Bacalhau à brás

One of Portugal’s favourite recipes.

bacalhau

Ingredients:

(enough for 4)

  • 450g salted cod fillet pieces.
  • 450g potatoes or see Short Cut below
  • oil for deep frying the potatoes
  • 150g onion
  • 3-4 whole garlic cloves
  • 35-40g extra virgin olive oil (for the onions and cod)
  • 3 or 4 large eggs
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • Some parsley or fresh coriander for decoration
  • some black olives for decoration

Method:
Wash off any excess salt from the pieces of cod, put them in a large bowl and cover with at least 3 times their volume of cold water. Place the cod in the fridge for 24 hours, changing the water at least 4 times. You don’t need to remove all the salt from the fillets,  just re-hydrate and remove the excess salt if in doubt pick a little bit of flesh from the centre to taste how salty it is. Peel and cut potatoes into matchstick strips, a mandolin is good for this, but if you don’t have one use a knife and cut them as thin as possible. Then fry the matchsticks in a deep pan of oil until golden. Before frying it’s best to wash off excess starch so they don’t stick to each other and drain them well. Deep fry over a high heat otherwise they’ll soften and soak up oil

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Black Bean Stir Fry

This is an easy option, plenty for two, and very inexpensive, just as good as your take away. 200 g beef shredded, 5 spring onions, 3 garlic cloves finely chopped, 1 green pepper, a hand full of bean sprouts, 1 cm ginger finely chopped, Half a sheet of noodles, A splash of soy, A few mushrooms (not compulsory), About 150 ml Black Bean sauce and Oil for cooking. In the wok add the ginger and garlic, then the onions and stir a lot. Add the peppers, stirring Add the meat, stirring. Cook for about 3 minutes or so. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes. Add the black bean sauce and the noodles. Cook for another 3 minutes and then serve. Simple!

Bifanas

Bifanas – Pork Steak Sandwich.
bifanas

Ingredients:

  • 300 grs. of Bifanas (very thin cut pork leg steaks)
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • Sea Salt 
  • Black Pepper 
  • 2 Bay leaves 
  • 1 Glass white wine 
  • 0,5 Glass of white vinegar 
  • 60 grs. lard or olive oil if prefered

Method:

Season the Bifanas in a bowl with salt, pepper, chopped garlic and lay the bay leaves on top.
Drizzle with the white wine and vinegar mixed together.
Let it marinate for a few hours.
Place a frying pan on the hob with the lard or oil to heat.
Drain the Bifanas and place them in the hot pan, turn with a fork and brown on both sides.
As soon as they are well done, add the marinade and let it simmer a little until it almost disappears.
They are ready to be served on a crusty bread roll with mustard and Piri-Piri or on a plate with an egg and chips.

Halloween Apple Tart

 appletart

Ingredients

200g sultanas

5 tbsp brandy (optional) or 5 tbsp of apple juice

plain flour for dusting

750g of butter shortcrust pastry

5 medium Bramley apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced

140g golden caster sugar

¼ tsp each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice

1 egg beaten with a splash of milk

Method

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Put the sultanas into a bowl with the brandy or apple juice, microwave on high until warm and plump.

Roll out the pastry to about 1.5cm in thickness, cut off a third and set aside. Line a shallow tart tin, with the rest of the pastry making sure that it overhangs the rim all the way around. place in the fridge.

Put the apples into the bowl with the sultanas, all but 2 tbsp of the sugar and the spices. Toss everything well to coat the apples.

Roll out the rest of the pastry, then cut into a circle, using the base of the tin as a guide. Using your fingers, arrange the apple slices in the tin. Cover the apples with the circle of pastry and tuck down in the sides. Brush the lid with egg, then fold back the overhang and pinch all round to seal. Brush the top generously with egg, then pierce 2 slits in the top and scatter with the remaining sugar.

Bake for 30-35 mins until golden. Leave to cool in the tin for a good hour, until the bottom is cool enough to touch then cut into triangles and serve with custard, ice cream or clotted cream.

Balinese Chicken Curry

Made this today absolutely gorgeous and easy to make.

balinese curry

Ingredients; to serve 2

2cm piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of spring onions or 1 medium onion
2 fresh red chillies
20g cashew nuts
1 kaffir lime leaves
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 ripe mango
2 x 200g skinless free-range chicken breasts
150g chestnut mushrooms
150g fine green beans
1 x can of coconut milk
1 Tbl spoons Olive Oil
250g basmati rice
1 stick of lemongrass
1 Lime

Method

  1. Peel the ginger and garlic, trim the spring onions, halve and deseed 1 chilli, then char and soften it all in a large casserole pan on a medium-high heat with the cashews until everything is just starting to toast, tossing often.
  2. Put into a blender with the lime leaf, turmeric, fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and a pinch of sea salt and blend into a paste.
  3. Return the pan to a medium heat and dry cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes so they get dark golden and nutty.
  4. Cut the sides off the mango and peel, then cut both the mango and chicken breasts into 1cm slices.
  5. Remove the mushrooms to a plate, then add 1 tablespoon of oil and the paste to the pan. Stir and fry for 1 minute to get the flavours going, then add the chicken and mango and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  6. Halve the green beans and add to the pan, returning the mushrooms and pour in the coconut milk.
  7. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste and season to perfection.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
  9. Crush the sticks of lemongrass on your work surface to then remove the tough outer layer. Halve and deseed the remaining chilli and chop super-finely with the lemongrass.

Drain the rice and serve with the curry, with a sprinkle of lemongrass and chilli, to your taste, and with lime wedges on the side, for squeezing over.

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