Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Almond Delights

These Almond Delights besides being DELICIOUS,  are so convenient because they are easy to make, can be prepared in advance, up to 2 days and can also be taken anywhere. Take them to the beach, picnic, eat as an after meal treat, serve at tea time or just grab and go……
  • 250g     Almonds, fine grounded
  • 1          small potato
  • 150g     sugar
  • 30ml     water

Coatings: Pine nuts, Coconut, Crushed Almonds or Walnuts, Marmalade, etc.

1.       Wash the potato and boil it with the skin on. Once cooked, remove the skin, smash the potato, and mix with the almond.
2.       Bring the sugar and water to a boil and let cook until gets slightly caramelized. Add the almond paste stirring well with a wooden spoon. Let it cool down.
3.       Make balls of about 2.5cm in size. Reserve until cold.

Ready to be coated

For pine-nuts:
Beat an egg white. Deep the balls in the egg white bowl and coat all around. With the help of your hands stick the pine-nuts to the balls. Take to the oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Preheated oven for 200ºC

For Coconut:
Same as above  Coconut needs less oven time. Check for the color.

For Marmalade; Quince for instance:
Put a small amount inside the ball and roll it to close. Proceed as above if you want to use any coating.
Ready to bake

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vanilla and Strawberry Ice-cream Cake

Summer is here! Lets cool down from inside out in a very nice and fancy way. An easy Ice-cream cake that will refresh you in no time.
Feel free to change ice-cream flavours. Here, I´m showing you one of my favorite ones.
Enjoy it!       Refresh yourself!       Have a good Summer!

Vanilla and Strawberry Ice-cream CakeS

2 cups              Vanilla wafers, crushed
1 ½  cup           Chocolate wafers, crushed
4 tbsp   (2 +2)    Butter, unsalted and melted
4 cups              Vanilla ice-cream, softened
4 cups              Strawberry ice-cream, softened
½ cup               Chocolate chips, dark
1 cup                heavy cream
3 tbsp               Sugar
1 tsp                 Vanilla extract
2 cups              Raspberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen let then defrost first and use with the juices)
2tbsp                Sugar
Juice of ½ lemon.
Strawberries for garnish (or any other fresh fruit of your choice)
1.       Combine vanilla wafers and butter (2tbsp). Press onto the bottom of a spring-form pan (24 cm). Freeze until firm.
2.       Spread vanilla ice cream onto frozen crust.
3.       Combine chocolate wafers with chocolate chips  and butter ( 2 tbsp) and press onto ice-cream. Freeze until firm.
4.       Spread strawberry ice-cream on top and freeze until firm.
5.       Beat cream, sugar and vanilla extract until soft firm peaks form.  Set aside on refrigerator until needed.
6.       With a knife loose the sides of the cake, release sides and transfer to a platter
7.       Before serving decorate the top of the cake with the cream, garnish with some fresh fruit and serve immediately with the sauce on the side.
8.       For the sauce:
9.       Purée the raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Strain with a  fine-mesh sieve.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Portuguese DUCK RICE

“Arroz de Pato à Portuguesa”

This very traditional and tasty rice is quite common all over Portugal; it is very much enjoyed on those special occasions when all the family gets together for a special Sunday lunch, or any other celebration.
One of the most popular recipes for this “Arroz de Pato” is the one from “Braga”, which due to its particular and unique flavor has been reproduced all over the country.
It is said that the people from “Minho” are experts on making this rice and they even have a particular clay bowl from a region called “Barcelos” to make it. Nevertheless, don´t refrain from making it just because you don´t have that special bowl; use a “pirex” or clay tray that can go to the oven and table and that´s all you need.
 Just follow this recipe and you will get a very tasty and delicious “Arroz de Pato”.

Enjoy it! Bom proveito!

  • 1          Duck, small
  • 250g     Rice
  • 1 L        water
  • 1          medium onion, whole
  • 1          medium onion, chopped
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 150g     bacon
  • 250g     chouriço (cured sausage)
  • 1          medium carrot
  • 100g     butter, divided
  • 6          whole black peppers
  • 2          egg yolk, beaten
  • Salt, pepper to taste
1.       Make a broth with the duck’s offal (viscera,) cold water, salt, pepper, whole black peppers, whole onion and sliced carrot, bacon and the “chouriço,” keeping the last two as whole pieces.
2.       Once the meats are cooked and tender remove and reserve. Then cook the whole duck in this broth (add more water if necessary).  When the duck is almost cooked through, remove from the pan and reserve until cool. Save the broth.
3.       Once the duck is cold, shred the meat separating it from the bones.
4.       In a sauce pan, add half the butter and let it melt. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic and cook until it becomes slightly golden brown. Toss the shredded duck into the onion mixture and cook for 3 minutes stirring to avoid burning.
5.       Filter the broth and cook the rice in it. (Ratio: 1 measure rice:  2 measures liquid). Rice should be on the hard side (al dente) (about 10 min) and not totally cooked through since it will finish cooking in the oven.
6.       Place a layer of rice on an oven-safe serving dish, top with the duck and cover with another layer of rice.
7.       Level the surface of the rice, and drizzle with the rest of the butter (melted). Brush with the beaten yolk and decorate with slices of bacon and “chouriço”.
8.       Cook in a pre-heated oven (180ºC ~ 350ºF) until the rice turns golden.

You will have some extra Duck Broth. Save and freeze it for another dish. Soon, will post another recipe for using that extra Duck Broth.