This hot pepper sauce is hugely popular in Portugal and its former colonies Cape Verde, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Goa, as well as in Britain, the U.S., Australia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It can be slathered onto chicken, sausages, fish, or seafood before grilling or roasting, or stirred into marinades — you can even use it in place of hot sauce in cocktails such as the Bloody Mary.Chilli peppers were native to South America originally, but piri piri peppers have grown in Africa for centuries, probably travelling across the Atlantic with Portuguese traders and then cross-pollinating to create the tiny spicy chillies we have today.There’s a bit of confusion about whether malegueta, piri piri chillies and African bird’s eye chillies are all exactly the same thing, as often they are labelled interchangeably. Whatever the label says, these are small and pretty fierce, and only used once they turn from green to red. They are extremely hot, which is why I wear gloves to prepare them, and am scrupulous about cleaning up afterwards. (You really, really don’t want to touch delicate skin or your eyes after handling one of these.) I always remove the seeds and ribs of each chilli, but true chilli heads may like to leave them in. The whisky might seem like a strange addition, but it is added for preservation purposes more than for flavour. — Rebecca Seal, author of Lisbon
These little salt cod and potato croquettes are irresistible, and quintessentially Portuguese. When working in Lisbon, it was very hard to ignore the siren call of the restaurant on the corner of my road, where you could get a bag of these croquettes, crisp from the fryer, for just a couple of euros. We would eat them on our balcony, in the fading evening light, with a cold glass of local vinho verde. — Rebecca Seal, author of LisbonYou can freeze these croquettes once they are cooked. Defrost for 30 minutes, then bake on a baking tray at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F/Gas 6) for 10–12 minutes, until crispy on the outside and piping hot all the way through.This recipe uses piri piri sauce — you can easily buy store-bought. If you want to make your own, click here for the simple and delicious recipe.
I will admit that there’s something of the retro party snack to these stuffed and deep-fried eggs, but they are incredibly moreish. You could add a little finely chopped spring onion or some chives to the yolk stuffing, too. — Rebecca Seal, author of LisbonThis recipe uses piri piri sauce- you can easily buy store bought. If you want to make your own, click here for the simple and delicious recipe.
The Bloody Maria is the drink where the regular Bloody Mary gets crazy with tequila. With this south-of-the-border spin on the traditional brunch beverage, you’ll taste the tequila as it masterfully combines with the international spices and colorful tomatoes blended in this unique, festive recipe.Recipe courtesy of Pam Wiznitzer, Trademark & Belle Shoals
It is all too easy to find piri piri chicken in Lisbon, as most neighbourhoods have at least one, and often several, simple restaurants serving chargrilled spicy chicken, fries, and salad, along with salt cod fritters, barbecued sardines, grilled chouriço (chorizo) sausages, and seafood rice. Locals get take-out or eat at tables set with paper tablecloths, sipping ice-cold beers or carafes of chilled vinho verde, a pale green Portuguese wine.Traditionally, piri piri chicken is grilled or barbecued on its own, but for an incredibly easy meal, add some roughly chopped onion, a whole head of garlic, and chunks of sweet or white potato to the pan, perhaps with a few thick strips of bell pepper. Toss with an extra tablespoon of olive oil and roast the whole lot together.This marinade will work for a whole roast chicken (although you will need more sauce), or for chicken wings as well as thighs or drumsticks. Wings will need around half the cooking time below, while separated thighs and drumsticks will need roughly 5 minutes less. — Rebecca Seal, author of LisbonThis recipe uses piri piri sauce — you can easily buy store bought. If you want to make your own, click here for the simple and delicious recipe.
Kimchi is a Korean pickled dish, traditionally made with cabbage and daikon radish. Try out this Portuguese take on kimchi; it’s flavored with lots of garlic and piri piri peppers, also known as bird’s eye chiles.
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Two memories are lodged in my mind when it comes to these prawns. One is of a meal at Mar do Inferno, in Cascais, a town which we visited with my parents and our little daughter. Here, the sea crashes against jagged cliffs just below the restaurant. We tried these messy, delicious, chilli-hot prawns, and our daughter, Isla, then a toddler, tried to eat a whole scoop of ice cream with both hands. The meal was a sticky, happy, silly one.The second was in Hugo Gonçalves’ sunny garden. His family owns art-deco cocktail bar Foxtrot in Lisbon. His mother, Maria Helena Gonçalves, or Lena, cooked us a huge pan of wonderful prawns. She adds a warming dash of whisky to her version. — Rebecca Seal, author of LisbonThis recipe uses piri piri sauce — you can easily buy store bought. If you want to make your own, click here for the simple and delicious recipe.