Bagels

Bagels

How was that weekend? Impeccable no? A lot of beach time and shit? Here, in Bergen, also spectacular. It rained like a motherfucker since friday and on Monday the maximum temperature was 10ºC.

Whole Wheat Bagels

I’ve been looking for some sort of whole grain flour based bagels for a long time and I couldn’t find it in any groceries shop. I find gluten-free bagels everywhere, but what’s the point on buying a product made out of even more refined flours than regular bread flour? Of course it is important to have these alternatives avaiable. I’m sure people who suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance are very thankful for that, but the truth is that, normally, the final product is still quite unhealthy. Very rarely you’ll find a gluten-free product that is not made out if highly processed flours.

Well, here, at the house, we have no gluten issues and so, gluten-free bagels will have to wait. Specially because I don’t have much experience with gluten-free breads and whole wheat recipes are already complicated enough.

That time I had a bagels and shit

When I was a kid, I never had a bagel. Then I grew up, and I still didn’t have much of it.

I don’t have stories for everything.

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Bagels
Bagels are basically some breads with a hole in the middle. Ok, some breads with a hole in the middle, that are boiled in water before baked in oven.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
Bagels
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
Bagels
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix the yeast, sugar and water in a mug (the water should be lukewarm, not very hot!);
  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes, to activate the yeast;
    Bagels 1
  3. In a big bowl, mix the flour with the salt and add in the yeast mix and the blackstrap molasses;
    Bagels 2
  4. Get ready for a brutal combat with the dough;
  5. Vigorously knead it, like a man;
  6. Allow the dough to rest in a greased bowl covered with a wet towel, for about 4 hours, in a warm place;
    Bagels 3
  7. Roll the dough with your hands, forming a... hmmm... a roll;
  8. Divide the dough in 12 equal pieces;
    Bagels 4
  9. If the pieces are not equal, the dough will expel a poisonous gas that will inflame in contact with the oxygen in the air;
  10. Shape small balls with your hands and make a hole in the middle, like some sort of donuts;
    Bagels 5
  11. Allow the bagels to rest for about 1 hour;
  12. Boil them in boiling water, for about 1 minute each side; You can add salt, sugar or any other spices you may like to the water; I added baking soda to give the bagels that bretzel taste;
    Bagels 6
  13. When cooked, you can top your bagels with seeds, spices or any other toppings you may like; I used fennel seeds, flor-de-sal, black pepper, turmeric, thyme and sesame seeds;
  14. Bake them in the oven, 180ºC, for about 30/40 minutes; I baked mine over on a silicone layered tray, but you can also use a greased tray (with some olive oil or any other fat);
  15. Enjoy them warm or cold, sweet or savory, however you may like;
Recipe Notes
  • These bagels are relatively small;
  • If you prefer sandwich-size bagels, you can use the same recipe for just 6 bagels, instead of 12;
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Bagels 8

Caloric Breakdown:
(Por Bagel = 1/12 da Receita)
Blue – 79% Carbs
Red – 4% Fat
Green – 17% Protein

 

Bagels 7

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Corn Porridge

Sweet Corn Porridge

When I was 12 or 13, my favorite band was KoЯn. I don’t know why is this important, but I thought it would be interesting starting this post about corn porridge with a paranomasia between the words corn and korn.

It was not funny, I know, but it’s a good way to make the post larger, even when I’m not inspired. And it’s also true.

Xarém

Xarém is one of the most characteristic dishes in my region, in the south of Portugal.

If you’re not portuguese, you probably never heard of xarém in your life. Even some portuguese never heard of. Well, if you’re portuguese and you’re reading this in english for some reason and you don’t know what xarém is, I’ll explain it to you. But don’t miss the opportunity to feel ashamed of yourself for being stupid.

When I was a kid I would feel excited just by thinking about eating xarém. My grandpa would come home with small-spotted catsharks (yes, I just googled the name in english for you) and I knew we would have xarém for lunch.

There are several forms of cooking xarém in the Algarve. The most common is xarém with clams, but at my place, my grandma used to make xarém out of the fish stew stock.

Coarse Cornmeal

Xarém is cornflour based dish – this is probably the definition you will find online if you search for it. But my grandma insists that xarém is made out of coarse cornmeal and not cornflour.

When my grandma was a little girl, the islanders (in case of you being a new reader, I am natural from Culatra Island, the most beautiful piece of land in the planet) would trade fish, shellfish and seafood with the farmers from Olhão and closer cities. In exchange they would get potatoes, cabbage, fruit, rice and other vegetables and cereals.

