Sunday, 30 November 2014

Time Out Mercado da Ribeira,the new kid on the block

 The "market" you see today is a very different version of what has gone before

...Back on track we turned a corner and there she was in all her glory, the Mercado da Ribeira with its new kid on the block, The Time Out Mercado da Ribeira.It was lunchtime and normally this would be a bad time to visit a food market,when all the stalls would be closing for the day.As it transpired it was one of the best times to go.
As we passed through the original central hall this indeed what was happening,the traders were shutting up shop for the day,but next door we were thrown into the hurly burly of a Lisbon lunch hour.Office workers and shop assistants alike were enjoying a novelty new lunchtime experience. 

 choose your outlet grab a tray a pull up a chair
Here was fast a food Michelin Star heaven.Lisbon´s finest restaurants and their star chefs were now able to make their food accessible to those who could perhaps not afford the luxury of fine dining and all that goes with it.The choice was immense, with almost thirty foodie outlets and one did not have to worry about getting a seat.With rows of sharp-cornered, light-wood tables and stools spread out down the middle, the Mercado da Ribeira is now no longer a place just to buy ingredients. Now it is a place to meet, sit and eat. Here were "shop-fronts" for restaurants, bars, posh burger joints like  Honorato (one of the first burger restaurants to take advantage of the burger craze in Lisbon), patisseries and cafes serving a tasty mix of Portuguese and International dishes.The new clientele that sat around us, one would imagine, were the now-grown-up kids who used to go produce shopping here with their parents.

Here was a showcase for Chefs such as Alexandre Silva´s celebrated sushi and contemporary Portuguese dishes from Bica do Sapato. The hippest restaurant in Lisbon for over a decade and still the place to see and be seen. It's known for being co-owned by actor John Malkovich, but has remained popular mostly for its excellent gourmet cuisine and attractive minimalist space, coincidentally along the waterfront from the Mercado da Ribeira in a renovated riverfront warehouse by the The Santa Apolonia train station.Silva was already almost at the top of his game at the five star Alentejo Marmaris Hotel and Spa when he stayed here at Casa Rosada in 2013.After a complete reccy of all the 35 outlets in the hall it was time for some sustenance.First up the usual protracted decision making.We were tempted by finger licking innovative burgers,
transitional Portuguese croquettes or posh as all get out cheffy stuff from Vítor Claro, Miguel Castro Silva, or Marlene Vieira. My eye was drawn to some fine fine presunto salad served in an ice cream cornet from Manteigaria Silva? I think they were actually free samples but never one to miss a new trick I filed it in my back head.



However the more familiar Henrique Sá Pessoa seemed an obvious choice and his endearing menu represented some really clever and interesting fast food takes.
interesting fast food takes from Henrique Sá Pessoa
The best thing about this space is a group of friends can take whatever they want and meet at a table.You can mix and match and there is something there that will suit even the fussiest of eaters.If one person wants pizza but their friend prefers fish, and there are vegetarians amongst you, no problem.We were meeting up with four friends and this is exactly what we did.The majority of the party went for the Pessoa option and the thespian and I opted for suckling pig sandwiches in soft wodgy baps. I forget which stand they came from, but they were to die for, and I died I did and went to hog heaven. Perchance there was a bar just a short schlep from our table and bottles of Prova Regia Reserva at €11 a bottle seemed to be the order of the day. We volunteered to sit wide on our high chairs and keep an eye on small items such as purses and bags while our friends tottered off to make their choices.They soon returned armed with what appeared to be a state of the art kitchen timer.
A small, black disc about the size of a paper weight, that they had been assured would ‘go off’ when their meal was ready.Indeed it did and in due course went into neon flashing and buzzing overdrive.

