I had another go at making this “bread soup” and managed, I think, not to disgrace myself as badly as last time.
I followed a recipe on YouTube and I used some higher-quality bread. It was only sourdough so could have been better still, but it was better than the crappy bread I used last time. And I used slightly vinegary water from the egg poaching instead of chicken stock.
Verdict: 7/10. I liked it, anyway.
And here’s a bunch of lads singing about it. It’s a roundabout way of doing it but he’s actually pretty much singing the recipe. Lyrics here if (like me) you have trouble tuning in to what he’s saying.
Fiz mais uma tentativa de fazer açorda à alentejana. Desta vez, usei pão melhor e segui a receita rigorosamente. O resultado… Provavelmente não ficou perfeito mas não me senti envergonhado quando experimentei a primeira colherada.
Here’s a recipe I made the other day. I’m told what I made was not a soup but “um crime”. Well, everyone’s a critic… But the trouble is, I’ve seen so many pictures of it, each different from the other, that it was inevitable I was going to fall foul of someone’s judgement. I think maybe it should have been more bread-sauce like but that’s not what my recipe said. Anyway, after some back and forth, it turns out it wasn’t even a proper portuguese recipe because the site I ended up using was an American site, interpreting it their own way, and translated back into portuguese, probably using gtranslate or something. And the title of the recipe was “portuguese bread soup”, not even the fancier name. It was all a bit of a mess really. Oh well, with that caveat, here we go. Thanks to Dani as usual for the corrections and for not reporting me to the PSP for crimes against cooking.
Fiz uma sopa portuguesa ontem. O nome do prato é Açorda à Alentejana. Tínhamos pão com fartura* em casa e não queria desperdiçá-lo. A receita é fácil mas há variações. O método que usei é basicamente o seguinte: pisar(1) uns dentes de alho, uns ramos de coentros e um pouco de sal grosso num almofariz até está tudo amassado
Entretanto, cozer um ovo.
Colocar as papas de coentros e alho numa tigela. Depois, regar com caldo de frango (a maior parte das receitas usam água de bacalhau ou simplesmente água a ferver mas o caldo parece-me mais saboroso) Adicionar as fatias de pão e finalmente o ovo.
O meu verdicto? 3/10, mas irei experimentar novamente em breve quando tivermos pão mais duro, como pão caseiro. E planeio usar mais sal. Adicionei com moderação para ser mais saudável e ainda acho que “uma colher de sopa bem cheia” como diz a receita é muito mas há de haver uma posição intermédia!
Mas não digam à Alentejana que inventou esta receita.
(1) já conhecia este verbo mas nunca vi antes neste contexto!
*I originally wrote “pão farto” following the recipe, but as I said, it’s a translation so that’s probably not a real expression.
Today’s post is about Pão de Ló – specifically, Pão de Ló de Ovar, which I recently saw on a list of best cakes from all over the world. Since the cake isn’t very well-known here, I’ll put an English version of the recipe down at the bottom for anyone who wants to try it at home but can’t follow the instructions in portuguese.
Part 1 – My Interest Is Piqued (Thanks to Talures for the corrections)
Segundo um meme que já vi online, um dos melhores bolos de sempre é o pão de ló – especificamente o pão de ló de Ovar. Vi um vídeo dum homem a fazer o bolo e concordo que tem bom aspeto mas usa-se tantas gemas. O que é que fazem com as claras*? Merengues?**
Part 2 – Making It (Thanks to O_pragmatico for the corrections)
Falei há uns dias duma lista de melhores bolos no mundo. Acabo de fazer a minha primeira tentativa de Pão de Ló de Ovar (eu sei, o nome do bolo não leva letras maiúsculas mas este merece).
Liguei o forno um bocadinho quente demais, que fez o topo mais escuro do que o ideal, mas sabe bem.
Segui uma receita da Internet mas quaaaaase fiz alguns erros básicos. Principalmente, li a lista de ingredientes e vi “fermento” mas entendi mal. Ao que parece, fermento é uma coisa e fermento vivo é outra coisa (em inglês, temos palavras distintas para os dois). Estava quase a usar fermento vivo em pó (“dried yeast”) em vez de fermento em pó (baking powder). Felizmente escapei-me daquela asneira! ***
*in the end, I made a massive egg-white omelette
**In the original I write “fazer merengues”, repeating the same verb as in the previous sentence. Why? I think I was mentally translating in my head “What do they DO with the whites? MAKE meringues?” And because both “do” and “make” can be translated as “fazer” I ended up repeating the word in a way that sounds odd in portuguese. It’s a good example of how letting go of translation and embracing thinking-in-portuguese can make all the difference. (Deep philosophical postscript: The fact that fazer is used in both seems to foreclose some possibilities. In English, “what do they do” implies that in addition to making a different dish, they could use it as a glaze. Or compost it. Or flush it down the toilet. Or a host of other things, whereas in portuguese, you can just answer “meringues”, implying that the original meaning of fazer was always “make”. I don’t think that’s really what’s happening though. I could have replied “derrubam-no sobre a cabeça do carteiro” or “fazem merengues”, but because fazer can mean both do and make, we have the option of dispensing with the verb in the answer.)
