Bacalhau à Brás (Cod fish with potatoes and eggs)

Tomorrow is Father’s Day in Portugal! In honor of my Dad, I have made his favorite recipe - Bacalhau à Brás, and one that he cooked often when I was growing up. Every bite brings me back to when I was a kid, seating at the dinner table and telling him that I hated olives! But now this is one of my favorites!

It’s such an easy recipe to do, cod mixed with onions, fries, and eggs. If there is a recipe to make someone fall in love with cod, it has to be this one! 

My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás
My Portuguese Mother // Bacalhau à Brás

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound dried salt cod

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips (about 6 cups)

  • Enough oil to fry potatoes

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced

  • 8 large eggs

  • Salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided

  • 18 black or green olives

Recipe

  1. Soak the salted cod in water for 24/36 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times – depending on the thickness of the cod

  2. Heat oil in deep heavy bottom pot

  3. When hot, add potatoes and fry until golden – you want the potatoes light golden not to crispy

  4. Dry on paper towel to get rid of excess oil

  5. Add the cod to a pot of water, bring to a boil.

  6. Lower the temperature and simmer the cod for about 10 minutes.

  7. Remove the cod pieces with a skimmer and onto a plate.

  8. Remove the skin from the cod and shred it, making sure to discard all the bones

  9. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes while stirring.

  10. Add the cod, mix and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

  11. Add half of the matchstick chips and mix.

  12. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.

  13. Add the eggs to the cod mixture and stir until the eggs are half-cooked.

  14. Add half of the matchstick chips, half of parsley and stir one last time.

  15. Remove immediately from heat to avoid overcooking the eggs

  16. Arrange in a dish.

  17. Garnish with leftover parsley and black olives.

Piri - Piri Chicken & Crispy Potato Chips

One of the most classic Portuguese dishes is Frango Assado [Roasted Chicken].

Served with a side of rice, or crispy potato chips, this signature meal is found on every menu in Portugal. What makes it so famous is the way it is prepared, with lemon, olive oil, garlic, and the secret ingredient, Piri-Piri.

Piri-Piri peppers made their way to Portugal by ships from Mozambique and Angola, former colonies of Portugal. These hot peppers soon become a staple in many Portuguese dishes such as this one.

The peppers add a fiery note to this chicken that you’ll be wondering why you haven’t tried them out before.

They are also known as birds eye chili and are easily found in Portuguese specialty stores, but if you can't find them, substitute them for regular chilies, or cayenne pepper.

My Portuguese Mother // Piri - Piri Chicken
My Portuguese Mother // Piri - Piri Chicken
My Portuguese Mother // Piri - Piri Chicken
My Portuguese Mother // Potato Chips
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 whole chicken, spatchocked

Piri- Piri Sauce

  • 10 Piri-Piri Peppers (red eye or any other red chili peppers)

  • 100 ml olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tsp. paprika

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Large bunch of parsley, plus more for serving

Crispy Potato Chips

  • 1½ pounds russet

  • Ice water

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

Piri- Piri Sauce & Chicken

  1. Mix the chilies, olive oil, garlic, paprika, parsley, and salt and pepper, until it is all combined. Using a blender, blend half the mixture for the marinade, and preserve the half unblended mixture for basting.

  2. Place the chicken breast side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut the right side of the backbone, and repeat along the left side. ( you may save the backbone for future chicken stock or discard). Open the chicken, and turn over. Flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand so that the meat is all one thickness.

  3. Place the chicken in a plastic bag or in a  large tray, pour half of the sauce over the chicken and allow it to marinade for an hour.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  5. Place the chicken on a baking tray. Tuck the wings under the body of the chicken.

  6. Roast the chicken for a 1-1 ½ hour. For the last few minutes, turn on the broiler to crisp the skin of the chicken. Keep a close eye so the skin does not burn.

  7. Remove from the oven, baste with the remaining sauce.

  8. Garnish with leftover parsley, serve alongside, crispy fries, salad or rice.

 Crispy Potato Chips

  1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, carefully slice potatoes about ⅛” thick. Place them in a large bowl of ice water. Allow the potatoes to sit for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes are done, drain, and pat dry.

  2. Heat up a heavy pot with a thermometer; pour in oil. Heat over medium-high until thermometer reaches 300°F.

  3. Working in batches, fry until golden brown and crisp, turning occasionally for an even cook, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined wire rack. Season with salt and pepper.





 

Caldo Verde

 

Caldo Verde is one of the most well known and delicious traditional portuguese dishes.

I ate a lot of soup growing up, and one of my absolute favorites was Caldo Verde. Best served with a side of bread and extra chorizo, this savory soup will warm up any day – or night!!

This real Caldo Verde soup is made with Portuguese kale ,but it can also be made with regular collard greens. Topped with chorizo, this flavorful and easy to make soup is perfect for those cold winter nights or a quick weeknight meal! 

