Welcome to Lagos, Luz & Sagres - Portuguese Recipes




Portuguese and Algarve Recipes
Welcome to the Recipes page. Below, we present a few of our most favourite Portuguese recipes - with an accent on those dishes you can commonly smell being cooked in restaurants and kitchens in the Western Algarve.
Seafood and Shellfish are what most people rave about when they come on holiday and the Algarvians have their own magical ways with the fruit of the sea. However, the most common, and delicious, way to eat seafood Algarvian style is simply to grill some fish over a charcoal fire - and eat with a slice of bread and a simple salad.
Meat dishes are surprisingly good and although wild boar is now 'off the menu' (as it is now a protected animal) some great local stews and grilled meat dishes can be had, including of course the infamous Chicken Piri-piri.
Some sweets and desserts recipes are also presented, but mostly we like to finish off our Algarvian meals with an ice cream and a 'bica' (espresso). Bom Apetite!
Caldeirada - Seafood Stew
Ingredients: (4 servings)
  • 1/2 lb Fish and shellfish - (sole / bass / bream / eel / scabbard fish / clams / squid - whatever is fresh!)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Onions - chopped
  • 8 Tomatoes - peeled and chopped
  • 1 Green pepper - seeded and sliced
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground allspice
  • Piri-piri sauce
  • Small glass dry white wine
  • Some chopped coriander
  • 4 Slices of bread - crusts cut off
How to Cook:
    Clean the fish, remove any bones and chop into small chunks, rinse clean any shellfish. Sprinkle some salt over the fish and leave for 10 minutes. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and stir in the onions. When golden, add the sliced pepper and then the tomatoes and cook gently until everything softens, then add the garlic, nutmeg, allspice and piri-piri sauce. Lots of piri-piri for those who like it hot, just a dash for the less heat-resistant! After a minute or so add the wine and maybe a little water to cover. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring frequently, then remove from the heat.
    Lightly grease the bottom of a shallow, ovenproof dish. Cover the dish with a layer of fish followed by a layer of the sauce and sprinkle with coriander. Continue with these layers until the ingredients are used up. Cover the top with the bread and sprinkle with oil or butter. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F. / 180 degrees C. for about 30 minutes or until the fish is tender.
    Excellent when served with boiled potatoes and a salad.
Each region of the Algarve has their own version and some serve with polenta and toasted bread.
Ingredients: (6 servings)
  • 3 medium Spanish onions thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 green bell peppers cut into small strips
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb tinned plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 lb smoked ham, diced
  • 2 oz. prosciutto ham, diced
  • 1/4 lb portuguese sausage (or any other chorizo style sausage)
  • Small glass dry white wine
  • 3 lb / 4 dozen fresh small clams in the shell, rinsed.
  • Some fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • Paprika / and or ground chili pepper
How to Cook:
    The sauce - Cook the onions, garlic, and green peppers in the olive oil over a gentle heat until onions are golden. Add the bay leaf and the tomatoes, but preserve a quarter of their juice. Bring to 'simmering', then cover and drop the heat to enable the sauce to cook slowly for 30 minutes. Then add the remaining tomato juice, the prosciutto, the smoked ham, and the chorizo. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with paprika or chili pepper
    The Cataplana Dish: Spoon half the sauce into the bottom of the cataplana (or a similar style heavy pan with a lid), then lay the clams on top. Add the remaining sauce and the wine, cover tightly, cook for 15 minutes over a gentle heat, AND DO NOT LIFT THE LID! Add parsley to decorate.
    The 'Cataplana' should be brought to the table and served directly onto the plates. Eat with fresh bread and leave a bowl for the discarded clam shells. Cataplana recipes change from region to region and in Western Algarve the locals sometimes like to add potatoes and / or shrimps and mussels to the dish. Whatever you fancy!
A "cataplana" is a large copper pan with a tight fitting lid and is special to the Algarve. However, any decent heavy pan with a good lid should suffice.
Frango com Piri-Piri - Chicken Piri-Piri
Ingredients: (6-8 servings)
  • 2 whole chickens
  • Olive oil
  • Salted butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Half a bottle of Piri-Piri sauce
  • Paprika
  • ground coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, grated
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
How to Cook:
    Clean the chickens (removing any gubbins inside the body) and thoroughly rinse, then drain and leave to dry. Place the bird, breast side down, on a cutting board and with a large knife, cut it through the centre (but don't slice it in half) Spread the bird out, then with a mallet or some such, BEAT IT UP!!! A few good smashes should do it! You want flat whole chickens that can be spread out on a B-B-Q grill.
    Combine the remaining ingredients in a blender and pour half the sauce over the chickens in a large bowl. Cover and let marinade in a refrigerator for 4 hours. Also put the remaining marinade in the fridge.
    Place the chickens, skin side up, on the grill of a B-B-Q or over a charcoal fire. Brush the chickens with some of the remaining marinade and cook until ready, continually brushing the chickens with marinade.
This is our recipe, derived from many years of harassing the locals for their secrets. For an extra-hot dish simply marinade for longer (20 hrs max.)
Bolo Delícia do Algarve - Algarve Cake
Ingredients: (12 servings)
  • 1 lb of sugar
  • 25 egg yolks
  • 1/2 lb of Almonds
  • 2 oz tinned pumpkin
  • 3 oz. margarine
  • 7 oz. Malabar Gourd jam (sometimes called the Fig Leaved Gourd, Calabaza or Chicayote)
  • Cinnamon
  • Cherries / and or other fruit for decoration.
How to Cook:
    In a sauce pan, boil the sugar for a few minutes until it thickens and becomes gooey, then fold the sugar into the egg yolks stirring very quickly. Add the almonds, the margarine and the pumpkin (which should be in small chunks or slices) and replace on the heat until it thickens up again. Remove from the heat. Butter a cake tin and line it with grease-proof paper. Pour in the mixture until it covers the bottom. Then add a layer of cinnamon and then the Malabar Gourd. Repeat the layers until all ingredients used up. Put in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes (or until the mixture is dried up (but not too much, try to retain some moisture). Stick some cherries (or other fruits) on top.
Gourmet Food Hampers for posh picnics and summer festivals.
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