Secrets of traditional Portuguese cookery - I. J. Lacerda - ebook

Secrets of traditional Portuguese cookery ebook

I. J. Lacerda



Everyone who likes visiting or living in Portugal sooner or later will be interested in knowing something about traditional Portuguese cookery and the little secrets of its preparation. Portuguese cooking includes excellent seafood, fish and meat dishes, using fresh fruit and vegetables. Portuguese cooking is versatile in its preparation and enables you to create delicious dishes. In this book you will find 108 recipes and over 50 notes and tips teaching you the skills of Portuguese cookery, describing spices, giving you calorie values and advices on healthy cooking.

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The author

I. J. Lacerda was born in Lisbon-Portugal. He studied and worked as a journalist and interpreter in Germany and travelled in several countries of the World improving his knowledge of cookery and becoming serious about cooking.

After the experience of running his own bistros in Amsterdam and Lisbon he settled down in the Algarve-Portugal where he managed a restaurant for traditional Mediterranean-Atlantic delicatessen.

Currently he lives in the Algarve in the South-West Coast of Portugal and in Munich-Germany where he became an independent author. His books appear in different languages.

Other cook books

“The Mediterranean-Atlantic Diet“©2014 I. J. Lacerda

ISBN: 978 3 7357 1898 3

“Geheimnisse der lusitanischen Küche" ©2008 I. J. Lacerda

ISBN: 978 3 8370 9055 0

“Geheimnisse der portugiesischen Küche II“ ©2011 I. J. Lacerda

ISBN: 978 3 8423 7108 8

“A Dieta Mediterrânica” ©2015 I. J. Lacerda

ISBN: 978 3 7347 6876 7

“Cozinha Medieval Portuguesa” ©2015 I. J. Lacerda

ISBN: 9 783 7347 6863 7









Fried green and red peppers in olive oil

Eggs filled with curry paste

Home-made tuna paste

“Black and white” bean salad

Small mackerel pickled in marinade

Fresh summer salad

Runner bean salad

Algarve’s small mackerel with lemon juice

Olives on herbs and garlic

Dates with Bacon

Cod fritters


South-West-Coast fish soup

Farmer’s vegetable soup

Creamy chickpea and carrot soup

The friar’s amazing “Stone Soup”

Creamy pumpkin soup with ginger

Tomato soup

South-West-Coast tomato soup


Partridge-consommé with turnips

“Green Broth” or Caldo Verde

Chicken-consommé with rice



Big crab salad

Fried prawns my way

Stewed seafood in the pan/Cataplana

Prawns and squid on the spit

Grilled king prawns

Clams Bulhão Pato


Seafood or monkfish risotto

Grilled sardines

Mixed salad with green peppers

Northern-style trout with bacon

Grilled “Loup de mer”

Fisherman-style fish stew/Caldeirada

Fish broth with vermicelli

Fried small squid or cuttlefish

Spicy squid curry

Roast mackerel fillet

Roast sea bream with garlic and olive oil

Swordfish steak with onions

Tuna steaks with tomato sauce

Fried fish and tomato rice

Tomato rice

Roast eels with onions Franciscan-style


Codfish with tomato sauce

Codfish with vegetables and egg

Gomes de Sá’s codfish (in the oven)

Codfish with Port wine

Brás’s codfish (with French fries)

Codfish my way (with cream)


Goa-style chicken curry

Monchique-style chicken

(Home) fried potatoes

Romeo’s grilled chicken

Braga-style roast (wild) duck with rice

Quails in Madeira sauce.

Crispy turkey with stuffing

Red cabbage with cumin


Hare or (wild) rabbit (quick way)

The hunter’s hare or (wild) rabbit

Stewed partridge with green peas purée

Fried partridge with mushrooms

Roasted pheasant with grapes


Plate of meat, vegetables and sausages

Red bean stew

Roast leg of pork

Stewed veal with wine

Noodles with pork

Beira-Alta-style pot-roasted goat or mutton

Pork loin with clams

Kid or Lamb stew with vegetables

Fried Pork loin cubes

Lisbon-style liver thin cutlet


Portuguese-style veal steak

Escalope of veal with Madeira wine sauce

Portuguese small pork cutlets/Bifanas


Green cabbage purée/Esparregado

Green pea purée

Carrot purée

Mashed potatoes

Garlic rice

Saffron rice

Grapes in Port wine syrup

Fried potatoes with cumin


Cherubim’s pudding

Angel’s cheeks – Papos-de-anjo

“Heaven’s streaky bacon”/Toucinho do céu

Threads of egg yolk in sugar syrup

Milk pudding

Father Antonio’s dessert

Special Christmas fritters

Golden Soup

Siricaia or Sericá

Sweet milk-rice

Pumpkin éclairs

Cream Pastries from Belém


White sauce

Cheese sauce

Butter sauce

Cocktail universal sauce

Farmer’s sauce


Curry sauce

Butter sauce “Maître d’Hotel”

Tomato sauce

If nothing said to the contrary all recipes serve 4 Calorie counts are approximate values meant per serving


Everyone who likes visiting or living in Portugal sooner or later will be interested in knowing something about traditional Portuguese cookery and the little secrets of its preparation. Eating and drinking are socially very important in the daily life of the Portuguese. A hearty meal with good wines can go some way towards improving friendships, business and politics. Discussing important plans over a good meal can lead to a successful outcome for all parties concerned. If a Portuguese invites you to a party, the party will undoubtedly be a feast!

In spite of over a million English speaking tourists visiting Portugal each year, very few books on Portuguese cookery can be found in their countries. Certainly many of those tourists long for a very special meal reminiscent of the ones they enjoyed during their visit to Portugal.

