Cinnamon Rolls

An awesome Danish recipe.

Leg of Lamb

For the perfect Sunday roast.

Honey and Cinnamon Cookies

Delicious cookies.

Orange and Ginger Chicken Thighs

A summery chicken recipe.

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Chocolate Semifreddo

Today I'll share my favorite dessert as a kid. Perhaps it still is, but now I have to make it. Twenty years ago, my mum came up with the idea and it soon became a classic at my parent's restaurant (no longer in existence). It is, quite simply, frozen cream enveloped in frozen chocolate mousse, surrounded by melted chocolate. The outside chocolate remains soft, in contrast with the firmer interior, in a perfect blend of texture and sweetness.


Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 8 + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 200g (7oz) dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 gelatin sheets
  • 400mL (1 2/3 cup) cream
  • dark chocolate q.s.

Instructions

Start by melting the chocolate with the butter. While the chocolate melts, soften the gelatin sheets in some cold water. 


Beat 8 tablespoons of sugar with the egg yolks until it turns into a pale mixture.


After the chocolate is melted, dissolve the gelatin the sheets in the chocolate (and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if it's too hard).


Add the melted chocolate with the gelatin to the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them in the chocolate mixture.


Place the mixture in a recipient that can go to the freezer (I used a plastic container because it is easy to unmold afterwards). Place on the freezer for 3 hours.


Mark the container's shape 2cm (1in) from the outside with a knife. With a spoon remove the chocolate from the inside and keep for later.


Beat the cream with two tablespoons of sugar and place it inside the shell you created. Place on the freezer for about 1 hour.
Place the remaining chocolate on top of the whole semifreddo and place on the freezer for 2 hours more.
To unmold, use a knife to separate the semifreddo from the container, place it upside down on a serving platter and let gravity do its job. You might need to help it by spreading the container. 


Melt some chocolate and serve!



For a print friendly version visit this recipe at my Recipes page.

Chicken Fricassee

I had never had Chicken Fricassee until now. Not that there's anything special about the way the chicken is cooked, but the sauce was extraordinary. The butter, the bits of chicken that are left behind and the mushrooms are brought together by the egg yolks resulting in a creamy and tasty sauce. I used a recipe from Pantagruel.


Ingredients

  • 1 carved chicken or some whole legs and thighs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of flour
  • 100g (3.5oz) sliced mushrooms 
  • 3dl (1 1/3 cups)chicken stock
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • parsley, salt, pepper q.s.

Instructions

Start by frying the chicken in the butter until it turns golden. Add the flour and mix.


Add the chicken stock and afterwards, add the mushrooms and season with salt, pepper and the bay leaves. Let it cook in low heat.


When the chicken is done, and you're ready to serve, it's time to make the sauce. Remove the chicken from the pot. Dissolve the egg yolks in 2dl of water (the recipe called for more chicken stock but it was already well season, and I decided to use water instead), add it to sauce, bring to a simmer and mix without stopping. Remove from the heat before it boils.



Garnish with parsley and serve.


For a print friendly version visit this recipe at my Recipes page.

Wine-Braised Beef with Garlic Butter Potatoes

This recipe resulted in a flavorful braised beef. It's quite simple to make although it takes nearly 2 hours to cook. The recipe is from "Culinária Portuguesa". As for the garlic and parsley butter, it's a family recipe and it's incredibly good. In potatoes, on top of a steak, it doesn't matter. It's just good. 


Ingredients

For the Braised Beef:
  • 1kg stewing beef 
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 red peppers 
  • 3 tomatoes 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • bunch fresh parsley
  • 3dl (1 1/4 cups) white wine
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1dl (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • bacon, salt, pepper q.s.
For the Garlic Butter Potatoes:
  • 125g (1 stick) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • potatoes, salt, fresh parsley q.s.

Instructions

Start by larding the beef with bits of bacon. I don't have a larding needle, and as such, I made small cuts on the beef and pushed the bits of bacon in. In a big pot place the onions and the olive oil. Punch the garlic cloves, de-seed the red peppers, slice them in four and place them in the pot. De-seed the tomatoes, slice them in four and place them in the pot too. Chop the parsley and add it to the pot. Add the parsley leaf and place the beef on top. Season with salt and pepper, and add the white wine and the vinegar. Cover the pot and cook for 1h45 to 2h or until the beef is done and the sauce no longer tastes like wine.



As for the potatoes, bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 200ºC (390ºF) or until they're done. While they're baking, if you have a food processor, place the garlic, the parsley and the butter in the bowl and process until everything is mixed. If you don't have a food processor, finely chop the parsley, finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press) and mix with softened butter. Place in the fridge until you're ready to serve.



You can use the garlic butter later on top of a steak for instance.


Slice the potatoes halfway through and place a teaspoon of butter inside the potato. And serve.


For a print friendly version visit this recipe at my Recipes page.

Chouriço Bread

Chouriço Bread, or "Pão com Chouriço" as we call it, is a treat you can find in Portuguese markets and fairs. It's usually baked in a trailer with wood fired ovens. You can also find it year-round in supermarkets, cafes or, more specifically, in Lisbon at Merendeira. There are even places that serve not only chouriço bread, but dried codfish bread, black pudding bread and pork rind bread. Good stuff. The recipe for the bread dough can also be used for baking regular bread. 


Ingredients

  • 500g (4 1/4 cups) strong white flour
  • 340g (12oz) lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 20g (0.7oz) fresh yeast
  • chouriço q.s.

Instructions

Start by dissolving the yeast and the salt in some of the water. Add some flour, so that the water and the yeast are absorbed. Continue adding flour and water until everything is mixed. Flour a clean surface and knead the dough until you have a silky and elastic dough (~5 minutes of kneading). (Note: I used a mixture of spelt and white flour and that is why my bread doesn't look completely "white". I just wanted to try it for no good reason. The real deal is with white flour only.)



Place the dough in a bowl, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Once is has risen, it's time to shape the bread. I divided the bread in 5 parts, but you can make the breads smaller if you wish. Flatten the bread with your hands or with a rolling a pin, until it is 1cm (0.5in) thick. Place two slices of chouriço on top of the dough and roll it. 



Place the breads on a floured baking tray, cover the tray and let it rise once again for 30-60 minutes (until it has doubled in size).


Bake in a preheated oven to 200ºC (390ºF) for 20-25 minutes or until it turns golden. Let it cool down and dig in.


For a print friendly version visit this recipe at my Recipes page.