Coq au Vin

IMG_1105This is a simplified version of the classic coq au vin. I used only chicken leg quarters cleaned of most fat, but besides that I tried to be as accurate as possible and I even seasoned the meat one day in advance which I typically skip!

My mum does this dish all the time and it is amazingly yummi with some smashed boiled potatoes.

 

Coq au Vin (serves 4)

  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine (375 ml)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 bacon strips
  • 1/2 cup of water (optional)
  • 100 g of button mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  1. Peel the chicken by pulling the skin from the tight to the legs. It should peel off easily and you can help by cutting any fat that might be holding the skin to the chicken meat. IMG_1041
  2. With a butcher knife cut off the bone in the top of the leg and discard it. Cut the leg away from the tight getting two pieces from each leg quarter.IMG_1043
  3. Peel the garlic and cut each clove into two or four pieces, depending on their size.IMG_1047
  4. Peel the onion and cut it in quarters. Save a quarter for later. Cut the remaining onion into chunks.
  5. Peel the carrots and slice them.
  6. Place the chicken, the onions, the garlic and the carrots on a big bowl. Fill with the red wine and season with salt, pepper and half of the parsley.IMG_1061
  7. Keep this mixture in the fridge until the next day. I kept it there for over 24 hours.
  8. On the next day, slice the remaining onion thinly. Cut the bacon strips into pieces. Cook the onion and the bacon in a large pan with the olive oil until it gets golden.IMG_1072
  9. Add the pieces of chicken with no sauce and let it cook for approximately 5 minutes. The idea is to give a first frying cook to the meat.
  10. Add the sauce where the meat was seasoning over night. Add the water in case you wish to dilute a bit the wine.IMG_1074
  11. Cook until it starts boiling and, after that, keep cooking in very low fire for approximately 1 hour and a half. Stir gently every now and again.
  12. Wash the mushrooms and cut them in half. Add to the chicken, with the remaining parsley, and let it cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning if needed.IMG_1086
  13. Serve the chicken with the sauce and plain boiled potatoes.IMG_1088

4 garlic cloves

Roasted Pork with Orange and Carrots

IMG_9319Back to Bristol and not very happy about it… All my friends are leaving and the city seems deprived of known faces…

Planning to start my job search next week after some days of rest and some homely food!

This next dish is a pork roast that I really love. Being always quite stressed with time, I decided to cut some edges and cook the pork only for 30 minutes and, after, slice it to cook it faster (shame on me!!!)… but, to be honest, I found out I really prefer the pork cooked this way… Each slice gets a crust and the pork fat dissolves better so you loose a bit of that fatty taste pork sometimes has.

 

Roasted Pork with Orange and Carrots (serves 4)

  • 1 Kg of pork shoulder joint
  • 4 oranges
  • 4 big carrots
  • 4 tbsp of white wine
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 stems of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. Wash the carrots well and peel them. Grate the carrots and spread them evenly on the bottom of an oven dish.IMG_9295
  3. Irrigate with the juice of three oranges and the white wine.IMG_9298
  4. Place the meat on top of the carrots and orange juice, with the fat facing up.IMG_9301
  5. Drizzle the meat with the juice of the remaining orange and season it with salt and pepper. I usually include some bits on the orange juice.IMG_9304
  6. Wash the garlic cloves and the thyme. Smash the garlic cloves slightly without removing the skin (see point 7 of the Colourful Beef Stew recipe for more details). Add the garlic and thyme to the carrots and orange mixture.
  7. Cook in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes. Make sure that you irrigate the meat with some of the juices in the bottom of the tray at least twice during this time.IMG_9309
  8. After this period, remove the dish from the oven. Take the pork joint to a cutting board and slice it. The inner slices will still be raw in the centre. Place them on the same oven dish and irrigate with the sauce from the bottom of the dish.
  9. Place in the oven again and cook until the meat is properly cooked and the slices present a bit of a crust.
  10. Serve topped with the carrots and orange juice.

Watermelon Cocktail

IMG_0751Dissertation finished… now what? It is quite scary to return to the labour market and look for a new job… But before that took a week off to enjoy sunny Portugal!

In Bristol, the winter is clearly coming… In Portugal I found a lovely sun and 32ºC! This week I had all grilled fish meals and a lot of refreshing drinks.

 

Watermelon Cocktail (serves 4)

  • 3 thick slices of watermelon
  • 2 bags of ice cubes
  • 1 orange
  • 200 ml of vodka
  • mint
  1. Peel the watermelon making sure you remove the white part near the rid. Cut the watermelon into pieces and remove the seeds. IMG_0735
  2. In a blender mix the watermelon and half of the ice until you get a nice liquid pulp.IMG_0737
  3. Add the orange juice and the vodka and stir well. For a non-alcohol refreshment just leave the vodka out.
  4. Crunch the rest of the ice. Fill the bottom of the glasses with the crunched ice. Pour the watermelon mix on top of the ice until you fill the glasses.IMG_0746
  5. Decorate with some mint leaves. IMG_0753

Yummi Breakfast

IMG_9376And finally my dissertation is finished! And I’m back to the land of the living! Feeling so relieved…

Yesterday night I was feeling shattered. So, I decided to cook one of my favourite things in the world… Breakfast!!!

Here are some nice tips for a rich weekend breakfast. I complemented it with some bacon & eggs! Yummi!

