Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Celeriac Soup

Celeriac is one of those old-fashioned root vegetables that is rarely chosen as a favorite, and I have to admit I don't like just any celeriac preparation, but made into this silky, fragrant soup, it is perfect.

  • one celeriac
  • 5 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4-5 tbl spoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ca. 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground (citrus) pepper
  • freshly chopped parsley
How to:
  1. Put the kettle on with plenty of water (1 liter or more).
  2. Peel and dice the potatoes.
  3. Chop the onion and garlic finely.
  4. In a big soup pan, add 3-4 tbl spoons of olive oil, and fry the potatoes and onion for 5-10 minutes on a medium high heat until slightly soft. During the last couple of minutes add the garlic. While the potatoes are frying, shave off the rough, dirty skin of the celeriac with a big sharp knife, and cut the celeriac into 1-2 cm chunks.
  5. Add the celeriac chunks, salt and cover with boiling water. Simmer under lid for ca. 30 minutes until the celeriac is soft. You should now have a wonderful smell of sweet and slightly spicy celeriac in your kitchen.
  6. Take the pan off the fire, add another tablespoon of olive oil and liquidize the soup (I use my handblender) until it is silky smooth and still quite thick.
  7. Bring the soup back onto a low fire and slowly heat it through.
  8. At serving, add freshly ground (citrus) pepper and parsley. Don't be tempted to add any cream or creme fraiche, since it will take away the flavour of the celeriac. Enjoy!

Labels: ,

Monday, November 26, 2007

10 Minute Red Lentil Soup

This is a light variation of Turkish red lentil soup which I learned from my friend Lily, although I have made a few adjustments of my own. Lily uses onion, tomato purée and chicken stock, I use no onion, fresh tomatoes and just salt. I like to use flat leaf parsley because of its sweetnes, but curly parsley will also be fine. The sweet chili flakes (biber) are sold in most Turkish shops, but if you cannot find them, they can be substituted with ordinary sweet chili powder or 1/2 fresh, deseeded, chopped chili pepper. The recipe should be enough for a starter for 2 or main course for 1 person.

Ingredients :
  • 2 dl (split) red lentils
  • 7 dl water
  • 3 medium size tomatos, chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp sweet chili flakes
  • 1 good handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ca. 1/2 tsp salt (or veg/chicken stock cube for 1/2 L)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
How to:
  1. Put the lentils and water into a soup pan on a medium-high heat.
  2. While the lentils and water come to boiling, chop the other ingredients.
  3. Add to the pan tomatos, garlic, chili flakes, salt and half of the parsley.
  4. When the soup boils, reduce the heat and simmer under lid for ca. 10 minutes until the lentils are soft. If you would like a slightly creamier texture, you can use the pulse function on a handblender a few times to fluff up the soup, but make sure to keep some of the lentils' texture.
  5. Scoop the soup into a bowl, squeeze out the lemon juice on top and garnish with the rest of the parsley. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pumpkin Fritters

This a typical Christmas dessert in Portugal (in portuguese called Filhoses de Abóbora) .

  • 600g pumpkin
  • 12 tbspoons plain flour
  • 2 tbspoons sugar
  • 1 tbspoon baking powder
  • 5 eggs
  • 50ml orange juice
How to:
  1. You will have to cook the pumpkin the day before. Boil it until very soft, drain all the water very well and leave it for 8/10 hours to dry.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, using a blender, until the batter is very smooth.
  3. In a large frying pan heat vegetable oil (you need a large quantity, say 5-7 cm deep) and fry scoops of the batter until golden brown (2min each side).
  4. In the end, while still warm, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon on top.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tomatada com ovos

This is a recipe my mother used to do frequently in the summer, when peppers and tomatoes abounded in her garden!

