Quick Recipes and Easy

Bringing a Taste of Portugal Into Your Own Home

Portugal is an ideal country to forget that diet and dive into the local cuisine.

Don’t expect to delight in ‘haute cuisine” food early in the day though, the Portuguese don’t often choose to eat a breakfast, customarily deciding on a coffee and a bread roll. Frequently you will usually see locals enjoying a quick snack in a cafe on the way to work.

Lunchtime and Evening meals are a really different and gloriously pleasing experience though.

Portuguese people really like their cuisine, and you can expect to receive very large parts when eating in restaurants or cafes. The mid day meal might be a lengthy business, mostly taken between 1pm and 3pm, and regardless of the heat, Portuguese people eat hot meals in a cafe. Dinner is eaten between 7.00pm & 9.00pm, and again, usually is a hot cooked meal.

The real value of Portuguese cooking is often described as ‘basic ingredients, perfectly prepared’.

Portuguese cooking is generally based on superb quality, fresh local produce, generally fish, meat, olive oil, tomatoes and spices.

A excellent Portuguese dinner should start with a soup course.

The most well-known Portuguese soup, is caldo verde, a wholesome, tasty soup made from shredded cabbage and kale, potatoes and spicy sausage. Caldo Verde originates in the Minho province, but is easily available throughout Portugal, from lisbon to the holiday resorts in the algarve.

Here is a Caldo verde recipe that will let you bring the taste of portugal into your own home

Caldo verde recipe (kale soup)
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1 pound stew beef (chop into one inch chunks)
1/2 lb. chourio sausage (cut into thin slices)
6 cups (1.42 lt) water
Dash of low sodium salt
three large potatoes, cubed
three carrots, 1″ cubes
1.5 lb (680g) kale, finely chopped, or 1 package thawed frozen kale
half cabbage (finely chopped)
1/2 pkg. macaroni (preferably elbow)
1 tin white beans (any white beans will do)
1 chili pepper, (remove seeds), finely chopped
1/3 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp Olive Oil

Instructions:
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Peel and chop the root vegetables.

Fill a large pan with the water and add the stewing beef, linguia or chourio and lo-sodium salt.

Bring to the boil and then simmer and cover until stewing beef and linguica or chorico are pretty near tender.

Then add the chili pepper, carrots, beans, (if using them), paprika, chopped cabbage and kale and stir well.

Replace the pan lid and cook for three quarters of an hour or until the kale is properly cooked.

When the kale is cooked, add the olive oil potatoes and macaroni.

Keep stirring the soup to ensure that cubed potatoes and macaroni don’t stick to the base of the saucepan.

Simmer (keeping the pan lid on) until potatoes and macaroni pasta are still ready to eat.

Caldo verde can be served as a starter or as a wholesome meal in its own right.

Roger Wakefield is a staff writer at: villaretreats.com/villas-algarve.asp Algarve Villas, ( villaretreats.com/villas-algarve.asp villaretreats.com/villas-algarve.asp) who offer a wide range of villas in the Algarve, Portugal and other European destinations.

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