Portuguese soup, ethnic warmth

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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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Dutch doughnuts, sweet treat

dutch_doughnuts
Doughnuts are a treat and can be something of a guilty pleasure but enjoyable nonetheless. The Dutch doughnuts add a little extra twist to the classic doughnut.

To prepare you will need 1 cake compressed fresh yeast, 1 cup lukewarm milk, 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 egg, 3/4 cup dried currants, 3/4 cup raisins,1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored and finely chopped,1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying, and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting.

First break up the yeast and stir into some warm milk. Allow to stand for a few minutes to dissolve. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and add the yeast mixture and egg and mix into a smooth batter. Add the currants, raisins, and apple, cover the bowl and leave in a warm place to rise until double in size.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer and use 2 metal spoons to shape scoops of dough into balls. Drop carefully into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown.

The doughnuts should be soft but greasy. Drain finished doughnuts on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve on a dish.

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Antipasto, open your appetite

antipasto1
Antipasto is the quintessential Italian opener. This serves as an appetiser for dinner and can also be served when entertaining guests.

This recipe serves four and requires 2 cups chopped cauliflower, 4 cups pearl onions, 2 cups chopped red bell peppers, 2 cups chopped green bell peppers, 2 cups chopped celery, 2 cucumbers – peeled, seeded and chopped, 2 cups carrots, chopped, 2 cups vegetable oil, 1 cup black olives, 1 tablespoon pickling spice, 1 cup pitted green olives, 4 cups mushrooms, 2 cups distilled white vinegar, 1 can tomato paste, and 1 1/2 cans flaked tuna.

To prepare first soak cauliflower, carrots, pearl onions, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, celery and cucumbers in lightly salted water overnight. In another bowl boil vegetable oil, vinegar, carrots, tomato paste and pickling spice for 10 minutes.

Cook vegetables and cauliflower in water until cauliflower is tender and crisp. Add black olives, green olives, mushrooms and tuna to the mixture. When cooked remove from heat and refrigerate. When chilled, arrange on a platter and serve.

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Thai shrimp, spicy exotic

thai_shrimp1
Spicy, tasty, exotic. Thai style shrimp is ideal for a quick dinner with spunk. It can be made in half an hour as shrimp is easy to prepare. Just add steamed broccoli and white basmati rice.

To prepare you need 1 cup basmati rice, 1/2 broccoli, 4 cloves of peeled garlic, 1 piece of fresh ginger, chili peppers, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, vegetable oil, 1 medium onion finely chopped, 1 stalk scallion, 1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and de-veined, 2 tomatoes, diced, 1 cup coconut milk, and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves.

To prepare rice, place in a small pot and cook according to directions on the package. In a separate pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add broccoli. Steam for five minutes. For shrimp: In a blender, mix garlic, ginger, chili, salt, and turmeric to a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and scallion and cook, stirring frequently. Add paste and stir. Add shrimp, and cook for a few minutes until they turn pink. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Cover, and simmer for a few minutes.

Stir in the basil in the last minute of cooking. Serve rice and top with shrimp.

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Fried Rice, simply delicious

fried_rice

There is nothing simpler than a meal of fried rice. It is filling, easy to prepare, and it doesn’t leave you with much to wash up afterwards.

Fried rice is the ideal one-pot meal when you’re on the go and because you can add so many ingredients, it can also be the perfect balanced dish, providing all the major food groups required at any one sitting.

This fried rice requires four cups of left-over rice, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1/2 cup cooked thinly sliced chicken breast or breast loin, 1/2 cup pork fillet, thinly sliced, 1/2 cup cooked and thinly sliced beef fillet, 1 medium onion finely chopped, 1 spring onion chopped, 1/4 cup cooked green peasvegetable oil, and 1 small green pepper finely chopped.

In a large saucepan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over a low flame. Add onion, spring onion, and green pepper. Cook lightly, stirring constantly. Add pork, beef, and chicken and saute lightly while continuing to stir. Mix in rice and green peas and stir. Add soy sauce and continue to stir. Once rice is hot turn off flame. Can serve up to three persons.

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Shepherd’s Pie, hearty filling food

shepherds_pie
Whether you call it a Shepherd’s Pie or a Cottage Pie, if a down-home hearty meal is what you’re searching for then this dish is the tasty, filling, traditional choice.

Shepherd’s Pie is an English or Irish dish traditionally made with mashed potatoes, mutton or lamb but is now most often made with minced beef. It can be topped with cheddar cheese for an extra zingy flavour.

The ingredients include two pounds of potatoes, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, garlic, salt, grounded pepper, dried thyme, ¼ all-purpose flour, 2 pounds ground beef, 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of whole milk, 1 large onion chopped, tomato paste, ½ cup peas, and 6 carrots diced.

To prepare first preheat the oven to 450. Boil potatoes until tender; Drain and crush with milk. In a separate saucepan, heat vegetable oil, add ground beef, flour, onion, carrots, thyme, garlic, peas, and tomato paste. Cook beef until browned.

In a casserole, pour beef and carrot filling. Add the potato topping using a spatula to spread over beef. Add grated cheese and bake in an oven for 20 minutes or until topping is browned. Let sit five minutes before serving.

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