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Portuguese Attempt #1

August 25, 2009

((Hmm…so I totally fail at this “daily” business, huh? I missed the 2nd day. Hopefully, I will figure this out by Sept. 1st))

On my recent trip to my grandfather’s cabin in Bridgton, Maine, I visited Bridgton Books- one of my favorite bookstores. Despite their small size, they always have wide variety of book, and I always find something to take home. Granted, I can find something to take home in practically any bookstore.

This time, I found a Portuguese Cookbook entitled: Portuguese Cooking: The Traditional Cuisine of Portugal. I immediately decided to get it, and shortly after reading it, I began planning to cook a Portuguese meal on the next Maine trip. In order to do this (successfully), I will need to practice, practice, practice.

My 1st attempt at a traditional Portuguese dish (previously, I have cooked linguica and chourico in a variety of Americanized dishes, and Jimmy’s dad’s recipe for Kale soup), was Chicken Braised in Red Wine and Fried Potatoes. The recipe called for Piri-Piri (a traditional seasoning oil that I had to make first- peppers, oil, garlic). My Piri-piri isn’t entirely accurate since I could not locate a red chili…so I had to replace it with a serrano (not the same, but it’ll have to do for this bottle).  It also called for bacon, onions, garlic, a carrot, a bay leaf, parsley, red wine, port and cornstarch.

The results….It was good. Not great, but good. The presentation was mediocre…the sauce was fairly ugly, and the port turned the chicken an odd shade of purple. The flavors were okay. The potatoes were yummy…but potatoes are always delicious to me. While not eliminated from the possible Maine dishes, we are going to keep looking for something a bit better.

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