Sea salt is a necessary ingredient for any cook worth their salt. The coastal town of Tavira, located in the eastern Agarve of Portugal, has a tradition of salting dating back over two thousand years. It is so good that it has been awarded with DOP status.
This bread dough that is proofing is for Papo Secos. They are a traditional Portuguese dinner roll. They are usually made with white flour only but I like my breads revved up with a decent measure of whole wheat flour for taste. I like them for their crispy crunchy crust, otherwise they are soft in the middle. Its best to eat these still hot from the oven, with butter dripping off them or use them to clean up your plate, peasant style. I admit to have used cornmeal to rest the bread on. Cue Portuguese cornbread soon!
Throughout the Mediterranean, there are many styles of fishermans stew. In the Algarve region of Portugal, the traditional fishermans stew is called Caldeirada. Though there are no strict recipes to follow and each fishing port has its own variation, there are endless varieties and permutations of ingredients. I like to add saffron, a nod to its Moorish influence as well as piri piri peppers. These are an African pepper and an acknowledgement of Portugals colonial history. I like to use lots of thyme.
My simple tomato sauce for Caldeirada consists of onion, garlic, celery and bay.
I am going to use haddock, mussels and shrimp for this seafood stew.
Little bread rolls.
Al-garve style Caleirada. Just add 2013 season extra virgin olive oil. Some of the best comes from a little town outside Tavira called Moncarapacho.
The next time I need to use saffron, I hope to be able to pick it from my garden. Hopefully, the tough New England winter will not have killed it off. Thanks for reading. Eat like a peasant.