Author: amendoeiraemflor

Algarve Potato Salad

This is a really simple potato salad that can be found practically in all Algarve tables, especially during summer months. In restaurants it is usually served as a side dish for any kind of grilled fish, but at home some people still serve it by itself. In my family it is usually served as a side for fried small mackerel a.k.a jaquinzinhos fritos. As you can tell it is really simple to prepare, but do make sure you use good quality ingredients. Ingredients: (serves 4) 6 large potatos 6 garlic cloves 4 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar dried oregano to your taste pinch of salt Preparation: Boil the potatoes with their skins in salted water. Start preparing the potatoes dressing in the bowl by adding the olive oil, white wine vinegar, crushed small/medium sized garlic cloves (with their skins on), oregano and salt. When the potatoes are done, take their skins off and cut them in random shaped pieces. Add them to the bowl while their still hot, that way all the …

Simple Tomato and Avocado Salad

It is getting warmer and sometimes you only crave for a quick, easy and light lunch. This is it. The recipe is so simple that is pretty much in the photo itself, but I will write it down anyway. Ingredients: (serves 2) 10-15 plum or cherry tomatoes (used plum for this recipe) 1 avocado 1/2 small red onion basil leaves 2 tablespoons of olive oil Preparation: Cut the tomatoes and the avocado in small pieces. Slice  1/2 of a small red onion thinly and add it to the salad. Drizzle everything with a bit of olive oil and toss it. Finish with some basil leaves (coriander leaves or oregano can be an alternative to the basil).

Sea delicacies you must try in the Algarve

Algarve region has taken advantage of its position towards the Atlantic for a long time. People gained a lot from the close relation with the ocean and to what it was able to provide to them. It is only normal that here, and in Portugal in general, there is more fish consumption per capita than the European countries average. We would be crazy if we would not do it, right? This long and intricate coastline is full of different varieties of fish and seafood to choose from. Also, up to these days, many typical dishes in the region are prepared with the same processes and elements that they once were. Each ingredient was and should be respected and the waste avoided to the maximum. This list contains some of the sea delicacies that most of the locals appreciate to have on their tables. This is not an exhaustive list, but I tried to go for a representative selection, moving from Algarve’s West coast towards the East coast. Gooseneck Barnacles (Percebes) Gooseneck Barnacles, in Portuguese, Percebes, are the gold of the …

Ricotta and Pear Jam Mousse with Almond Praline 

The previous week I got the nicest surprise from Quinta de Jugais in the mailbox. They had just sent a selection with four of their delicious jams made with fruit that comes directly from Serra da Estrela. When I opened that box I knew I had to try something with that pear and port wine jam, and I did so. A big thanks to them for this gift box. One of my favourite pairings in Italian pastry is pear and ricotta, so that was my inspiration for this go-to, no fuss ricotta and pear jam mousse. This is the perfect kind of dessert if you are hosting a party or dinner at your place and you want to impress with minimal effort. It might look like you have slaved for some time in the kitchen, but the truth is that it couldn’t get any easier. Plus, the following recipe makes the most out of the natural sweetness of the jam, sugar was only added in the form of almond praline topping. RICOTTA AND PEAR JAM MOUSSE WITH …

Easter in Algarve & the Folar Workshop at Casa Modesta

This year my Easter vacation and arrival in the Algarve started in the best way possible, with a Easter Folar workshop at Casa Modesta. Casa Modesta is a charming rural hotel that opened a year ago in Quatrim do Sul, near Olhão, just in front of a salty lagoon from beautiful Ria Formosa Natural Park. The house is a family project founded by brothers Vânia Brito Fernandes e Carlos Fernandes that decided to transform their grandparents pre-existing house in a new chapter of family memories. The old house gave place to a pair of beautiful modern buildings, but the main Algarve architectural traits were maintained, like the white colours, the straight lines, the wood oven, and the typical roofs, that go by the name of açoteias, once used to dry figs, almonds and even fish. Carlos was the one to warmly welcome us to Casa Modesta that afternoon, as his family members were finishing the preparations for the baking afternoon.  In the meantime, he told us all about the story behind this family house and the project while giving us the tour …

A Grouper and Ginger Cataplana

Happy 2016 everyone! To kick-off this new year I decided to bring you a simple recipe prepared in a particular cookware that I have been wanting to use for a long time, the one and only, Cataplana. I got one as a Christmas gift this year, so it was the perfect timing to try some new recipes in it. Cataplana is a culinary artefact typical from the Algarve region, another one of the many influences that Arabs left when they ruled the region many centuries ago. The first Cataplanas were shaped by artisans in Zinc, but nowadays they can be found both in copper and stainless steel. It should be used in low heat to allow the flavours of the ingredients contained to infuse and mingle slowly, it is basically the same cooking principle used in the Tagine, if you think of it. This clam-shaped pan allows a simple, healthy and fast way of cooking. You might think of it as a futuristic and minimal looking predecessor of pressure cookers. It can be used to cook almost everything but traditionally it is mainly used to …

The Fado of Portuguese Food

Since I moved to Italy, slightly more than two years now, one of the things that really impressed me from the start was how Italians, in general, have a good food culture and how they are proud of it. It is a spirit that I really admire and I think that this is one of the main reasons why Italian food became so famous.  That recognition worldwide elevated the Italian language to one of the official languages of gourmet, just like it had happened in the past with French food. In Portugal, people are also very into food, especially lately with so many cooking shows and food channels on television. Everyone knows what is to confit and it is trendy to serve gourmet and well composed dishes when you have people over. But even with this spirit it seems that Portuguese food never reached a big visibility worldwide. Our food it is still a niche in the international food scene, and this, in my opinion is connected to an interaction of geographic, political and historic factors. Portuguese …