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Milho 4

Corn Porridge

I swear I’ve never heard of sweet corn porridge until a few years ago. For me, corn porridge was xarém! I remember my grandgrandma eating maizena porridge with sugar when I was a kid, but I didn’t even know maizena was cornstarch back then.
I’m always writing about stuff I learnt in cooking school. Of course I learnt a lot about food just because I was in cooking school, but that wasn’t the only reason. I learnt a lot, culturally speaking, specially because of the school’s environment.
‘Til then, I was just attending to school with people from the same town or close villages, but that school was different. There were students from all over the country. The great majority were from the Algarve, of course, but people would come from everywhere in Portugal to study there. And the cultural difference were huge, of course. You learn a lot in such environment. And that was how I found out that corn porridge could be sweet.
I love oatmeal porridge. It’s almost a daily staple in my diet. I also like quinoa, millet and rice porridge, but this recipe is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I wanted to make a corn porridge, but I didn’t want to use corn flour or cornmeal, first because it takes a long time to cook and also because I wanted to make something healthier with less processed foods.
I would say this corn porridge will please a lot of my readers.

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Carrot Muffin with Orange Frosting

In Portugal we have a lot of words. We have way to many words. We have a thousand words for the same thing and a thousand meanings for the same word. We don’t need more words. We’re fine. We got it covered.
So do you know what madeleines are? If you were born after the 90’s, you probably don’t. But muffins are just the new madeleines. When I was a kid there was no muffins in Portugal. We had madalenas (which is the portuguesation of the french name) and queques (which is the portuguesation of the english word cake), but they were just the same cake. Some people will say this isn’t true. But they’re stupid. It’s the same fuckin cake. Trust me.

“Queques? But who the hell still have queques? Such a jurassic thing! Nowadays people want muffins and cupcakes!”

First time I baked muffins was in chef school. It was a nice recipe indeed, with shit loads of fat and oily as fuck, just as a good traditional muffins recipe should be. The kind that people see as healthy because muffins are just sponge cakes.
After baked, the cakes were removed from the silicone forms. And my bakery chef says “And here you have your muffins.” And I say “That look exactly like queques.”. And he says “Exactly like queques? These are muffins! Totally different!”. And I was just thinking to myself “If you weren’t my teacher, I would punch you a fuckin queque down your throat.”.

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Granola 7

Banana, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Granola

Banana and peanut butter is the perfect marriage right? And how can you improve a perfect marriage? If I was the real macho latino now, the answer would be – “with bitches”. But as I am a nice guy, the answer is simply – “with chocolate”.
When you already have banana and peanut butter, you’re just missing the chocolate. The Ben & Jerry’s dudes almost had the most brilliant ideia, but they decided to replace the peanut butter with walnuts, when they came up with the Cunky Monkey. Such a dick heads. They could have created the best ice cream ever made, but they ended up with one just insanly good.
In this granola, however, nothing was left behind. And, on the top of that, it’s gluten free, sugar free and oil free. It’s a granola that clearly tastes like granola.

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Carob and Orange Moist Cake

The best oranges in the world come from the Algarve.
Many aromas and tastes remind me my country, but very few foods are best representative of the south of Portugal than the orange.
Orange is on of my favorite fruits. Even living in Norway, where basically all the fruit tastes like crap (yes, sorry to inform you, my norwegian friends, but it’s true), I’m still eating oranges on a daily basis. Unfortunately, and just as the great, great majority of fruit in Norway, it’s imported. Normally from South Africa, sometimes from northern Spain. And just like almost all the imported fruit, it’s crap. This have nothing to do with the country where it comes from, of course, but simply with the fact of being harvested too soon to be exported.
Everytime I go home and I taste an orange it’s like I remember the true taste of the fruit. “Oh yeah, that’s true, this how oranges taste like!”.
My region have many fantastic products, namely ALL the fruit. But some of my favorite are, undoubtedly, orange, carob, almonds and figs.

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Apple and Molasses Cake

I started my first chef internship at the bakery of Pestana Palace, Lisbon.

At Pestana, we used to use these huge convection ovens, that you could fit some sort of car in to carry the trays. It was the first time I saw that in my life. On my first trainee day, I was in a dead angle, and I crossed with a girl carrying one of these cars. So, as the gentleman I am, I helped a turning the car. What I didn’t know was that that car had just came out of the oven. I burnt both hands.

At Pestana Palace, the pool was the old lake of the palace and, for that reason, people use to call the Lake House to the pool bar. Every morning we would serve a different cake at the Lake House. In a certain morning, I got the task of baking an apple pie to serve there. When the pie was ready and nicely packed, I took to the Lake House. On my way there, I slipped and fell in the middle of the floor. Me and the apple pie.

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