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Low Carb Caribbean Shrimp Bruschetta

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Last year at this time my family and I were just coming back and recovering from an amazing trip to Jamaica where we celebrated my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding!  There was sand, there was surf, there was a beautiful beach chair and tropical drink waiting for me daily, ahhhh.  I’m not gonna lie, it was nice!

Although I won’t be traveling to the Caribbean this year, there is always a vehicle to get me back there if just for a few moments… FOOD  Food glorious food can really take you anywhere in the world and with this dish I am transported right back to those white sand beaches and clear blue waters!

If you are looking for a fancy shmancy appetizer to serve at your next cocktail party or if you are having a fun and festive Caribbean style get together, this dish is easy, delicious and can totally be made ahead and built just before serving!  AND its low carb, gluten-free and super healthy!

Start with a ripened plantain.

Taking the peel off is not quite as easy as with a banana.

Slice thinly on an angle.

Deep fry in veggie oil.

Drain fried plantains on a paper towel.

Immediately salt.

Grab some bacon.

Cut bacon into three segments.

Sprinkle shrimp with some Jamaican Jerk Rub. This one is by Pampered Chef.

Pan fry in either butter or veggie oil.

Now you have three elements ready to go.

Gather these ingredients for your caribbean style pico de gallo.

I am using my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor today because I want to be able to control just how processed the ingredients get, I want a small dice, but I don’t want to liquefy.

Dice up your tomatoes, red onion and peppers. For this, I am using sweet peppers, but you can totally use jalapeno peppers or even ghost peppers if you want to really go Jamaican!

Place the onion, tomato, peppers and cilantro in the food processor.

Process lightly.

Add the squeeze of half an orange.

Continue to process.  Add in kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

I added in some Portuguese hot ground pepper. (Pimenta Moida)

Cover the fried plantain with the pico de gallo.

Add a piece of fried bacon.

Add a little more pico de gallo.

Add your shrimp right on top and sprinkle with a bit more cilantro.

Low Carb Caribbean Shrimp Bruschetta

Yield 12 Bruschetta

1 ripened plantain, sliced and deep-fried in 2 cups Canola Oil

12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on

4 pieces of bacon, cut into thirds and fried until just crisp

For Pico de Gallo:

1 plum tomato, roughly chopped

1/2 red onion, roughly chopped

3 sweet peppers, roughly chopped

1/2 small orange, juiced

1 small handful cilantro

1 Tbs. Pimenta Moida (Portuguese ground red pepper)

1 tsp. Pampered Chef Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, plus more for shrimp

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Deep fry 12 slices of ripened plantains, set aside on paper to drain.  Season shrimp with a sprinkle of Jamaican Jerk seasoning and salt. Pan fry with butter.  Set aside.  Pan fry bacon until just crisp, set aside on paper to drain.

For salsa, add in tomato, peppers, cilantro, onion, Pimenta Moida and Jamaican Jerk Seasoning and a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste into a food processor.  Process until a fine salsa is made.

Build your bruschetta = 1 plantain, 1 tsp pico de gallo, 1 pc. bacon, a little more pico de gallo, top with shrimp. Garnish with more cilantro.

 

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Portuguese Chicken & Rice (Arroz com Frango)

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Spring is a funny time of year here in the Northeast.  Some days it’s sunny and you want to stay outside and grill and enjoy the beautiful day and the very next week, you can have 5 days of clouds and rain.  It makes for an interesting trip to the market when trying to plan out meals.  One thing that works rain or shine and really can provide some rainy day comfort is this one pot Portuguese dish, Arroz com Frango (Chicken & Rice)!

I have loved chicken and rice ever since I was a little girl.  What’s not to love right?  There is a juicy flavorful chicken combined with equally flavorful rice and potatoes, not to mention the nuggets of chouriço that are tucked away in there.  It’s really everything you could want from Portuguese cooking all in one spot.

