Egg Salad with Lemon Garlic & Parsley Aioli

Egg Salad with Lemon Garlic & Parsley Aioli
Recipe by Dragon

I don't know about you, but during our Easter I always have an abundance of hard boiled eggs around the house. I don't need any better excuse to make my favourite egg salad sandwich. For me, the star of this dish is the Lemon Garlic & Parsley aioli. Nothing beats homemade. This recipe makes a lot of aioli but don't worry, it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

Makes: 1 1/2 cups

4 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
2 slices of your favourite bread, toasted
1 egg
1 teaspoon Dijon
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Make the aioli first. In blender combine egg, Dijon, garlic, parsley and lemon juice.

2. Process at high speed until completely combined.

3. With bender still on, add the oil in a slow stream and blend until mixture is fluffy and creamy. (If the aioli gets too thick, add a little cold water and continue blending)

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

5. Chop the eggs and place bowl. Add as much of the aioli as you wish and stir gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Smear the mixture on the bread to make a sandwich and serve.

Natas do Ceu

Natas do Ceu
Recipe by Dragon

The Portuguese have very colourful names for their desserts. For example this favourite dessert of mine is called Natas do Ceu which translates to "Cream from Heaven".  You know what? The name is perfect. One bite of this delicious and simple combination of lemon, cinnamon & vanilla egg cream, mousse and crumbled Maria cookies and you'll think you've died and gone to heaven. Enjoy!

Serves 6

Egg Cream:
6 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon rind
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon unsalted butter

6 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sugar

1 package (roll) Maria cookies, crushed

1. In a bowl, beat egg yolks until frothy. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add milk, sugar, lemon rind and cinnamon stick. Using a small sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthways, then scrape the seeds from inside the bean with the back of the knife. Add the seeds and bean to the pan. 

2. Scald the milk then slowly add milk to the egg yolks, whisking the eggs constantly. Return the milk/egg mixture to the saucepan and reduce the heat to medium. Stir constantly until the egg/milk mixture thickens. Remove lemon rind, cinnamon stick and vanilla bean from the saucepan. Pass egg cream through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in butter until incorporated and let it cool.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites in a large clean bowl until they form stiff peaks. Slowly add 2 tablespoons sugar and continue to beat until the mixture (now meringue) is very thick and glossy.

4. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream and vanilla. Gradually add 3 tablespoons of sugar and whip until you get very stiff peaks. Be careful not to over whip the cream or it will become butter.

5. Fold the meringue into the whipped cream, a little at a time and slowly so as to not deflate the mousse mixture.  Chill this mousse until you’re ready to assemble.

6. To assemble: In individual serving glasses or a large serving bowl, add a layer of the crushed cookies, followed by a layer of mousse. Repeat with another layer of cookies and mousse. Smooth the top layer of mousse with the back of a spoon. Top the mousse with the egg cream. Chill for at least 4-5 hours before serving.

Clube Ceia

Clube Ceia "Supper Club"

I am going to be hosting a Portuguese Supper Club! I hope to introduce people to the diverse and delicious world of Portuguese cuisine. The inspiration for this menu comes from the many meals shared around my family's kitchen table while I was growing up. Please join us for a casual night full of wonderful food and delicious memories.

Clube Ceia – Portuguese Supper Club
Sunday, February 23rd 2014 at 6:30 PM

Petiscos ~ Appetizers
Warm Citrus & Herb Olives and Lupini Beans
Sardine Pate on a Crostini with Quail Egg
Rissois de Camarao “Shrimp Turnovers”
Piri Piri Chicken Lolipops

Primeiro ~ First Course
Salt Cod Salad

Segundo ~ Second Course
Caldo Verde “Green Soup”  (Portugal’s national dish)

Prato Principal ~ Main Course
Drunken Pork with Madeira Sauce
Herb & Garlic Green Beans
Potato Puree

Sobremesa ~ Dessert
Natas do Ceu “Cream from Heaven”

Eventbrite - Portuguese Supper Club

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread
Adapted from Gordon Ramsay

Sometimes, I crave homemade bread but I don't have the time to wait hours for dough to rise. These are the times when I make soda bread. All I need is an hour and then I can slather some butter on a warm slice and appease my cravings.  Soda bread has a soft, cake like texture that makes it perfect for spreads like butter and jam.

The cross on the soda bread has several explanations. My favourite is that bakers did it to "let the devil out" while the bread is baking for good luck. I'm not going to mess with the devil so I always cross my bread. ;) Enjoy!

Makes 1 loaf

3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup old fashion rolled oats

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift the flours, baking soda, sugar and salt into a bowl and make a well in the middle.

3. Add buttermilk to the bowl, mixing gently with a fork or your hands as you add it. Don't overwork the dough but make sure all the dry ingredients are mixed in. If the dough seems a bit wet, add a little more all purpose flour.

4. Place the dough on to a floured work surface and sprinkle with 1/2 of the oats. Knead gently for about a minute to combine. Do not overwork.

