Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

A Seafood Supper from Portugal

by Lou Seibert Pappas

A platter of wine-steeped shellfish makes a splendid winter feast for family or guests. The entrČe was a discovery of a charming contemporary restaurant at the seaport resort of Cascais, Portugal. There, this house specialty came on a two-foot-long serving dish heaped with several dozen tiny clams, coral mussels, succulent crayfish and big shrimp with popping black eyes. As a finger-food entrČe, it lends itself to partnering with whole steamed artichokes. Big paper napkins are a must. An aromatic crusty ring bread is wonderful to savor alongside. The shallot-dressed salad gets a flourish with imported grapes and toasted walnuts. With a California Sauvignon Blanc, a French Muscadet or a Portuguese Vinho Verde, the meal needs few accoutrements. Warm pears sealed in caramel sauce and frosty yogurt make a luscious finale.

Sesame Ring Bread
makes 2 rings

1-1/2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 F)
1 3/4 cups milk, warmed to room temperature
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sesame seed

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast to warm water and stir to blend. Let stand about five minutes, then stir in milk, salt, sugar, and oil. Add three cups flour and beat at medium speed for five minutes. Add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and beat until smooth. Turn out the dough and knead lightly. Place in a bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Turn out and divide in half, knead lightly and shape each piece into a round, poke a hole in the center and pull into a ring about 10 inches in diameter. Place the rings on greased baking sheets and let rise, covered with a towel. Preheat the oven to 350ƒF. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden. Let cool on racks.

Note: The bread may be baked in advance and frozen. To serve later: let thaw, wrap in foil, and reheat in a 350ƒF oven for 15 minutes or until hot through.

Shallot Salad
makes 4 servings

2 heads butter lettuce or specialty salad greens, washed and chilled
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup seedless red grapes
1/4 cup diced toasted walnuts

Tear the greens into bite-size pieces (enough to make 1-1/2 quarts). Place the oil, vinegar, salt, mustard, shallots and pepper in a small jar. Cover tightly and shake well. Place the greens in a bowl, pour the dressing over and mix well. Garnish with the grapes and toasted walnuts.

Seafood Platter
makes 4 servings

2 dozen mussels or small rock clams
1 dozen prawns
1 Dungeness crab, cracked, or 2 lobster tails, split
3/4 cup dry white vermouth or dry white wine
6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
Lemon wedges

Scrub shellfish thoroughly and place in a large soup kettle along with the vermouth, two tablespoons of the cilantro and the garlic. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mussel or clam shells open. Transfer to a large platter and spoon the juices on top. Heat the olive oil or butter and the remaining cilantro just until warm; spoon over the shellfish. Garnish with lemon wedges. Accompany with dampened towels.

Steamed Artichokes with Mustard Sauce
makes 4 servings

4 large artichokes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mustard Sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon hot sweet mustard
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Take off the outer leaves of the artichokes, cut off the end of the stem evenly and trim the tips of the leaves with scissors. Place the artichokes in a steamer, drizzle with oil and sprinkle the garlic on top. Steam over simmering water for 45 to 50 minutes or just until tender.

Hot Pears in Caramel Sauce
makes 4 servings

4 Anjou or Bosc pears
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
Vanilla or coffee-flavored frozen yogurt

Preheat the oven to 425ƒF. Peel the pears and core the bases, leaving the stems intact. Melt the butter in a shallow baking dish or pie pan in the oven, allowing about three to four minutes. Roll the pears in the butter and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sugar caramelizes and the mixture turns amber. Pour in the cream and blend with the syrupy sauce. Continue baking for 15 minutes longer, basting the pears with sauce twice, until the sauce turns a rich amber color. Let cool slightly. Serve warm in dessert bowls with frozen yogurt.

Lou Seibert Pappas is a former food editor of the Palo Alto Times Tribune and a home economist with Sunset Magazine. She currently writes food, home, and travel-related articles for national magazines and newspapers and is the author of more than 30 books.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

Share this article with a friend:

Free eNewsletter SignUp

Sally's Place on Facebook    Sally Bernstein on Instagram    Sally Bernstein at Linked In

Global Resources

Handmade Chocolates, Lillie Belle Farms

Food411 Food Directory