 

Roasted Tomatoes (serves 4)

  • 5 vine tomatoes
  • 6 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. Wash the tomatoes and cut them in halves. Place them with the interior facing up on a oven tray.IMG_9320
  3. Wash the basil well and chop the leaves in small pieces.
  4. Peel the garlic and dice it thinly.
  5. Sprinkle the basil, the garlic and the olive oil on top of the tomato. Season with salt and pepper.IMG_9330
  6. Cook in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  7. Serve sprinkled with the sauce resulting from cooking the tomatoes.

    IMG_9362

 

Mozzarella & Tomato Toast (serves 4)

  • 6 leaves of basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 1 mozzarella ball
  • 2 tomatoes
  • olive oil and vinegar
  • salt, pepper and oregano
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. Wash the basil. Chop the basil and the garlic thinly. Mix it with the olive oil and sprinkle it on top of the bread.
  3. Put the bread slices on an oven tray.IMG_9342
  4. Wash the tomatoes and chop them in small pieces.
  5. Cut the mozzarella into slices and shred it into pieces.IMG_9349
  6. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes and the mozzarella and season with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano.
  7. Cover the slices of bread with the tomatoes and mozzarella and cook in the oven until the mozzarella becomes golden.IMG_9386

 

Lemon Mushrooms (serves 4)

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 150 gr of white mushrooms
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 5 sticks of parsley
  • 2 tbsp of white wine
  • salt and pepper
  1. Slice the garlic and cook it in low fire with the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.IMG_9395
  2. Wash the mushrooms well and slice them.
  3. Put the mushrooms into the frying pan. Add the lemon juice, the parsley and the wine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Let it cook in low fire until the mushrooms shrink and cook.IMG_9398

 

 

Colourful Beef Stew

IMG_9027I’ve been cooking stews since ever… It was a lovely surprise to get to the UK and see that most people here also love a good stew!

I usually make simple stews with natural and healthy ingredients with a water and wine base. I have been trying new amazing vegetables that I usually don’t find in Portugal and having a lot of fun! Today, however, I went with a simple beef stew with some familiar vegetables.

 

Colourful Beef Stew (serves 3)

  • 225 g of potatoes
  • 225 g of courgette (zucchini)
  • 150 g of butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 250 g of diced beef
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 150 ml of white wine
  • 250 ml of water
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200ºC.
  2. Peel the potatoes and dice them in large cubes.
  3. Cut the courgette in large pieces, approximately the same size as the potato cubes. IMG_8997
  4. Peel the butternut squash and cut into large pieces, approximately the same size as the potato cubes.
  5. Wash these vegetables and the tomatoes well.
  6. Peel the onion, cut it in half and then cut each half into six large pieces.IMG_9011
  7. Wash the garlic cloves. Smash them slightly without removing the skin. I usually do it by placing the blade of a knife on top of the garlic clove and pressing the knife with my hand (see the photograph under). In order to be safe, I advise you to use a blunt knife or a metal spatula.IMG_9007
  8. Use a casserole, a pyrex, or a large oven dish. Fill it with the potatoes, the courgette, the butternut squash, the cherry tomatoes, the onion, the garlic cloves, the diced beef and the washed parsley.
  9. Cover with the wine, the water, and the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in order for all the ingredients to mix.IMG_9014
  10. Cook in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Make sure you check the stew approximately every 20 minutes and stir it in order to make sure that the top ingredients don’t burn.IMG_9022
  11. Serve in soup dishes or bowls with a generous portion of the sauce and some bread.

Lemon & Lime Meringue Tart

IMG_8890As I’ve said before, I love citric desserts. The acid takes away some of the extra sweetness and makes it fresher.

As I bought a couple of limes to make my Lime Mousse, I decided to bake a Lemon & Lime Meringue Tart. This is a dessert that always reminds me of my family parties since it’s a must have in most of them… even on Christmas!

 

Lemon & Lime Meringue Tart

  • 150 g of flour
  • 70 g of salted butter
  • 100 g of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. In a bowl mix the flour with the melted butter and 50 g of sugar. Add the water and mix well with your hands, getting a sand like dough. Shape into a ball and save in the fridge for around 30 minutes.IMG_8555
  3. Grease with butter a 19 cm (7.5”) cake or tart loose base tin. Cover the end of the tin with the prepared dough pressing it well with your fingers. You can add some dough to the sides of the tin to make a tart of just fill the bottom of the tin and give a “cheesecake” look to your tart.
  4. Pierce the dough here and there with a fork . Cook in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. The dough will become cooked and golden.IMG_8574
  5. In a pan mix the condensed milk with the egg yolks, reserving the egg whites in a large bowl. Mix well this mixture making sure the egg yolks are totally dissolved in the condensed milk. After, cook this mixture in low fire until it starts to get thicker. Turn the stove off and add the lemon and lime juice mixing well.
  6. Drop this mixture on top of the cooked dough and place the tin in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. The mixture should be solid after this.IMG_8587
  7. When the condensed milk mixture is almost cooked, start whisking the egg whites and, when it gets thick, add the remaining 50 g of sugar whisking a bit more until you get a hard meringue. Pour the meringue on top of the remaining tart. You can be as artistic as you’d like when pouring the meringue on top of the tart. IMG_8602
  8. Cook in the oven for an additional period of 5 to 10 minutes until the meringue turns golden.IMG_8615
  9. Take out of the tin, maintaining only the base of the tin, and serve as it is or decorate with some lemon or lime zest. If you’re serving it some hour later, it will naturally gain some nice caramel drops on top.IMG_8623