Welcome to the flavors of Portuguese homestyle cooking. Traditional Portuguese recipes combine a blend of flavors and techniques of many other cultures dating back centuries. My book, Portuguese Homestyle Cooking, gives an overview of centuries old cultural influences on Portugal’s cuisine. It describes the ingredients common to Mediterranean countries and essential to Portuguese cooking including olive oil, onions, bay leaves, garlic, fresh coriander, paprika, chili peppers and red sweet peppers. However, the way in which the ingredients are used together makes Portuguese fare unique. Some ingredients which were brought back during the days of the Discoveries show from where some dishes evolved.
The book contains recipes using nutritious legumes and leafy greens in soups and stews. Kale, fresh fennel, and baby turnip tops—a few greens that give a distinct flavor to soups, are also shown lightly sautéed and seasoned, or mixed with rice to create a tasty side dish. Red and white kidney beans, chick-peas, pinto, and broad beans not only provide body and sustenance to soups, but make interesting accompaniments to main courses. Sometimes, dishes are made with the unusual combination of meat with shellfish. The easy to prepare seafood dishes, luscious egg and sugar rich desserts and the way certain spices and herbs are used to flavor these comfort foods, give this cuisine character. There are dishes vegetarians would enjoy as well. Finally, the infusion of wine and garlic flavors, give meat a comforting taste that is unmistakably Portuguese.
Thank you for visiting!
—Ana Patuleia Ortins