Patrick and I recently took an incredible class on Portuguese wine at our favorite local wine shop, DCanter. Neither of us know a ton about wine, basically just what we like and don’t like, but wine classes are a great way to learn more about certain regions and what they are known for. One you know you like certain varietals from a certain country it makes shopping a lot easier! We love the classes at DCanter (what a cute name right??) and this one was no exception. We stopped in Portugal over our honeymoon and drank some great wine while we were there so the class really helped us identify different labels that we like. Of course we brought several bottles home that were part of the class (the Marcolino Sebo QP Colheita Seleccionada Red and the Quinta da Raza Grande Escolha Alvarinho white). I decided that a dinner party was in order with Portuguese foods to match the wine. I already had some great Portuguese olive oil on hand and Spanish chorizo sausage which is very close to the chorico that they serve in Lisbon. I found these great almonds from a region called Douro (that also makes great wine) at Whole Foods so I was on my way to a menu!
It was a lovely night out so we decided to do the first course out on the deck. The chorizo thinly sliced served along with some Spanish cheeses (no luck on Portuguese cheese!) and those lovely Douro almonds. I also marinated some green olives and set those out which went really nicely with the crisp white wine.
In addition to the cheese board I knew I wanted some seafood on the menu. Portugal has gorgeous fish markets all over and the influence on their food from global trading is really evident. These shrimp are the prefect example – they get their name and flavor profile from Mozambique which used to be a Portuguese colony. This recipe is incredibly easy to make and actually comes from a restaurant in Fall River, Massachusetts where there is a huge Portuguese community.
Arguably the most famous person to come out of Fall River, MA is Emeril Lagasse. Most people assume that he is from New Orleans but actually he is a proud son of Massachusetts. Listen to his cooking shows and every once and a while you will hear his accent! While he became famous for his Southern cooking, he has many family favorite Portuguese recipes that he has made very accessible. This pork dish is unbelievably flavorful. It takes forever to make but it’s really hands off and the smell of your house will be incredible. Also the left overs made an amazing sandwich. I served this along fluffy white rice.
Kale is ubiquitous in Portuguese cooking, especially their famous kale soup. This quick side comes together at the last minute and is a good foil to the rich pork dish.
If you are having a Portuguese dinner party then you have to end it with port right? We had a great time when we were in Lisbon trying out different ages and styles of port at their Solar do Vinho do Porto, an actual institute of port. To serve with a nice glass of port this dessert also makes use of it in the sauce drizzled over the strawberries. Absolutely delicious and the perfect way to end a tour of Portuguese wines and food. Where to next??