This meal is also quite versatile.  In my house, my dad has always been a big fan of chicken legs, so my mom always made it with just legs.  And if you like that, great, make it just like we do!  But, if you prefer thighs or even breasts, this recipe accommodates that too.  Also, we make this with beer as many of my Portuguese recipes have, but white wine works well too and if you don’t keep alcohol in the house, just use some chicken stock.  It will still be delicious!  The key here is those main Portuguese spices, the crushed red pepper, the chouriço (which is used as much for its flavor as for the meat itself), the garlic and of course the Portuguese All Spice (which can be swapped out for sweet paprika in a pinch).

It’s an easy recipe that has something for the whole family.  Take a look at how I do it…

Start with some fresh chicken. I prefer legs for this recipe, but thighs would be great and if you only do breast, then that works too. I also prefer that it have skin as the skin imparts quite a bit of flavor. It can be removed after cooking if you like.

Start by searing your chicken. (Sorry this picture is so dark! It’s a big dark pot.)

You want to get every side.

Remove the chicken from the pot.

Peel and slice up some hot chouriço.

Chop up a large onion.

Saute the onion in the chicken fat you have just rendered. If not enough fat has been rendered, then you can add some olive oil.

Add in chouriço.

Get a few cloves of garlic.

Smash them with your knife and this makes the peel easy to remove. Add the peeled garlic into the pot.

Chop up about 6-8 potatoes… You want about one small potato per piece of chicken you are using or 1 large for every two pieces.

Add in a bottle of beer. Use that bottle of beer to measure out about 6-8 more of water. (white wine can be substituted for the beer)

Measure out your rice. This is NOT par boiled, medium grain rice. Uncle Ben’s does not work here, neither does any kind of quick cooking rice. Just good old-fashioned rice. I like River Rice.

Add rice into pot.

Add in one small can of tomato sauce.

And one to two heaping Tbs. of ground red pepper.

Add in a good pinch of kosher salt.

Add in Portuguese All Spice. If you don’t have this handy, add in about a tsp. of sweet paprika. (NOT SMOKY)

Keep an eye on it, if the rice needs more water. Once the potatoes have cooked through and the rice is plump and has absorbed most of the liquid, You are through.

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Portuguese Chicken & Rice (Arroz com Frango)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

3-4 lbs. chicken, skin on

8-10 small potatoes, peeled and diced

4 cups medium grain white rice

1 large onion, diced

1 beer (or 1 cup white wine or chicken stock)

3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

1 lb. hot chouriço, peeled and sliced

1 (6 oz.) can tomato sauce

2 Tbs. Pimenta moida (crushed red pepper)

1/2 tsp. Portuguese All Spice

1 Tbs. kosher salt

8 cups water

Instructions:

In a large heavy pot over high heat, sear chicken.  Remove chicken from pot and turn heat down to medium heat.  Add in onions, saute.  Add in chouriço and garlic.  Add chicken back in to pot.  Add in beer, water, rice, potatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, All Spice and salt.  Stir.  Cover and cook on low until potatoes are fork tender and rice has plumped to become fully cooked and absorbed most of the liquid.  Watch pot throughout cooking time, stirring and adding water if needed.  

*This is a gluten free recipe so long as white wine is used in lieu of beer.

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Sausage Patties

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Spring is here and Mother’s Day is upon us.  A Mother’s Day tradition in many a household is breakfast in bed for mom.  Why not make it extra special this year by going that extra mile?  Making homemade sausage may seem out of reach to many, but with this simple recipe, you will not only get a more delicious patty, but a healthier one!

Made from simple ingredients.  It’s always nice to know exactly what goes into our food and be able to control the quality of what we put in our bodies.  These little patties are without casing, which is just one more reason I love them.

These pork breakfast sausages are perfect for freezing and can be ready to go whenever you want to make a special breakfast or just have a quick breakfast ready to go in the morning.  I enjoy them along side pancakes, but they go really well with eggs or waffles or whatever your favorite breakfast food is!

Slice up one small onion.

Place it in the food processor… I am using the Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor.