The coarse cornmeal I’m talking about, is a very simple milling of the corn, a thick one, which is normally not even sieved through. It’s a cheap and simple process and the cereal is normally milled like this to feed chickens and other animals.

The old islanders say people used to have livestock in the Island. It’s not like nowadays. The islanders would buy coarse cornmeal to feed the chickens and ducks, but they wouldn’t be the only ones eating it. Coarse cornmeal used to be (and it still is) cheaper than cornflour. And it was good for the chickens to eat, it would certainly be good enough for the islanders.

I never heard this from my grandma, she just says that xarém is made out of coarse cornmeal and not cornflour. But I’ve heard these stories from other old islanders. These stories about food trade. The rest I just assume. Not very difficult to conclude.

The truth is that coarse cornmeal makes a just as good xarém as cornflour, if not better. Actually MUCH better, in my opinion. But my opinion is compromised, as I grew up eating xarém made out of coarse cornmeal.

To this very day, if my mum or grandma goes to the farmers market and can’t find coarse cornmeal, there is no xarém.

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.

Ingredients:

570 gr. of Sweet Corn (canned)
6 Dates
2 Cups of Vegetable Milk
2 TBSP of Grounded Flaxseeds
1 TSP of Turmeric
1/2 TSP of Grounded Cardamom
1/2 TSP of Grounded Ginger
1/4 TSP of Grounded Cloves

Instructions:

  • Prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for some hard work;
  • Pit the dates;
  • Drain the corn;
  • Throw the corn, dates and milk into the blender jug;
  • Blend it into a smooth mix;
  • Pour the liquid into a pan;

Corn 1

  • Add in the turmeric, cardamom, ginger and cloves;
    • If you don’t like any of the seasonings, you could just die;
      • Or maybe don’t use it;
  • Also add in the flaxseeds;
  • Cook it on low heat, always stirring;
    • The corn tends to violentaly bubble, if you don’t stir;
    • If you’re a masochist, place your face as close as possible to the pan and wait for the geysir of hot corn porridge to explode;
  • When it’s thick and warm, serve in bowls, with your favorite toppings;
  • Alternatively, you can also let it cool down and enjoy it cold – it gets kind of a pudding consistency;

corn 2

corn 3

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corn 5

Caloric Breakdown:

(Per Portion = 1/2 of the Recipe)

Blue – 74% Carbs

Red – 17% Fat

Green – 9% Protein


Note:

  • The nutritional label refers to a portion (half the recipe) without any toppings;


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Apple and Molasses Cake

Apple and Molasses Gluten Free Cake

Cake 1

If you’re a usual reader, you know I love fruit cakes, specially candied fruit. My favorite cake is the portuguese bolo-rei, so you know my peculiar taste.

I’m that guy that never enjoyed fast-food. Believe it or not, I’m sure I could use my 20 fingers to count how many times I had food on a McDonald’s. And from those 20 times, I could probably use my 10 hand fingers to count how many times I had burgers. I used to be that guy who orders a McFlurry or an apple pie, just to join the others.

Tarte Tatin

I love apple pies. Well, any time of apple cake, actually. But it was just after joining the hostelry and cooking school that I realized how crappy the McDoanld’s apple pies were. There’s nothing better than a homemade apple cake. Specially tarte tatin with crunchy puff pastry. Even if tarte tatin is a stupid name. Just like any other french name.

When I would go have dinner at some friends place, I would make apple or banana tarte tatin for dessert. Everybody would love it and be super impressed with my baking skills, but, in fact, I would just caramelize some pieces of apple or banana. Puff pastry and ice cream would be store bought. Do you really think I would waste my time baking pastry and making ice cream for a bunch of drunk people? Now that I think about it, that’s actually what is all about being a professional chef.

I am an idiot

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.

And this was my first week as a trainee.