Now we were enjoying all the fun of the fare and we had to explore the pudding options.we didn´t have to venture far before we found Nós é mais bolos with its wonderful hanging mobile of teapots.We ordered a chocolate cake and probably the best cheesecake ever ever, with real home made strawberry jam on top.Could it get any better?
All the he best purveyors of Portuguese product were there.This was surely the best foodie experience any city can offer.
Well-known stores like Conserveira Nacional and Garrafeira Nacional as well as Arcádia (one of the oldest chocolatiers in Portugal, founded in the 1930s in Porto, which still makes some of the best chocolates in the country), Santini (probably the best ice-cream in the world! and the new ones that are making an impression around Lisbon such as Sea MePrego da Peixaria (some absolutely delicious modern takes on the Portuguese prego.The traditional steak sandwiches are there, but now introducing the more modern salmon or tuna sandwiches with an eye opening option of having it served in a black bread bun.I could enthuse forever.I was beside myself with excitement discovering this truly inspiring space.I would have liked to have tried Lab by Asian Sushi Café,there was so much more to be explored and I am sure this venture will go from strength to strength.
This is the perfect place to grab a quick bite or linger and delve deeper into a gourmet experience.
Mercado da Ribeira won't be a best kept secret for long. The in your face Time Out Lisboa branding tells you that much.
Time Out Mercado da Ribeira
Sunday to Wednesday from 10am to midnight
Thursday to Saturday from 1am to 2am

A nova vida do Mercado da Ribeira Lisboa e zona de meretrício

 o projecto de arquitectura da remodelação em ala oeste do mercado 

I now can not visit a city without searching for a food story to bring home and blog about.We have just returned from Lisbon, and yet again found many new projects of interest.In advance of our trip we had read many column inches about the excitement surrounding the renovation and restoration of one of Lisbon´s finest (in my mind) institutions,the Mercado da Ribeira, the capital´s largest (10 thousand metres of covered area) food market.
This magnificent symbol of the commercial development of a bygone era has been Lisbon’s main food market since 1882.Over the years the market has undergone change in the form of extensive renovations and expansions.Originally set up as a wholesale outlet,it changed to retail in 2000.
And again this year another surprise was in store for this grand emporium of fresh produce.One of the food halls had become redundant and here was a trick not to be missed.While searching for new premises to house their headquarters, Time Out saw the potential of this empty space.
 In May its doors once again opened  to the reveal that Time Out Lisboa had transformed it into its current status as a foodie paradise for gastronomes and shoppers alike.
The Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon was completely refurbished and opened earlier this week with a new concept that puts the publishing project of the magazine Time Out Lisbon in three dimensions. Ie everything that the magazine will be published in the new space: food, culture, leisure and commerce. Is now called Time Out Mercado da Ribeira. - See more at:
The hall has been completely refurbished and now has a brand new concept that brings the pages of Time Out into a third dimension.What was formerly only available "in print"
was now available to be purchased on the shop floor.
Everything that was food related in the magazine is now "published" in a new dimension. Food, culture, leisure, and commerce and it is now called Time out Mercado da Ribeira.
We set foot from our bed and breakfast,Teatro,in Rua da Trindade on a voyage of discovery that would transport our imaginations  to another era and then back to the future.

♒ Time Out Mercado da Ribeira

Product Name: Time Out Mercado da Ribeira
Author: Susana Ribeiro
Date Posted: 05/21/2014
Filed under: Gastronomy and yet, , ,
Time Out Mercado da Ribeira


 1 The Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon was completely refurbished and opened earlier this week with a new concept that puts the publishing project of the magazine Time Out Lisbon in three dimensions. Ie everything that the magazine will be published in the new space: food, culture, leisure and commerce. Is now called Time Out Mercado da Ribeira.
- See more at:
Having spent the morning in Principe Real Nuno Gamafying the thespian and going up another notch on the credit card it was my turn for a shot in the arm. When push comes to shove food is my nirvana,so schlepping on down to the waterfront our first encounter was passing by by a fashion store where Rebecca Ferguson´s  anthem "I Hope" was blasting  the entire travessa, spurring us on to our destination.It´s resonance just missed the pitch of Amalia, but nevertheless was a firm reminder that if La Rodriguez was alive today perhaps this is what the street might have resonated with then.Onwards down Rua do Alecrim,leading us hopefully not into temptation.
              Meson Andaluz with its mis-matched Philippe Starck chairs,precariously perched on steep steps beckoned with its mouth watering selection of tapas.There was enough here to make even the Spanish make the journey over to Portugal to savour the menu.Time was tight and we could not succumb to temptation.We were on a mission and I happened to mention to the Thespian that this was the street where a notorious brothel featured in David Leavitt´s book The Two Hotel Francforts. Lo and behold by accident we stumbled upon the very building, now called ‘Pensão Amor’. Once this was a cheap pension with rooms rented by the hour to prostitutes and their clients or gentlemen of the city and their illustrious mistresses to enjoy a short afternoon of gratuitous rumpy pumpy.
Instead of its former clientele of sailors and prostitutes now the occupants of the rooms, which can be rented by the day or month, are artists, or simply people with projects that needed a temporary space.Much of its former glory has been kept intact. Even the bathroom walls tell a story in the wonderful graffiti on the walls.It all makes you believe that this place was once without doubt very well attended.I loved too the the mis-matched velvet upholstered furniture,most certainly salvaged from the original boudoir of the bordelo.
The staircase has paintings depicting images of scantily clad ladies in erotic poses and there is still even a bidet and a washbasin with tile floor in the corner of one of the rooms.The rest of the space works as a bar and cevicheria (where you can eat ceviche and other exotic Peruvian specialties).We didn´t explore this but it sounds like raw fish and lime every which way.‘Pensão Amor’ is now one of the most popular bars in Lisbon.There is also an erotic bookstore and trendy hair salon..Wait for this,in hommage to its former debauchery there is even a pole dance room decorated in leopard and gold. Pole dance workshops are held here and  you might be lucky enough to learn the tricks of seduction…There is enough entertainment here to keep you going all night if you wanted to,and the option of refreshments too.