Process onions.

Process until finely minced.

Add some olive oil into small skillet.

Add onions into skillet.

Run a large garlic clove or two smaller ones through a garlic press and add in.  This Pampered Chef Garlic Press is fantastic.

Add bacon into skillet.

Brown everything up and remove from heat to allow to cool a bit.

Start with a package of ground pork.

Use your favorite bacon.

Snip through some bacon.  These Pampered Chef Sheers are perfect to get this job done!

Prepare your spices.

Add your spices into your meat.

Add in plain bread crumbs.

Add in one egg.

Add in cooled skillet mixture.

Stir together.

Form patties.

You can form regular circular patties… I like a 2″ patty.

Or you can make them into heart-shaped patties for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or a special anniversary breakfast.

Using a medium skillet, turn burner heat to medium.

Add patties into skillet.

Turn.

Cook all the way through.

Flash freeze the remaining raw patties for a half hour in freezer bag laying them flat and then remove as much air as possible from bag and place back in freezer for storage.

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Sausage Patties

Makes 18 2 oz. patties

Ingredients:

1 lbs. ground pork

2 eggs

1 small onion, minced

1/2 cup bread crumbs

5 slices bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces

2 cloves of garlic, run through press

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

1 Tbs. olive oil

Directions:

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add in onions, bacon and garlic. Saute until golden brown.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, add in ground pork, bread crumbs, spices and brown sugar.  Stir together.  Add in skillet mixture.  Form into 2 oz. patties.

Heat a medium skillet and add patties without crowding.  Brown patties on both sides (4-5 mins on each side).  (Sugar will caramelize as pictured.)

Serve hot, enjoy!

*Recipe can easily be made gluten-free with the replacement of bread crumbs with gluten-free bread crumbs.

Cover with some plain sauce just to keep the stuffing moist.

Portuguese Style Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed peppers are a meal all in themselves.  They have protein, grain and vegetable all in one perfect package.  Adding in the chouriço, portuguese ground pepper (pimenta moida) and Portuguese Allspice really bring it into “Portuguese Style” territory!

These are great for a weeknight meal, to bring in to work for lunch or make some of the stuffing, freeze in an airtight bag and stuff fresh peppers whenever you get the inkling!

 

I like the red, orange and yellow peppers myself because they are sweeter, but if you prefer green, go ahead and use green!

Cut each pepper in half lengthwise. This will later lead to a more crispy top on your stuffing.

Seed the peppers removing as much of the white pith as you can.

Dice up a medium onion.

Fresh parsley is important here.

Chop it up.

Use one large can of plain tomato sauce. reserving about 1/3 of it for topping the peppers before they go into the oven.

The meat for this stuffing is made up of half ground beef and half chouriço.

Add in the onion.

Brown everything together in the skillet.

Once browned, add in 2/3 of the can of sauce.

Now add in a couple of cups of cooked white rice. If you prefer brown rice here, that’s fine, just be sure it is thoroughly cooked, this is not the time for aldente anything.

Add in some salt and pepper to taste and your stuffing is ready!

Select a baking dish that will comfortably fit the number of peppers you are looking to bake without being too tight.

Grease the baking dish with some oil.

Place your peppers with the cut side up on your baking dish ready for stuffing.

Stuff each pepper 1 and a half times its size so that it has a nice rounded top of stuffing.

Cover with some plain sauce just to keep the stuffing moist.

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Portuguese Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2-3 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. ground chouriço

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups cooked rice

1 can tomato sauce

2 Tbs. parsley, chopped

1 Tbs. Pimenta Moida (ground pepper)

1/2 tsp. Portuguese Allspice

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Brown ground beef, ground chouriço and onion in a skillet over medium heat.  Drain if there is an excess of fat (a little fat is ok).  Add in Pimenta Moida, parsley and a little salt and pepper (don’t over do it here) and 2/3 can of tomato sauce.  Stir.  Add in cooked rice.  Stir.

