Chargrilled spicy cauliflower with coriander yoghurt (pictured above)
Prep 10 min
Marinate 1 hr-plus
Cook 20 min
Serves 4 as a starter or side
2-3 red chillies, stem, seeds and pith removed and discarded, flesh roughly chopped (20g net weight)
1 medium red pepper, stem, seeds and pith removed and discarded, flesh roughly chopped (120g net weight)
50ml olive or sunflower oil
100g piquillo peppers from a jar, drained and roughly chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
¾ tbsp sherry vinegar
1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into quarters
100g fresh coriander
500g Greek yoghurt
1 big pinch hot dry chilli flakes, or to taste
20ml maple syrup
50g pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
1½ tbsp picked flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Put the first seven ingredients in a blender and blitz to a paste.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, blanch the cauliflower quarters for 90 seconds, then transfer to a colander to cool. Once cool enough to handle, spread the pepper paste all over the cauliflower and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
Blend the coriander with 100g yoghurt, then fold this into the rest of the yoghurt and set aside. Mix the chilli flakes into the maple syrup.
Heat a griddle pan (or barbecue) until very hot, then char the cauliflower quarters on all their flat surfaces for about five minutes on each side, until a skewer goes through easily. Once thoroughly charred and cooked through, brush with the chilli maple syrup and serve topped with the coriander yoghurt and a sprinkling of pistachios and parsley.
Soak 24-48 hr
Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 4-6 as a starter or snack
2 heads garlic, plus 1 peeled clove extra
200g piece dried salt cod, soaked in cold water for 24-36 hours, changing the water every 12 hours (375g rehydrated weight)
1 bay leaf
2 black peppercorns
500g dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water for 12 hours (1kg rehydrated weight)
2½-3 tbsp picked flat-leaf parsley
1 big pinch smoked paprika
Sea salt and black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, to serve
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put the whole garlic heads in a small oven dish, drizzle with a little oil, then roast for 40 minutes. Remove and, when it’s cool enough to handle, squeeze out the flesh and push through a fine sieve to make a smooth puree.
Meanwhile, put the drained salt cod in a saucepan with the bay leaf, peppercorns and garlic clove, add water just to cover, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for eight minutes. Drain the cod, keeping the water and discarding the bay, peppercorns and garlic, then leave to cool. Once the fish is cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin, then flake the flesh and check for any bones.
Drain the soaked chickpeas – they should now weigh about 1kg – tip into a blender and blitz to a coarse paste. Add the garlic puree, parsley and paprika, and blitz again, then slowly add the reserved cod cooking water until the mix is the consistency of a thick hummus, then blend in the flaked fish. Pull off a small piece and fry in a little oil to test the texture; add more cooking water to the base mix as necessary, season to taste, then refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.
Fill a nonstick, high-sided frying pan with 1cm vegetable oil. Carefully drop quenelle-shaped tablespoons of the fritter mixture into the oil (about 25g each) and fry for 90 seconds to two minutes on each side, until golden and crisp on the outside and creamy in the middle. (Shape any excess mix into fritters and freeze – they can be cooked from frozen, and will take six to eight minutes.)
Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over and, if you like, some aïoli for dipping.
In Portugal, this is always cooked over wood or coals, but if you don’t have a barbecue, you can still get a pretty good approximation in a domestic oven. Coat the chicken in olive oil, season all over with salt and roast, ideally on a trivet, in a 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 oven for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the bird – it should have a beautifully crisp skin and the juices should run clear from the thickest parts. Then glaze as in the method below – make the glaze at least a day ahead.
Prep 15 min
Steep 1 day
Cook 45 min
For the glaze
500ml sunflower oil
25g peeled garlic
15ml lemon juice
2-3 tsp extra-hot chilli flakes, or to taste
⅓ tsp salt
For the chicken
1 chicken (900g-1kg), free-range for preference, reverse spatchcocked (ie, cut through the breast rather than the backbone – ask a butcher to do this, if need be)
100ml glazing oil (see above)
At least a day ahead, put all the glaze ingredients in a blender and blitz smooth, then tip into a container and refrigerate. This makes more glaze than you need for this dish, but it’s not really worth making in smaller quantities, and the excess keeps in the fridge for up to a fortnight; use it to marinate or glaze all sorts.
Get the barbecue going – in Portugal, piri-piri chicken is always cooked over charcoal or wood, never gas (having said that, see note above). Once the charcoal is ready, liberally season the bird all over with salt, then lay it skin side down on the grill and leave for three minutes. Flip, cook for a minute more, then flip again and repeat, until the bird is cooked through (it should have an internal temperature of 75C) and the skin is crisp; this should take about 25 minutes in all. (To check it’s done, use a knife to pierce between the thighs and breast bone: the flesh should be white and firm and the juices should run clear.)
Once the chicken is done, lift it off the grill, paint all over with glaze and leave to rest in a warm spot for five minutes. Transfer the bird to a board, cut it in half down the centre of the spine, then cut each half into five. Brush the chicken pieces with more glaze, making sure they’re all well coated, then transfer to a warmed platter, and brush with glaze one final time. Serve with chips and a green salad.
Pastel de nata
Prep 10 min
Cook 45 min, plus chilling
For the tarts
1 sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
660ml whole milk
1 wide strip lemon zest
½ cinnamon stick
100g strong flour
8 egg yolks, whisked
1 whole egg, whisked
Ground cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
For the syrup
500g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 30ml freshly squeezed juice
Zest of 1 orange
Lay the pastry sheet on a worktop, then roll up into a sausage (it should be about the same size as a standard rolling pin). Cut into 2cm-thick discs, and place a disc in the middle of 20 greased moulds in two 12-hole muffin tins. With wet fingers, push the dough to fill the base of the mould and then up the sides, to make an even, thin lining, then put the tin in the freezer to rest and set.
Put all the syrup ingredients in a small pan, bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, cook until it hits 106C, then turn off the heat and leave to cool.
Now for the filling. Put 460ml of the milk in a pan with the lemon zest and cinnamon stick, bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat, stir in the butter until melted and leave to cool a little. Meanwhile, put the remaining milk in a bowl, then add the two flours bit by bit, to incorporate. When the milk in the pan is warm, add the flour mix and cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken – about five to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in all but a tablespoon or so of the syrup, then pass through a fine sieve and leave to cool. Once cool, refrigerate and leave to thicken.
Heat the oven to its highest setting – ie, 240C (220C fan)/465F/gas 9. Mix the egg yolks and whole egg into the custard until combined, then carefully pour into the frozen pastry moulds until filled up to 2mm from the top – about 80ml per tart. Bake for eight or nine minutes, until the custard starts to caramelise and blister and the pastry turns golden brown. Carefully transfer the pastels from their moulds to a rack, spray the tops lightly with the reserved syrup and leave to cool and set for at least half an hour. Dust with a little cinnamon, if you like, and serve warm or at room temperature.