Update news

THE BOOK

The third edition of the book Eat Portugal is now on sale.

The second edition had already pages dedicated to our favourite restaurants in Lisbon and Porto.  In the new edition, we cover Algarve too. Plus you’ll find all the chapters of the previous editions: the glossary, the recipes, the dictionary and all the essential info you need to know about Portuguese food when you visit Portugal.

When taking part in one of our food tours, you can buy the book with a 20% discount (reduced price is 12 euros).

If you wish to buy a copy with the discount please email us at info@eatportugal.net

THE TOURS

On another news, Eat Portugal Food Tours  was chosen as one of the 101 Reasons to Travel Now by National Geographic! Read about it here

 

 

Viva o Santo António!

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It’s that time of the year again, when the smell of grilled sardines invades the old neighbourhoods of Lisbon. Alfama, Bairro Alto, Bica, Graça, Castelo, Avenida da Liberdade are crowded and busy as they can get. It’s Santo António night  and everyone wants to eat sardines, drink wine or sangria and dance or sing to old popular tunes.

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Alfama is the central location for all these celebrations with huge crowds up and down the winding streets. Our recommendation: avoid Alfama tonight and go there any other day until the end of June.

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The  crowds are overwhelming in Alfama and you’ll loose the will to eat sardines, or anything really, after being pushed around, ignored by busy waiters or pickpocketed (it’s the perfect storm for the cheeky pickpockets).

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There are festivals happening in other parts of the city, including Terreiro do Paço, Jardim de S.Pedro de Alcântara or Praça da Alegria if you want to get your teeth into a grilled sardine and the atmosphere of Santo António night.

More about the festivals and restaurants here, by Célia for Culinary Backstreets:

Culinary Backstreets | Sardines for Santo António

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Portuguese Broad Bean Stew

or rather, Favas com Enchidos.

This is one of my favourite things to eat… on one hand, it’s full of broad beans, good healthy things that they are, and on the other, a load of enchidos (lit. “stuffeds”), Portuguese cured sausages of varying kinds, not particularly healthy, but delicious, unctuous and filling.  In this recipe, I used chouriço (paprika-y, garlicky, smokey meat), morcela (slightly cumin-y blood sausage) and farinheira (flour and fat flavoured with “essence of Portugal”… smoke, garlic, pork )

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This is how I make it at home. One pan, not much fuss. Easy.

(you might spot chopped up purple carrot in the photo… well, that’s just me getting excited about having found purple carrots in the market… it is entirely not a normal ingredient for Favas, but it did turn the sauce a pleasing purple colour… if you like purple, well, you know what to do)

to feed 4…. 
750g fresh broad beans
1 onion, coarsely chopped
100g chopped up fatty bacon
200g belly pork, cubed
half a farinheira, sliced in thick slices
half a chouriço, ditto
half a morcela, ditto
a good handful of fresh mint, unchopped
a good handful of fresh coriander/cilantro unchopped
(probably no need for salt or garlic, as they are abundant in the enchidos, but see if it needs extra salt at the end of cooking).

In a pan or a wok, anything with a lid, gently fry the enchidos with the bacon, until their fat is rendering out. You have to be careful with the farinheira and morcela (if it’s a particularly friable kind), otherwise they can disintegrate… for lovers of farinheira and morcela, that’s no biggie, but you never know. Add the belly pork and seal it in the fat from the enchidos.

You can extract the meats at this point, to put back later, but I don’t. I want every last bean soaking up every last drop of sausageness for all of the cooking time.

Add the onions to the mix and let them become transparent, then add the broad beans and a cup of water and the herbs and stick the lid on.  GENTLY stir it (remember the soft enchidos) from time to time, and leave to simmer for about an hour on a low flame.

Bingo. Favas com Enchidos. Eat with bread, to soak up the (purple) juices.

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Some like it hot – Perfect piripiri chicken


We don’t eat as much chicken piripiri as everyone else in the world think we do. But Miguel Laffan and his Chicken all Around may soon change this. His own version with piripiri sauce is one the most addictive dishes I have had in years. Not to mention the small samosas, beautiful triangles of crispy, spicy pastry with chicken….

Miguel Laffan started to shake things up in Alentejo, in L’And and Vineyard, a beautiful hotel, near Montemor-o-Novo, who granted him a Michelin star. In Lisbon the inspiring menu at Viva Lisboa is also getting him a solid reputation in the capital– but that’s for another story, let’s stick to Chicken All Around, which has recently opened in the food court of Mercado da Ribeira.

I’m a serial fan of this beautifully seasoned chicken, hot and spicy, sweet and succulent, but not too much, just in the exact proportion of the hot kick released by the piripiri. The portions (half or one chicken) are chopped in easy-to-eat with-your-hand-pieces. The chicken is barbecued in charcoal as it should and sauce is irresistible – I’ve seen some people even mop the delicious sauce with their fingers…

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Know the famous Bonjardim in Lisbon or Frango da Guia in the Algarve? Now imagine that 10 times better and with proper chips, not that sad and greasy rectangles of potato that land on your plate in most places, including Bonjardim in Restauradores.

His chips, called “À Inglesa” (The English way) are just amazing and should be mandatory…  Double fried, crispy on the outside, soft and velvety inside. Served with sea salt and some herbs on top.

The sweet potato purée with lime is also quite good but let’s be honest: grilled chicken has to be eaten with something deep fried.

In Chicken All Around, Laffan has many other chicken dishes in the menu but I don’t care really. Chicken piripiri and the chicken samosas are out of this world. And have I mentioned his doughnuts? Maybe will save that later for another story…

An American gave me an idea how grand Laffan is, while devouring a succulent piece of chicken and a handful of crispy chips “not even in Texas we find such a great barbecue chicken and fries”.

A British young man added also a note of interest, drowning his sorrow with a glass of red from Alentejo: “Man, this has nothing to do with Nando’s, what have I been eating all my life?”.

Some years ago, one of the most interesting things I found while researching for an article about piripiri chicken (my profile pic on Twitter is a reminder of that story…) was that the chillies actually have their origin in Brazil not Mozambique. The Portuguese introduced the chillies in Mozambique where they developed and became so popular.

Interestingly, Miguel Laffan’s own chicken piripiri sauce reminds me of the chicken I had in Brazil. It’s good when flavours travel so well.  It’s worth saying that one of the best piripiri sauces I have ever had is from an South African chef, Grant Hawthorne. The other one is made by my cousin, according to an old Angolan recipe.

The book, the tours and now… the blog!

Welcome to Eat Portugal!

eat_portugal_AFFirst it was a book.

Then it was a book and guided eating tours of Lisbon…

Now it is a book, guided eating tours AND a blog!

The second edition of the Eat Portugal (Lua de Papel, 2015) will be available shortly, check back here for details, or follow us on twitter or facebook

Find out about Célia’s Food Tours here. The tours are great fun and a really good introduction to Portuguese cookery and to the beautiful city of Lisbon.

As for the blog, well, there’s so much to be enjoyed about Portuguese food, so we’ll be writing/photographing/filming/cooking up a storm in here too, as often as we can.

So, stay tuned, visit regularly, book your flights, see what delicious things we have to share with you from the beautiful, wonderful, fantastic, crazy city of Lisbon.

Volte sempre!

The book, the tours and the blog