24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

I wish all Portuguese Menu visitors and friends a Merry Christmas!
Peace, Love, Happiness and plenty of food in your table.

Last year, I traveled to my hometown to spend Christmas with my mother and friends. This year, I won´t be traveling, I´m home with my daughter. My kitchen is still busy as I´m preparing our Christmas Eve dinner with the traditional Codfish dish and some Portuguese sweets.   
The picture above shows a typical Portuguese Christmas table. 

See you soon xx

22 December 2012

Portuguese Christmas Sweets: Dreams

Hello everyone,
Today I´m sharing my mother´s recipe of a typical Portuguese Christmas sweet called "Sonhos".
"Sonhos" is the Portuguese word for dreams.

Portuguese "Dreams" Recipe


~ 4 Egg whites
~ 6 tablespoons of Flour
(all purpose flour with yeast)
~ Juice of 1 big Orange (or 2 small ones)
~ 3 tablespoons of water
~ Oil to fry
~ Sugar & Cinnamon powder to sprinkle

How to Do:

1. Beat the egg whites very well and reserve while you mix the other ingredients.

2. In another bowl, mix well the flour with the water and the natural orange juice. 

3. Add the egg whites to the flour mixture and stir gently.

4. In a small bowl or cup, mix sugar and cinnamon powder to sprinkle the Dreams after fried. 

5. Fry the Dreams in hot oil - I use Sunflower oil. Each Dream is a tablespoon full of dough/polme.

5. Put the dreams in kitchen paper to dry the excess oil and let them cool a little bit.

6. Sprinkle the Dreams with the mixture of Sugar and Cinnamon.
The quantities in this recipe make more or less a dozen units. If you want to make more, double the ingredients.  


11 December 2012

Portuguese Dried Figs and Almonds ~ Figos Cheios

Hello everyone,
I bought some dried Figs and Almonds in Sta. Iria Fair and decided to roast some of them in the typical Algarve´s fashion. In Portuguese, we call this regional specialty "Figos Cheios". 
In a Portuguese typical Christmas table it´s a "must" to have nuts, dried figs and raisins. This is easily explained because Portugal produces some types of nuts, specially Almonds, walnuts and Chestnuts which are collected during Autumn season. We also produce figs and grapes and letting them dry to be eaten during winter is a way of preserving the surplus fruits. 
We even have a tradition of eating 12 small raisins at midnight in New Year´s Eve and request a wish for each raisin.  
"Figos Cheios" are easy to make and I love the flavors´combination. They combine perfectly with coffee and a Portuguese Liquor or Porto Wine. Here´s how I do it:


~ Dried Figs
~ Almonds
~ Yellow Sugar
~ Cinnamon in powder


1. Take some dried figs, make a small cut on top and fill each one with a few almonds (with the brown first skin). Depending on the fig´s size, each one can take three to six almonds inside. You just need to press each almond vertically and gently. 

2. Fill the space in between the almonds with a little bit (1/2 teaspoon) of yellow sugar and cinnamon, previously mixed. Close the figs by pressing the top a bit and display them in a tray.  

3. Take to medium oven (160ºC) for about 20/30 minutes. 
When the sugar is melted and starts bubbling, it´s time to switch off the oven and take the figs out because you don´t want them too much roasted. 

Let the figs cool before serving and enjoy :) 
Figos Cheios last long. Preferably, keep them in a glass pot without a lid.

25 November 2012

Serra da Estrela Typical Products ~ Ribeira D´Alva

In Sta. Iria fair I bought: Figs, Almonds and Sweet Potatoes from Algarve region. Plus, Corn Bread from Viseu and Serra da Estrela Cheese, which you can see in the first picture below. My other purchase was also made in Serra da Estrela tent: "Urze Flower" Honey. 
I asked the owner of the tent permission to take pictures of the products to post here and found that he owns a Restaurant called "Ribeira d´Alva", located in Sabugueiro - Serra da Estrela, and also a shop where we can buy the best regional products. He gave me a visit card with the contact which I´ll post below in case any of you wants to visit the restaurant or the shop. 
Serra da Estrela is the highest mountain in Portugal and, in my opinion, Sabugueiro and the Tower Market are the best places to buy this region´s typical products. In Serra da Estrela snows so there´s also a Snow Sports center. 

Corn Bread and Cheese

Ribeira D´Alva tent in Sta Iria Fair
Ham, different types of Chouriço and Bread

Another view of the tent

Ham sandwiches, Cheese and Honey

Liquors, Wines and Honey

Ribeira D´Alva Restaurant
Owner: Pedro Branquinho
Location: Sabugueiro - Serra da Estrela
Restaurant: 238 311 978
Shop: 238 311 667

18 November 2012

Portuguese Typical Products in Sta. Iria Fair

Hello everyone,
As promised, today I´m posting the pictures of Portuguese typical products and specialties found in Sta. Iria Fair. In this annual fair, there´s a pavilion dedicated to Gastronomy where we can have a meal or buy products from different Portuguese regions. That´s where I took most of the pictures below. I will use legends in Portuguese (and whenever possible a description in English) so you know how these products are called in our language:

Outside tent with Amarante region Cakes

Entering the Gastronomy Pavilion 

Gastronomy Pavilion, another view 

Portuguese Bread - North region


Leitão da Bairrada 

Licor de Ginja de Óbidos 
Cherry Liquor from Óbidos 

Torresmos do Alentejo

Azeitonas Verdes do Alentejo
Green Olives from Alentejo Region

Sandes de Presunto
Huge Ham sandwiches 

Broa de Viseu
Corn bread from Viseu

Pão de Deus de Viseu
Typical cake with coconut called "God´s Bread"

Pão com Chouriço e com Alheira de Viseu
Bread with Portuguese Chouriço

Serra da Estrela Tent ~ Bread, Chouriço, Ham

Another view of the same Serra da Estrela tent
Ham sandwiches, Cheese and Honey

Just a curiosity. an old Portuguese register machine I saw in one of the tents

Castanhas Assadas
Outside, the typical roasted Chestnuts

24 October 2012

So Long Entrecard

I just read that Entrecard closed.
Entrecard used to be a cool blogger´s community. Although, in the recent past, I wasn´t using it much I still had their widget here in Portuguese Menu (until today) and  I think it´s a pity. 
Trough EC I meet some nice blogging buddies and food blogs, some of which are in my blogroll, and it was a source of traffic too. As we know...nothing last forever.
So long Entrecard.