Stuff filling into peppers and place in an oiled baking dish.  Top stuffed peppers with remaining 1/3 can of tomato sauce.  Bake for 30 minutes until pepper has cooked through. Serve hot.

***Gluten-free

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Chouriço Stuffed Roast Beef (Carne Assada com Chouriço)

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Carne Assada com Chouriço has always been one of my mother’s signature dishes.  Whenever it is time for a special dinner, you can find her making this delicious somewhat fancy version of Portuguese Roast Beef.  On any given holiday whether alongside the turkey at Thanksgiving, the Codfish at Christmas or the Ham at Easter, most Portuguese people will always serve a secondary main course dish.  My mother loves to make a good Portuguese roast beef.  Sometimes it  is just the traditional version with chouriço and potatoes on the side (which is delicious), but when she has the extra energy, it is done this way.

Any type of beef cut can be used for this process, but I would suggest something that does not have a ton of connective tissue to get through.  You will want something that is rectangular in shape and thick enough to accommodate the chouriço.  What I have used today is a 2 lb. boneless chuck tender roast.  You will then need one link of chouriço.  Whether you chose hot or mild, makes no difference really, it’s all personal preference.  The point is to impart the flavor of the chouriço into the meat.  (And to have a pretty awesome presentation)

The sauce here pulls the entire dish together and allows for added moisture without being a braise.

Start with a beef roast. This one is a 2 lb. boneless chuck tender roast.

You will need one link of chouriço and a good sharp knife. I am using hot chouriço, but mild would be fine here as well.

In order to impart the flavor of the chouriço into the inside of your roast you first need to peel the link like so.

Once your chouriço is ready to go, you can prepare your meat. Your goal will be to make a cut the length of the chouriço as close to the middle of the roast as you can creating a pocket in which to insert the chouriço.

Start with a horizontal cut. Please be careful in this process, you are sort of doing it blindly.

The next cut will help you to form an “X” in the meat. Again this should be the length of the chouriço link.

Next you need to carefully and slowly introduce the chouriço to the meat.

Remember there is a bit of a curve to the link, so easy does it.

Once the meat is stuffed, sprinkle with kosher salt.

Be sure to rub in and let sit until sauce is ready.

The end of your roast may taper off, at this point tuck in so that it can cook more evenly.

Place in a baking dish that will allow for potatoes on either side and not much else. You will want everything to have contact with the sauce.

Chop one large onion.

Place some peeled potatoes in the pan.

Sprinkle with the onions.

To start the sauce, use one 6 oz. can of plain tomato sauce.

Peel about 6 cloves of garlic.

Mince.

Add to the tomato sauce.

At this point you can also add in some pimenta moida, my mother does, I didn’t on this time around.

Add in some Portuguese All Spice. If you don’t have this spice handy, add in some mild Paprika.

Add in some kosher salt.

Add in olive oil and stir.

Pour sauce over roast and potatoes.

Be sure it is completely covered.

Cover in foil.

After one hour in the oven, remove foil.

Roast in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove roast from pan and let meat reast. If the potatoes need more time, return them to the oven.

Place foil over the meat for about 10 minutes or so.

After the resting period, slice about 1″ slices.

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Carne Assada com Chouriço

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1  2lb. beef roast

1 link of chouriço, hot or mild, peeled

8 medium potatoes, peeled

1 onion, chopped

1 6oz. can plain tomato sauce

1 tsp. kosher salt

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Portuguese All Spice or mild paprika

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. Pimenta Moida (optional)

Directions:

Prepare meat by creating a long “X” shaped pocket lengthwise in the meat.  Insert peeled chouriço into the pocket.  Sprinkle meat with some kosher salt and rub in.  Let stand in the roasting pan while preparing the sauce.  Also place potatoes and onions in the roasting pan.

For the sauce:

Combine tomato sauce, oil, garlic, salt, Portuguese All Spice and Pimenta Moida.

