“Authentic Portuguese Cooking: More Than 185 Classic Mediterranean-Style Recipes of the Azores, Madeira and Continental Portugal” by Ana Patuleia Ortins, Page Street Publishing Co., $32,
400 pages, hardcover
Ana Patuleia Ortins shares her Portuguese culinary heritage in her second cookbook, “Authentic Portuguese Cooking: More Than 185 Classic Mediterranean-Style Recipes of the Azores, Madeira and Continental Portugal.”
As in her first book, “Portuguese Homestyle Cooking,” Ortins’ new book looks at what she calls “fundamental traditional dishes.” Besides preserving the “made-from-scratch recipes and hopefully passing my passion on to you, I hope to show you that cooking Portuguese can be flexible ‘com gusto’ (to your liking) and erase the opinion that all Portuguese food is salty,” she writes in the introduction.
Ortins, a cooking teacher from Peabody, Massachusetts, says “Authentic Portuguese Cooking” is the result of requests for recipes from readers of her first cookbook. She also connected with people who shared family recipes.
Her book is “not meant to be a Portuguese dictionary or a book on Portuguese history,” she says, but one for “preserving traditional Portuguese dishes before they are lost to fusion or cooks and writers, who continue to offer adulterated versions as authentic …” However, as a reader, I would have liked a bit more information on the differences, if any, in the cuisine of the various regions of Portugal.
The book’s recipes are written in a clear, detailed manner, perfect for both the beginner and experienced cook and printed in large, easy-to-read type. Recipes are divided into eight chapters: meats and poultry; seafood; soups; legumes, vegetables and more; “little tastes,” or smaller versions of lunch or dinner dishes; breads; desserts; and preparations, which covers seasonings, marinades, dressings and sauces.
Among the home favorites are Madeiran Potatoes With Egg and Cheese; Roman Beans With Rice; Boneless Leg of Lamb With Sweet Pepper Paste; Garlic Soup; Carrots With Cumin and Cilantro; and Azorean Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
The seafood recipes lean heavily toward salt cod, octopus and squid, although Ortins also includes a number of shrimp dishes. The breads and desserts chapters will be of particular interest to home bakers. Among their recipes are King’s Bread, made for Epiphany Sunday, and Bread Pudding With Beirão Liquor.
The book features full-color photographs of many dishes, plus step-by-step photos illustrating various techniques. There’s also information on Portuguese ingredients.
This cookbook is a good addition to the home library of anyone interested in taking a look at Portugal’s home cooking.
Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.