Ingredients:

Dry:

1/2 Cup of Buckwheat Flour
1/2 Cup of Almond Flour
3/4 Cup of Oatmeal Flour
1/4 Cup of Potato Starch
1 TSP of Baking Powder
1 TSP of Baking Soda
1/4 TSP of Salt
1/4 Cup of Raw Brown or Coconut Sugar
1 TBSP of Cinnamon
1 TBSP of Chia Seeds
2 TBSP of Grounded Flaxseeds
Pinch of grounded nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and cloves

Wet:

10 Dates
2 TBSP of Coconut Oil
1 TPS of Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup of Applesauce
1/2 Cup of Vegetable Milk
1 ou 2 TBSP of Blackstrap Molasses

Cake 2

Instructions:

  • If you don’t have almond or oatmeal flour, you can just make your own on the coffee grinder or food processor;
    • If you grind the almonds too much, you’ll get almond butter instead of flour;

Cake 2

  • Since you’re making such a great job using the grinder (I know you also use to grind weed sometimes, but I won’t tell), just grind your brown sugar;
    • Yes, I kid you not – grind the brown sugar until it becomes like powdered sugar;
    • Make sure to use raw sugar, not the soggy brown sugar;

Cake 3

  • In a big bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, except the chia and flaxseeds;

Cake 4

  • Rinse the apple (yes, you’re supposed to rinse your food before you eat it) and cut it in four pieces;
    • Dice 3/4 of it;
    • Slice the remaining 1/4 for decoration;

Cake 5

  • Pit the dates;
    • If you’re using less juicy dates, I would recommend you to soak them in water for a couple hours;
  • Mash the dates with a fork;
  • Add in the ramaining wet ingredients and also the chia and flaxseed;
    • It is a good ideia to melt the coconut oil in the microwave before adding in;

cake 6

  • Mix it well;

cake 7

  • Fold in the diced apple;

cake 8

  • Sieve the flour using a… a sieve…;
  • Keep adding in the flour, a little at a time;
  • Pour the content of the bowl into a bread tin;
    • I recommend using a silicone tin, as it doesn’t require using fat;
    • If you’re using a metal or disposable tin, I recommend greasing it with some coconut oil and dusting it with some flour;
  • Top the cake with blackstrap molasses and sliced apple;

cake 9

  • Bake it in the oven on 180ºC, for about 1 hour;
  • Allow the cake to competely cool down before removing it from the tin and slicing it;
  • The feast is on;

cake 10

cake 11

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cake 12

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Service = 1/15 of the recipe)

Blue – 56% Carbs

Red – 36% Fat

Green – 8% Protein

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Simple Pancakes

Simple Pancakes

It took me many years to understand the difference between pancakes and crepes. I know nowadays every 13 year old kid in Portugal knows what pancakes are, but 16 or 17 years ago, if I would ask my mom to bake me pancakes for breakfast, she would have to check for the recipe in every single TeleCulinária magazine (a super old portuguese culinary magazine) and I would probably still have toasts and coffee with milk for breakfast. This if I even knew what a pancake was when I was 13, ’cause I have no ideia when I first heard about it. With 13 years old I was more concerned about improving my skills in the Sticking Game, a super old portuguese game normally played with a sharp stick and some drawings on the soft ground. On my school we used to play it with a rusty scredriver, also very useful to threaten your school mates and still their lunch money. Pancakes were hollywood movies stuff.

Sunday Pancakes

The last time I published a pancake recipe was already more than 1 year ago. By that time I used to call them sunday pancakes, as I used to bake them on sundays. Super original name, I know. But things change and now the sunday pancakes ritual is actually on saturday morning. Not that would make any different, but you know, I have to write something on these posts, just to give the impression I actually care about you and shit.

Saturday Pancakes

This has nothing to do with the fact I started baking pancakes on saturday mornings, but the recipe I’ve been using lately is slightely different from the one I have here on the blog. It was not divine inspiration, no, it was just because I didn’t have the ingredients I used to use at home and, after all, I realized I actually like better these ones.

Besides, this recipe is more simple to make and also healthier, since it contains less processed flours.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of Buckwheat Flour
1/2 Oats Flour (grounded oatmeal)
1/2 Cup of Apple Sauce or 1 Mashed Banana
1 Cup of Vegetable Milk
2 TBSP of Grounded Flaxseeds
1/2 TSP of Baking Powder
1/2 TSP of Baking Soda
1 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar
Vanilla (optional)
Cardamom (optional)
Turmeric (optional)
Cinammon (optional)

Instructions:

