Portuguese soup, ethnic warmth

portuguese_soup
Soup isn’t always just soup. In Portugal it is a tradition that is passed on from generation to generation.

The traditional Portuguese soup recipe calls for 1 cup vegetable oil, 2 cups chopped onion, 2 bay leaves, 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced, 1 medium head cabbage, chopped, 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed, 2 cans kidney beans, 1 can beef consommé, 2 2/3 quarts water, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/4 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and diced, 3 tablespoons butter, and warm crusty bread.

To prepare, place a large pot over medium flame and cook onions and potatoes, until tender, then add sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Next add water, bay leaves, cabbage, beans, consommé, garlic, powder, pepper, and salt and bring to a boil. Lower flame and simmer for between 30 and 45 minutes.

Add vinegar and more continue to simmer for an hour. Serve soup with warm bread.

This recipe can be used with kale instead of cabbage, garbanzo beans or chick peas instead of kidney beans, and chourico instead of smoked sausage.

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Macaroni and Cheese pie

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The macaroni and cheese is one of the simplest meals available and with the right spices can be extra tasty. To make you need cooking spray, 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni, 1/2 cup butter, 2 cans evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 3 eggs, salt, 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, and paprika.

To prepare, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray. In a saucepan add water and salt and bring to a boil before adding macaroni. Add oil to prevent macaroni pieces sticking together. Once cooked, remove macaroni and drain.

Melt butter in a pot over a low flame and add evaporated milk and pepper until warm. Beat eggs in a bowl and add evaporated milk mixture whisking until smooth.

Continue to warm over the low flame until thick and add macaroni and stir. Put macaroni mixture in a dish. Add shredded cheese and top with more macaroni. Do this until macaroni is finished, then top with cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes in a casserole.

To add extra flavour to a macaroni and cheese you may also add finely chopped onions and chopped bell peppers. In some recipes the onions and peppers may be blended with the milk and egg mixture for added taste.

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Chicken pot pie, one pot delight

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pot pie is baked savoury dish encased in a flaky pastry and baked in a pie tin to ensure it maintains its shape. There are several varieties including an Australian meat pie and various British regional types. In America, the pot pie can be filled with various types of meat including beefchicken, or turkey as well as vegetables such as carrotspotatoes, and green peas.

The chicken pot pie may be the most popular and is simple to make. The ingredients are 1 poundskinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed, 1 cupsliced carrots, 1 cupgreen peas,1/2 cupsliced celery,1/3 cupbutter,1/3 cuponion chopped, 1/3 cupall-purpose flour,1/2 teaspoonsalt,1/4 teaspoonblack pepper,1 3/4 cupschicken broth, and 2/3 cupmilk.

First preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Then in a saucepan combine the carrots, chicken, peas, and celery, add water and cook for 15 minute then drain.

In a separate pan over a medium flame cook onions and butter add flour, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the broth and milk and cook until thick. Put the mixture in a pie crust then cover with the liquid, add the top pie crust and make a few slits in the top. Bake for between 30 and 35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

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Pasta primavera

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Pasta primavera is a dish made from pasta and fresh vegetables. Sometimes chicken is added but the meal is usually vegetables only. Ingredients such as broccoli, carrots, peas, onions, and green bell peppers, and tomatoes can be used. The pasta used can be bowtie or penne.

To make pasta primavera you will need 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips, 2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips, 2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips, 1 onion, thinly sliced, 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips, 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs, 1 pound bowtie pasta, 15 cherry tomatoes, halved, and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.

Next preheat an oven to 450 degrees F and on a large heavy baking sheet, toss all the vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, and herbs.

Put half of the vegetable mixture onto a large baking sheet and arrange evenly. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta in a separate bowl of water until al dente for about 8 minutes. Next toss the pasta with the vegetables in a large bowl and combine.

Add the cherry tomatoes and enough of the left over cooking water to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

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Poached salmon

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Fish is known to be one of the most light-weight ways of adding protein to one’s diet and of course fish oils are very important. Salmon is renowned for being Omega-3 fatty acids and is a very tasty filling fish. Grilled, broiled, baked, or poached, salmon makes an excellent meal for dining in or out. For a quiet dinner for two at home try this poached salmon.

All that is needed is 1 to 1½ pounds salmon fillets, pin bones removed, Salt, ½ cup dry white wine, ½ cup water, several thin slices of yellow onion and/or 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced, A few sprigs of fresh dill or a sprinkle of dried dill, A sprig of fresh parsley, and freshly ground black pepper.

To prepare: first the salmon fillets with salt. Then place wine, dill, water, onions, and parsley in a saucepan and sauté over a medium flame. Next add the salmon fillets with the skin-side down in the pan and cover, cooking for 5-10 minutes depending on the fillets’ thickness. Be careful not to overcook and serve with freshly ground black pepper.

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Beef Pot Roast, taste in a pot

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When we think “roast” we often think “oven” but one of the tastiest roast meals is pot roast beef which can be done simply and easily on the stove top.

Pot Roast is an excellent meal to serve for an evening entertaining friends for a dinner party. It can be served with baked potatoes and gravy and a side salad of lettuce and tomatoes.

The ingredients required are 2 teaspoons olive oil, 4 pounds boneless chuck roast,1 onion, chopped, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Meat should be seasoned and left to marinade prior to cooking.

First preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Heat a Dutch oven on top of the stove over a medium high heat. Then add meat and sear for around 4 minutes, searing all sides for 3 to 4 minutes each. Remove from the pan and sprinkle salt and pepper, add garlic, and 1 bay leaf. Replace meat in the pan and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat and cook for a further 1 ½ hours. Garnish with onions and gravy.

A variation on this dish involves searing the meat. Once browned, add water, and boil until tender over a low flame. 

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Greek-style Roast Chicken

roast_chicken
Roast Chicken is always a favourite for a simple yet stylish dish to serve when entertaining.

There are many different ways the roast chicken can be prepared but it can be given a twist by adding Greek Yogurt to the marinade. The yogurt helps the chicken retain its moisture while in the oven.

This recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts with the skin still on, salt, ground black pepper, to taste, 1 cup plain Greek non-fat yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, ¼ cup orange juice, 2 cloves garlic, and 3 tablespoons olive oil.

After seasoning the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, place them in a gallon sized re-sealable bag. Mix together the yogurt, cumin, smoked paprika, orange juice and garlic and pour into the bag with the chicken. Marinate chicken for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Over a medium flame, heat olive oil. Add chicken with the skin side down and cook for 2 minutes until chicken is golden brown. Place pan in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes until cooked.

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