Molho Bombeiros

Bombeiro means fireman in Portuguese, and you will definitely  need a fireman to put out the fire in your mouth after you eat this!For anyone who does not live in the East Algarve you may or may not be aware that this summer, at the end of July, we suffered horrendous and frightening bush fires which raged for four days.
The fires started on the afternoon of Wednesday 18 July.Over 100 people and 60 families in the East Algarve were directly affected by the fires that spread over more than 20,000 hectares around Tavira and São Brás de Alportel,this  led to the largest fire fighting operation in the history of Portugal.More than 1,000 people on the ground, 200 vehicles and 13 aircraft,including auxiliaries brought in from Spain fought the fire at its peak.
The fires were not under control until four days later, having destroyed land and property totalling a massive €24 million in Tavira and São Bras de Alportel.The courage and stamina of the fire fighting force,including many volunteers, was a test of endurance and we should thank them.Inspired by a fiery mexican concoction I have created a sauce dedicated to all those involved in this operation.This sauce is delicious smothered on pizzas, as a rouille in soups and stews, or anything that needs a little kick! for example try it for igniting the fuse on some lightly seasoned roasted pork (and for that matter make extra to use in place of mayo in sandwiches)

Molho Bombeiro (Firemans sauce)
1 cup green chilllis (stems removed)
2 roma tomatoes
1/4 red onion
2 dried chipotle chiles 
2 medium red chillis (malaguetas)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
3 cups water
1 tablespoon oil

Place all of the ingredients except for the oil in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
Pour the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 5 minutes or when all of the chiles are completely pureed.
Heat the oil on medium heat in the sauce pan you were using. Pour the chile back into the sauce pan and cook stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons port (ruby or tawny)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size chunks (about 1-inch dice)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion


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  • 1. Grind the garlic and bay leaves together in the work bowl of a hand blender or mini chopper. (Alternatively, chop the garlic by hand and finely crumble the bay leaves and combine.) Add the port, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the vinegar, paprika, and salt and pulse until well combined.
  • 2. Pour the mixture over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
  • 3. Just before cooking, chop enough cilantro to make 1/2 cup. Scatter the cilantro on a serving plate.
  • 4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat in a wok or large skillet. With a slotted spoon, scoop the chicken pieces out of the marinade and into the hot oil, arranging the chicken in a single layer and discarding the marinade. Cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes, then stir-fry until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Scoop the chicken out of the pan, leaving any excess oil behind, and place the chicken on the cilantro.
  • 5. Add the onion to the oil in the hot pan, return it to medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until the onion is browned at the edges, about 2 minutes. Scoop the onion out of the oil and strew it over the chicken.
  • 6. Serve the plate of chicken bites hot or at room temperature, sprinkled with a touch of salt and with cocktail picks or toothpicks for handling.

Get more deliciousness at Port and Paprika Chicken Bites Recipe | Leite's Culinaria


  1. The next time I roast pork, this is definitely going to be slathered all over it!


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