I've shared a recipe for bacalhau (salted and dried codfish), but no Portuguese Christmas dinner is complete without filhoses (or velhoses). Or at least this is true for Center Portugal. Filhoses can be made of pumpkin or of carrots. In my family however we only make carrot filhoses. Both my grandmothers use carrots and this is the recipe of one of them. They never really measured their ingredients, but this is a close approximation that an aunt of mine came up with, after watching my grandmother.
- 1kg (35oz) carrots
- 250g + 4 tablespoons (2 1/3 cups) flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- sugar and cinnamon in equal quantities, oil, q.s.
Peel the carrots and grate them finely. Add the zest of the orange to the carrots. Dissolve the sugar in the juice of the orange and add it to the mixture. Add the eggs and the baking powder and mix well.
Add the flour and mix well. You want the dough to be slightly dense so that when you drop it from a spoon it falls in one piece. Add more flour if necessary.
You want to use half a tablespoon for each filhós.
Heat up some oil and fry one filhós to make sure the oil is hot enough. You can fry several filhoses at once. When you're frying the dough, it should turn on itself. But if it doesn't, just give it a little help with a tablespoon. Remove the filhós when it turns golden on both sides. Place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil and cover them with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.