Pour sauce over the meat and potatoes.  Cover tightly with foil.  Roast in the oven for 1 hour.  Remove foil, rotate potatoes and return to oven for an additional 1/2 hour.  Remove from oven and allow to rest tented with foil for 10 minutes before cutting.  Slice in 1″ pieces and serve hot.  Enjoy!

*Gluten-free

 

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Corned Beef & Chouriço Hash

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I almost like the day after St. Patrick’s Day even better than the holiday itself.  You might ask why, but if you have ever tried a genuine home-made Corned Beef Hash, it wouldn’t take long to figure out the answer!  Since I always add in a nice link of chouriço to my Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Paddy’s Day, I like to add it right into the hash the next day.  And wow, the results are amazing, the spiced sausage adds in that little extra kick that sets it apart from any other hash you have ever had!.

This is what your dinner looked like last night.

Refrigerate your boiled dinner over night and this is what you get. You will find the fat has floated to the top making it easy to remove, yay.

Grab some potatoes and corned beef to start with.

Dice up a large onion. I used my Pampered Chef Manual Food Processor because I wanted to speed this process along.

Next dice up your potato. I like a small dice, but not so small that they disintegrate with additional cooking. Remember these potatoes have been boiled, so they are quite tender.

Start by removing any remaining fat on your corned beef. Then cut into strips.

Dice.

Then do the same to your chouriço. Be sure to first remove the skin.

Sautée your onions.

Then add in your remaining ingredients.  Add in a bit more oil when you add in the potatoes and meat if the onions have soaked up all the oil you originally added in.

Add on some Portuguese All Spice or paprika.

Be sure to give this time to really crisp up, nothing worse than a mushy hash.

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Corned Beef & Chouriço Hash

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. cooked corned beef, diced

1/4 lb. cooked chouriço, diced

4 cooked med/large potatoes, diced

1 large onion, diced

1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more if needed

1/2 tsp. Portuguese All Spice or Smoked Paprika

salt and pepper to taste

top with egg (optional)

Directions:

Sautée onion in vegetable oil in a large over med/high heat until tender.  Add in potatoes and meat adding additional vegetable oil if needed.  Sprinkle mixture with Portuguese All Spice or Smoked Paprika.  Allow mixture to crisp up mixing only occasionally to allow for caramelization.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with eggs and toast.  Enjoy! 

*Gluten free only if beer was not used in the cooking of the original Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.

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Corned Beef and Cabbage

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You might think it’s kind of funny that a blog called ‘The Portuguese American Mom’ has a recipe for the very Irish Corned Beef & Cabbage.  But, it’s something I have always cooked and it’s something we grew up eating each year in my Portuguese household.  I suspect, that has something to do with the similarity between the Irish dish and a traditional Portuguese Cozido.  Either way, at this stage in my life, my husband is part Irish and therefore my children are as well, so I think it’s nice to keep the tradition going.  Besides, we always add in a nice link of chouriço for that Portuguese flare!

When I was 17 we went to St. Michael, Azores as a family and on the “To Buy” list my mother had, was an old-fashioned stove top pressure cooker.  A pressure cooker is meant to drastically cut down the cooking time of just about anything using the power of trapped steam.  The craftsmen in Portugal made them in such a way that was impossible to find in this country with some sort of fortified heavy-duty steal.  And so when she came back she used it for EVERYTHING.  However, those stove top pressure cookers can tend to be quite dangerous and anyway, over the years it got lost in the shuffle.  So, I was super excited to get this ultra safe electric model for Christmas from my mom. This machine takes meals that otherwise take 3-4 even 5 hours and has them ready to serve in 30 minutes or less!  No way you say?  How is that possible you ask?  Well… let me tell you, this is my first attempt and it surely did work!

If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can surely make this on your stove top or even leave it in your slow cooker on your way to work in the morning.  The ingredients are basically the same, but for stove top, you need to triple the liquid (for the slow cooker, the liquid measurements stay the same).

