Portuguese Meat Croquettes

IMG_3998In 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
  1. In a food processor, chop the garlic and the chorizo. Cook it with two tbsp of butter in a non-stick frying pan.IMG_3938
  2. 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.
  3. Take out of the fire and chop this mixture in the food processor. Add the chopped parsley and let it rest.IMG_3942
  4. Chop the onion thinly. In a pan, cook the onion with the remaining butter in low fire.
  5. 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.
  6. Add the meat and mix well until the mixture separates easily from the pan.
  7. Turn the fire off and let it rest until the mixture is at room temperature.
  8. 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.IMG_3953
  9. 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.IMG_3989
  10. 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.
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Healthy Tapas

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Finally my dissertation first draft is in and I have some time to rest and cook.

Being from a Mediterranean country I love tapas, specially the bad greasy ones… but my husband is Mr. Healthy… so yesterday decided to surprise him with some healthy tapas (exception made to chorizo…). It was really good!

 

Chorizo and Cherry Tomatoes Skewers

  • spicy chorizo
  • cherry tomatoes
  • small wooden skewers
  1. Wash the tomatoes well.
  2. Slide a sharp knife through the chorizo making a slight cut on its skin. Peel the chorizo skin by pushing it from the cut. It should peel easily. Cut the chorizo into thick slices (2.5 cm / 1”).IMG_8300
  3. In each small skewer (you can simply cut a normal one in half) stick a piece of chorizo, then a tomato, a piece of chorizo, and another tomato.IMG_8316
  4. Grill for 5 minutes turning in order to guarantee that it’s properly cooked. The chorizo will cook and release some of the fat and the tomatoes should be soft and slightly toasted outside.IMG_8406

 

Asparagus with Lemon Mayonnaise

  • small/fine asparagus
  • 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
  • 1 tea spoon of lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper 
  1. In a small bowl or a microwave chocolate melting pot (in case you have one), mix a tea spoon of mayonnaise with 1 chopped garlic clove and the lemon juice. Heat in the microwave on medium temperature for approximately one minute (adapt to your microwave potency). You will get a seasoned mayonnaise. Let it cool.
  2. Cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for approximately 2 minutes. IMG_8357
  3. Chop the other garlic clove into thin slices. Heat the olive oil with the garlic slices.
  4. When the garlic is turning gold add the asparagus and fry them for 2 minutes in order for the asparagus to get the garlic flavour.IMG_8371
  5. Add the remaining mayonnaise to the seasoned mayonnaise .
  6. Serve the asparagus with the mayonnaise decorated with some grounded pepper on top.IMG_8373

 

Mozzarella and Tomato Salad with Pesto (see Pesto recipe under)

  • 1 ball of mozzarella
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of pesto
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cut the mozzarella into slices and than into halves.IMG_8362
  2. Wash the tomatoes well and slice them.
  3. On a serving plate, place a slice of tomato, top half of it with a slice of mozzarella and repeat until you use all the ingredients.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Top it with a drizzle of pesto.IMG_8403

 

Pesto

  • 1 bag of basil (approximately 30 g)
  • 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt
  1. Wash the basil well.
  2. In a food processor mix the basil, the olive oil, the pine nuts, the grated cheese and the garlic and process until you get a nice velvety mixture.  You can add more olive oil in case you want it more liquid.IMG_8388
  3. Season with salt.

 

Radish Salad

  • 100 g of radish
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar
  • salt and oregano
  1. Wash the radishes well. Smash the radishes slightly with your hand by punching them. You can use a spoon  on top of the radish before punching it to help.IMG_8271
  2. In a small bowl mix the olive oil, the vinegar, the salt and the oregano.
  3. Put the radish on a bowl and season with the mixture.IMG_8401

Picnic Mood

IMG_7374 Since I first moved to Bristol, I’ve been looking forward to the Balloon Festival. After 10 months, Balloon Festival is here!!!

My friends and I decided to take a day off from dissertation and tomorrow we will go there and have a picnic.

To celebrate the so expected festival I’m baking a balloon cake! Can’t wait for the cake to cool so I can decorate it… I will be posting the pictures soon (in case it turns out well…).

Also cooked some picnic food for tomorrow. The recipes I’m presenting under are my mum’s and, although I make them quite well, they still don’t taste exactly like hers… There’s something magic about mum’s cookings…

Chorizo Small Pies (15 pies)

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 200 g of flour
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 of a chorizo
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. In a bowl put the flour and the baking powder. Add the milk and the egg yolks progressively while mixing well. You will get a thick dough.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they get thick. Add it to the flour mixture until you get a fluffy dough.IMG_7301
  4. Grease cupcake or small pie cases with butter. Fill half of the cases with the dough.
  5. Slice the chorizo in thick slices. Place one slice per case on top of the dough.IMG_7328
  6. Place in the oven and cook until the pies grow and get golden. The chorizo will toast a bit and release some of its sauce seasoning the pie.IMG_7354

Cold Cuts Cake (serves 4)

  • 9 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tea spoon of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • salt and chopped rosemary
  • cold cuts (chorizo, ham, salami)
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. In a bowl put the flour and the baking powder. Add the melted butter, two egg yolks and one egg white.
  3. Add the milk and mix well. You will get a liquid and fluffy dough. Season with salt and chopped rosemary.
  4. Grease a tray and sprinkle with flour removing the excess flour.
  5. Put half of the dough in the tray. Cover with the cold cuts meat cut in pieces making sure it covers most of the dough. Cover with the remaining dough. With a brush spread the remaining egg white on top of the cake.IMG_7347
  6. Cook for approximately 30 minutes until the cake gets a bit toasted on top.IMG_7379