Part 3 – The recipe for Pão de Ló de Ovar (in English!)
Heat the oven to 180°C
Grease and line a cake tin – about 22cm diameter
Grab the ingredients
80g of self-raising flour
A level teaspoon of baking powder
11 egg yolks. Yes, 11. If you like egg-white omelettes, maybe time it so you have that for lunch on the day you make it!
2 whole eggs
Pinch of salt
200g of sugar
Mix the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt. Whisk them with an electric whisk at full speed for a full 15 minutes or until your hand goes numb, whichever is longer.
Mix the flour and baking powder then carefully fold them into the mix using a spatula. Don’t use the mixer for this bit. It’s probably best to add it a bit at a time, otherwise it all sinks to the bottom and it’s hard to retrieve.
Pour the mixture into the tin and out it in the oven for about 35 minutes. It’ll probably need less time if your cake tin is larger than 22cm because the whole thing will be thinner.
Here’s what mine looked like. Nothing like the picture, as you can see. I think I had the oven too high. I always do that; it is my be setting sin. Tastes great though – and I have seen other people’s Pão de Ló looking the same so I’m not ashamed of it or anything!
Thabks to Heike Dio for suggesting a recipe. Sorry it wasn’t vegetarian haggis. This is very nice though. And thanks Mi_lx for the corrections
Aqui está a receita de como fazer este gelado. É fácil. Nem sequer é necessário uma máquina de gelado!
São necessários quinhentos gramas de groselha-preta*. Lavar e colocar a groselha preta numa panela com quatro colheres de sopa de água e o sumo de um limão. Quando as bagas estiverem a ferver, baixar a temperatura e deixar cozer durante dez minutos. Entretanto, juntar 600 millilitros de natas e uma lata de leite condensado numa recipiente misturar até ficar uma creme espessa.
Por os frutos cozidos para uma peneira e esmagar com o lado convexo dum colher para extrair o sumo através da rede. Descartar os peles e sementes (e folhas e formigas e qualquer outra coisa que possa ter sido apanhada por acidente durante a colheita).
Mistura a fruta e o creme. Colocar tudo num recipiente no congelador. Espera durante seis horas. Come. É bom não é?
*It hurts my heart to write this as singular. I feel like I am using one giant blackcurrant. But this is how you do it, apparently!
Make a new Twitter account, tweet only in Portuguese – Done! I’ve been updating daily, trying to pass as an illiterate Portuguese guy. 52 followers so far and nobody has come out and denounced me as an imposter but I daresay they are thinking it. I did have one person – a Brazilian – refer to me a a Tuguinho, which I enjoyed. She was a nutjob though so it probably doesn’t count.
Watch one Portuguese movie or series episode per week. Done! So far, half way through a series called Crónica dos Bons Malandros and I’ve watched one film. I don’t watch much telly generally so this is hard work.
Finally finish “A Actualidade em Português*” Done!
Then do one esercise of Português Atual* C1 or one from this course per day. Done! I’ve hit at least one exercise per day, usually quite a lot more. I’m about two thirds of the way through the book now and I’ll start on the course next.
Only read Portuguese books (exception for work-related books that I need to read for career development). Done. I’ve read no books in English since the start of the challenge apart from a work-related book about spreadsheets.
Listen to mainly portuguese audio. Could probably be better tbh. I’ve listened to quite a lot but it’s still in the minority.
Memorise one Portuguese poem per week. I’ve done four: Coroai-me De Rosas by Ricardo Reis, Segue o Teu Destino by the same author, Flagrante by Antonio Zambujo and Tenho Pena de Quem é o Meu Amigo by Gregório Duvivier. So I’m one short. This is really painful to be honest.
Write something each day on the Portuguese Writestreak subreddit. Done! My streak is up to 40 days now.
I’ve done some side-quests too! My first one was the project I did to try and understand the outline of Portuguese politics; then I went to see a night of (mostly) Portuguese music and this week I tried my hand at cooking a pudding called Pudim de Leite Condensado from a Portuguese recipe.
Behold its majesty!
So that’s how I’m doing. The schedule is a lot easier than I expected. I’m finding it a faff to fit the weekly goals in, especially now I’m in full time work again, but I’ll keep plugging away!
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.
Ingredientes: 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**
Método 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.