This is an 8 qt. electric pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this can absolutely be done the old-fashioned way in a big stock pot. It just takes about 3-4 hours of cooking time and about triple the liquid.

Add one can of lite beer. I know you may be tempted to use an Irish beer here, but if it’s a dark ale, please don’t. All the flavors will get very concentrated and that is not the way to go here. So, if you have a lite one, that’s fine, but please no dark.

This is what most people buy when buying a corned beef. You can either by the point end or a flat piece, it’s all personal preference and will likely cost you the same.

See that fat slab? Place that face down.

Now the fleshy side is face up and waiting for all the ingredients you will pile up on top.

Start by cutting a fresh piece of cabbage. I use about 1/2 a head. If you prefer more, then use more.

I am using Yukon Gold potatoes. I actually put double what I think we will eat with the meal because I like to have left over for hash the next morning.

Peel a couple of medium onions. Makes no difference what kind of onion you use really although a red onion might look a little funny.

Wash and cut up a couple of carrots. I leave the skin in tact here as there are lots of great nutrients in there. Plus the skin helps it stay in tact a little better so you don’t end up with carrot mush.

All of these get strew atop the beef.

I also put a good size sweet potato in there just because it’s yummy.

Careful not to throw out this little bundle of flavor that will likely be tucked into the packaging of your meat.

This is a mixture of whole pickling spices such as allspice, coriander, mustard seed, pepper, fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and dill seed.

Fill that empty beer can you just used with water and add it in.

Top with a link of hot chouriço that has slits cut along the bendy side.

This is everything. Set the pressure cooker for 30 minutes.

Be sure to depressurize your machine fully before attempting to open.

My machine will now keep this warm until dinner.

Remove all contents to a nice size platter and serve!

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Corned Beef & Cabbage

Serves 4-6[/yield

Ingredients:

2-4 lb. Corned Beef, rinsed

6-8 potatoes, with slit cut in

4 carrots, cut into 3″ links

2 onions, peeled

1/2 head cabbage

1 large sweet potato

1/2 lb. hot chouriço link, with 4-5 slits cut into skin

spice packet

1 lite beer

12 oz. water

Pressure cooker directions:

Add everything into pressure cooker, set for 30 minutes, press start.  When done, release the pressure using the pressure release valve, open and serve hot.

Stove top directions:

Add everything into pot plus 36 oz more water.  Boil for 4 hours until meat is fully cooked and tender. Serve hot.

Slow cooker directions:

Add everything to pot and set to cook for 8 hours. Serve hot. 

*** Gluten-free if using a gluten-free beer or omiting the beer altogether.

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Skillet Salt Cod Casserole (Bacalhau à Brás)

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It is said that there are over 700 different ways to prepare Portuguese style cod fish.  Bacalhau à Brás is one of the more popular and certainly one of the most famous ways to enjoy this versatile ingredient.

One might wonder why salt cod is so important and prevalent to the Portuguese cuisine.  But, one must only think about the historical aspect of the Portuguese culture to understand it.  The Portuguese have long been famous sea-faring people.  From the great Prince Henry the Navigator to Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese ruled the seas and for a short time in history were the most powerful nation in the world because of it.  So what sustained all those great sailors?  Why… salt cod of course.  While I’m sure the Portuguese had other foods among their mighty ships, salt cod was an easy sustainable and very easily stored source of protein for the men who braved the oceans for centuries.  It could be kept in a ship hold for months or even years if need be and if they ran out all they need do is make more right out on the ocean.

This particular dish is not something I would call a “weeknight” meal.  There are several stages to preparing the recipe not least of which includes soaking the cod overnight and changing out the water several times to tame down it’s saltiness.  Then there is the preparing of the potatoes which in my recipe are first par boiled and then fried.  Then making the sautéed onions, garlic and pepper and preparing the eggs.  Do this on a Friday night for lent or on a Sunday for lunch and you are sure to be pleased!

These are bits of salt cod soaking in water. I soaked them over night and changed the water 3 times before I used it in this dish.

