Portuguese: Bacalao Salt Cod Stew
- 1 pound salt cod fillets, preferably skinless and boneless
- 3/4 to 1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Milk (optional)
- 2 large yellow or sweet Vidalia onions, sliced
- 2 pounds waxy potatoes (Yukon gold work great), peeled
- 4 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
- About 40 pitted black olives (I used Kalamata olives, can also use green olives)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Soak salt cod in water: Salt cod typically comes either in dry fillets, already boned and skinned, or it comes whole. The fillets need to be rinsed, then soaked in water, and kept chilled, for 24 hours, with one or two changes of the water.If you are using a whole fish, not prepared fillets, it needs to be soaked in water for up to 48 hours, also with several changes of water, and the bones and the skin removed and discarded after soaking.
- Simmer salt cod in milk and/or water: Put salt cod in a saucepan. Add enough milk, water, or a mixture of milk and water to just cover. Bring mixture to a simmer. Let simmer for a couple minutes. Remove the fish and set aside.
- Parboil potatoes and slice: Parboil the potatoes for 20 minutes (you can cook them in the water you used to cook the fish if you want). Slice potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds.
- Layer casserole with onions, potatoes, salt cod, olive oil, pepper, then top with hard boiled eggs and olives: In a large pyrex casserole or Dutch oven (use Dutch oven if making on stove-top), generously coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Place a layer of onion rings over the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of sliced potatoes over the onions. Breaking up the salt cod with your fingers, place pieces of salt cod in a layer over the potatoes. Taste the fish for saltiness. After a day of soaking and further cooking, there should be just a hint of saltiness in the fish. If most of the salt was soaked out of the fish, and the fish doesn’t taste at all salty, you may need to sprinkle some salt back on to the fish as you place the layers down.Generously pour some olive oil over the fish. Sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper.Repeat with another layer of onions, potatoes, fish, olive oil, pepper (and more salt if needed).Then finish with layers of onions, potatoes, more olive oil, sliced hard boiled eggs, and olives.
- Cook on stovetop or bake: Place on stove top on medium heat, and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Or heat an oven to 350°F and cook, covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until everything is completely through.
- Serve with sides of rice and salad.
Irish Black Pudding
- 4 cups fresh pig’s blood
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups steel-cut (pinhead) oatmeal
- 2 cups finely diced pork fat (or beef suet), finely chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease 2 glass loaf pans. (If you don’t have glass loaf pans, line metal loaf pans with parchment to keep the blood sausage from reacting with the metal and creating an off-flavor.) Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into the blood.
- Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil and stir in the oats. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until just tender, not mushy.
- Pour the blood through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Stir in the fat, onion, milk, pepper, allspice and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Add the oatmeal and mix to combine. Divide the mixture between the loaf pans, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour, until firm. Cool completely. Seal in plastic wrap and wither freeze for extended use or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- To serve, cut a slice about 1/2-inch thick off the loaf. Fry in butter or oil until the edges are slightly crisped and browned.
Gyuvetch is a popular Bulgarian dish, which can be made with a variety of products. Itgets its name from the pottery dish that it is prepared and served in.
It has several virtues that can satisfy everyone’s taste. It is a very healthy dish, with natural and fresh ingredients. It consists mainly of vegetables, a little meat and an egg. It can also be vegetarian.
There is a traditional recipe for Guyvech but different ingredients may be added based on one’s taste desires. All is possible. Here is the traditional recipe (For 1 Gyuvetch):
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
- 1 Clay pot (the pottery dish it is cooked in).
- 1/2 lbs goat cheese or feta cheese
- 1 egg
- any kind of cooked chicken, pork, beef or any kind of sausages (optional)
- vegetables: 1 onion, 1/2 tomato, 1 red/green pepper, 1 cooked potato (or a portion of white rice), mushroom (optional)
- fresh greens: 1 tbsp parsley or dill (or any herbs will also do)
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- black pepper
Chop or dice all ingredients that you have gathered. Make alternating layers of cheese, meat, and vegetables, but make sure you have cheese on top. Bake in the oven at 200C/390F for 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Break the egg on top and put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Enjoy your Gyuvetch.
This is a Lithuanian dish that my family makes mainly during the holiday season. It goes great with ham or turkey. It is also served in many authentic European restaurants. This recipe is time consuming but well worth the work put into it. This is a ‘stick to your ribs’ dish and is in no way considered lo-cal or healthy. A dollop of sour cream on top of each piece is a great topping.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 1h 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours
- 1 pound bacon, diced
- 2 large onions, diced
- ½ cup butter
- 5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
- 6 eggs
Moqueca Brazilian Fish Stew
- 1 – 1 1/2 pounds firm white fish- Halibut, Black Cod, Sea Bass ( thicker cuts are best )
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 lime- zest and juice
- 2–3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
- 1 onion- finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup carrot, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 garlic cloves- rough chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup fish or chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced
- 1 14 ounce can coconut milk
- more salt to taste
- ½ cup chopped cilantro, scallions or Italian parsley
- squeeze of lime
Serve over cilantro rice or quinoa.
- Rinse and pat dry the fish and cut into 2 inch pieces. Place in a bowl. Add salt, zest from half the lime and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Massage lightly to coat all pieces well. Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and salt, and sauté 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add carrot, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno and cook 4-5 more minutes. Add tomato paste, spices and stock. Mix and bring to a simmer and add tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently on medium low for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender.
- Add the coconut milk and taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Nestle the fish in the stew and simmer gently until it’s cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. Spoon the flavorful coconut broth over the fish and cook until desired doneness or longer for thicker pieces. (You can also finish this in a 350F oven).
- Taste and adjust salt and squeeze with lime.
- To serve, serve over rice, sprinkle with cilantro or scallions and a squeeze of lime.
- Finish with a little drizzle olive oil.
Italian: Shrimp Scampi
- 4 garlic cloves, 2 grated, 2 thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Warm crusty bread (for serving)
Whisk grated garlic, salt, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, toss to coat, and chill, uncovered, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium and cook shrimp mixture, being careful not to let shrimp or garlic brown, until shrimp is pink but still slightly underdone, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in pan as possible. Add sliced garlic and red pepper to skillet and cook, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add butter and cook, stirring and swirling pan occasionally, until butter is melted and sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes more.
Scrape shrimp along with any accumulated juices into skillet. Toss to coat and cook until shrimp are fully cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter, top with parsley, and serve with bread for dipping alongside.
Italian: Super Easy Ricotta Cheese Cake
- 3 lbs fresh (or store bought) ricotta cheese
- 8 large eggs
- 1 Cup orange marmalade or ginger preserves
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoons flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Grease pan, mix all ingredients together in a bowl, can do this by hand, or use an electric beater to get the mixture smooth – either way is fine
Pour entire mixture into a 10 to 12″ spring form pan, or regular round baking pan
Place in oven, close door and turn down to 350 degrees
Bake 1 hour (45 m convection) then after 1 h TURN OFF OVEN, keep door closed and LET SIT 1 more hour in oven without opening door.
Can dust with a little bit of vanilla sugar, confectioner’s sugar, lavender or thyme just upon serving for a little bit of flair.