You will need (for 2 persons):
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 peppers sliced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic glove finely chopped
  • 3 medium/4 small tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 100 gr bacon (in cubes)
  • 1 tbspoon olive oil
  • 1 laurier leaf
  • salt and pepper q.b.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a large frying pan or a wok, heat the olive oil, in medium fire.
  3. Add the bacon and let it cook until it is slightly crispy.
  4. Add the onion, the garlic and the peppers.
  5. Allow to cook for 3/4 min, until the onion becomes translucid.
  6. Add the tomatoes and let it cook for 5 more minutes (or until the tomatoes are soft).
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Transfer the vegetables to a oven proof dish.
  9. Using a table spoon open two small holes in the vegetable mixture and deposit the eggs there.
  10. Take to the oven for 10/15 min (until the eggs are done).
  11. Serve with toasted bread or white rice.
Bom apetite :)


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tuna Spread

I will start with a very modest recipe of a classic combination: tuna and capers. It is extremely simple, but perfect as sandwich spread or as an appetizer. Since I published this recipe the first time, I got a tip from my friend Lily to add Madame Jeanette pepper. I just tried it out, and like her, I can now hardly imagine the tuna spread without it! This small, pretty, yellow, crinkly pepper is quite hot, but if you remove the seeds, it just adds a warm, mysterious, almost smokey flavour. Try it!
  • 260 grams tuna (2 cans, strained weight)
  • 60 grams small capers, lightly chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Madame Jeanette pepper, carefully de-seeded and very, very finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp creme fraiche
  • salt and freshly ground (citrus) pepper to taste

Put everything in a bowl and work it with a spoon until it becomes a smooth spread. Serve with toast or fresh bread. Variations can be made by adding chopped black olives and/or finely chopped red onion.


My first entry

I am very honoured to be invited to coauthor this recipe blog, and I am happy to have found a fellow foodie in Xana. The food I make is generally quick, easy and fairly healthy. I like the clean, fresh tastes of Italian, Portuguese, Turkish and Japanese cooking, but also the more complex hot, sweet and sour flavours of South East Asian food. Many of the recipes I will post will be due to other people, since I am blessed with friends who love food and know how to make it, or maybe we just seem to find eachother :-)

Walnut muffins

Ingredients (makes 12)
  • 250 gr (wholewheat) flour
  • 2 tea spoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 75 gr walnuts roughly choppped
  • 1 tea spoon vanilla essence
  • 100g butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml milk

How to

  1. Preaheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-muffin tin with paper cups.
  2. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar.
  3. In another bowl mix the vanilla essence, butter, eggs and milk (until smooth).
  4. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin paper cases.
  6. Bake for 20/25 minutes (or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.)
  7. Allow to cool in the tin and unmould.
Bom apetite :)

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Big improvement

As of today, the quality of this blog will suffer a big improvement! My good friend Helle, who is a food lover and a great cooker, agreed in joining me in this fun project of sharing recipes :) So you can expect great and innovative recipes soon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Leek quiche


For the pastry:
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 egg

For the filling:
  • 100 g ham
  • 100 g bacon
  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1 tbspoon olive oil
  • 125 ml cream
  • 3 eggs
  1. Do the pastry as in the quiche lorraine recipe.
  2. Roll out the dough. In the end it should be roughly 2 mm thick.
  3. Place it in a baking tray.
  4. In a bowl, mix the eggs and the cream.
  5. In a non sticking pan heat the olive oil, add the leek and let cook for 2/3min stirring ocasionally.
  6. Distribute the bacon, the ham and the leek uniformly in the pastry and pour the egg mixture.
  7. Take to oven (180 °C) and bake for 30/40 min.


Monday, November 12, 2007


The Folar is a typical portuguese bread for Easter. Depending on the region, it can be sweet or salty. This version is typical of Chaves, my family hometown.


