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Portuguese Christmas on Your Table: 7 Simple Recipes to Celebrate Natal

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Introduction:

Ho-ho-ho! 🎅 Get ready to jingle your way into the heart of Portuguese Christmas with these delightful and easy-to-follow recipes. From the sea-kissed shores to the rustic countryside, we’re bringing you a taste of Portugal’s yuletide joy. Whether you’re looking to impress your guests or just indulge in some festive cooking, these dishes will add a sparkle to your holiday table. Let’s cook up a storm, Natal style!

1. Bacalhau em Lascas (Shredded Codfish)

Bacalhau Codfish

Ingredients: 500g salted cod, 4 medium potatoes, 2 onions, 3 eggs, olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, chopped parsley. Instructions:

  1. Soak the cod overnight, changing the water a couple of times.
  2. Boil the cod with potatoes until tender. Then, shred the cod and slice the potatoes.
  3. Hard boil the eggs and slice them.
  4. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until golden, then mix in the shredded cod.
  5. Arrange the cod mixture on a platter, top with potato slices, and garnish with egg slices and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and serve warm!

2. Cabrito Assado (Roast Kid Goat)

Ingredients: 1 kid goat leg, 200ml white wine, 100ml olive oil, 1 tbsp paprika, 4 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, salt, pepper. Instructions:

  1. Create a marinade with wine, olive oil, paprika, crushed garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Marinate the goat leg overnight.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
  3. Place the goat in a roasting pan and roast for about 2 hours, basting frequently with the marinade, until the meat is tender and the skin is crispy.

3. Polvo no Forno (Baked Octopus)

Ingredients: 1 large octopus, 100ml olive oil, 4 garlic cloves, 2 onions, 500g small potatoes, 150ml white wine, salt, pepper. Instructions:

  1. Boil the octopus for about 20 minutes until tender. Cut it into pieces.
  2. Slice the potatoes and onions. Arrange them in a baking dish and place the octopus pieces on top.
  3. Mix olive oil, minced garlic, and wine. Pour over the octopus.
  4. Bake at 200°C (390°F) for about 40 minutes, until the octopus is golden and the potatoes are cooked.

4. Croquetes de Roupa Velha (Leftovers Croquettes)

Ingredients: 2 cups shredded leftover bacalhau, 2 cups mashed potatoes, 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 2 eggs, breadcrumbs, olive oil, chopped parsley. Instructions:

  1. Sauté finely chopped onion and garlic in olive oil.
  2. In a bowl, mix the sautéed onion and garlic with shredded bacalhau, mashed potatoes, and parsley.
  3. Shape the mixture into small croquettes.
  4. Dip each croquette first in beaten egg, then roll in breadcrumbs.
  5. Fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towels and serve hot!

5. Bolo Rei (King Cake)

Ingredients: 500g flour, 200g sugar, 100g butter, 3 eggs, 20g yeast, 100g candied fruits, 100g nuts, 50ml port wine, zest of 1 lemon. Instructions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in a little warm water. Mix flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and yeast to form a dough.
  2. Knead in candied fruits, chopped nuts, lemon zest, and port wine.
  3. Shape the dough into a ring and let it rise for about 2 hours.
  4. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 30 minutes. Decorate with more candied fruits and nuts.

6. Rabanada (Portuguese French Toast)

Ingredients: 1 baguette, 500ml milk, 3 eggs, 200g sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, zest of 1 lemon, 100ml port wine. Instructions:

  1. Slice the baguette into thick slices.
  2. Whisk together milk, eggs, half the sugar, lemon zest, and port wine.
  3. Soak the bread slices in the mixture.
  4. Fry in hot oil until golden on both sides.
  5. Mix the remaining sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over the hot rabanadas.

7. Sonhos (Dreams)

Ingredients: 250g flour, 200g sugar, 4 eggs, 50g butter, zest of 1 orange, 7g yeast, 1 tsp cinnamon. Instructions:

  1. Melt the butter and mix with flour, eggs, yeast, and orange zest to form a smooth batter.
  2. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot oil and fry until golden.
  4. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Conclusion:

And there you have it, amigos! Seven simple yet utterly delightful Portuguese Christmas recipes to add some festive flair to your holiday table. Whether you’re singing along to classic carols or clinking glasses with loved ones, these dishes are sure to make your celebrations even more memorable. Don’t forget to share your festive culinary creations with us using #EnterPortugalChristmas. Feliz Natal and happy cooking!

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