First off, Happy 4th to everyone!
Here's another collection of stuffs we've been eating at home over the last couple of weeks, starting with today's lunch.
The Missus has to go back to work soon, so I asked Her what She wanted. It was an easy one, teri-beef, wrapped in lettuce, with green onions, thinly sliced raw garlic, red onions, tomato, sorta ssam style.
She also wanted grilled brussle sprouts and some peppers. I decided to grill up the rest of our chicken wings seasoned with peri-peri chili powder. A nice and easy Fourth of July lunch.
As always, our travels inspire and influence our cooking. The Missus loved the hearty and simple food in Portugal. Simple items, like this black pork grilled over hardwood charcoal, with a "sauce" of vinegar, garlic, and olive oil, stayed with us. This version is from Ze Manel dos Ossos in Coimbra.
And these very tasty potatoes at a fantastic seafood grill joint called Tito 2 in Matosinhos, right outside of Porto.
We ate so much pork that we renamed Portugal, "Pork-y'all". Pork has a stigma here in the states and much of what is sold is called the "other white meat". I don't eat that stuff.......I look for nice tasty and fatty pork, like Berkshire. The Missus never used to eat pork, but after Portugal things have changed. I told Her that the pork I make, the stuff I eat and She doesn't is actually good stuff. It's all about not making a pig of yourself (pun intended). The portions are reasonable, .25 - .3 pounds per person.
So after returning I pan fried a Berkshire Pork Rib Chop seasoned with Maldon Sea Salt, flavored with that three ingredient "sauce".
Along with those potatoes. A single chop seasoned well was more than enough for the two of us. Turns out that the Missus preferred the chop sliced, pounded flat, seasoned, then grilled.
See those mushrooms in the back there? That's another influence. We had mushrooms served that way a couple of times, like this example from Botequim da Mouraria in Evora.
These were always full of mushroom flavor. So I came home wondering how these were made.....it seems so very simple and it was.
These are usually grilled. I use creminis. I place them gill side down on the grill under direct heat. Once it browns I turn them over. As the cap side gets wrinkled, I carefully move the mushrooms to the indirect side of the grill....carefully because liquid starts accumulating in the naturally formed cup of the gill side.
Season with salt and that all purpose mixture of garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Be careful not to spill that mushroom flavored juice.
The same theme was followed for subsequent meals.......
This version featured a version of the classic Maltese Fava Bean Dip called Bigilla.
Here's a version with an easy over egg on it.....kind of over the top, collards sauteed in bacon fat topped with lardons of bacon, halibut pan seared in bacon fat, and an egg fried in duck fat.
And the requisite drippy egg photo......
Speaking of Malta....we were surprised at how well we ate in Malta. We hadn't heard much about the food. I really enjoyed the tuna sandwiches in Malta....yes...tuna sandwiches, like this one from Cafe Cordina in Valletta.
The traditional breads are fantastic. I had an even better tuna sandwich at a tiny coffee shop off the main street in Valletta. All the older locals seemed to be having breakfast there, it was one of my favorite meals on the island. Here's a version the Missus made for me.
I'd say the Missus did a great job. don't you think?
It was a wonderful dish which copied a couple of times in our apartment in Porto with linguica from the local Pingo Doce supermarket.
We've made this after returning from our trip as well. They key is to fry the eggs in the rendered fat of the sausage. We're still looking for good linguica here in San Diego.
So there you go, everywhere we travel we learn something and add something to our cooking repertoire.
I'm wondering if the Missus will let me try this at home?