  • Mix the grounded flaxseeds with 5 tablespoons of warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes;
    • If the mix doesn’t become kind of gooey, microwave it for about 15 seconds;

pancakes 1

  • If you want to make your own oats flour, just ground some oatmeal in the coffee grinder or food processor;

pancakes 2

  • Mix the apple sauce (or mashed banana) with the milk, baking soda, baking powder and flours;
  • At last, fold in the gooey flaxseed mix, apple cider vinegar and seasonings, if you’re using it;

pancakes 3

  • Bake your pancakes on medium heat, using a non sticking pan;
  • Remember to heat the pan before pouring in the pancake batter;
  • Let them cook nicely in one side, until it stops bubbling, before you turn them;
  • If you’re using a propper non sticking pan, you’ll need no oil;
    • Keep in mind that if you add some oil in the pan, you will alter the nutritional values of the recipe;

pancakes 4

pancakes 5

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pancakes 6

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Service = 1/2 recipe)

Blue – 65% Carbs

Red – 21% Fat

Green – 14% Protein

Note:

  • These values, obviously, reffer to the pancakes without any toppings;
  • Eating pancakes does not make you more fat than eating bananas, as long as you’re using the right recipe and chosing the right toppings;

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Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate Sauce

It’s fruit or chocolate

Fruit or chocolate? Fruit topped with chocolate, of course! Why fruit OR chocolate?

As you’re not portuguese, you probably have no ideia what am I talking about. Well, if you don’t speak portuguese but you live in Portugal and you still have no ideia what am I talking about, dude, there’s life beyond Facebook and Instagram.

I know in most asian and south american beaches, you will find these guys walking on the beach with a box and selling pretty much everything, from coconut water, smoothies and natural juices, to açaí bowls, ice cream and even shellfish. But in Portugal we’re quite simple people.

Berliners VS Ice Cream

There are just two types of beach salesmen in Portugal:

  • The ones selling ice cream (normally ice cream sandwiches) while screaming out loud “Olha o gelado fresquinho! É de fruta ou chocolate!”, which means “Here is the refreshing ice cream! It’s fruit or chocolate!”. Okay, this is not funny at all in english, but they have a really special way to advertise it portuguese;
  • The ones selling berliners (basically a doughnut with no hole, normally filled with crème pâtissière) while screaming out loud “It’s the berliner! With or without filling!”;

Ice creams, sorbets, cold stuff, I get it. I’m hanging there, on the beach, the sun is shining, I see that crazy looking guy with a hat carrying a cooler box and I think “I could use a cold beer right now.” Then I realize that inside the box there is just fruit or chocolate ice cream. Probably a strawberry vanilla or chocolate icecream sandwich with a soggy biscuit. Anyways, I get disappointed as f*ck, swallow my pride and I still pay the 2€ for that crappy ice cream, because, after all, it’s still refreshing.

But now, let’s talk seriously – BERLINERS??????? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR F*CKIN MIND???? You’re there, on the beach, in August, hot as f*ck, almost melting down and you’re gonna buy a f*ckin doughnut???? “Oh boy, it’s hot, I could really use a pice of deep fried dough filled with cream to refresh myself!” And there’s even people who rather have it WITHOUT cream, because that way they can be sure they’re gonna choke on the f*ckin food and feel even more thirsty! F*ck man!

Do people in your country eat peanut butter with cinnamon by the spoon on the beach? To get my mouth dry I could eat sand and I wouldn’t pay for it!

Chocolate Sauce

I did not know what to call to this recipe, since is just a chocolate thingy. I’m calling it a chocolate sauce, but I guess you could call it chocolate frosting, or whatever.

 Ingredients:

4 Juicy Dates
3 TBSP of Cocoa powder
Water or Vegetable Milk
Pinch of Vanilla (optional)
Pinch of Cardamom (optional)

Instructions:

  • Pit the dates;
    • If you’re using a less juicy variety of dates, I would recommend you to soak them for a couple hours;
  • Mash the dates with a fork, like a man and stuff;
    • Add in a tablespoon of water, to help mashing it;

chocolate 1

  • Add in the cocoa powder;
    • You could also add in the vanilla, cardamom and even other seasonings you may like;
  • Stir in the water or vegetable milk, little by little;
    • Keep adding it until you get the desired consistency;

chocolate 2

  • Store in fridge, in a closed glass jar;
    • If you’re using milk, it lasts up to 3 days in the fridge;
    • If you’re using water, it lasts up to 5 or 7 days in the fridge;
  • Serve your chocolate sauce with pancakes, waffles, nana ice cream, fresh fruit or açaí bowl;

chocolate 3

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chocolate 4

Caloric Breakdown:

(1 Service ~ 1 TBSP)

Blue – 76% Carbs

Red – 17% Fat

Green – 7% Protein

Note:

  • If you have some caffeine intolerance (yest, cocoa also contains caffein), you can replace the cocoa powder with carob powder.

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