This is one bit of cod. Place on a plate to work with it. Or you can place a bunch in a bowl, but be sure it has been drained.

The goal is to break apart the fish into small chunks, but not to shred it.

This should be your end result. This is now ready to add to your recipe.

Crack eggs into a large-ish bowl.

Beat well with a fork.

Fresh flat leaf parsley is very needed in this recipe for it’s freshness and taste. If you have curly leaf, that’s ok… but best is Italian Flat Leaf.

Roughly chop parsley.

Very thinly slice your onions.

Thinly slice and then dice your garlic.

Add cold/room temperature water to new potatoes and parboil for 10 minutes.

Once potatoes have been boiling for 10 minutes, drain water and allow to cool before working with them.

Cut in half to further allow for cooling.

The peels should easily come right off without taking any actual potato with them, in other words, you should be able to just remove the skin without any flesh.

Cut potatoes into a thin match stick type french fry.

Heat oil to the point of forming bubbles on the end of a wooden spoon when inserted. Or you can test oil by placing one piece of potato in and if it bubbles right up, the oil is ready. Once this happens keep heat to med/high.

Once fries come to this color, remove and place on some paper to drain. Lightly salt with kosher salt right away. (Do not over do it with the salt, remember the cod will be salty on its own.)

Sautée onions in olive oil over medium heat.

Once onions start to take on some color, add in garlic.

Add in some Pimenta Moida. (if you don’t have this handy, add in 1 tsp. dried pepper flakes.

Continue sautéing.

Add in prepared chunked cod. Stir to marry the flavors.

Add in reserved french fries.

Add egg and stir quickly so this doesn’t turn into an omelet.

Add in some parsley.

Once egg has almost set, add olives and finish with more parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Bacalhau à Brás

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 – 1 1/2 lbs. salt cod tid bits, soaked, drained and chuncked

7-8 medium new potatoes, par boiled, peeled and cut into matchstick fries

8 lg. eggs, well beaten

4 onions, thinly sliced in rings

4 garlic cloves, sliced and chopped

4 Tbs. pimenta moida (alternatively 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes)

1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to finish dish

1 cup vegetable oil for frying potatoes only

1 cup olives (optional)

Directions:

Fry dry cut potatoes in either a skillet with 1 cup of veggie oil or in a deep fryer until golden.  Drain on pepper towels and lightly salt.

Sautée onions in a skillet with olive oil over med. heat.  When onions start to take on color, add in garlic, sautée another minute.  Add in Pimenta Moida, sautée another minute. Add in chunked cod, continue to sautée a few minutes.  Add french fries and stir to incorporate.  Add in egg and stir to coat all ingredients in the skillet.  Immediately add parsley and stir.  Cook until egg is almost set.  Garnish with additional parsley, olives and drizzle with fresh olive oil.  Serve hot.

***Gluten-free

Once the cabbage is completely coated with the sauce, you will want to let it rest.

Honey Mustard Slaw

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Cole Slaw is not something I grew up liking.  It’s healthy and fresh and crunchy, but every time I tried it as a kid, it really just didn’t appeal to me.  As a result, I think of this more as an adult side.  My mom would always get it as a side to her fish and chips or fried chicken plate.  I think it’s something about that vinegary taste that turns kids off.  But… You know what kids like?  Honey Mustard.  I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t like honey mustard.  So, I thought for something a little different, lets see how the two marry.

I was making a hot pastrami sandwich and needed something to top it, but I didn’t want straight yellow mustard and I don’t feel like straight mayo goes with pastrami either.  Hence, the Honey Mustard Slaw was born.  My kids tried it and liked it!  I’ll admit, they aren’t too hot on the Hot Pastrami Sandwich, so they got grilled cheese, but the slaw was a hit!

And the recipe couldn’t be easier, more affordable or more manageable as it lasts for several days covered in the fridge!

Start with a fresh head of cabbage. The fresher the better.

Slice off a couple inches from one side and wrap the rest in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for your next project.

