Strawberry Short Cake


Okay this may not be a Portuguese old style cake…or is it ?  I will let you decide on that after reading the recipe.  Really if you think about it, eggs happens to be a key ingredient in many Portuguese desserts…so there you go ! Enjoy !

The Cake:

6 or 7 eggs
1 1/2 cups of sifted white flour
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1  cup of white sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of magic baking powder
1 cap full of brandy or Scotch liquor
1 tsp. of Vanilla extract

Custard Cream:

5 large egg yolks
4-5 tbsp. of sugar
4-5 tbsp. of flour
1 tsp. of coconut extract
2 tsp. of lemon rind
2 tsp. of brandy

Fruit topping about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fresh-cut strawberries
(optional) fresh espresso (at room temperature) 1/2 cup
(optional) kahlua liqueur about 2 or 3 tbsp.

The Method:

1)Making the cake: in a large bowl, crack open 6 eggs, add the water, oil, vanilla, sugar, brandy or scotch.
2)Use electric mixer and mix on med. or med high until frothy (about 7 minutes)
3)Slowly add your dry ingredients: flour, magic baking powder, salt and stir with a wooden spoon.
4)Pour into a bundt cake baking pan that has been greased and floured.
5)Bake for 45 minutes…

Making the custard cream:

1)Whisk 5 or 6 egg yolks with 5 tablespoons of sugar… (save your egg whites for another recipe)
2)Add your coconut extract, your brandy, lemon rind, whisk a bit more than pour into a medium sauce pot on medium low heat.
3)With a wooden spoon slowly add your milk and 1 spoon of flour at time, (if it lumps use your whisk instead)
4)You shall stir slowly until it’s a smooth semi-pudding consistency, about 15 minutes of heating and stirring (more or less).
5)Set to the side. Let it cool for about 10 min.

Now the decorating of the cake:

1)Cut the cake in half horizontally to create a layer cake
2)This is the optional part: (Mix the espresso with the Kahlua and pour over the bottom half )
3)Add the custard on that half to be about 1/2 inch thick.
4)Add the sliced strawberries.
5)Put the other half of the cake on the bottom half.
6)Pour the remaining custard cream over it, it will shield the whole top of the cake . Then add the other half of your strawberries.

As indicated the coffee & Kahlua is purely optional…Feel free to make it as my original way by just using the custard & strawberries !

And there you have it….my most favourite, classic old-fashioned strawberry Custard cake….Even Marie Antoinette would be proud. !

Green beans, potato & egg stew


Hello again friends !

Last year when my mom was visiting, we sometimes create meals at a moment’s notice, especially in the summer.  I was growing  Italian broad green  beans, they are so delicious especially in stews. My mom showed me how to make one of my favourite stews, a green bean, potato & egg stew.  Just amazing the aromas that emanate through the kitchen while this stew slowly cooks.  This is actually a great summer favourite, especially when the green beans are in season…and even better when you picked them fresh from the garden. This stew is so flavourful, satisfying and full of nutrients, protein and comfort.   Enjoy a little homestyle vegetarian dish with a dash of Portuguese charm !!!!

Ingredients: (yields 2 adults)

2 to 2 1/2 cups of fresh-cut green beans (cut in 1 inch pieces)
about 2 to 2 1/4 cups of water
1 vegetable bullion cube
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper paste (pimento paste)
3  tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
3 med. white potatoes (sliced in 1/8 th’s)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. of cummin
1 tbsp. of fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp.  of coriander
1/2 of small onion (chopped in small pieces)
1 clove or pinch of ground clove
3 or 4 eggs
paprika to sprinkle over the eggs
few drops of piri piri
a few leaves of cilantro (optional) towards the end.

The Method:

1)Over medium heat in a medium pot, pour the olive oil and add the chopped onions, stir them up a little. Then add your sliced up garlic cloves, add your salt, black pepper. Slowly fry it up until golden
2)Add your water, should reach about 1/3 the pot. Add your vegetable bullion cube. Let it boil a couple of minutes. Keep the heat to medium, overall.
3)Add your green beans, sliced up potatoes, (cut in 1/8ths)., bay leaf, tomato paste, red sweet pimento sauce, bay leaf, cummin. Let it boil for about 1/2 hr. Stirring occasionally.
4)Towards the last 5 minutes, add the eggs by crack them into the simmering stew. A pinch of coriander &  salt & pepper to taste.
5)Let it simmer until the eggs are over easy or hard-boiled.. however you normally have your eggs. Add some cilantro leaves in the stew.
6)Serve with a sprinkle of paprika over the eggs. And add a dash of piri piri

Enjoy this wonderful homestyle comfort food with a nice glass of red wine or Portuguese beverage Sumol, and don’t forget your favourite home style bread !!!