 
CALDO VERDE3.JPG
CALDO VERDE.JPG
 
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. potatoes, peeled and sliced (4 medium potatoes)

  • 1 lb. Portuguese kale, rinsed and julienned

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 small chorizo, sliced

  • 8 cups water

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • salt & pepper

 

Recipe

  1. Add water, sliced potatoes, chopped onion and garlic to a large saucepan. Boil all the ingredients together with ¼  cup of olive oil for 20 minutes, until they are soft. The longer you cook them the thicker your soup will be. Season with salt & pepper

  2.  Blend it until smooth - if using a blender, always remember to allow the soup to cool a little before blending it.  It is also ok to use an immersion blender.

  3. Add the julienned kale and sliced chorizo. Simmer for 10 minutes, until kale is cooked. (You can add some slices of chorizo to the serving bowl right before eating instead of cooking it with the vegetables)

  4. Serve hot, drizzle with some olive oil

    Best eaten with a nice slice of country bread or corn bread on the side


 
 

Arroz de Grelos (Broccoli Rabe Rice)

There will always be those dishes that the slightest smell or taste brings you right back to childhood. While some might be as simple as a soup or sandwich, mine is Arroz de Grelos, (Broccoli rabe rice).

I know, not your first guess ,but this particular dish is one that from as far as i can remember my mom always made.

I think mostly the memories are so strong because as a kid I was not that big of a fan of this dish. I knew the moment my mom began to boil that broccoli rabe that I would not be happy with the dinner choice.

But of course, as you get older, your taste for certain foods change, and i'm happy to report that i am now a BIG broccoli rabe fan!

A little bit of background on broccoli rabe.. it is a member of the brassica family which is known for being a vegetable family that is packed with all sorts of nutrients, like zinc, potassium, calcium, folate and vitamins A, C and K. ( no wonder my mom made it so much)

The combination of the fluffy rice with the bitterness of the broccoli rabe pairs well with any meat or even a pan fried fish, which is what i grew up eating it with!

Arroz de Grelos (Broccoli Rabe Rice)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of white rice

  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe

  • 1 large onion

  • ¼ cup of olive oil

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 3 cups of boiling water

  • Salt & Pepper

Recipe

  1. Wash the greens and roughly chop them. Peel the onion and garlic and chop finely.

  2. Heat a medium saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Stir in the garlic and greens and cook until tender.

  3. Add the rice and mix well.

  4. Add the boiling water, season with salt and pepper and allow to boil again.

  5. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked around 20 minutes.

Pasteis de Bacalhau (Cod fish fritters)

Pasteis de Bacalhau are one of the most popular foods in traditional portuguese cuisine. Pasteis de Bacalhau ( Cod Fritters), are usually eaten as a snack or an appetizer. they are made with salted cod, potato, onion and lots of parsley, and if that didn't convince you yet… its fried!

These very popular fritters are seen and sold in every cafe around portugal, and even the portuguese cafes in the united states!

While it might be easier to buy some, nothing beats homemade Pasteis de Bacalhau! They are very simple to make and i promise it's worth dealing with the smell of cod fish for a few days..

Pasteis de Bacalhau can be eaten as an accompaniment to a delicious plate of rice, like this one.

Pasteis de Bacalhau 1
Pasteis de Bacalhau 2
Pasteis de Bacalhau 3
Pasteis de Bacalhau 4
Pasteis de Bacalhau

Ingredients

  • 20 oz. (600 g) salted cod fish

  • 30 oz. (800 g) potatoes

  • 4 medium eggs, seperated

  • ¼ cup (100ml) olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 pinch nutmeg

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • salt & pepper

  • Vegetable Oil for frying

Recipe

  1. In a bowl, cover the salted cod with cold water, and let it soak for 2 days, changing the water every 8 hours (about 4/5 times)

  2. Boil the potatoes in water with salt for about 20/ 25 minutes, drain and mash them well.

  3. In another pot, boil the cod until tender. Drain, let it cool and flake as small as you can with your hands, making sure all skin and bones are removed.

  4. On a large saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil, just to sweat the onions, add the flaked cod and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, mixing it occasionally.

  5. Then add the mashed potatoes, nutmeg, parsley and mix it well. Check seasoning, add pepper & salt if needed. Add the yolks one by one.

  6. Beat the egg whites and add them to the potatoes / cod mixture and mix it well.

  7. Pour the oil in a deep heavy skillet or pot and place it on high heat.

  8. Dip 2 tablespoons into oil and shape the pasteis using 2 spoons as if you were making quenelles (egg shape). The mixture will be quite soft. (At this point you can freeze them up to a month.)

  9. Add the pasteis one by one, turning them over until golden brown about 2/3 minutes

  10. When done, remove and place them on a plate with a paper towel to drain any excess of oil.

  11. Makes about 25/30 pasteis