Posted in Portuguese

Receita de “Fish Pie” inglesa

I’d been arguing yesterday about whether or not boiled eggs belong in a fish pie so I decided to make a Portuguese version of the recipe. ThisCatIsConfused helped me to debug the grammar and wins my undying gratitude (gratintude?) again.

1kg de batatas
400ml de leite
25g de manteiga
25g de farinha de trigo
350g duma mistura de peixes congeladas tal como bacalhau, solha, atum, (pode-se incluir camarões também)
4 ovos, cozidos e cortados pela metade*
Uma mão-cheia de ervilhas
Sal pimenta e salsa qb**

Pré-aqueça*** o forno a 200 graus
Coza as batatas e esmague-as. Adicione um salpico de leite e continue a amassar até ficarem puré.
Entretanto, derreta a manteiga num tacho. Coloque a farinha dentro e mexa. Quando os dois ficam uma massa, despeje o leite no tacho. Vá mexendo o tempo inteiro para fazer um molho branco e cremoso.
Deite o peixe num prato refratário com o molho, a salsa e as ervilhas.
Ponha as metades de ovo em cima e cubra todos os conteúdos com puré de batata.
Se quiser, pode-se colocar um pouco de queijo talhado também.
Leve o prato ao forno para gratinar durante 25 minutos até a superfície ficar dourada e o molho estar a ferver. Sirva com couve branca ou brócolos.

*=i will die on this hill!

**=qb stands for quanto baste, ie, as much as you need. It’s equivalent to “to taste” in English recipes

***=what tense to use for the steps in a recipe or an instruction manual is more complicated than in English. It’s not just “do this, do that, because that tense (the imperative) has both a singular and a plural form and of course formal and informal too. This is using singular imperative, as if I were giving instructions to one person, but for example you can find someone here writing instructions and clearly imagining herself addressing a group of readers using the plural imperative. There doesn’t seem to be much reason to choose one form over the other, apart from just whether you want to want to come across like a classroom teacher (addressing people as a group) or a coach (making each reader feel like you are addressing them directly). To complicate things even further, it’s also possible to write the entire text in infinitives. You can see a good example of this in a single page of a beautiful book called Viagens Pelas Receitas de Portugal By Nelson Carvalheiro.

In the first recipe, he’s using a singular imperative for every verb that’s giving an instruction: coloque, aqueça, bata, misture, coloque, desenforme. In the second he switches to infinitives: fazer, juntar, levar and so on. There are other verbs too, including a present participle (deixando arrefecer=leaving it to cool) but the overall voice of the recipe is all infinitives all the way. I found this really confusing when I first saw it, but it’s a thing apparently!

Update later the same day:

I asked about this on the reddit forum and the consensus was that the infinitive and imperative forms were equally acceptable but that maybe the infinitive had been used more recently because historically the standard was formal/imperative but that seemed too formal and the infinitive allowed people to opt out of commitment to one level of formality and keep it all neutral.


Just a data nerd

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