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Portuguese Homestyle Cooking

Portuguese Homestyle Cooking

3.4 9
by Ana Patuleia Ortins

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Portuguese cooking is based on commonplace ingredients: tomatoes and beans, garlic and cilantro, sweet peppers, bay leaves and wine. What, then, distinguishes it from a host of other Mediterranean food cultures? This lavishly photographed tribute to the dishes of Portugal answers that question. Ortins, a first-generation Portuguese-American, learned cooking from her father, and charming anecdotes about her Pai are interspersed throughout the book. She is an astute observer of details, carefully describing how her ingredients should feel, smell and look, rather than simply listing their quantities. Many of the recipes show off the spectacular flavors of a frugal cuisine: Fisherman's Stew of Graciosa and Turnip Green Soup with Rice, for example, are cheap, delicious and easily prepared. More elaborate dishes, like the signature Pork with Clams Alentejo-Style or her two-day tripe recipe, are lucidly broken down into straightforward, almost foolproof steps. Thorough in scope as well as technique, Ortins covers every imaginable facet of Portuguese cooking: sausage- and cheese-making, breads and sweets (such as the famous crusty rolls called papo-secos and the delicate pasteis found in Portuguese bakeries) as well as more familiar meat and seafood dishes. Not every home cook will invest in a meat grinder or a dough sheeter, make sausages or pepper paste from scratch or undertake recipes that take two or three days to prepare. Still, anyone who has ever enjoyed Portuguese cooking and longed to make it at home will find this an indispensable guide. Color photos. (Aug.) Forecast: Portuguese food is still relatively new in the U.S., which means this book has little competition. Copyright 1999Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Other than Jean Anderson's classic Food of Portugal, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz's Food of Spain & Portugal (o.p.), and Joyce Goldstein's recent Savoring Spain & Portugal, there are few good books on Portuguese food, making Ortins's new cookbook especially welcome. A first-generation Portuguese American, she presents more than 150 recipes for Portuguese regional cooking from both the mainland and the Azores: hearty soups; lots of seafood, including the classic Clams Cataplana; grilled and roasted meats, such as a mouth-watering Garlic Steak; Batatas Fritas (Portugese Fries) and other vegetables; sausages, of course; and a selection of breads and desserts. There is also a chapter on Portuguese wines, which are becoming more popular in this country. Although the cuisines of Portugal and Spain are often treated together, Portuguese cooking has its own identity, and most libraries will want this work. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
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Chapter One


Vegetable Soup

Sopa de Legumes

Serves 6

    Sopa de legumes, nicknamed simply Portuguese soup or sopa à Portuguesa, by Portuguese-Americans, is one ofthe more popular soups served in our homes. This version is that of my friend Isaura Nogueira, who includes porkribs with carrots, green beans, white kidney beans, cabbage, and kale. The ribs add depth of flavor while thecombination of vegetables deliver full texture to this nutritious soup. This soup can be easily transformed into acholesterol-free vegetarian dish by omitting the pork and adding an extra tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.

Day ahead:

1/2 pound (1 1/4 cups) dried white kidney beans
I pound meaty pork ribs
2 tablespoons coarse salt

1. Soak the beans overnight in enough water tocover by 2 inches, about 4 cups.

2. Rub the pork ribs with the salt, cover, andrefrigerate.

Next day, for the broth:

12 cups water
2 medium starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into
1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 medium carrot (6 to 7 inches long), peeled, and
roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium very ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and
coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

1. Wipe excess salt from the meat and place in a 5-quartstockpot. Drain and rinse the beans. Add to thepot with the 12 cups of fresh water, potatoes,carrot,and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 40minutes or until the vegetables are very tender andthe meat is nearly falling off the bones.

3. Remove the pork ribs to a platter, cover, and setaside in a warm place. Using a food mill, purée thevegetables with the broth to a smooth consistency.

For the soup:

3/4 pound fresh flat-leaf kale or collard greens,
rinsed, trimmed of thick middle rib, and
coarsely chopped (about 4 cups) (page 8)

3 cups coarsely chopped Savoy cabbage

1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
(about 2 cups)
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup pasta (such as elbow macaroni)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Bring the puréed broth to a boil over medium-highheat. Add the kale, cabbage, green beans,onion, carrot, pasta, olive oil, salt, and pepper.Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and gentlysimmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetablesare tender and the pasta is cooked.

