Food was always a very important topic in our home. I grew up with traditional Portuguese cuisine. My father always mentions that when he met my mother, she did not even know how to make a sunny side up egg. She's an only child and was used to my grandmother cooking for the family. My father is one of 9 brothers and sisters. He did not have to cook either but my grandmother was an amazing and passionate cook and I think my father just has it in his genes.
My mother learned how to cook pretty easy and she does the best "bacalhau com natas" (codfish with potatoes and cream) in the world! Even if our family set up seemed quite traditional, it was not compared to my friends at school in Switzerland. Both of my parents worked 100% and although my mum did the household on top, my father was always able to jump in and do it as good as she did. So for our family, food was not simply something you cook and eat so you can survive, it's about sitting together at one table and treating yourself with something delicious after a hard working day.
This summer, I visited my family and friends in Algarve. Our friends Véronique and Frank from Farmhouse of the Palms were so kind to invite me to stay with them again and I wanted to give something back. I asked my father to cook a dinner for their guests. One of the dishes was a very typical one for Algarve: Arroz de Marisco (rice with seafood). Everyone loved it, so did I. Therefore, I'd like to share with you my father's recipe. Thank you for not making a secrete out of it!
Here it goes and bom apetite!
(for approximately 4 people)
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon of tomato pulp
4 tomatoes (without skin or seeds, chopped)
1/2 green pepper (chopped)
1/2 tablespoon of pepper paste
300 g rice
4 tablespoons of olive oil
250 ml white wine
2 bay leaves
a bunch of parsley
pepper (as much as you want to spice)
nutmeg (as much as you want to spice)
salt (as much as you want to spice)
a bunch of coriander
About 1.5 pounds of shellfish. We recommend: 200 g shrimps, 500 g clams, 300 g monkfish, 300 g dogfish. You can also add other seafood if you like.
First start by boiling salt-seasoned seafood. Please ask at the fish market for the right cooking (time) of your seafood.
When the seafood is cooked, set aside the cooking water.
In a pan, pour the olive oil , the onion and the garlic, and let it all soften a little.
Add the bay leaf, tomato, tomato pulp, green pepper, parsley, pepper paste, pepper, nutmeg and salt.
Cook it all very well. Add the white wine. If necessary add a little of the shellfish water.
When the braised is well cooked, pour it in a colander and squeeze it very well, so you'll only get the braised juice.
To this juice add the cooking water of the shellfish, let it boil and pour the rice to cook. The rice should be left with some broth and loose.
Add the already cooked seafood and serve with chopped coriander over the rice.