An alluring awning,a subtle reminder of its history
Don´t get me wrong there is nothing seedy about it, just a clever tongue in cheek salute to the history of the building.Leaving the rejuvenated brothel behind us we then penetrated the heart of the former red light district 

Rua Nova do Carvalho (Pink Street), located just behind our final goal, the famous market on the river. For decades this street housed bars  named after northern European capitals (like Copenhagen,  Oslo or Roterdão , Rotterdam) to attract the sailors who stepped off their boats at Cais do Sodré. Nowadays it has a pink carpet and has been transformed into a hip and trendy area lined with hip bars and clubs that become crowded after 2AM when the bars in the legendary area Bairro Alto start to close.After all these interesting and exciting distractions would we ever get to the market -  and how excited would I be when we finally got there? Coming up next on Time out Mercado da Ribeira the inside story.....

Friday, 21 November 2014

Old flames,new tricks

 Grilled tuna skewers as served at Casa Rosada
What is it about grilling that makes food taste so so good? And why does just about anything- vegetable,meat or fish - respond so well to this method of cooking?
I am not one for flitting around the globe looking for the perfect recipe but when I find one I make sure I hang on to it.You can not beat the quality of North Atlantic Tuna from the Açores and Madeira.Purchased daily in our local market of Vila Real de Santo Antonio,100% Portuguese is a great USP when serving tuna to our guests and they say they have never tasted tuna like it.The proof is here in a picture sent in by one of our guests.

"As you can see I made the Tuna Kebabs from the recipe you gave us..They were delicious. Many thanks for a restful break. Love to return for the cookery course".

The art of good grilling is to have the heat at an intense level,but without flames, which would scorch. Grilled tuna loin is a case in point. All it needs is 45 seconds grilling each side.Freshness of course is an absolute priority.A good marinade and a twist to the way it is served gives you a Casa Rosada signature dish.

Tuna loin with Soy, Lime and Ginger
250g tuna loin per person ( 3cubes per skewer)

3 tbsp soya sauce
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp rice vinegar1 tbsp sesame oil
1 pinch of Piri piri flakes 6 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves crushed

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the marinade.
Cut the tuna into approx. 50g cubes and toss thoroughly in the marinade mix.
refrigerate for at least 1 hour but not more than 6,turning once or twice.
when ready to cook thread tuna cubes onto bamboo skewers.
 Heat a ridged griddle pan to smoking and sear tuna skewers for 3-5 minutes each side
depending on whether you want it pink in the middle or medium rare,bearing in mind the marinade will have tenderized the fish and it will not require much cooking.It is very easy to over cook tuna so beware.
Serve with a jewelled cous cous or salad, a dusting of sumac and chopped pistachios.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Corgete redondo recheado, a Lidl bit different

