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Sauteed Artichoke hearts

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Sautéed Artichoke Hearts (Alcachofas Salteadas con Jamón)

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped prosciutto or Serrano ham
1/8 teaspoon coarsely-ground pepper
Minced parsley

Cut artichoke hearts into halves.

Heat oil in 10-inch skillet until hot.
Cook and stir artichoke hearts and prosciutto in oil over medium heat until hot and hearts are light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in pepper.
Sprinkle with parsley.

Yields 3 or 4 servings.

Pineapple With port

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Pineapple with Port (Ananas ao Porto - Portugal)

4 (1/2 inch thick) slices fresh pineapple
2 to 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup ruby port or Madeira

Place each slice pineapple on dessert plate; sprinkle with sugar unless the pineapple is very sweet.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the port over each pineapple slice.
Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.

Yields 4 servings.

Portuguese cornbread

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Portuguese Cornbread (Broa)

2 envelopes active dry yeast
2 cups sifted stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
2 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
5 to 6 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Combine the yeast and half the cornmeal in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the water and beat until smooth.
Allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, 30 to 45 minutes.

Stir the mixture to deflate it, and add the remaining water, milk, oil, salt and the remaining cornmeal.
Stir to combine.
Add enough of the flour, 1 cup at a time, to make a soft but workable dough, usually about 5 cups.
Turn onto a well-floured surface and knead vigorously for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning it so as to cover all sides lightly with grease.
Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and knead on a well-floured surface for 5 minutes.
Replace in the bowl, allow to double in bulk again, then knead for 5 more minutes.
Divide the dough in two and form into round balls.
Place on a greased baking sheet or in individual greased cake pans and allow to double in bulk again.

Place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven and preheat to 500 degrees F.
Place the loaves in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and bake an additional 15 minutes.
Once the loaves are browned and produce a hollow sound when thumped, remove to cooling racks.

Makes 2 loaves.

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