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Sausages, hot dogs and hail seitan

In Culatra Island Festivities there’s a bazaar.
Every year, on the first weekend of August, we have the Culatra Island Festivities in honor to the sailors patron saint. Amonst other tradicional games and attractions, there’s the bazaar. Nothing is sold at the bazaar. Well, something is solt – lottery. Yes, I also don’t undersant why is it called a bazaar, but it is what it is.
The bazaar is a wooden shed where some funny rolled pieces of colored paper are sold. Some pieces of paper have numbers on it that correspond to different items, from hair elastic bands and bottles of wine to the most bizarre things someone remembered to donate to the church.
There was one time I won a can of sausages and a bottle of mustard. According to my memory, on that afternoon was the first time I ever tried a hot dog.

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Bagels 7

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.

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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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