Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Ham, Cheese and Bacon Roll (Bola de fiambre, queijo e bacon)

In Portugal we have got many types of bread but there's also a big variety of enriched breads called "bolas". They are rolls stuffed with ham, bacon, codfish, chicken and other meats.They are original from the North of Portugal and in the past people usually made them to celebrate Christmas, Easter or other special ocasions. Now we can find them in the village baker or in a local market.

400 gr (14 oz) strong white flour
275 ml (10 fl oz) of warm water
25 gr (1 oz) fresh yeast
2 eggs
2 tbsp of sugar
50 gr ( 2 oz) butter
1 pinch of salt
slices of ham, bacon and cheese

Crumble or prinkle the yeast into a small bowl, add a splash of water and mix until smooth. In a bowl mix the flour, salt, and the yeast mixture. Then add the eggs, sugar, butter and the rest of warm water.
Knead for about 5 minutes or until really smooth and supple. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size in a warm place.
Knead lightly for 1 minute.
Then make a roll out to a rectangle not very thin and cover it with slices of cheese, ham and bacon.Roll up the dough firmly. Put it in a greased baking sheet and rised until doubled in size. When the roll is ready, glaze with egg and bake it for 20 minutes at 200ºC (400ºF).

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Portuguese egg pudding

This is a traditional portuguese pudding usually cooked to celebrate a special day like a wedding day, christmas, birthday or a family reunion.
Now is in almost every restaurants in Portugal as an everyday dessert.
4 cups of milk
12 eggs
3 cups of sugar
1 tbsp of flour
zest of a lemon
caramel sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degreesF (200º C).
In a bowl beat the eggs until frothy.
Combine the sugar the flour and the lemon zest and beat the mixture into the eggs. Add the milk and mix again.
Pour the caramel into an ovenproofmold, rolling it aroud the sides to coat the mold evenly.
Pour the custard into the caramelized mold.
Place the mold in a larger pan and add water to come halfway up the sides of the mold.
Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the custard comes out clean.
Cool the room temperature. Then place it in refrigerator tree hours.
Unmold the pudding on a reving plate.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Portuguese Custard Tart - Pastel de Nata Tart

The original recipe for "Pasteis de Nata" was invented by two catholic sisters in the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Lisbon, and called Pasteis de Belém. Since then the secret recipe has been havily guarded by the onwers of Pasteis de Belém cake shop.
Today there are many recipes which try to imitate the original. This gorgeous tart is one of these and I hope you like it.

25o gr ready-made puff pastry, thowed if frozen
1,5 dl water
250 gr caster sugar
1 tbsp plain flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2,5 dl fresh cream
zest of lemon


Roll out the pastry and use it to line a 23cm tart ring.
Then prepare the custard : Mix the sugar and the water in a saucepan, bring to the boil during 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
In a bowl combine the flour with two tabsps of fresh cream and add the egg yolks, the egg, the fresh cream and the lemon zest. Mix well and spread the custard sauce over the base. Bake for about 45 minutes (heat the oven to 180ºc degrees), until golden brown and cooked. Serve it cool and dust the tart with icing sugar.