Tag: Traditional Foods of Portugal

Legendary Dishes | Fofos de Bacalhau (cod puffins)

  • 500 g salt cod, soaked for 24 hours in 12 changes of water
  • 400 ml water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 45 g white wheat flour
  • 45 ml milk
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Seasonings

Put the cod into the water, bring to the boil, simmer for three minutes. Drain and retain water.

Make a loose batter with the milk, olive oil, adding and whisking the flour slowly. Adjust with some of the cod water.

Whisk in the egg whites.

Heat a pot or deep frier with vegetable oil to 190°C.

Cut cod into 3 cm pieces, dip in batter.

Deep fry.

Dry on kitchen paper.

Serve with tomato rice.

Indigenous Ingredients

Salt Cod

Legendary Dishes | Bolinhos de Bacalhau (fish balls)

  • 1 kg salt cod, soaked for 48 hours in 12 changes of fresh water
  • 650 g potatoes, baked, mashed
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 100 g onions, chopped
  • 50 g parsley, chopped
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 25 g cilantro, chopped
  • 15 g cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying


4 lemons, quartered
50 g piri piri sauce


Small bowl filled with water

Place stockfish in a large pot with sufficient water to cover, bring to a low boil, simmer for 15 minutes, drain. Flake when cold, removing skin and bones. Shred in a food processor.

Combine cod and potatoes in a large bowl, knead for five minutes.

Sauté onions in olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat for five minutes.

Add garlic, sauté for a further five minutes, until garlic and onions are soft.

Stir into the cod-potato mixture.

Add the cilantro and parsley, mix, then fold in the eggs.

Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.

Weigh 50 grams of the mixture, shape into balls using a wet hand.

Heat a pot or deep frier with vegetable oil to 190°C.

Deep fry balls until golden brown, about five minutes.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve with lemon wedges and piri piri sauce.

Indigenous Ingredients

Piri Piri Sauce
Salt Cod

Culinary Connections | Sausage Preparations


Amêijoas na Cataplana

The cataplana is a clam-shaped copper utensil for cooking light stews. A large wide saucepan is an admirable substitute.

The clams favoured by the Portuguese are medium-sized, anything smaller like the Italian vongole or larger like the Atlantic scallop won’t work with this dish.

The preferred place of cooking is outside, a half-moon on the horizon.

  • 1.5 kg clams, soaked in salt water
  • 500 g tomatoes, blanched, skinned, diced
  • 500 g chorizo, thick sliced
  • 150 g onions, chopped
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Black Pepper, large pinch
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Pimento, flakes, for garnish

Sauté garlic and onion over a low heat for ten minutes.

Turn up heat, pour wine and reduce for five minutes.

Add tomatoes, bring to boil. Add chorizo.

Turn heat down, simmer for ten minutes.

Remove clams from brine, rinse in cold water.

Add to tomato mixture, cook for ten minutes until clams open.

Serve immediately. Garnish with parsley and pimento flakes.

Zuurkool met Worst

Traditionally this dish was made with fresh sausages, potatoes and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut was simmered in salted water for 30 minutes, then sliced potatoes and whole sausages were added until cooked.

White beans replaced potatoes in some recipes.

Gradually this recipe morphed into a stamppot. The potatoes were mashed after being cooked. Onions were fried with smoked bacon in butter. The sausages were fried and braised.

Modern versions of zuurkool met worst tend to be bittersweet and savoury.

  • 700 g smoked sausage, thick sliced
  • 600 g sauerkraut, rinsed, drained
  • 2 apples, cored, peeled, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 100 g bacon, diced
  • 75 g brown sugar
  • 15 g caraway seeds
  • 6 juniper berries
  • Butter, for greasing

In a heavy bottomed pot place apple, caraway, juniper, sauerkraut and sugar, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for two hours over a low heat.

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a wide baking tray.

Fry bacon and onion over a high heat until both are crispy and caramelised. Add to sauerkraut mixture.

Fry sausage pieces over a high heat.

Add to sauerkraut mixture.

Pour into tray, bake for an hour.

Pollo Colle Salsicce

Nineteenth century Europe for those with land was a place of plenty.

Everything was produced on the farm – cottage and farm cheeses, cured pork, potted meat, terrines and the like, and most of all home-made sausages.

These became essential ingredient in sauces and stews.

One recipe was ubiquitous, sautéed chicken with sausages, largely because it was made with home produce, and chickens were plentiful.

Across Europe there were countless variations.

This is an adaptation of one recipe collected by Pellegrino Artusi in his Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

‘Chop half an onion very fine and put it in a saucepan with a bit of butter and four or five thin slices of prosciutto about a finger in width. On top of these ingredients put a whole chicken. Season with pepper and a little salt, and put on the fire. When it has browned all over and the onion has completely dissolved, moisten with broth or water and add three or four freshly-made whole sausages. Cook over a slow fire, making sure some liquid remains at the end.’

  • 1.5 kg chicken, whole
  • 250 ml chicken broth
  • 6 pork sausages
  • 1 onion
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 15 g butter
  • Oil, for frying
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt

Wrap chicken in prosciutto, carefully brown in oil, turning several times in a wide saucepan. Season.
In a large deep pot, sauté onion in butter for 20 minutes.

Put chicken into pot, add broth, bring to boil, cover and simmer for an hour.

Add sausages and simmer until chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.