22 July 2011

Bacalhau Bread Stuffing

It's not pretty, folks.  But like Mama always says, it's what on the inside that counts.

18 July 2011

Cheery Cherry Clafouti

Cheery.  Cherry.  Clafouti.

Happy words, right?

That's no false advertising, people.  Your belly will be happy indeed after a nice big scoop of this custardy cake.

I know it's silly, but because this dessert has a French pedigree I always assumed it would be fiddly, technique-y, and a real pain to make.  Au contraire!  It is plenty easy to whip up, just five minutes from start to oven.

The only problem?  Those dang cherry pits.  But thanks to the ever-helpful Internets, I found out how to take care of them quickly with the flat side of a chef's knife, garlic-style.  Just be sure to wear an apron and protect your table from the cherry juice fallout!

17 July 2011

Petiscos of Portugal

I am a fan of tapas.  A huge variety of bite-sized morsels that makes a meal out of appetizers?  Sign me up.

Nowadays, though, I live in Portugal.  A place where tapas is a word used by the country who historically plays Marsha to Portugal's Jan: a country also known as Spain.

So we don't eat tapas in our house.  We detest tapas.  We avoid tapas and their shiny perfect hair and adorable miniskirts and effortless popularity with guys named Doug and Charlie. Tapas, tapas, TAPAS!

Instead, we choose to eat petiscos.

07 July 2011

Shrimp Scampi and the Benevolent Omnivore

I did not realize how insulated I was from the lives of the animals I eat until I was denied the emotional distance (and convenience) provided by the American supermarket.

In theory, I am a great supporter of knowing from whence comes my food.  It is only logical that since I choose to be a meat and fish eater, I should understand my choice involves, you know-- living things.

Believe me, I do now.

Chocolate Salami

Great Salamis of Portugal:



02 July 2011

Peas with Eggs and Chorizo

Whatever finicky tendencies I had as a child (ketchup on mac and cheese, anyone?), I left them all behind once I hit college in New York City.  There is a whole world of food on that little island: sushi, burritos, bagels and lox, spanakopita, sesame chicken, kim chi, soul food, falafels, and on and on.  I became an enthusiastic believer in trying new things.

This characteristic has served me well in Portugal.

Octopus, blood sausage, pig trotters, tripe, snails, and fried sardines-- they all require a bit of fearless tasting for me, whereas they are second nature to Bacalhau Boy and his clan.  When my family came to visit last year, my sister-in-law won the prize for most culinarily adventurous by tucking into a pig snout from the elaborate platter of meats my father-in-law proudly presented for lunch.

Now, to be fair, Bacalhau Boy is no grand fan of offal or entrails. We rarely eat snout.  But this past week I craved the taste of summer-- the kind of summer which my inner child's tastebuds would recognize.  I made pulled pork sandwiches with homemade cole slaw on top.  I made a chilled sriracha macaroni salad that left my mouth tingling with delicious spiciness.  I grilled cheeseburgers American style-- WITH the bun, eaten by hand.

But oh, how the pendulum of married life swings.

I filled my belly with familiar deliciousness.  Also, I watched my dear BB good-naturedly eat the mayonnaise-laced cole slaw and the vinegar-based barbecue sauce and the spicy sriracha salad despite his hatred of mayonnaise, vinegar, and spicy foods.  I felt a teensy bit bad for him, even though I couldn't understand his weirdo tastebuds.

Finally, once my inner child was appeased, I figured it was time to take pity. The next night I made my honey some real Portuguese comfort food.