In Portugal we have a vast range of fried snacks that you will find in every supermarket or coffee shop (rissóis, croquettes, fish cakes).
When I moved to London, our first guest was a Portuguese old friend that brought us an assortment of these delicious snacks from a Portuguese shop near his place in London. I didn’t realise I missed it so much…
After that, I decided to try to cook some by myself. Today’s recipe is for Portuguese Croquettes. I cooked them with pork but they typically included beef too.
Portuguese Meat Croquettes (20 to 30 units)
- 350 g of pork minced meat
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 1 garlic clove
- 60 g of chorizo
- 1 tbsp of chopped parsley
- 60 g of butter
- 200 ml of milk
- 1 small onion
- 80 g of flour
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Salt, pepper, nutmeg and dry thyme
- 2 eggs
- bread crumbs
- vegetable oil
- In a food processor, chop the garlic and the chorizo. Cook it with two tbsp of butter in a non-stick frying pan.
- When the mixture has cooked for 1-2 minutes add the meat. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Stir occasionally and let it cook until the meat is duly fried.
- Take out of the fire and chop this mixture in the food processor. Add the chopped parsley and let it rest.
- Chop the onion thinly. In a pan, cook the onion with the remaining butter in low fire.
- When the onion is golden and soft add the flour and mix well. Slowly add the milk, while steering, making sure that the flour dissolves and creating a thick sauce. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.
- Add the meat and mix well until the mixture separates easily from the pan.
- Turn the fire off and let it rest until the mixture is at room temperature.
- Using approximately one tbsp of dough, shape the dough into one small cylindrical form. Place on the croquette on a large tray or plate previously sprinkled with flour. Repeat until you finish the dough. Depending on the size of your croquettes you should get between 20 and 30 units.
- Get two small bowls and mix the eggs in one and place a good quantity of bread crumbs in the other. One by one, cover the croquettes first with eggs and after with bread crumbs, by dipping them first in the eggs and then in the bread crumbs.
- Fry them in hot vegetable oil or freeze them before frying for future use. You will be able to fry them directly from the freezer.
This is an old recipe from my mum that has gain a special meaning for me since I used it on the first phase of a cooking contest I entered last year. It got me a second place on that round!
It’s a lovely recipe, really easy and inexpensive. The only tricky part is to roll the cake… but even if you fail to do it it will still taste great!
Orange Rolling Cake
- 350 g of sugar
- 1 tbsp of flour
- 1 orange zest
- 2 oranges juice
- 8 eggs
- 80 g of butter
- Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
- In a bowl mix the sugar with the flour, the orange zest and juice. Add the eggs and mix well.
- Melt the butter and add it to the previous dough. You will get a very liquid dough.
- Grease a 35 x 24 cm oven tray with butter and cover with baking paper. You may use a slightly different size tray as long as the dough fills the tray and is approximately 1 cm high.
- Grease the baking paper with butter. Pour the dough on the tray and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
- Place a clean cloth on top a plain surface and sprinkle it with sugar (granulated or icing sugar).
- Remove the cake from the oven and remove it from the tray onto the cloth, being careful in order not to break the cake.
- Using the cloth, roll the dough in order to get a cylindrical cake. You should grab the cloth on the smaller side of the rectangular dough and gently start rolling the dough on itself by simply pushing the cloth on the direction of the other end of the cake.
- In the end you will have the rolling cake inside the cloth and you should gently place it on a serving tray or plate.
I’m finally settled in London and actively looking for a job in the financial sector… Hence my cooking has been relayed to second place…
However, my new kitchen is really cool and modern so I believe I will be playing with it a lot.
Decided to start with a recipe I used to make after a night out. Red beans and meat, wrapped in a tortilla and covered with grated cheese! I know some people who will argue that this recipe is not truly a burritos’ recipe (yes… you know who you are…) but I usually call it that to simplify. Whatever you may call it, it is really filling and good!
Bean and Meat Burritos (serves 2)
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 8 tbsp of tomato passata
- 200 g of pork minced meat
- 1 small can of red kidney beans (240 g net)
- 2 plain tortilla wraps
- salt, pepper and chilli powder
- 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
- Chop the onion and the garlic thinly and cook, in low fire, with the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
- Wash the tomatoes and chop them. When the onion and garlic are soft, add the tomatoes and cook in low fire until the tomatoes smash under pressure of a spoon.
- Season with salt, pepper and chilli powder. You can also use real sliced chillies in case you want a hotter burrito.
- Add the tomato passata and the minced meat. Let it cook for approximately 5 minutes. If the sauce dries too much, add some more tomato passata.
- Open the beans’ tin and drain the water. Add the beans to the meat and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the beans are getting soft. Correct the seasoning if needed with salt, pepper and chilli powder.
- Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
- Place each tortilla in a plain and clean surface and pour half the beans and meat mixture in the centre of each tortilla. Save four tbsp of this mixture to decorate the burritos.
- Cover the beans and meat mixture with grated cheese, saving some cheese to decorate the burritos.
- Close the burritos by folding first one side to the centre, and than the other. Finally, close the ends of the burrito by folding the edges. You will get a rectangular shaped burrito.
- Place the two burritos in an oven tray. Top each burrito with some grated cheese, two tbsp of the beans and meat mixture, and some more grated cheese.
- Place in the oven and cook until the cheese is completely melted and the tortilla gets crunchier.
- Serve with a good and fresh salad.