Garlic Shrimp

My annual Portuguese summer vacation is coming up, and I can hardly wait to dig into all the delicious food! The one type of food I look forward to the most is seafood! From the fresh fish to the shellfish, the seafood tastes incredible. 

Luckily where I live, we get the fresh seafood that helps me kill my cravings throughout the year. One of my favorite dishes to eat in Portugal is Camarões com Alho (Shrimp with Garlic). The shrimp are cooked in olive oil and lots of garlic! The shrimp comes to your table with their legs and tails attached and served with a side of toasty bread to dip in those juices. It’s a simple and insanely delicious dish to cook for a weeknight meal or a crowd!

My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp
My Portuguese Mother - Garlic Shrimp

Ingredients 

  • 16 extra-large shrimp

  • 1 lemon, juice and zest

  • 2 teaspoons of piri-piri oil

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

  • ½ cup of butter

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • Salt

Recipe

  1. Devein the shrimp, but keep head intact, season well with salt. Reserve.

  2. In a frying pan – I like to use a heavy well-seasoned cast iron pan, place olive oil and butter plenty of garlic crushed with the peel and some chopped. Sauté a little. 

  3. Add the prawns and fry. Season with Piri-Piri oil.  Add the bay leaves, the white wine, a bit at a time and squeeze the lemon to keep the sauce going. It will take no more than 3 to 4 minutes on each side. 

  4. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and parsley and serve immediately.

  5. Serve with toasted bread.

Fava Bean Salad

Beans, Beans... Fava, black, white, red, or soy beans, they are all good for you!

They provide minerals, soluble fiber, protein, and no saturated fat.

Pretty much every culture has their own bean dish.

From black beans served with meat and rice in South America, red baked beans on toast in the UK, to the famous French dish, Cassoulet made with pork, and white beans, every country has their bean signature dish.

Portugal is no exception. We eat a lot of beans, in stews, soups and as a side, we too are crazy for beans.

When I was growing up, I had the typical dishes like feijoada, with white or red beans, or vegetable soups made with kidney beans, but what I loved the most was when my mom made simple salads with beans.

The bite from a bean in a salad creates a different texture from what I was used in stews and soups.

In the warmer months, especially, my favorite thing to do is to add beans to my salad, not only do they add a great bite, but they help you feel fuller for longer.

My Fava Bean Salad is made with blanched fava beans, shaved asparagus, and drizzled with a light lemon & honey dressing. This bright and super easy salad is great for a quick side, appetizer, or meal!

Fava Bean Salad
Fava Beans
Fava Beans

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs. fresh fava beans in pod

  • ½ cup thinly shaved cooked asparagus

  • A handful of small arugula

  • 1 small shallot, minced

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest

  • Sea salt & ground pepper

Recipe

  1. Remove the beans from their pods.

  2. Bring a large saucepan with water to boil. Add the beans to the boiling water, cook for about 2-3 minutes, just to really blanch them. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.

  3. Drain the beans, and add them to the ice water to stop cooking, then remove the skin layer from fava beans by carefully piercing the bean and squeezing it out of its skin. Discard the skins.

  4. Shave the asparagus lengthwise with a peeler.

  5. In a small bowl, add the minced shallot, lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until all combined.

  6. Assemble the salad, add the arugula first, then add the fava beans, shaved asparagus.

  7. Finish with the dressing and lemon zest. Season to taste.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Gremolata

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Ingredients 

Mint Gremolata

  • ¾  cup mint, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • salt & pepper

Lamb Chops

  • 4-6 lamb chops

  • Salt & pepper

  • oil

Recipe

Mint Gremolata

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, or a food processor, crush  the mint, lemon juice, garlic cloves, and zest. Drizzle in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. The mixture should remain course, so if using a blender, pulse it until the mixture is just combined. Set aside.

Lamb Chops

  1. Heat up your grill pan. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the pan, and place chops on grill pan, cooking 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare.

  2. Once they are done, plate the chops and drizzle the gremolata on top.

Beet & Citrus Salad


Ingredients 

  • 2 medium beets mixed variety , sliced (such as red, gold)

  • 4 oranges mixed variety (such as Cara-Cara, blood orange, or navel)

  • 2 radishes, sliced

  • Handful of fresh mint

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of  red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.

  2. Place the beets in the middle of a large foil. Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up each bundle to seal it. Roast until tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour (depending on the size of the beets). Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Let cool completely.

  3. Using a sharp knife, peel and pith the oranges. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds; place in a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

  4. Slice the radishes.

  5. Once the beets are cooled, slice them into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Set aside.

  6. For the dressing, whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey together. Season to taste.

  7. To assemble, arrange the oranges, beets and radishes on a large platter. Drizzle the vinaigrette and top with the fresh mint leaves.

Passion Fruit & Lemon Tart

Easter is fast approaching, so this week I’ll be posting some of my favorite spring-inspired dishes that are perfect for your Easter table.

