Amazing Kids! Magazine

Cook Time with Remmi

By Remmi Smith, Cook Nook Columnist

 

Hi Amazing Kids! It is June and summer will be here officially later this month, more importantly it is summer vacation! Last month I experimented with Spanish food after reading and learning about Spain’s food and some of its history. This month I am going to share with you some recipes from Portugal. The country borders Spain, and it is located in the Iberian Peninsula. The Atlantic Ocean borders Portugal to the West and the South. The Azores and Madeira Islands are also part of Portugal. Because of its border to the ocean, at one time in history, Portugal had all the tea and spice trade from the Indian Islands. The spices brought to Portugal were cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and curry. Portugal also brought cod from the Icelandics to the Mediterranean and Europe. The Portuguese preserved cod by drying it and layering it with salt. Cod and sardines are big in their diet today and I read there are more Portuguese recipes for cod (bacalhau) than there are days in the year! Portuguese cuisines use kale, fennel, lamb, pork, and many kinds of beans. And, just as in Spain, freshly made bread is served at every meal! They also serve a lot of goat and sheep cheese that is produced on the mainland and the Azores Island. Each meal starts with a soup and salads are also served with meals. Did you know that at Portuguese meals the napkin is to be kept at the left of your plate and it is never placed in your lap? When you are finished eating…..move the napkin to the right side of the plate. And did you know it is proper manners to leave some food on your plate when you are finished eating?…..OK more fun food facts to come.. Lets get cooking…

 

Remmi’s Favorite Portuguese Recipes

Kale and Collard Greens Soup (Caldo Verde)

Portugese Salad (Salada)

Cod en Papillote (Bacallhou Livro)

Baked Flat Bread ( Pa’0)

Kale and Collard Greens Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
  • 3 cups new red potatoes (cubed)
  • 1 cup turnip (cubed)
  • 2 ½ C canned white kidney beans (rinsed)
  • 1 ½ medium onion diced
  • 1 T curry powder or to taste
  • 9 cups of vegetable soup stock
  • ½ bunch kale (stems removed /2 inch dice)
  • ½ bunch collard greens (stems removed /2 inch dice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Using a large pot, sauté the onion and the garlic in the olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients except for the greens. Simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the greens and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with baked flat bread.

 

Portugese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper (sliced)
  • 3 medium tomatoes (see directions for prep below)
  • 1 cucumber (peeled/sliced in rounds)
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 2 t red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/8 t red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper taste

Directions:

For the tomato preparation, prepare a small pan of boiling water. Prepare a medium bowl with cold water. With a knife cut an X on the bottom of the tomato. With a pair of tongs lower the tomato in the boiling water and allow it to boil for one minute. Place the tomato(s) in the cold water. Peel the tomato and dice in large pieces and place in medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss and combine.

 

Cod en Papillote

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 OZ. cod fillets (rinsed)
  • 1 lemon sliced (8 pieces)
  • 4 T chicken broth mixed 1 t curry
  • 4 T cream cheese (low fat)
  • 2 medium potatoes (sliced thin)
  • 2 T each of parsley and chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Foil or parchment paper

Directions:

Prepare the foil or parchment paper-4-(12×12 inches). Place cod on each piece of paper. Put 2 lemon slices on each piece of fish. Place the sliced potatoes around the fish. Top the fish with the broth/cream cheese/parsley/chives/salt and pepper. Fold the paper/foil to seal and make a pouch. (If using paper, spray pouch with oil spray). Place the fish pouches on a baking pan and place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Place on dinner plate and serve in pouch. NOTE: this is really a French cooking method but I am using this here because it makes a really great fish.

 

Baked Flat Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 C corn flour
  • 1 t coarse or sea salt
  • 1 t ground fennel (optional if you like the taste)
  • 2 ½ C water
  • 1 ½ C all purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place either a pizza stone or a cast iron skillet in the oven. Boil the water. Mix the corn flour, salt and fennel in a mixing bowl. Add one cup of the water and mix thoroughly by stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining water and stir the mixture well. Be careful because the mixture will be hot. Set the dough mixture aside. When it is cool enough that you can handle it, add the all purpose flour. Using your hands, gently work the flour into the dough mixture. Divide the dough in half and form two balls of dough. Dust each ball of dough with the corn flour, and using both hands gently flatten the ball to ½ inch thick. Sprinkle enough corn flour on the pizza stone or in the cast iron skillet. (The corn flour will prevent the dough from sticking). Bake for 45 minutes at 450 degrees. Before you remove it from the oven, make sure it is done. It should have a golden brown crust.

 

Now for some more….Did you knows?

  • Fish is eaten with a special knife and fork?
  • Brazil was one of the largest Portuguese colonies
  • Many of the pastries were created by nuns of the 18th century. They have some cool names like “barriga de freira” which means “nuns belly and”papos de anjo” which means “angel’s chest”.
  • The Portuguese kitchen has many of the same ingredients as does a Spanish kitchen…They are olive oil, garlic, saffron, paprika, eggs, parsley, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, baked flatbread, tomatoes, kale, and other greens, cod and sardines.
  • In regions of Portugal that still make fresh cheese the Portuguese use the flower of a wild thistle plant to curdle milk
  • Tomatoes grow year round in Portugal
  • The Portuguese love potatoes and use them in many soups and stews, and frequently serve them as a side to meat and fish dishes. I even found a Portuguese recipe for French Fries.
  • Popular northern dishes include rice stewed in pig blood or rice and chicken stewed in chicken blood (YUCK-I am sorry but I am not going to try that!)
  • Portugal has one of highest fish consumptions
  • Portugal is one of the leading copper producers in Europe
  • The largest aquarium in Europe is in Portugal
  • Popular tourist sites include Lisbon(the capital), Algarve and Madiera

I hope you enjoy these recipes. Although Portugal has been influenced by Spain, its cuisine is not the same. Many Portuguese recipes use ingredients found in Spanish recipes. The difference is the ways the Portuguese combine and season foods. Sardines are served a lot – I don’t know about you… but sardines are one of those foods I do not like. If you get invited for a Portuguese dinner… do not start eating until the hostess says “bom appetite!” Enjoy! <3 Remmi