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!