Starting with my favorite topic, dessert! During the warmer months, I like to use my oven as less as possible. I love doing desserts that are quick to assemble, bright, and that incorporate fruit! One of my go-to recipe is a citrus tart. You do need to use the oven to bake your crust, but it’s only for 15 minutes, and the rest is done over stove top then chilled in the fridge until it’s all set!

Passion fruit and lemon curd tart will be the star of your table this spring. It’s tart and sweet and a perfect finish for after a heavy Easter meal! Use the leftover egg white to make a meringue to decorate the top of the tart!

 
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Ingredients 

Crust

  • 8 oz  graham crackers

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6  tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • ½ cup  fresh passionfruit pulp

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 eggs, plus 3 egg yolks

  • ½ cup of lemon juice

  • Zest of 1 ½ lemons

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Recipe

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In a food processor, pulse grahams until finely ground. Pour sugar and melted butter, pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

  3. Place mixture into tart pan and press evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Blind bake the crust by placing a piece of parchment paper, or aluminum foil on top of the crust. Pour in pie weights, or dried beans.

  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes

  5. Carefully remove the parchment/aluminum foil and  the weights, or beans, and allow to cool.

Filling

  1. In a medium-size saucepan, place the sugar and eggs, and whisk until light and pale. Whisk in the zest, and juice of the lemons, and the passion fruit pulp.

  2. Place the saucepan over low-medium heat and constantly whisk until mixture has  thickened. Do not boil.

  3. Remove the saucepan from the stove, and whisk in room temperature butter.

  4. Pass the curd through a sieve, making sure  you have a smooth curd. Let cool.

  5. Once the crust and mixture is cooled, about 30 minutes. Pour the curd into the crust and refrigerate until set.

  6. Decorate with prepared meringue. Best served  cool.

Strawberry Mint Scones

We are a week into Spring and although the weather may have not gotten the memo yet, my kitchen sure has! Spring cooking makes me happy!

The slightly warmer weather and sunshine gives me so much inspiration and motivation to bake with light and bright ingredients.

My favorite ingredients around this time are fruit! From citrus fruit to berries, I love to incorporate them in any way I can. And for my first bake of Spring 2019, I chose scones! To tell you the truth, scones always looked very heavy and dense and I have never had the desire to eat one, not until I tried this recipe. With one bite, I was hooked! From the light and buttery dough to the strawberry and mint filling, they scream spring!

This recipe was taken and adapted from one of my absolute favorite magazines, Bake from Scratch where they use basil instead of mint. What's great about this recipe is how versatile it is, so if mint or basil aren't your favorite herbs, you can easily substitute with thyme, or rosemary, or leave it out entirely.

Bake up a batch and enjoy them with a lovely cup of coffee or tea.

my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
my Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones
My Portuguese Mother // Strawberry Mint Scones

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¾ cup cold unsalted butter, grated

  • 1 cup diced fresh strawberries

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • 2 large eggs, divided

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

  • Garnish: sanding sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add cold butter, tossing to coat. Cover and freeze for 15 minutes. Stir in strawberries and mint.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and 1 egg. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring and folding just until moistened. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface. Using well-floured hands, knead dough 5 to 10 times, about 1 minute. Roll dough to ¾- to 1-inch thickness. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into triangles or use 2¾-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps only once. Place on prepared pan.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together cream and remaining 1 egg. Brush egg wash onto scones. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, if desired.

  5. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

  6. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

    Recipe by Bake from Scratch


Fennel Citrus Salad

I am a HUGE salad fan. I eat salad every single day! Boring, I know. But to make it exciting and delicious, I use a variety of different ingredients. One of my favorite ways is to add fruit to my salads. I like having a nice crushing bite of an apple or a refreshing orange, and it completely elevates the entire dish.

In honor of citrus season, I decided to highlight the citrus and add ingredients that would compliment them. Fennel is a great ingredient that I feel is not used enough! The licorice flavor is definitely not for everyone, but when paired well, it helps pull the entire dish together.

I used a mandolin to slice the fennel, as it is very fibrous, so slicing them very thin is the best way to eat it. In addition, the salad is topped with chopped pistachios, fennel fronds and drizzled with a light vinaigrette!

This dish is perfect for serving alongside a steak or a frittata for breakfast!

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Ingredients 

  • 1 cara- cara oranges, peeled & sliced

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled & sliced

  • 2 blood orange, peeled & sliced

  • 1 large fennel bulb, peeled & sliced

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. honey

  • ¼ cup. crushed pistachios

  • 2 tbsp fennel fronds

  • Sea salt

Recipe

  1. Halve and core the fennel bulb. Chop the fronds and set aside. Using a mandoline, carefully slice the fennel into thin slices. Set aside.

  2. Using a paring knife, remove peel and white pith from citrus, being careful not to remove too much of the flesh. Slice citrus into ½"-thick rounds.

  3. For the vinaigrette, using a small bowl, whisk the olive oil,  lemon juice, and honey together.

  4. To assemble, plate the citrus and fennel on a platter. Scatter the chopped pistachios and fronds over the salad. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.