What happened to marrow? I have always had a soft spot for stuffed marrow at this time of year.Halloween has come and gone, and pumpkins and squash are prevalent in the market.Stuffed vegetables are a staple of home cooking. I like the hot, wet blandness of this annual culinary tradition and because it has virtually no taste it is the perfect foil for bold strong flavours. However a good sized marrow is hard to find in Portugal. A vegetable that is a heavy enough blunt instrument to be used in defence if being accosted on the way back from the market (if only). However a marrow is is basically just an oversized courgette that someone has forgotten to pick, and by coincidence when I was recently combing the Algarvian aisles of Lidl,just past the popsox and mens lycra my eyes were drawn to cylindrical shaped courgettes (yes believe it or not and forgive my veering off the straight and narrow but shopping in Lidl  can be an education.There are some quality gems to be found in Lidl aside from Nuremberg sausages and pfefferkuchen).And if you are brave enough to cross the threshold of emporio Lidl without adhering to a a strict shopping list, it can be like a visit to Ikea. Who knows who or what you might come out with on your arm.Well having found the perfect alternative to marrow for stuffing (they have lids too if you want them to)I set off home to find a braveheart filling.
Nigel Slater´s ground pork with baked marrow recently re-vitalised as Roasted courgettes with Thai style minced chilli and lime pork by Marmaduke Scarlet came to mind. Slater describes it as "a contemporary take on mince stuffed marrow." I liked the sound of that and thought I could be tempted, but I was  drawn more to a traditional Mediterranean slant of anchovy, garlic and breadcrumbs with a piri piri or picante tomato sauce.
Corgete redondo recheado com anchova,alho, 
pão rolado, parmesan e molho picante

4 Corgetes redondos
Extra virgin olive oil
i medium onion peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
Nigel describes this "a contemporary take on the mince-stuffed marrow". I think of it more as a deconstructed version with Thai-infused flavours of chilli, garlic and lime with a hint of aniseed from fresh dill. But either way, it is probably nicer than many traditional stuffed marrows, which if done badly are soggy and tasteless! Here Nigel roasts his marrow or courgettes first, which prevents the sog-factor and gives far more flavour. - See more at: recheado com anchova, alho e pão rolado
2oog crisp home made breadcrumbs
80g of tinned salted anchovies
60g freshly grated parmesan

3 cloves garlic
2 red chillies
2 red peppers left whole
50ml olive oil
2 bay leaves1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp white or red wine vinegar
11/2 tsp Flor de sal

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas mark 7
Place the garlic,chillies and peppers in a small roasting tray so they are not too spread out.Add the oil and cover the tray with foil.Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers are very tender.When they have cooled,pull as much of the skin and seeds from the peppers as you can leaving the chillies intact.Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have arough bright orange paste.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350f/gas 4.Lightly oil and moisten a baking dish with 2 tbsp of water.
Cut 4 decent sized lids from the top of the courgettes and set aside.With a teaspoon hollow out the flesh from the courgettes and set aside.If you are using long courgettes or marrow cut them in half first.The scooping is best done by scraping the spoon towards you, and in the case of the long ones imagine you are hollowing out a polynesian canoe.Reserve all your scrapings and make sure you leave a fairly decent shell to the courgettes so they dont collapse when cooking.Arrange the courgettes in the prepared baking dish.They should fit snugly enough to hold each other up.
Heat a frying pan to to high then add a little oil and the onions,followed by the courgette scrapings. Saute until the onions soften the stir in the garlic and saute for a further 2-3 minutes.Add the anchovies and the surplus oil from their packaging and then mash them into the mix, almost to a paste.The anchovies do not need to cook,they just melt; this only takes a few seconds.
Stir in the breadcrumbs gradually and most of the parmesan, (retaining some to sprinkle on top at the end of cooking)  until you have a moist paste. Spoon the mixture into the dug out courgettes,drizzle with some more oil and scatter a small amount of breadcrumbs over the top.Replace the lids and bake for 30 minutes or until the courgettes accept the sharp tip of a small knife.Make sure the baking dish does not dry up with the courgettes starting to fry and burn,add more water if necessary.when done remove from the oven,take off the lids and sprinkle the reserved parmesan over the tops.Serve on plates with the piri piri sauce poured around them not over them.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Box clever ( lancheira inteligente ) Bacalhau à Brás portátil

