A Taste of Portugal

Portugal Day is finally here!

One of my favourite places to eat is Jano, a Portuguese grill on St Laurent. Everything is always perfectly cooked, with a wonderful grilled flavour. And the piri piri sauce .. oh. my. god. soo good.

I thought I had seen piri piri sauce at Loblaws, but its turns out all they have is piri piri chips (also delicious). So I decided to make my own piri piri. (Can you tell I like saying piri piri?).

Piri Piri

  • 1/2 cup hot peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 oil
  • tsp salt

Directions

  1. Finely dice the hot peppers and garlic. I used 2 scotch bonnet, which is less than what the recipe calls for, but those little guys are HOT.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Stir and let sit in the fridge for one week for the flavours to combine.
  3. Use a brush to spread over grilled meats.

Scotch Bonnets are cute but really hot. Based on my experience with these I would say leave the hot sauce making to the professionals. Or at the very least, wear gloves while working with them. My hands were burning for hours after dicing them.

The solution to the burning? Hand sanitizer. Because I didn’t use actual piri piri peppers (an African pepper), the sauce tasted a little different than the original, but still quite good.

Piri Piri sauce goes great with chicken, but I wasn’t able to find a recipe that I liked, so I just used a smoked paprika marinade and roasted the chicken, and made a portuguese side dish, Peixinhos da Horta, deep-fried green beans. The recipe for the green beans and the piri piri both come from Leite’s Culinaria.

Deep Fried Green Beans

  • 1/2 pound green beans, cleaned and blanched.
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Directions

  1. Combine the flour, water, egg, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix until smooth.
  2. Dip green beans in batter, cover completely.
  3. Fry in 350 F oil for 3 to 4 minutes, turning the green beans to make sure they brown evenly.

I also made Pasteis de Nata, using this recipe, but they were an epic baking fail. The recipe says to bake them at 300 F for 15, but after 15 minutes they weren’t even close to done. I bumped the temp up to 350 for another 15 minutes, still not enough. The custard never set, and the puff pastry was barely cooked through. I think they need to be baked at at least 400 F to get that caramalized top. One recipe I found after the disaster even said 550 F. I will try again, as the custard itself tasted great. And honestly, ordering more than one of these in a restaurant is a little embarrassing, but I could eat at least 10 all to my self.  At least.

Trying out different portuguese recipes was a lot of fun. Thanks to Casey for organizing the event. Be sure to check out her blog on June 1oth to see what everyone else made!

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9 thoughts on “A Taste of Portugal

  1. I had no idea that the Portuguese had a side dish of deep-fried green beans. Brilliant! What’s not to love? And the piri-piri sauce looks beautiful. Seems like a yummy meal!

  2. That dinner looks ah-maz-ing! I have nevr had pri pri, I’ll have to put it on my list of things to try. I love your pictures, so good! Thanks for friending me on foodbuzz. I’ll be checking out your blog regularly ;-)

  3. Those Scotch Bonnets do burn! I’m going to have to keep an eye out for piri piri peppers and give this sauce a try. And deep-fried green beans will be perfect in a couple of months when I have green beans coming out my ears from the garden…thanks for sharing!

  4. Your plate looks yummy, I like the piri piri sauce but I’m afraid of the hot peppers, the first time I cut up hot peppers I rubbed my eye with my hand and was in agony, what a dope! I also like the fried green beans, they are yummier than french fries, I think.

  5. As a portuguese I totally loved this post! The “peixinhos da horta” (meaning literally “little fishes from the vegetable farm”) are a very traditional dish and the portuguese custard tarts are everywhere. So I guess you had a very portuguese meal!

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