5. Form the bread into a round loaf and sprinkle the top with remaining oats, pressing them down slightly.  Place loaf  on the baking sheet.  Use a serrated knife, cut a deep cross in the top of the loaf.

6.  Bake for 40–45 minutes until the bread is golden on the outside and cooked through inside.

7.  Cool on a wire rack. You can serve this bread warm or cold.

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Soup

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Soup
Recipe by Dragon

Summer is over and there's a chill in the air.......ah, welcome Fall. Time for hot, comforting soups! Fall is my favourite time of the year and I love to take advantage of the delicious food being harvested. This soup is a lovely combination of roasted carrots and cauliflower with a nod to the French with Herbes de Provence. This soup freezes well, so make lots. Enjoy!

Serves: 4-6

1 head of cauliflower, trimmed & cut into florets
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or more to taste)
Croutons to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, carrots, onions, oil, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and coat the vegetables in the oil. Transfer the vegetables to a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

3. Transfer the vegetables to a large pot over medium high heat. Add the broth and the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the vegetables to cook for 10 minutes.

4. Purée the soup in 2 batches in a blender (hot liquid, be careful!) until very smooth, about 1-2 minutes per batch, then transfer the soup back to the pot. If you want the soup to have a thinner consistency, add hot water until it is to your liking.

5. Bring the soup to a simmer and add the honey and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Serve with a garnish of croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

Peach, Blueberry & Basil Crisp

Peach, Blueberry & Basil Crisp
Recipe by Dragon

I love wondering around a farmer's market on a Saturday morning. My favourite local market is the St. Jacob's Market in Waterloo, Ontario. Every where I turn, I find wonderful seasonal fruits and vegetables. I can get the best meats, eggs and bread there too. All my shopping needs done in one place. I must admit, I also go there for their delicious apple fritters. ;)  On this trip I found ripe peaches, blueberries and basil, so I was inspired to make this dish. I love the flavour combination of peaches, blueberries and basil. The hint of cardamom and ginger makes this dish sing. Enjoy!

Serves 6

6 medium peaches, washed, pitted and cut into medium slices
1 pint blueberries, washed
2 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
maple syrup to taste

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom,
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter medium baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, blueberries, basil, cardamom, ginger, salt, sugar and flour. Toss to make sure the fruit is well coated. Add the fruit to the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and gently stir the fruit.

3. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt and maple syrup. Stir well and chill until ready to serve.

4. In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; brown sugar, flour, oats, almonds, salt, cardamom and ginger. Toss to combine. Add the butter and rub it into the mixture with your fingers to form small moist clumps.

5. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the hot fruit and return the baking dish to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Let the crisp cool for at least 10 minutes before serving with a garnish of maple Greek yogurt.

Grilled Squid with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers and Chermoula Sauce

Grilled Squid with Chickpeas, Roasted Red Peppers and Chermoula Sauce
Adapted from Diana Henry

This healthy and hearty dish is full of fresh flavours and just a hint of heat. Feel free to play with the sauce by adding different herbs and adjusting the heat. Grilled shrimp would make an excellent substitution for the grilled squid. Enjoy!

Serves 8

5 roasted red peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips
2 x 14 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 1/4 lb squid, cleaned, keep body and tentacles

Chermoula Sauce
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
zest of half lime
1 red chili, stemmed, seeded and sliced thinly
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large bowl, whisk together ingredients for the Chermoula Sauce.

2. Add the red peppers and chickpeas to the sauce. Toss to coat.

3. Score the squid bodies and dry them with paper towels. Brush the squid bodies and tentacles with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat for 1 minute to get it very hot. Add the squid and grill for approximately 25-30 seconds on each side.

5. Add the squid to the red peppers and chickpeas. Toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Port Caramel Sauce

Port Caramel Sauce
Recipe by Dragon

There is something so comforting and dreamy about a homemade caramel sauce. It makes a great topping for ice creams, cakes and even donuts. I gave this classic recipe a Portuguese twist with the addition of Port. Add as much or as little Port as you like. My favouite way to use this caramel is with my Sonhos "Dreams" donuts. Enjoy!
Makes: 1 cup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1-2 tablespoons Port


1. In small pan over medium high heat, add cream and butter. Heat until the butter is melted and cream is hot. Keep warm.

2. In a medium heavy bottom pan over medium high heat, combine sugar, water and corn syrup. Without stirring, allow the sugar mixture to boil until the sugar had reached a deep amber colour.

3. Remove caramel from the heat.  Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir the reserved cream into the caramel. The caramel will bubble up so be careful.

4. Stir the caramel until it is smooth. After a couple of minutes, add the vanilla, salt and port.

5. Allow the sauce to cool (to warm or room temperature) before using. It will thicken as it cools.

Bacalhau com Natas

Bacalhau com Natas "Cod with Cream"
Recipe by Dragon

They say that the Portuguese have 365 recipes for cod; one for every day of the year. We do love our cod and especially salt cod. This dish takes salt cod and combines it with fried potatoes, onions and a rich cream sauce. This is one of my favourite ways to prepare cod.