Portable Portuguese omelettes
We all know how hard it is at this time of year to drag ourselves out of bed of a morning.The clocks have  gone back and for some of us it is dark going to work and dark coming home.The chance of an extra 10 minutes in bed on a cold winters morning never goes amiss. For the parents amongst us there are lunch boxes to be considered and you know that the daily grind of filling lunchboxes doesn't make it easy to come up with imaginative alternatives. Many are tired of forking out for a classic super club or prawn mayonnaise and rocket to eat at your desk, so there is the added burden of thinking about ones own super saver home made lunch.Even those who work at home can be a bit pushed busywise and its always good for the self employed to be pre-prepared. All hail the all-day-breakfast. And how about the convenience of having  a morning-style meal at midday that is not only easy but achievable and affordable too.Eggs are good cheap sources of protein, but hard boiled eggs can get boring, and one is often pressed for time in the morning what with hair and make up beauty playground, and with all that trying to get out of the house on time malarky there is no time left for lunch prep. I wanted to find another alternative to the full English in a coffee cup and I think I have found it - Breakfast on the go, the portable omelette,and even better than that I have taken one of the most famous and traditional Portuguese recipes, Bacalhau à Brás, a dish made with salt cod, potatoes and eggs.It is not known who Brás was but the dish he invented is one of the most emulated,tasty and popular dishes in Portugal today.
These little poppets are something to pop in your handbag and toy with later.All you need to do is make these mini omelettes in muffin tins and you have all tomorrows breakfasts made the night before.Portable eggs for a week.The brief is endless because the choice is yours.Take your favourite omelette ingredients and re-invent them in portable form.For example I also made a quichey type one, bacon,egg and cheddar cheese, but without the pastry.Are you starting to get the drift? - take a look at Mr there are 192 recipes for omelettes that will not fail to inspire you.There is something for all tastes here including many ideas and combinations that would never have occurred to you. You can just throw them in a big freezer bag and put them in the fridge at the beginning of the week.Great for the kids lunch boxes too.You don't want your kids stuffing themselves with chips or crisps at lunchtime, and they would rather starve than eat what the school serves up.Use your imagination and get your child involved in preparing their  school lunch box. This will certainly be of great value, because in addition to strengthening family ties it will be time well spent in educating them in the importance of healthy eating.They will need strength not to break into their packed lunch before the dinner bell.Tortilla is another transportable way to pack vegetables into your little one´s lunch box and this should please the grownups too.Make your very own egg Mc muffin and you have breakfast on the bus,muffins on the move.

 muffins salgados, my favourite lunch box treat
(recipe makes 18)

Bacalhau à Brás portátil
(recipe makes 12)
Bacalhau or dried salted cod is the food for which Portugal is most famous, understandably given its lengthy coast line. I was incredulous to be told that a traditional national dish can be made using almost the equivalent of a packet of chips i.e. potato sticks. My Portuguese friend told me that in the old days, housewives used to fry up their own potatoes first, but now they find it easier to use the packet kind. I'm all in favour of anything which makes a very tasty dinner, quickly and easily. You could get a meal for 6 on the table with this in about 20 minutes. Extra minutes then available for soaking up the company of friends..." 
Since this whole post is about time saving and ease of preparation this was my chosen method.Please by all means cut and fry fresh potatoes for authenticity if you should so choose

350g salt cod loin rehydrated, bacalhau fresco dessalgado (gadus morhua)
1 litre boiling water
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion,finely diced
1 folha de louro,(bay leaf)
6 ovos  batidos ligeiramente  (6 eggs lightly beaten)
meia cartãode nata 1/2 small carton of cream (100ml)
mão-cheia salsa (handful flat leaf parsley)
600g batatas palha ( potato sticks,see above)
azeitonas pretas sem caroço para decorar (pitted black olives for garnish)

If not done so already.Rinse soak,cook and flake the salt cod.If using fresh or re-hydrated cod,put the cod in a sturdy Pyrex bowl and pour the boiling water over it.Set aside and leave for 5 minutes,then drain pat dry and flake the cod.While the cod is soaking sauté the onion  and bay leaf in the olive oil ( I used a small amount of butter too for an added richness.When the onions are softened but not coloured stir in the potato chips and fish,
set aside to cool.Beat the eggs with the parsley and add mix them into the onion mixture
pour the mixture into cup cake moulds or greased muffin pans,scatter some olives over each and bake at 180º for 20- 25 minutes till set.