometimes even buy a bigger fish than we need just so we can use what's left in this recipe. The one in the picture was made with leftovers from the enormous corvina (sea bream) that Ricardo baked for dinner yesterday evening.

Ingredients (for 5)
  • flaked baked or grilled fish leftovers (at least one cup)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 large tomato or 2 small ones
  • lots of fresh coriander
  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • salt
  • chili pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Chop the onions and stir-fry them in olive oil in a medium-large casserole
  2. Add the garlic whole
  3. Before the onions brown, add the rice, salt and chili and stir
  4. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates
  5. Then add the tomatoes (finely chopped) and some of the coriander and stir a little more
  6. Add 4 cups of water and the fish
  7. Stir a little longer, then leave it alone and cover the casserole
  8. Let the rice simmer until the water evaporates
  9. Serve with sliced hard-boiled eggs and fresh coriander.

20 Jan 2011

Chili con carne

Is there anyone out there who doesn't like chili con carne? This easy and effective dish is great for parties, especially when hungry teenagers are involved. I always prepare a large quantity of chili, even if it's just for us five, because the leftovers (if there are any) are perfect for freezing and then enjoying on another day, when you don't have time to or feel like cooking.

Ingredients (for 10)
  • 1 kg lean ground beef
  • 1 extra large onion or 2 medium ones
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • salt
  • ground chili pepper
  • 2 tins red beans
  • 1 large tin of canned tomatoes
  1. Chop the onion and stir-fry it in olive oil together with the whole cloves of garlic
  2. When the onions are getting brown, add the meat and keep stirring until the meat is thoroughly browned too
  3. Add the cumin, salt and chili pepper
  4. Add the beans (liquid in the tin included)
  5. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the casserole (liquid in the tin included).
  6. Cook in low heat for around half an hour.
Serve with white rice, a green salad, guacamole and, for those who like it hot, Tabasco.

8 Dec 2010

Baked Fish Fillets

I must admit I am not the chef here at home when it comes to preparing fish dishes. Maybe one day Ricardo will write a post with his famous Corvina no forno (baked sea bream). In the meantime, here is a quick and easy alternative.

  • 200 grams frozen fish fillets per person
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lime
  • fresh coriander
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  1. Remove the the fish fillets from the freezer well in advance to thaw them out completely (don't skip this step because the fish won't absorb the seasoning and will be tasteless if it is not thawed).
  2. Season with the remaining ingredients
  3. Place in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake in a medium/high oven for 20 around minutes.
Serve with boiled new potatoes and vegetables.

14 Nov 2010

Buffalo chicken wings

This well-known American recipe is only for people who like hot food. Over here, we all do. But if there is anyone who doesn't like chili coming over for dinner, simply serve them the chicken wings without the sauce.

  • 4 chicken wings per person
  • salt, vinegar and garlic for seasoning the chicken
For the sauce
  • 1/2 a cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Tabasco or equivalent

  1. Season the chicken wings with salt, garlic and vinegar
  2. Grill them until crispy
  3. Mix the ketchup, the vinegar and the Tabasco in a bowl
  4. Coat the chicken with the sauce and serve.
Nice with a green salad or potato salad.

30 Aug 2010

Chicken ginger casserole

This recipe is inspired by one of the dishes of an excellent Chinese restaurant in Estoril, where we go whenever we are celebrating a family birthday. I've to tried decipher all the ingredients present in the restaurant recipe, adapted some and added a few of my own. My version tastes totally different from the restaurant one, but I hope it is just as good.

Ingredients (four 4)
  • 1 skinless chicken cut into pieces
  • 1 onion
  • olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) fresh ginger
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soya sauce
  • mushrooms
  • fresh coriander
  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  2. Chop the onion and brown it in olive oil in a large casserole
  3. Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry them with the onions
  4. Add the sugar and wholemeal flour and mix until browned
  5. Slice the ginger and add it to the casserole
  6. Add the vinegar and keep stirring
  7. When everything is nice and browned, add a bit of soya sauce and then some water
  8. Mix in the sliced leek (green leaves included) and mushrooms
  9. Cook for 30 minutes
  10. Add fresh coriander just before serving
Serve with basmati rice and a green salad.