Portuguese cookery includes excellent fish and seafood dishes. It uses fresh fruit and vegetables produced by local farmers. Pork from Alentejo has a flavour all of its own (a result of the pigs feeding on acorns and truffles). Portuguese olive oil is one of the healthiest produced in Europe. The wine is for romantics and warms your soul. Portuguese cookery is versatile in its preparation and enables you to create delicious fish, seafood and meat dishes.

This book is a small collection of some of the best traditional recipes Portugal has to offer. Preparation is simplicity itself. Dishes can be created from a combination of ingredients which you may already have in your kitchen.

International cookery is drawing towards old fashioned home cooking. Portuguese cookery is the natural way of returning to this style, using seasonal ingredients.

I wish you a lot of pleasure in your cooking. “Bon appetite!”

I. J. Lacerda

A short history of Portuguese cookery

2000 years ago the Lusitanos as the Portuguese were called at the time were farmers and shepherds who fed themselves from the land by eating the vegetables they grew and the pigs and sheep which they reared. The Romans exported olive oil, wine and fish products (garum - fish stock) from the Iberian Peninsula. Later on, Gothic invaders introduced stews into the Iberian food culture. Southern Portugal has been influenced by the Moorish culture, which introduced a large variety of honey and almonds cakes, sweet rice and bread puddings were introduced by the Moors.

The discoveries of the 16th century brought to us, via Lisbon and Lagos in the Algarve, everything we know about exotic fruit and vegetables and spices. Cookery improved all over the country thanks to the rich nobility who had access to the best ingredients and the culinary skills which developed in many monasteries and convents. Nuns and friars collected many recipes from both home and abroad - they became the best cooks and confectioners. The farming population however, often had to sell the best of their own produce, which often left them with very little to eat themselves.

Amongst our specialities today you will find a great variety of puddings and fritters. Portuguese Jews created a sausage called Alheira de Mirandela, among other porkless products, which is a delicious garlic sausage made from venison and poultry. Tempuras, the Japanese fritters, were brought to Japan by Portuguese missionaries as a Lent tradition (the temporas). We introduced chilli peppers to Sichuan (Macau) and brought curries from India to Europe.

Around the 17th and 18th centuries the Portuguese nobility followed the French example of luxury. A “good meal” was an exotic banquet. Fantastic culinary excesses took place at the King’s Vila Viçosa palace in Alentejo, costing a small fortune, and were an insult to the starving population. Portugal had to fight against serious political and economic crises. The population began to help themselves by growing their own food and breeding cattle of high quality. They followed the rule that good food came from their own farm or from the sea. Today you will find such quality at the local markets - fish from the coast is still delicious and home reared poultry remains a good choice.

Daily uses and tastes

Breakfast (Southerners call it pequeno almoço, Northerners also almoço).

The Portuguese will have a continental breakfast rather than an English one!

The extra bite taken about 11 am consists of an Italian espresso (a bica) and a piece of cake or a muffin.

Lunch (Southerners call it almoço, Northerners jantar) is served from 1 to 3 pm. Shops and offices close for two hours at lunch time. This is the time to sit and enjoy a complete meal.

Teatime or the bite between lunch and dinner (Southerners call it lanche, Northerners merenda) will be served about 5 pm.

Dinner (Southerners call it jantar, Northerners ceia).

Dinner it’s similar to lunch; a three course meal is not unusual.

Snacks and unusual light meals (the delicious petiscos)

All over Portugal you will find wine bars (tascas) where you can eat snacks and light meals. Among such snacks and meals there is a large choice of fish and meat pastries, cod croquettes, vegetable samosas or fritters. You may order a small pork (bifana) or beef steak (prego), fish fritters or roast pork (carne assada) served in bread rolls. Light meals such as minced chicken in a very hot sauce (pipis), fried partridge (codornizes), tripe with white beans (dobrada), octopus salad (salada de polvo) or snails (caracóis) are some of these unusual dishes which are served on small plates.

Country festivals and private parties (festas e romarias).

almost every town has a Saint’s day. Over one or two days, people celebrate by going to markets, dances and eating! Depending on whether you travel to the north, middle or south of Portugal, you will find market places full of visitors and an aroma of fried chicken, roast suckling pig, grilled sardines and fritters.

Christmas and Easter also have their rituals. On Christmas Eve boiled cod with broccoli and eggs is a must. The next day relatives are invited to eat traditional stuffed turkey. At Easter Portuguese eat roast lamb and a cake (Folar da Páscoa) which has four whole eggs baked in its middle. On Easter day we offer one of these cakes to each of our godchildren. On St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter’s day (in June) there are great celebrations in Lisbon and Porto. People dance in the streets, eat grilled sardines and drink a lot of wine. On St. Martin’s day (11th November) it is time for roasted chestnuts and tasting the year’s new wine.

Traditional Mediterranean and Atlantic food

Traditional Atlantic cookery needs in its preparation more fish and seafood than meat, more potatoes than noodles, more olive oil than any other fat, more fruit than ready-made desserts and some good wine.

Herbs and spices

Before you start to cook Portuguese dishes there are certain herbs and spices which you should buy, as you will use them frequently. The list below is a guide to help you so you will have a good selection in stock.

Bay leaves (



Cloves (



Coriander or cilantro (


) available fresh at Portuguese food markets and Asian grocers

Curry (



Garlic cloves (



Ginger (



Gorse (


) commonly use in venison dishes

Oregano (oregão)

Paprika (



Paprika paste (