For the dough:
  • 7 large/8 medium eggs
  • 125 gr butter
  • 1 kg plain flour
  • 60 gr fresh yeast or dried yeast for 1 kg flour
  • salt q.b.
  • 150 ml warm milk
For the filling:
How to:
  1. Place the flour in a large bowl.
  2. If you are using dried yeast, mix it with the flour.
  3. Melt the butter and reserve.
  4. Add the eggs to the flour and work the dugh for 3/4 min.
  5. If you use fresh yeast dissolve it in warm water and add it to the dough. Work it for 2 or 3 more minutes.
  6. Add the butter and work for 1/2 min.
  7. Finally add the milk and work the dough for 5 min. In case the dough is too wet add flour until it gets the right consistency: it should not adhere to your hands.
  8. Cover it and let it rest for 1 hour.
The dough should be enough to prepare two small folares. I usually prepare one with meat and another one plain. I like to eat the plain one toasted with butter or jam. :)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C.
  2. Divide the dough into two portions.
  3. Roll out one of them until it is 2 cm thick.
  4. Leave it to rest for 5/10 min. During this time, prepare the meat: peel and slice the chorizo and slice the parma ham.
  5. Place the chorizo and the ham in the dough (see left upper corner in the picture above).
  6. Fold the dough and take it to the oven for 30/40 min.
  7. Repeat the process for the second portion of dough. Even if you do a plain folar, you should do step 3 and let it rest for a few minutes before folding and baking.
Enjoy! :)


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tuna pie


For the pastry:
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 egg
For the filling
  • 1 can of tuna (200 g)
  • 10 black olives sliced
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1tbspoon olive oil
  • half red pepper chopped
  • half green pepper chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 100ml double cream
  • salt
How to:
  1. Do the pastry as in the quiche lorraine recipe.
  2. In a non-stick pan heat the olive oil add the onions and peppers and let cook for 2/3 min. In the end season with salt.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C.
  4. Roll out the pastry and place it in a baking tray.
  5. In a bowl, mix the eggs and the cream.
  6. Distribute the tuna uniformly in the tart, add the onion/pepper mixture and on top the olives. Finally, pour the egg mixture.
  7. Bake for 20/30 min.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Leek soup

This is a very easy and tasty soup. Great for cold winter days :)


  • 1 leek sliced
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 white cabbage
  • 2 garlic gloves
  • 1 small carrot
  • 5 tbspoons olive oil
  • salt q.b.
  1. Heat 3 tbspoons olive oil in medium fire, add the leek and let it cook for 3/4 min, stirring ocasionally. This step is quite important because the leek will release all its flavour.
  2. In the mean time prepare the other vegetables.
  3. Add all the other vegetables and cover with water.
  4. Add salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, turn down the fire and cook at a lively simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Puree with a blender for a few minutes, adding the 2 tbspoons olive oil almost in the end.
  7. Thin with water if the soup is too thick.
Bom apetite! :)


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Frango Jardineira

(for 4 persons)

  • 8 chicken legs
  • 2 carrots
  • 200g peas
  • 3 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves finely chopped
  • 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • 3 tbspoons olive oil
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 100ml white wine
  • pepper and salt q.b.
How to:
  1. Season the chicken legs with salt.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned outside, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and onion and let cook for 2/3 mins.
  5. Add the wine and let cook for 2/3 min.
  6. Add the carrots (sliced), the peas, the tomatoes and the laurel leaves.
  7. Let cook for 10/15min (until the chicken is done).
  8. In the end, season with pepper (I like to use a mixture of white/black pepper)
I usually serve this dish with white rice or mashed potatoes.

Bom apetite! :)

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

This might be a bad idea...

I just signed up for NaBloPoMo.

Yes, I know, I’m seven days late. And yes I do not know if I will make it! I don’t know how I am going to post every single day for the next thirty days. But... This is also a motivation to finally upload some good recipes :) And to invite friends over for dinner: someone will have to eat what I will cook in the next weeks! :)

Tarte de Natas (Portuguese Custard Pie)


For the pastry
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 egg
For the filling
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 750 ml milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 tbspoons sugar
  • 3 tbspoons maizena
How to:
  1. Do the pastry as in the quiche lorraine recipe.
  2. Do the filling as in the Leite Creme recipe (with the adjusted ingredient quantities).
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C.
  4. Roll out the pastry and place it in a baking tray.
  5. Pour the filling and bake for 30/40 min.
  6. In the end the top should be slightly brownish.
I like to eat this pie sprinkled with cinnamon powder!

Labels: ,