One of the staple foods of Portugal is salted cod or ‘bacalhau‘, as we call it. It may well be THE staple food. The tradition of eating salted cod is at least 500 years old and we pride ourselves in preparing salted cod in hundreds of different ways. Literally hundreds, and some claim thousands. Cod is the only fish the Portuguese don’t eat fresh and somehow the tradition has stuck to the point that buying fresh cod in Portugal is hard if not impossible but buying any other fresh sea creature that can be eaten is easy. We love our fresh fish but we wouldn’t have our cod any other way!
Nothing can go wrong when you use pulled pork in a dish. Nothing.
And this is no exception. I wanted to use leftover pulled pork (which freezes really well, by the way) without making the usual sandwich with slaw on a brioche bun. I remembered my favourite breakfast in one of my favourite London breakfast places – The Breakfast Club in Hoxton. I always have the same and even though their menu is extensive I just can’t resist their Chorizo Hash Browns. It’s a potato, onion and pepper ‘hash’ with chorizo, eggs on the side and feta as an optional extra. It really works! So I thought if I used pulled pork instead of chorizo it should still work. Oh and it worked. It really really worked.
A dessert on my blog?! A cake?! Even I am surprised. The truth is I am not a cake baker by any standard. And I am immensely jealous of people who bake cakes with effortless grace. In fact, I can’t bake a cake to save my life and every time I naïvely embark on doing it I fail miserably… but I can bake this! A gooey, oozy and boozy chocolate indulgence. Oh yes.
Green eggs (called ‘green’ because of the parsley) was something I used to eat all the time as a child. They are strangely addictive and if you think 3 eggs per person (what you find within a man-sized omelette) is a lot, think again. That’s 6 halves per person and I unashamedly admit that is a normal portion of green eggs for me.
This tortilla is based on a Nigella Lawson recipe from the book Nigella Express. As always, Nigella has managed to come up with something incredibly delicious and make it really easy.
I used to live with a Spanish girl when I came to England and she taught me to make the ‘perfect’ tortilla, but I have to say that version is hard work (though very good). I wanted something simpler that would satisfy my urgent Saturday afternoon tortilla craving and I turned to one of my safest cookbooks for inspiration on how to do something yummy quickly. But as it was the weekend I had plenty of time to add a few steps and ingredients and make my own version of Nigella’s express Spanish omelette.
This meatloaf is as simple as can be – it is all about the meat (and butter, and Port Wine). And as a lot of the dishes I cook and love, it comes from my Mum’s endless repertoire of yummy homely foods.
If I want to make a fancier version I use herbs (parsley and oregano work well), chopped onions and/or garlic, grated parmesan and sometimes a tiny bit of chorizo (not too much as it can overpower the other meats). Feel free to add any combination of these until you have your favourite version. But trust me, the simple version is divine just as it is and it is dead simple to make. I wanted to post this version because I stand behind it flavour wise and didn’t want to complicate the recipe for the sake of it.
This is a traditional Christmas dessert I have grown up with. It’s a kind of Pain Perdu (or French Toast), soaked in a sweet syrup with cinnamon. The main difference is that Pain Perdu is soaked in egg and ‘Rabanadas’ are soaked in milk and then coated in egg. And one is mostly eaten at breakfast, whilst the other is a dessert. They are usually fried and the syrup is mainly made of sugar and cinnamon. My Mum and I decided to make some changes and make them slightly healthier by cooking the ‘Rabanadas’ in the oven and adding some interest to the syrup. For this, we took inspiration from a recipe from one of my favourite blogs (As Minhas Receitas) by a wonderful Portuguese cook, called Joana Roque. We made some changes to the syrup, the main one replacing the raisins (because they’re not my favourite thing) with chopped dried figs (which are one of my favourite things).