Salt cod is cod preserved in salt. It lasts a long time and is very portable but you must prepare it before using it. The first step in using salt cod is to soak it for at least 24 hours in cold water to remove the salt and plump the fish up. Change the water every 8 hours. The only way to make sure you don't have salty cod is to taste it. If it tastes too salty than keep soaking if for another few hours. There are some recipes that suggest you soak the salt cod in milk but I find that uncessary and a waste of good milk. Soak the cod in plenty of cold water and it will be fine.  Enjoy!

Serves: 6


Béchamel Sauce:
 3 tablespoons butter
 4 1/2 tablespoons flour
 3 cups whole milk, hot
 1 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

 1 pound salted cod pieces (soaked in water for at least 24 hours)
 Vegetable oil for frying
 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into small cubes
 Salt and pepper to taste
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
 2 bay leaves
 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
 1/4 cup dry white wine
 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temperature
 1/4 - 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. First make the béchamel sauce. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add butter and let it melt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and keep stirring for 2 minutes.

2. Add the hot milk and stir to combine. Keep stirring as the mixture thickens. Take off the heat

3. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Keep warm.

4. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

5. In a large pot over medium high heat, add cod and enough water to cover the cod by 2 inches. Remove the cod and bring the water to a boil. Add the cod and boil it for 3-5 minutes. Drain the cod and let it cool for 5 minutes or until you can handle it with your hands. Remove and discard the skin and bones. Flake the remaining cod flesh and reserve.

6. In a deep frying pan over medium high heat, add 2 inches of vegetable oil. Bring the oil temperature up to 360°F. Adjust the heat to keep the temperature at 360°F while frying. When the oil is ready, add the potatoes and fry (in batches) until they are golden. They don't need to be fully cooked because they will finish cooking in the oven. Transfer the potatoes to a paper towel lined tray to absorb any excess oil. Sprinkle potatoes with a little salt and pepper.

7. In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and butter and heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes or until they are softened. Add garlic, cayenne, bay leaves, lemon zest, lemon juice and wine. Cook for 5 minutes then add the reserved cod. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper but remember the cod is salty so you won't need much.

8. To a medium casserole dish, spread 1/2 of the cod mixture onto the bottom. Cover cod with 1/2 the fried potatoes.  Repeat with another layer of cod followed by another layer of potatoes.

9. Pour the warm béchamel over the top. Make sure that the top is completely covered with the béchamel. Pour the cream over the top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

10. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the casserole is golden. Allow casserole to cool for 10 minutes and top with chopped parsley. Serve with a green salad.

Eggs with Peas and Chourico

Eggs with Peas and Chourico "Ovos com Ervilhas e Chourico"
Recipe by Dragon

Portuguese cuisine is full of comforting dishes and this is one of my favourites. A one pot wonder that will fill your belly and soothe your soul. Chourico is a Portuguese cured pork sausage. If you can’t find it, you can substitute it with Spanish chorizo but it won’t be as authentic. Serve this dish with crusty bread and some white wine. Enjoy!

Serve 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 (7-8 inch) piece chourico (sweet or hot), thinly sliced
1 cup chopped pancetta or thick bacon
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 (27 oz) can canned tomatoes, pureed with liquid
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
6 eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika


1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add oil and butter and heat for 30 seconds. Add chourico and pancetta and cook until browned and edges are crispy. Remove the chourico and pancetta from the skillet with a slotted spoon and reserve.

2. To the skillet, add onions and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the onions for 5 minutes or until they are softened and browned. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and deglaze the pan. Cook until the wine has reduced by half.

3. Add tomatoes, lemon juice and bay leaves. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add 1/2 of the parsley (reserve the rest for garnish) and red pepper flakes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

4. Add the peas, increase heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved chourico and pancetta and cook for another 3 minutes.

5. Carefully break 6 eggs into the peas (the eggs will sink into the peas slightly). Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little sweet paprika over each egg yolk.

6. Cover and cook until the eggs are done to your liking; 6-7 minutes for runny eggs and 8-9 for fully cooked. Remove bay leaves.

7. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with some crusty bread to sop up all the sauce.

Bolinhos de Laranja

Bolinhos de Laranja "Little Orange Cakes"
Recipe by Dragon

I love the simplicity of Portuguese desserts. These little cakes have a lovely orange flavour and are so moist and delicate. They are perfect for an afternoon tea, wedding or baby shower. These little cakes are easy to make and be sure to make lots, they won't last long. Enjoy!

Makes 24

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
grated zest of 2 oranges
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sanding sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 muffin pans.

2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and orange zest.

3. In a separate bowl combine eggs and sugar and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until the eggs are pale yellow and fall in ribbons. Stir in orange juice, butter and vanilla until well combined.

4. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. The mixture will froth a little. Pour the batter into the muffin cups filling them 3/4 of the way up.

5. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Sprinkle the top of each cake with some sanding sugar and return pans to the oven. Turn the oven off and leave them in there for 2 minutes.

6. Allow the pans to cool 5 minutes then run a knife around the edge of each cake and gently unmold. Let the cakes cool completely.

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