Let me know how you liked the stew ! 🙂

Chow..
Mannie (a.k.a. Manuela) 🙂

Chickpea & Cod Salad


One of my all time favourite salads is my mom’s Chick Pea & cod salad. Just Perfect for hot summer days or nights. It’s easy, fast and really healthy for you. For those that are a category 1 Portuguese food eater, skip the cod and you’ve got a vegetarian version. Either way it’s bursting with satisfying flavour with a dash of new world Portuguese charm ! Enjoy this favourite of mine !

Dressing:

1/2 cup of extra Virgin Olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. of oregano
1 tbsp. of sweet crushed red pepper paste (pimento paste)
1 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of garlic powder
pinch of black pepper
squeeze of lemon (1 to 2 tsp)
1-2 tsp. of pure honey
1 or 2 drops of piri piri

Ingredients:

1 portion of cod (about 1/2 lb) (blanched for 24 hours)
2 cans of chickpeas
1 red pepper or 1 tomato (for lypocene) a cancer fighting anti-oxidant
1 hand full of fresh parsley
1 hand full of fresh cilantro
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
pinch of cummin
1/4 cup of chopped celery
1/4 chopped red onion
1-2 tbsp. of fresh-cut celery leaves
few drops of piri piri pinch of paprika at the end
garlic powder & black pepper to taste.

Method:
1)After blanching the cod-fish for 24 hours to get rid of the salt, boil the cod for about 10 minutes or so, and let it cool off.
2)After the cod has cooled, flake the white part of the fish, discard the skin. Put to the side.
3)Mix your dressing ingredients and set to the side.
4)Drain the 2 cans of chickpeas into a sieve, wash it thoroughly. In a medium-sized salad bowl, add your chickpeas, garlic, chopped red pepper or chopped tomato, chopped celery, red onion, parsley, cilantro, celery leaves, cummin.
5)Add the flaked cod. (optional)
6)Add your dressing
7)Finish it off with a few drops of piri piri and a few pinches of paprika.
8)Mix well. Add some garlic powder or black pepper to taste.

And that is it ! Great easy dinner for those hot summer nights..Hey and don’t forget the hearty bread & a glass of red or white wine !.

Looking forward to your comments on this one !

Chow for now…
Mannie 🙂

Coscorões


Coscorões

These puffed pastries are so simple to make, they will make your head spin.  I remember my mom making these when I was a little wee girl, I loved rolling out the dough, then I would watch her cut the dough into triangles.  I have not made any new adaptations to these babies, only instead of grand marnier liqueur, I put a shot of good old-fashioned brandy.

Ingredients:

1 cup of white unbleached flour (and additional cup for kneading the dough)
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 tbsp. of brandy or Grand Marnier
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1 cup safflower oil or light vegetable oil
1/2 cup of sugar & cinnamon for dusting on top of the pastries.

The Method:

1) In a med. bowl, add your flour, egg, water, brandy, salt and mix with a wooden spoon.
2) Once it’s been mixed, it will be very sticky and hard to stir, you would need to add more flour and use your hands to round it into a ball.
3)On a cutting board or clean counter, dust some flour, and start to knead to dough, keep it the ball shape as if you are making a pizza. Knead for 5 minutes or until dough is ready to roll out.
4)Roll out the dough with a dusted rolling-pin, roll it out very thin about the thickness of 4 or 5 sheets of paper.
5)Cut into rectangle or triangle shapes, lay them on the plate. In the meantime, add the oil to the frying pan. Put the temperature to medium or my stove has no. 6 on the dial, let it heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Test 1 pastry slice into the pan to see if it’s ready…you’ll know when the pastry is bubbling.
6)Add your pastry triangles or rectangle shapes, let them bubble, about 3 or 4 minutes each side. You want them a very, very light golden white colour.
7)Transfer them to a plate with some paper towel so the oil can be absorbed. Then dust your sugar and cinnamon lightly over top.

These treats are great with milk, coffee or tea. My kids just love these with a glass of milk. One is never enough. Makes a great snack for afterschool or a lunch box treat !

Enjoy and let me know how they turn out !

Mannie 🙂