O taco com tentaculo e favas Algarvia
I am currently developing a new tasting menu.When Luciana Bianchi stayed here in July 2017 she convinced me that a tasting menu should tell a story not just be a self indulgent evening where a chef shows off those which he considers to be ten of his best dishes.It has taken me all of two years to get my head round what the story behind a Casa Rosada tasting menu should be.The penny finally dropped and I decided that it would be a perfect chance to showcase a selection of the finest classic Portuguese dishes that I have learnt to love and cook over the last 13 years.Each one has a story. The menu will be called "Uma historia culinaria"and will take the epicure through the history and development of Portugal and Spain in ten dishes.Along the journey, among many other themes, there will be an opportunity to discover and enjoy what the Portuguese took to Japan in terms of cooking and how Vasco de Gama´s legacy from the spice trails influenced the way we cook in Portugal today.Some of the dishes came easily to me and I have ended up with too many to present.The recipients of the menu will be epicures not Gourmands, (I hope).So now the whittling process begins and for two of the themes I have combined two classic dishes to make one plate.The most revered octopus in Portugal comes from Santa Luzia, a small village near Tavira in the Algarve. The locals proudly call it the octopus capital, and on the other side of Tavira is the coastal town of cabanas where Noelia,whom I consider to be the most intuitive cook in the region, taught me how to cook "favas algarvia" (broad beans with portuguese chouriço) one of my favourite dishes on her menu.So with too many dishes to present I have found a way to highlight octopus from Santa Luzia with the classic favas algarvia,brought together on one taco shell."Favas à Algarvia"
500g (1lb) shelled fresh (or frozen) favas (broad beans)
(about 3kg/6lb12oz in their pods)
2 tbsp olive oil
160g (53/4 oz) Chouriço sausage,chopped
1 small red onion,chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
125ml(4 fl oz /1/2 cup ) white wine
handful of mint and coriander leaves torn
splash of red wine vinegar
Rinse the shelled beans and put them(or the frozen beans if using) in a pan of lightly salted boiling water and boil for about 5 minutes.Drain and peel off the outer skins.many of them will split in half but that´s fine.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and sautée the sausage chunks for a couple of minutes.Add the onion and cook,stirring,for a few more minutes until the mixture is sticky and the sausage is brown.
Add the garlic and stir until you start to smell it,then add the white wine and a couple of twists of pepper.Cook until the wine has evaporated a bit,then stir in the broad beans and cook for acouple of minutes over a high heat so the flavours mingle.There should be just a bit of sauce in the bottom of the pan.Stir in the mint and coriander at the end with a splash of red wine vinegar.Check for seasoning and spoon over a warmed through taco.Top with a portion of grilled octopus tentacle.Serve.