Now Julianne the cabbage which basically just means to thinly and as uniformly as possible slice into strips.

Set the shredded cabbage aside.

Add 2-3 heaping tablespoons of mayo to a medium size bowl with a lid if possible.

Add in a heaping teaspoon of stone ground Dijon mustard.

Add in a good splash of apple cider vinegar.

Stack up about 4-5 slices of pickle or one small pickle would be fine here too, this is what I had on hand.

Slice them up.

MIx.

Add in some honey.  Try and invest in some good local honey, if you can, it’s really worth it!

Stir in honey and pickles.

Add in a touch of hot sauce, I am using Sriracha sauce here and only put in a little squirt. Depending on what you are using the slaw for and your heat tolerance, should determine how much you put in and if you don’t care for hot sauce, you can totally leave it out.

Add a good amount of fresh cracked black pepper and a small pinch of kosher salt.

The last thing I like to add in is a dollop of sour cream mostly for the tang and the creaminess.

My method of stirring is to add in the cabbage half first, coat with sauce and then add in the remaining shredded cabbage for the final stir.

Once the cabbage is completely coated with the sauce, you will want to let it rest.

Cover and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. It will keep this way for several days.

Honey Mustard Slaw

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cabbage

3 heaping Tbs. mayonnaise

2 Tbs. sour cream

1 heaping tsp. stone ground Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tsp. local honey

1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

4-5 sliced pickles, sliced into strips

1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Hot sauce to taste (optional)

Directions:

Make the sauce by adding mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, honey, vinegar, pickles, cracked pepper, salt and host sauce into a bowl (with a lid if possible).  Stir.  Add in 1/2 cabbage and coat with sauce.  Add remaining cabbage and continue to stir until all cabbage is coated with sauce.  Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

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Pablano & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

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Eating healthy can be tough if you don’t have an arsenal of yummy recipes to fall back on.  A low carb recipe is always great to have in your back pocket.  This may look crazy, but really it’s just baked stuffed chicken with a latin flare.  Shhhh… don’t tell.

To make this recipe you need some basic ingredients, boneless skinless chicken breast, fresh pablano peppers and a melting cheese of your choice.

Place your pepper directly on your flame or under your broiler if you have an electric range. The goal here is to get those char marks.

Cut your pepper in half length wise. Remove the seeds and stem.

Place your chicken breasts on a clean cutting board. If you have plastic wrap, grab a piece and place it over the chicken (I usually do this, but I was out of plastic wrap).

Pound out the chicken until it thins out without breaking through the flesh.

This is what you should get when you are through.

Sprinkle with some kosher salt.

Then crack some black pepper onto it.

This is a block of Monterey Jack cheese. Any good melting cheese would work here… Use a pepper jack if you want a little kick.

Normally I always shred my cheese, but for this recipe, I like to slice it up because I find it holds up better with both the chicken and the pepper.

Season the pepper with some salt.

Now stack it all up on the chicken.

And roll.

At this point if you have tooth picks, you could secure your wrapped chicken.

This is intended to be a low carb recipe, so I am just sprinkling with some panko bread crumbs.

Place them in a baking dish lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

Place a pad of butter on each. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until cooked through.

Place under the broiler for about a minute or two until you get some good color.

Pablano & Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin

1 Pablano pepper, charred and seeded

6 oz. jack cheese (Colby, Monterey or Pepper), sliced

2 tsp. Panko bread crumbs (or gluten-free bread crumbs)

2 tsp. salted butter

kosher salt

fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

After chicken is pounded out thinly, season with salt and pepper, place 1/2 Pablano pepper on top, season with salt and pepper.  Then place sliced cheese on the pepper. Gently and tightly roll.  Secure with toothpicks if needed.  Transfer to a greased baking dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Place one pad of butter on each.  Bake 25-30 minutes until cooked through.  Remove from oven and start broiler.  Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until bread crumbs become browned.

Let rest a few minutes, enjoy!

***note, use gluten-free bread crumbs if needed.