Economical, approachable, simplistically delicious, Portuguese cuisine has a unique style due to its Isolation from the rest of Europe and its proximity to the sea. In this episode Bobby Chinn travels to Portugal to experience the Portuguese love for fish, sweets, and a cuisine where NOTHING is wasted.
Beginning his journey in Lisbon, Bobby starts his culinary adventure by going in search of the famous salted cod shops that hold Portugal’s treasured ‘Bacalhau’, dried and salted cod. Fish in Portugal is of the highest quality.
The long coast that hits the Atlantic Ocean gives way to some of the best seafood in Europe. Though Portuguese cuisine may be simplistic with ingredients, they have a large variety of herbs and spices that came to Europe through Portugal during the Age of Discovery.
Bobby gets his first taste of Portuguese cooking with Chef Cordeiro of Portugal’s ‘Top Chef´, when he learns how to cook Portuguese rice, a dish with a variety of seafood, fresh vegetables, and aromatic herbs and spices.
The spices used in Portuguese cuisine have a long history as the motivation for Portuguese exploration. Bobby visits the tomb of Vasco de Gama where he learns about the famous explorer’s quest for a sea route to India in search of spices.
After their fill of flavourful fish, the Portuguese like to reach for a tasty sweet. Bobby has the same idea when he reaches for a ‘Pasteis de Nata’ a custard tart. Like many pastries in Portugal the two main ingredients in this tart are sugar and egg yolks.
After his exploration of Lisbon, Bobby then travels down to the Southwest coast to try his hand at catching Gooseneck Barnacles. These worm like creatures are a delicacy and take a lot of effort to catch in the waves of the Atlantic sea.
Now in the village of Montemore o Novo located in the beautiful plains of Alentajo, a place full of farms, Bobby starts his day off with a typical farmer’s breakfast: wild pig salame, pork blood sausage, and smoke wild pig ham, a pig lover’s paradise.
Moving inland into the Alentejo, Bobby continues his culinary adventure making the region’s iconic bread dish: Migas. This is peasant food at its best.
Heading to the Beira coast, Bobby stops in the seaside town of Aveiro for some more sweets, and cooks a dessert for the Portuguese National Football team. Then goes on to his final destination, Ilhavo.
In his last challenge of the trip, Bobby enters into a cod cooking competition at a local Cod Festival. Here Bobby is sworn into the Cod brotherhood by the Grand Master, and after tasting some unusual cod delicacies including intestines, heads, and tongues, he finishes by cooking his very own cod dish.
- Planet Food Portugal - Arroz Malandro
- Planet Food Portugal - Portuguese Sponge Cake with Almond & Port Mousse (Pao De Lo Ovar)
- Planet Food Portugal - Migas Alentejo
- Planet Food Portugal - Turmeric Braised Cod
Special Thanks go out to the following Chefs:
Chef: Jose Cordeiro
Restaurante Feitoria at Hotel Altis Belem
Telephone: +351 210 400 200
or +351 210 400 207
Chef: Helio Loureiro
av. Boavista, 12694100-130 Porto
Tel: 351 226086600
Chef: Pedro Soudo
Refugio da Vila
Address: Largo Doutor Miguel Bombarda 8 7220-369 Portel
Hotel Tel: 00 351 266 619010
Planet Food Portugal - Arroz Malandro
As its name implies, this recipe is made using several types of seafood like shrimp, clams, mussels, lobster, crab and scallops. The combination of shellfish used varies from region to region, according to the recipe, availability and price.
- 2.2 kg seabass
- 0.3kg tomato without seeds and skin
- 0.2kg onions
- 0.2kg green peppers
- 0.2kg red peppers
- 0.060kg garlic
- 0.5lt olive oil
- 0.4lt white wine
- 0.150kg fresh coriander
- 0.4kg Carolino rice
- 0.9kg prawns
- 0.030kg Gindungo – piri piri (from Angola)
- juice of half-1 lemon according to taste
- salt to taste
- handful of fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- pinch black pepper
- Cut seabass into small cubes 3cmby3cm.
- Season with salt and lemon juice.
- Peel prawns and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and garlic.
- With the bones of the seabass and the shells of prawns, make a fish broth.
- Put olive oil in a pan and fry the onions, tomato without seeds and skin, green and peppers and the garlic all chopped.