2. Remove the meat from the bones, cut intoserving-size pieces, and serve on the side. Provideplenty of crusty country bread to dip in the broth.

Note: The meat can also be returned to the potinstead of being served on the side.

Chapter Two


Rice with Chicken

10 minutes more).

When we were young, we made frequent Sunday trips to the beach. It was like going onSafari—Portuguese-style. First, Titi (Aunt Ana) made her Buttered Rice (page 145) andpan-fried rump steaks covered in natural juices and enriched with butter (page 120). Thenwe loaded my uncle's station wagon with the playpen, folding chairs, towels, beach toys, and allkinds of essential gear. Then everyone—grandparents, aunt and uncle, cousins, brothers, and I—piledin. Once there, we would find our favorite spot under a shade tree that bordered the sand. Wespread the blanket, opened the playpen, unfolded the chairs for my grandparents, and prepared toeat the wonderful picnic lunch my aunt had made. The rest of the afternoon would be ours to enjoythe sand and water.

Chapter Three


Ideal Dessert

Sobremesa Ideal

Serves 8 to 10

The people from the island of São Miguel have their own special meringue dessert. This lemon-flavored pudding, which floats in a caramel sauce topped with airy meringue, is a specialty brought from her homeland by Maria Coimbra, who made sweet bread in my father's bakery.

Caramel sauce:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

1. Place the sugar and water in a 1 1/2-quartsaucepan and stir well. Without stirring, warmover medium-low heat until the sugar dissolvesand becomes a rich golden color, about 10 to 15minutes. Quickly pour the caramel sauce into a9 x 13-inch ovenproof serving dish, tilting it backand forth to coat as much of the bottom as you can.Don't worry if it doesn't cover completely.


4 egg yolks, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
peel of 1 lemon, without the pith, in large pieces
14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 quart whole milk

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

1. Place the egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and thelemon peel in a heavy-bottomed 2 1/2-quart saucepan.Using a wooden spoon, stir in the condensed milkand cornstarch, mixing thoroughly. While stirring,gradually pour in the milk.

2. Heat the ingredients, stirring constantly, overmedium-low heat until the pudding starts tobubble, about 20 to 25 minutes. The pudding willhave thickened enough for a spoon to leave a swirlwhen it is drawn through it. (Don't leave thispudding to simmer without constantly stirring anddon't rush it by raising the heat because it can easilyburn.) Remove the lemon peel and pour thepudding into the serving dish over the cooledcaramelized sugar, spreading evenly.


4 egg whites, room temperature
7 tablespoons sugar

1. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl andgradually add the 7 tablespoons of sugar until verystiff peaks are formed. Spread evenly over thepudding layer, pulling up little peaks with the tinesof a fork. Bake in the preheated oven until thepeaks start to turn golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.Cool gradually at room temperature before chillingwell. Serve this treat with a glass of port wine.

Excerpted from Portuguese Homestyle Cooking by ANA PATULEIA ORTINS. Copyright © 2001 by Ana Patuleia Ortins. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Portuguese Homestyle Cooking 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My husband is first generation from the Azores and I knew I had to find a way to cook these dishes without always going to my mother-in-law.This cook book is so great that I bravely took a dish I had prepared to My inlaws and they loved it!! My mother in law has even went over the recipes and stated that some of the recipes are like the ones her mother used to make..I am buying one more for my sister in law I'm sure she'll love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An ACTUAL Portuguese cookbook! Dishes come out tasting just like they do in Portugal. Take it from someone Portuguese. Also easy to follow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love to make some of the recipes that my husband was brought up with... And this is a great way to learn to cook Portuguese meals. Thanks to my sister for giving me this book for Christmas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have purchased a few for my children, and they loved the memories of their grandparents and the holidays together. Now I must get copies for relatives who have seen the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great photos! Recipes are easy to follow too. Brings back memories. This is a great book.Recipes are so right on. Everyone interested in Portuguese food needs this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book really lives up to its title. . Recipes are given in easy to follow steps. A wide variety of flavorful recipes in this book are of traditional dishes from soups, seafood, stews, breads, desserts and more, prepared as they are in Portuguese homes. A good working cookbook with photos.