Our latest Gourmet Club dinner had a Portuguese theme, and everything was delicious! Here’s our menu with the recipes:

Stuffed Piquilla Peppers with Goat Cheese

16 oz goat cheese, room temperature
4 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1/8 tsp red-pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
1 jar (7 oz) piquillo peppers (about 15 peppers, drained, liquid reserved)
2 lemons

Place goat cheese, scallions, mint, red-pepper flakes and reserved piquillo in a bowl.
Zest and then juice lemons into the bowl, straining seeds. Mix well.

Using a small spoon, fill each pepper with about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Place on a serving plate and sprinkle with red-pepper flakes. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve. About an hour.

Caldo Verde (Green Portuguese Soup

4 Tbl olive oil, divided
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 quarts cold water
6 oz linguica sausages, thinly sliced
2 and a half tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste
1-pound kale, rinsed and julienned

In a large saucepan over medium heat cook onion and garlic in 3 Tbl olive oil for 3 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook stirring constantly for 3 more minutes. Pour in water and bring to a boil. Let boil for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook the sausages over medium heat, about 10 minutes and drain.

Mash the potatoes or puree. Then add in sausages, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 5 minutes.

Just before serving stir kale into soup and cook 5 more minutes, until kale is bright green. Stir in last tablespoon of oil and serve at once.

Portuguese Kale Salad

4 cups of kale (stalks removed and chopped)
1 can of chick peas
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped) (optional)
4 eggs (boiled and quartered)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon of vinegar (optional)

Sauté the onion and garlic in half of the olive oil for about 1 minute on medium heat.  Add the kale and sauté stirring occasionally. You will notice the kale will start to wilt as it cooks. Lower heat and cook the kale to your desired preference for as little as 5 minutes to 10 minutes or longer.

Drain and rinse chick peas and add to the kale. Cook until the chick peas are warm. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and vinegar before serving.

Chick Pea Salad

Chick peas are very popular in Portuguese cuisine and often served as a main dish, or as a side dish with fish or bacalhau (salt cod).

2 cans cooked chick peas
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ of a small onion (finely chopped)
2 to 3 tablespoon fresh parsley (finely chopped)
½ cup pickled vegetables (finely chopped)
¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white vinegar

Rinse the chick peas, drain and put into a medium bowl. Mix in all ingredients. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.

Let the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes to absorb flavors.

Portuguese Pot Roast with Wine and Garlic

4 c dry red wine
1 can(s) (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 bay leaves
4 Tbsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp salt
3 lb rump roast, strings removed and cut into 3 equal pieces
1 1/2 lb portuguese chourico, cut into 6-inch pieces
10 garlic cloves, crushed
3 spanish onions, chopped
5 c cold water
8 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half crosswise

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk half the wine into tomato paste until smooth.

Stir in herbs. Set aside.

Place beef and chourice pieces in covered (18 X 12 X 7 1/2-inch) oval roasting pan. Evenly distribute garlic and onions around meat. Pour in wine mixture. Add the water and remaining wine. Cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove pan from fridge, place on bottom rack of oven and cook covered for 2 hours. As marinade reduces to gravy, baste meat often to keep moist.

Remove chourice, cover with foil and keep warm. Lower temperature to 400 degrees. Add potatoes and carrots; cook covered for 30 minutes; uncover and continue cooking until meat is browned and potatoes tender, about 30 minutes more.

NOTE: If gravy is too liquid, remove meat and vegs, place pan on top of stove and cook uncovered over medium-high heat until reduced. If too thick, add water.

Raspberry Portuguese Tarts


175g (6oz) plain flour, plus a little extra flour for dusting
40g (1½oz) icing sugar
100g (4oz) butter, diced
2 egg yolks
Few drops of vanilla extract


2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra sifted icing sugar to decorate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300ml (½ pint) double cream
150g (5oz) raspberries
Little icing sugar, sifted, to decorate, optional

To make the pastry, add the flour, icing sugar and butter to the bowl of a food processor or mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix to a soft ball.

Preheat the oven to 190°C, 170°C fan assisted, Gas 5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and stamp out 9.5cm (3¾ inch) circles with a plain or fluted biscuit cutter and press into sections of 12 hole buttered muffin tin.

Reroll the trimmings and continue until all sections of the muffin tin are lined. Prick the bases of the tarts with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.

Line each tart case with a square of non-stick baking paper and line with baking beans then bake blind for 8 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for 3-4 minutes until bases are crisp and the top edges pale golden.

Reduce oven temp to 170°C, 150°C fan assisted, Gas 3. To make the filling lightly whisk the eggs, egg yolks, icing sugar and vanilla together then add the cream and whisk briefly until smooth.

Strain the custard through a sieve into a jug. Pour into the baked tart cases then add 3 raspberries to each. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the custard is just set then leave to cool in the tins. To serve, loosen the tarts with a knife then remove from the tin, serve as they are or lightly dusted with sifted icing sugar.