- Add a bit of wine.
- Then add the fish and prawn stock (broth) and leave to boil for 10 minutes.
- Add the Carolino rice and leave to boil for 15 minutes or until tender.
- Add the 2 bay leaves, salt, pepper, Gindungo from Angola and seabass cubes.
- Leave to boil on a Medium heat for around 8 minutes.
- Add the peeled prawns.
- Keep moving the rice with the spoon.
- Add the coriander.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Planet Food Portugal - Portuguese Sponge Cake with Almond & Port Mousse (Pao De Lo Ovar)
Ovar is a small town in the centre/north of Portugal but this sponge cake is well known all over the country. It’s available year round but it’s used mostly in Easter. This version is slightly different in that once the sponge is ready, a gorgeous almond mousse is served on top!
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 100 gr sugar
- 50 gr flour
- Beat the two eggs with the sugar till very creamy.
- Slowly add in the 6 egg yolks that have been slightly beaten.
- Beat for 10-15 minutes.
- Slowly fold in the flour.
- Line the pan with wax paper, butter and flour, wax paper and place inside the pan.
- Pour cake batter in pan.
- Place in preheated oven 180C. Bake for 15 minutes.
- 200 gr almonds
- 100gr bolacha Maria biscuits
- 300 gr sugar
- 1.5 dl water
- 12 egg yolks
- Small glass of port
- Toast the almonds in a pan and then grind them.
- Put the water and the sugar in a saucepan and boil it for four minutes. Then add the ground almonds and take the pan away from the hob.
- Add the egg yolks, the port and put the pan back on the hob until it boils.
- Remove the pan from the hob again and add the biscuits – that have previously been grinded.
- Mix well and pour into a serving bowl.
- For decoration, add pieces of orange or berries.
Planet Food Portugal - Migas Alentejo
The migas alentejo is one of the most popular dishes from the Alentejo region. Like açordas and other dishes of this region of Portugal, the basic ingredient is the bread, traditional product of Alentejo (formerly called “breadbasket” of Portugal , due to the production of grain). The meat used is normally pork , another product with great regional traditions.
- 600g home made bread
- Pepper sauce
- Olive oil
- Lamb chops or pork chops
- Put the bread in a bowl and add 3 cups of water.
- Leave to soak for an hour.
- Fry the lamb chops in olive oil and a bit of lard. Put the chops to one side and use the oil to cook the bread.
- Fry the garlic, the coriander, peppers, mushrooms and asparagus.
- Then when the garlic is golden, squeeze the bread to get rid of the remaining water and fry it in the pan with the rest of the ingredients.
- Mix it well and mash the bread completely and make a sort of a ball.Serve it on a dish with the lamb chops on top.
- You can decorate it with olives or pieces of orange.
Planet Food Portugal - Turmeric Braised Cod
Salted and dried cod has been a staple of Mediterranean cooks for centuries. The French call it morue, the Italians, baccala and the Portuguese, bacalhau. Salt cod is the culinary legacy of adventurous southern European fishermen, who began reaping a harvest of North Atlantic cod during the 16th century. Because the catch would spoil on the long voyage back to Europe, fishermen salted and dried the cod to preserve it.
- 250gr butterbeans (already cooked)
- 250gr chickpeas (already cooked)
- 250gr kidney beans (already cooked)
- 250gr black eyed peas (already cooked)
- 250gr bread
- A pinch of turmeric
- 1 piece smoked dried Cod or if you can’t find it, Mackeral will do
- 2 carrot
- 1 Onion
- 2 Garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- Olive oil
- Piri Piri sauce
- Tomato puree
- 1 lemon
- Prepare the stock by boiling the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, smoked mackerel, tomato puree, lemon, salt, pepper, bay leaves until reduced.
- Once strained, soak the bread in it for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, fry some garlic in a pan till golden.
- Then add the bread mixture to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Once cold, blend it with a blender.
- Add water and a pinch of turmeric or saffron in a sauce pan, add the cod, bring it to the boil and cook for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix all the different types of beans together with a bit of coriander, piri piri sauce, lemon, salt and pepper.
- Time to plate – pour the bread sauce, then the beans and finally the braised cod.
- Garnish with coriander
Places Mentioned - PortugalShare the series