Portuguese Recipes from Lusito Land - Times LIVE
Thu Apr 27 03:23:09 SAST 2017

Portuguese Recipes from Lusito Land

Fatima Coelho | 2012-04-09 19:18:05.0

Explore traditional Portuguese recipes with Fatima Coelho of Johannesburg's Lusito Land Festival


Cataplana is a seafood stew from the Algarve region, but the name also refers to any dish made in the clam-shaped copper pot called a cataplana.

Serves 6


400ml dry white wine

75g red pepper paste

5 cloves garlic, crushed

3 bay leaves

8 whole peppercorns

Other ingredients:

1.5kg pork fillet, cubed

30ml (2 tbsp) butter

80ml ( cup) olive oil

375ml (1½ cups) boiling water

1 large onion, chopped

1 x 420g tin chopped tomatoes

2kg clams (if fresh, purge in salted water for six hours, changing the water several times)

800g potatoes, peeled, cubed and fried

Salt and pepper, to taste

45ml (3 tbsp) fresh coriander, chopped


Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the pork to coat well. Marinate overnight in the fridge. Drain, reserving the marinade, and pat the pork cubes dry.

Heat the butter with half the oil in a cataplana or large pot and fry the pork till well browned. Remove and set aside. Add the boiling water and the reserved marinade to the pot, stir to remove any bits sticking to the bottom and bring to the boil. Return the pork to the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. In another pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the onions and tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then add the clams and potatoes. Add this to the pork mixture. Season and stir in 30ml (2 tbsp) of the coriander. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the clams have opened. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander and serve. If you prefer, you can add the potatoes to the pork-and-clam mixture just before serving.


A seafood rice dish found in Setubul and other seaside towns.

Serves 6-8


80ml ( cup) olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 green pepper, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped, or 1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes

125ml ( cup) tomato passata (purée)

2 bay leaves

5ml (1 tsp) sweet paprika

2kg mixed, cleaned seafood (prawns, calamari, half-shell mussels, clams, crab)

400g (2 cups) long-grain rice, uncooked

600ml fish stock

125ml ( cup) white wine

Handful fresh parsley or coriander, chopped


Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onion, garlic and peppers till soft. Add the chopped tomato, passata, bay leaves and paprika. Cook for a few minutes, then add the seafood and rice. Add the stock and wine and bring to the boil. Simmer till the rice is tender. If you prefer, you can first cook the rice in the fish stock, then add it to the cooked seafood mixture. Serve hot, garnished with parsley or coriander.


Rump steak on a stick from Madeira.

Serves 4


6 bay leaves, torn

1kg coarse salt

800g rump, cut into 8 large cubes


Rub the bay leaves into the salt and lightly rub all over the cubes of rump. Thread the meat onto 2 stainless-steel skewers or 2 long twigs from a bay tree. Shake off excess salt and braai over hot coals. The skewers are made to be shared.


Choux pastries with cinnamon sugar, served at festivals in the north of Portugal.

Makes 12-16


250ml (1 cup) water

125ml (½ cup) butter

Pinch of salt

Rind of 1 lemon, sliced

120g (1 cup) cake flour

3 extra-large eggs, beaten

Oil, for deep-frying

Sugar mixed with ground cinnamon, for dusting


Combine the water, butter, salt and lemon rind in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, discard the lemon rind and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat and return the pan to the stove. Stir until the dough forms a ball. Remove from the heat. Add the eggs, beating continuously until smooth. Spoon the dough into a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Heat the oil in a deep pan until a cube of bread browns in seconds when dropped into the oil. Pipe out 4 tubes of dough, each about 15cm long. Trim the ends with a pair of scissors and drop the strips into the hot oil. Fry in batches of 4 until golden brown, turning once. Remove, drain on paper towel and roll in cinnamon sugar while still warm.


Peri-peri spice from Africa, used by Portuguese settlers in Mozambique and Angola, made its way back to Portugal, where this is a popular dish.

Serves 4


1 chicken, about 1kg, spatchcocked


Juice of 1 large lemon

45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

5ml (1 tsp) sweet paprika

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt, to taste

Peri-peri spice, to taste

25ml (1 tot) whisky (optional)

1 bay leaf


Using a sharp knife, cut slits in the breast, drumsticks and thighs of the chicken. Mix together all the marinade ingredients and rub into the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Remove from the marinade and braai over hot coals until cooked, basting frequently with the marinade.


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