Recipes

A Nonya Family Recipe – Babi Pongteh

Like all Nonya recipes, almost every family has their own version of Babi Pongteh. Some have it more salty, more watery, less tangy, less sweet… I like it with a stew-like consistency with a nice tangy caramelised sweetness, poured over steaming white rice. Pretty much heaven :-)

A Soupy Cure – Watercress and Pork Rib Soup

Watercress is packed with calcium, iron, Vitamin A, B & C and a whole bunch of other stuff that is good for you. :-) Traditionally, Watercress soup is thought to be good for respiratory ailments like coughs, cold, asthma and is an expectorant. Plus, it helps with weigh loss too as it contains potassium which has diuretic properties…

A Fishy Adventure – Simple Salmon Pie

As with most of my kitchen adventures, it starts with either a craving and/or the need to use up something in the fridge/larder. In this case,it was both. The subject: A slab of salmon fillet that has been sitting in the freezer for a while and a craving for pie.

My Virgin Gastronomic Post – Frango Na Pucara (Portuguese Chicken Stew)

After a neutral but slightly disappointing day, I was inspired on the drive home to start a food blog. After all, why not? I love to write and I love playing around with recipes. Plus my friends often want to know the recipes of whatever I conjure up. So here goes….

This is a dish that I came across in a Portuguese restaurant in Macau a few months ago when Andre(aka. my #1 Food Guinea Pig) and I were there for the World Dragonboat Championships. Andre said it was very similar to the chicken stews they have back home in Brazil.

I love stews and soups. It’s my type of comfort food – Warm, mushy and can be ladled all into one bowl and eaten with a spoon.

I’ve also been on an ongoing quest to figure out some authentic Brazilian cooking (which doesn’t involve BBQ-ing an animal *sic*) so that my Brazilian boy gets some familiar comfort food here… this was something I was curious to try out once back.

After crawling the Net for some recipe ideas, this is what I did.

I used a pressure cooker as I didn’t have a deep covered casserole for the oven (will try it that way the next time)

Frango Na Pucara (Portuguese Chicken Stew)


Ingredients:

  • 2 whole Chicken thighs
  • Half a small cabbage
  • 2 Russet Burbank Potatoes cut length-ways into 8 each
  • 1 whole large tomato diced
  • 2 medium purple(bombay) onions – sliced length-ways into 8 parts
  • 150g of diced bacon (or prosciutto/parma ham)
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
  • Half a cup of whiskey (it’s preferable to use white wine or fruit brandy)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (or enough to cover)

For the marinade (blended together in a bowl):

  • 1 whole bulb of garlic finely chopped
  • A stick of melted butter
  • 2 tablespoon of fine-grained mustard
  • Some ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Teriyaki Soy Sauce (can be substituted with light soy sauce or sea salt)

Coat the chicken with the marinade and let it sit for at least 20mins.

Cooking Method:

  1. Heat the pan and add some olive oil.
  2. Saute the onions and bacon until the onions are translucent and bacon browned.
  3. Add the chicken (reserving some of the marinade in the bowl) and brown the chicken on all sides.
  4. Add the stock (mixed with the rest of the marinade), potatoes and tomato and bring to a simmer for about 5mins.
  5. Add the cabbage, bay leaves and the whiskey/cognac/wine.
  6. Cover the pressure cooker and cook on high for 45mins. (Probably 90mins on a normal stove top)

I’d think it can be done in a slow cooker too… I would guess 6 hours. Just dump in and walk away… go shopping, go work…. but I’d put the onions at the bottom, potatoes and cabbage at the side.

The verdict from Andre: Outstanding! On par with his Mom’s cooking (as “she’s a pro”)… High praise indeed from a true blue Brazilian Boy! (and all Brazilian boys are Momma’s boys :-) )

xx