Week 1, meal 2. I made a few discoveries with the following Portuguese themed meal.
a) The bird’s eye chilli, an important ingredient in the spicy piri piri sauce I made, is also a Kerela staple- kanthari. When I first bought these here, I was struck by the sameness between the two, they even smelt the same-sharp and fresh. Curious, I googled around a bit and my hunch was confirmed.*
b) How to cook potatoes in the microwave.
c) Don’t always judge a dish by its ingredients. Sometimes the result can be quite brilliant despite the seemingly plain ingredients.
Menu: Spicy piri piri chicken, dressed potatoes, rocket salad, quick Portuguese tarts
Dressed potatoes: Now I am not a huge fan of potatoes, unless they are mashed and inside and a parantha with proper seasoning. However, this salad/dish, I liked because it combined the sweetness of shakarkandi (sweet potatoes), saltines of feta and tanginess of the cooked lemon. The regular potatoes ensured the fare wasn’t too sweet. And that it was cooked in 15 minutes flat.
Piri piri chicken: The first time I had this was a few month’s back at a restaurant called Nando’s. I have been a fan ever since. I enjoy the chicken here because the bird is cooked beautifully, succulent and full of flavour. The different styles of the piri piri sauce available are nice too, but I go back for the juicy chicken.
In my attempt, the chicken was as soft and succulent as the restaurant’s, however, the sauce was a bit too tangy. If you are preparing this dish at home, go easy on the vinegar and lemon.
Dessert: The star of the meal was the dessert, yet again! I have to admit though that I was very sceptical of this one, even before I started out. They aren’t the most appetizing to look at and the ingredients seemed a bit lack lustre to me. Assuming these would turn out mundane, I made only three.
But I HAD to change my mind after the first bite. Even the husband who turns up his nose at desserts (and had even given the ganache a miss the last time) gobbled up two. Tip: The instructions call for a muffin try, but I made my tarts in cup cake moulds. These work well too. For those who would like to make their own puff pastry, let Ramsey tell you how, here.
Cost of meal for four: approx £11
Time taken: 45 minutes. I did better this time around maybe because I had made the chicken once before and was more confident.
I have not included any recipes in the post because of this very useful link that I chanced upon today. It has all the recipes included in this meal and the instructions as they appear in the book. 🙂
If you try one or all the dishes, please do share with me how it/they turned out; it’d be great to get others’ points of view as well!
*However, this is the Asian variety of the original piri piri chilli used in Nando’s/portuguese preparation.