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A Portuguese Feast!



Portuguese cooking is right on-trend. And not only because of the delicious flavours and popular recipes, also because it stays honest and homely and seasonal. From family-style piri-piri chicken, to grilled sardines on the street, to those tempting little custard tarts, Pastéis de Nata.

That is also why My Portuguese Feast, Recipes from the Heart, by the doyenne of Portuguese South African cooking, Mimi Jardim, should be in the kitchen of home cooks and chefs alike – and it should at least be on the coffee tables of those who are better at reading than cooking.

My Portuguese Feast is a “tribute to Mimi’s 50 years of cooking, teaching, loving, exploring, sharing… with family and friends” and is filled with nostalgia and delicious recipes for feasting – everyday, weekends and special occasions. Recipes for prego rolls, prawn rissoles, classic desserts and many more delicious dishes are complemented by her wisdom, personal stories and culinary advice and inspired by her travels to also include her take on Argentinian steak, Mozambican chicken curry…

Don’t miss a review of the book and a lovely cook-and-eat-along with Mimi on 1 March. (Read more)

Two recipes to try this weekend: Raymond’s Travelling Piri-Piri Chicken and the traditional and utterly delicious Churros.

Raymond’s Travelling Piri-Piri Chicken

Mimi_2436Piri-piri chicken is Portugal’s gift to the world and my husband Augusto passed on this gift to his children. My son Raymond then continued the tradition by adding flavours of his own, depending on which country he is visiting. My grandson Marco is next in line…

Serves 4-6

1 medium-sized (1 – 1.2 kg) chicken

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

whoel piri-piri chillies, crushed (use 3 – 5 chillies for medium or 5 – 10 for hot)

10 m lemon juice

2 – 4 cloves garlic, crushed

5 ml paprika

12.5 ml olive oil

sprigs of rosemary and thyme tied together to form a brush

Sauce:

2 cloves garlic

20 ml butter (plus 12.5 ml olive oil, optional)

piri-piri chillies (or peri-peri sauce), to taste

juice of half a lemon

5 ml chopped parsley

Rinse and dry the chicken and spatchcock it (Cut it open through the back and flatten it). Cut slashes into the flesh of the thick parts of the chicken.

Make a paste of the remaining ingredients (other than the rosemary and thyme, and the sauce ingredients) and rub it over the inside and outside of the chicken. Allow to marinate for 2 hours. Grill or braai the chicken, turning regularly and using the rosemary and thyme brush to baste it with the marinade/paste every time it is turned. Serve with the sauce.

To make the sauce, fry the garlic cloves in the butter. Add the piri-piri chillies or sauce, lemon juice and parsley. Remove the garlic and serve.

Cellarmaster Eugene van Zyl recommends the 2016 Leopard’s Leap Chardonnay with this dish.

Portuguese Doughnuts / Farturas / Pés de Abóbora / Churros

Mimi_1965Farturas are sold at every fair, festival and market in Protugal: it is our favourite street food. They are now also sold at most festivals in South Africa, and a visit to Lusito Land is not complete until you have queued for hours at the fartura stall.

Makes 30 – 40

1 litre water

20 ml sugar

20 g butter

 pinch of salt

 1 stick cinnamon

strip of lemon rind

500 g flour

 6 eggs

 vegetable oil for frying

cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Place the water, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon and lemon rind in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Remove cinnamon and lemon. Sift the flour and add it to the saucepan, mixing it in very quickly. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well until the mixture is of a soft consistency. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan, adding a wine cork or two to prevent bubbles from forming in the oil (and have a glass of wine while you’re at it). Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. Starting in the centre of the pan, pipe the dough in a spiral shape. Fry until golden on both sides – be very careful when you turn it over. (Alternatively, pipe and fry long strips of dough. These are called Pés de abóbora, pumpkin stems.) Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Cut into pieces with a pair of scissors and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar while hot. Serve immediately.

Try it with a glass of well-chilled Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan – or otherwise you can’t go wrong with a black coffee!

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