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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fish-and-rice a la Portugal

The father of famous gourmet count Stroganoff (did you try beef a la Stroganoff?) was a Russian ambassador in several countries including Portugal, and a famous gourmet too. He collected recipes in countries he worked from, and returning to Russia, he studied chief cook, as they represented these new dishes as an evaluation of nobilities. Finding and trying out new gourmet recipes was one of the nobilities' leisure in 17th - 19th centuries.
One of the main ingredients of Portugal cuisine was a salt cod "backalau", and 365 recipes of its production exist.
Dried fish was a main food of Portugal seamen in Great Geographical Discoveries.
Same for Russian cuisine: salt fish was usual food of travelers in the Russian huge spaces.

The variety of dishes with salted and smoked cod allows for choosing recipes for workdays and holidays.
For example, simplest, but tasty dish is a potato-cod salad:
Mix cut boiled potatoes and cut salted (or smoked) cod 1:1, add cut green onions and mayonnaise, mix, and eat.
This dish was popular everywhere in Russia where salt fish was sold.

Senior count Stroganoff delivered some famous domestic recipes from Portugal, like:

Fish-and-rice a la Portugal

Ingredients:

1.5 lb fish fillets
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions
1 garlic clove
1 small parsley bunch
1.25 lb tomatoes
1 cup rice
0.25 cup white wine
1 tsp salt
Pepper, marjoram (oregano), thyme on taste

Method:

Boil rice in salt water until readiness.
Cut onions into small cubes, fry in vegetable oil on a skillet.
Put grated garlic, cut parsley, and cut tomatoes on the skillet, and simmer under a lid for about 10 minutes. Drain rice, add mix from the skillet and white wine to the rice, and mix well.
Then, add salt, pepper, and spices to rice, mix well, and put on the skillet in an even layer.

Cut fish fillets into medium cubes, put them over the rice in the skillet, and simmer under a lid for about 20 minutes, or until fish is ready.
Serve hot.

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