The gastronomy of the Algarve is a priceless cultural legacy.The gastronomic applications and habits of the region are strongly connected with it’s geographic location, weather, culture and, unavoidably, it’s history.Thus the Algarve coastline and countryside are two distinct zones with understandable differences in the constitution of their dishes.On the Algarve coast fishing is very important to the economy and to generate revenue from tourism in the region.Travelling along the coast every restaurant offers you a wide range of fresh fish and shellfish. Some of the most common are sardine, tuna, hake, stone bass, dogfish and gurnard, prawns, clams, mussels, cockles, and of course crabs and lobsters. Traditional regional dishes include charcoal grilled sardines, ”caldeirada de peixe” (several types of fish stewed with layers of potatoes, onions, tomatoes and green peppers), “Cataplana de marisco” (clams, spiced sausage, tomatoes cooked in a sealed, clam-shaped copper-pan), "Bife atum" (tuna steak), “choquinhos com tinta” (cuttlefish dish), “salada de polvo” (octopus salad), “arroz de polvo” (octopus rice), “lulas recheadas com presunto” (squids stuffed with smoked ham).For my version of lulas recheadas,I use pork and prawn and throw in some token Thai for good measure.As usual I can not resist meddling, and this has now become a Casa Rosada signature dish.
Lulas recheadas com molho vinho tinto
|6 large squid cleaned and prepared|
|100g minced chouriço|
|100g raw prawn meat|
|1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves,stems and roots|
|4 shallots finely chopped
1large garlic clove finely chopped |
1 teaspoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1egg lightly beaten
Flor de sal
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tinned anchovies finely chopped
Pre-heat the oven to180C.Mince the squid tentacles or chop them very finely.
Remove the chouriço from its skin and mince it.
Mince the raw prawns or chop finely.Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan
and add the chouriço,shallots,garlic and coriander.
Sauté over a medium heat until the onion is soft but not coloured.
Stir in the prawn meat and fish sauce and cook until the prawn meat
changes colour.Do not overcook.
Remove from the pan and set aside to cool in a bowl.
When cool mix in the breadcrumbs,anchovies and beaten egg.
Season with flor de sal and pepper.
Carefully stuff the mixture(not too tightly) into the squid bodies,
pushing the filling down with the end of a wooden spoon.
Secure the open ends with toothpicks.Arrange the squid in a single layer in an ovenproof dish.Pour over the red wine gravy,cover with foil and transfer to the oven.Bake for 45 minutes or until the squid can be pierced
easily with the tip of a small knife.If you have some filling left over roll it up into small balls and fry them lightly in some oil. Keep warm in the oven and serve with the squid
FOR THE RED WINE GRAVY
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oi
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Pinch piri piri flakes hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh coriander,leaves stalks and roots
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
4 shallots, diced
1/4 cup red wine
1 can whole peeled plum tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Saute the garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs for 2 minutes until the herbs are fragrant and garlic is golden (but not overly brown.) Raise the heat to medium, add the onion; cook for 5 minutes until they breakdown and are soft. Deglaze with red wine and reduce to evaporate the alcohol. Hand crush the canned tomatoes and add to the pot, along with its liquid. Add the sugar to cut down on the acidity from the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.