Sunday, September 25, 2011

Flavours at dare

It was a warm day, asking for light but intense flavours. The chef Chakall, relax and in a great mood, hosted me with an original and daring culinary. The menu created for the Restaurant Week 2011, by the restaurant “Quinta dos Frades by Chakall” is inspired by this chef’s most recent book, “Natural”, which nurtures the joy of healthy and flavoured eating. Everything is based on fresh, natural products.

For starters, a few promising Cheddar muggles with basil and pear tomatoes. Crunchy Filo pasta, in contrast with the soft melting of the cheese, the scent of the fresh pieces of basil, the unexpected sweetness of the pear tomatoes, the raw rocket. There were unusual and thrilling contrasts.

I went on to the lightness of a surprising dish – chicken on the stick with cardamom and ginger, served with sweet potatoes chips, celery salt and e créme fraiche President. The well cooked chicken complemented with cream sauce, sweet potatoes cracking in celery perfume and a salad startled by the coriander. A disarming dish in complete balance that totally won me over.

Yogurt cheesecake with lavender in one of the two possible choices for desert in the menu. Its tasty and irresistible looks didn’t allow me to photograph it before trying some spoons of it. A creative sweet where the acidity of the passion fruit melts in the subtle fragrance of the lavender in harmony with the crispy cookie hidden at the bottom of the bowl, as a memory of the chocolate waiting for us at the end of the eternal cornetos.

In a word, Chakall always comes up with something new that transpires in the exotics of his dishes. As well as in the art of hosting and welcoming. Do not miss the opportunity of the Restaurant Week and accept the challenge of the menu he created for this edition.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beef steak with ham and mustard sauce

Photography : Rui Major

Friends: Rui and myself


-4 small beef steaks
-2 slices of parma ham
-1 hint olive oil

-1 spoon of butter

-salt, black pepper


-grain mustard

-dijon mustard

-1 bay leaf

-1 bunch of spinach+ + mine were home grown from my father’s garden

-salt, black pepper

-1 hint olive oil

-Chopped garlic

Spice the steaks with salt (just a bit, because parma ham is salty), bay leaf and garlic.

Put olive oil and butter on a pan and fry the steaks 2 minutes on each side.

Season them with freshly chopped black pepper.

Remove the steaks, keep them warm and fry the parma ham slices on the juice of the steaks. Let it rest.

Then add the grain mustard and let it breathe (always in the same frying pan).

Add a spoon of mustard and mix all the ingredients, join in 3 spoons of water and let it breathe for 2 minutes.

Sauté the spinach in oil and garlic. Temper to taste.

Serve the steaks with the slices of parma ham and mustard sauce accompanied by the spinach.

Bon appetite!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Squid with curry, ginger and chives and a nice bottle of FitaPreta White Wine.

Photography : Rui Major

This dish is delicious, the combination of spicy flavors and strong contrast to the freshness and citrus flavors of the wine works very well. A perfect marriage. The wine is wonderful, I recommend to all lovers.

Friends: Rui and myself

Wine : Fita Preta

Made from grapes typical of the Alentejo, the wine had almost no intervention highlighting the true aromas and flavors of the region.
Tasting notes: lemon yellow color, intense flavors of pineapple and citrus with subtle mineral notes. Impressive freshness , good fruit. In the end good persistence.


-4 squid cleaned and cut into strips
-Half an onion, chopped
-2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
-A dash of olive oil
-1 tomato, diced
-Salt, black pepper and white
-Cayenne pepper to taste
-Curry and ginger powder (about 2 teaspoons)
-2 tablespoons tomato paste
-1 cup white wine
-Chopped chives

Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil.
Add diced tomatoes and squid. Cover and let sweat for about 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, curry, ginger and finally the wine.
Cook and determine the sauce, about 10 minutes.
Serve with white rice and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Bon appetite!

Spring Pizza

Photography : Rui Major

From now on I will use this short introduction to talk about an ingredient, its origins, uses and techniques.
I'll start with basil, very used for me in my recipes.

Basil is an aromatic herb which is symbolic for some people, it is sacred to the Indian and a Valentine's herb for the Romans.

Southern Italians embrace the tradition of the ancient Romans, that is a bachelor offering a pot with the basil to a girl means he his asking her to marry him.

This herb should be planted in a sunny location during the spring and blooms in summer.

The basil is widely used in Italian and French cuisines to add flavor to tomatoes, with which it has a special affinity.
It is also mixed in salads, pizzas, pastas and sauces, being the most popular the Italian pesto.

It Should be picked up and after washing the leaves it should be dried on absorbent paper and then hadn cut in small pieces, once cutting it with a knife will oxidize .

The cut with a knife oxidizes the leaves and turn them dark.

Friends: Rui and myself

Wine:a lambrusco rosed fresh wine


- one fresh pizza base if you do at home is much better

- tomato sauce
- Fresh pineapple, cut into triangles
- Slices of ham
- 3 fresh mushrooms
- Sliced ​​red onion
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- Basil leaves
- Grated Mozzarella cheese

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and place over tomato sauce.
Fill the pizza base with ham, purple onion, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Sprinkle with lots of grated cheese and bake for 10 minutes.
Add the fresh basil leaves.

Bon appetite

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aromatic mass Filo Cups

Photography : Rui Major
Spring has been wet and windy,and Nature has an incredible influence in me
It seems we are moving in sync.

The sun inspires, brings up good humor, positive vibes, and on the contrary, rain leaves me with no energy

While waiting for sunny warm days to come back quickly, I leave you recipe for a starter that will glow in any dinner. Pretty and very simple to make.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from the magazine "
Saberes e Sabores" of October.

Friends: Rui, Sara and myself


- Liquid margarine
- 4 sheets filo pastry
- sesame seeds
- 50g bacon, diced
- 1 pack of fresh mushrooms
- olive oil
- 1 finely chopped garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 100g
- a mozzarella cheese
- mixed with fresh herbs (I used pennyroyal, basil, chives)

Turn on the oven.
six cupcake forms (I used aluminum forms) with the liquid margarine and place them facing down.
Also brush the pastry with the liquid margarine and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
Divide the sheets of pastry into 6 equal pieces and put themon top of cups making 4 layers.

Bake 5 minutes. Cool and unmold.

In wok sauté garlic with the olive oil, add bacon and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and season with salt and black pepper.
Cook 5 minutes more and add the herbs.

Turn off the heat, add the
arugula and mozzarella cheese.
Fill each of the filo cups with the filling.

Bon appetite!