December 25, 2011

Christmas food! Prepare Fake Scallops!

One has to be grateful for good food on the table. Yes, food is a great way to celebrate life and not only in Christmas. I am not a good fork but I like to try everything. Fish dishes is what I prefer. I love all kinds of sea food. If I can't afford the real thing I try another option. These aren't the real ones. They are fake scallops ideal for party starters, very  easy to do - again, don't come here for sophisticated food, I am not a cook! But if it lives on the sea I will cook it because I will certainly like it!  You can prepare these with any kind of fish or sea food.What to you need?

Ingredients for 5 shells
A bag of peeled shrimp - you can buy it fresh and boil it and then remove peels. But it's more work around the kitchen!
1 bag of Delícias do Mar - it's crab assembled in little rectangular pieces. Again you can use fresh crab for better results or any other sea food you like.
1 small can of mushrooms

Garlic, parsley, q.b.
For the béchamel sauce 
25 gr of flower
25 gr of butter
300 ml of milk
half onion
2 bay leaves
3 cloves
salt, pepper, nutmeg

How to prepare the béchamel sauce: 
Bring the milk to boil in a saucepan. Remove from the eat and drop the onion and cloves and bay leaves. Stick the cloves through the bay leaves into the onion. This way you can remove it easily when it's not needed anymore. Let it cool down for 5 minutes.
Melt the butter on a saucepan. Add the flower. Stir this for 2 minutes in low eat and then remove it from the flames. 
Add the milk. Careful now: it must boil but you must stir all the time or it will burn. Once it boils you low the flames and watch it gets consistent. Keep stiring. Drop the pepper, salt and nutmeg. Stir a bit more and its ready.

How to prepare the fake shells:
When the sauce is made, add to it the peeled shrimps, the mushrooms and the crab that you previously have mixed with garlic and parsley and put aside to rest.
Then fill the shells, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and get the shells on the oven so it get some color. It's done and it's always a success!

These are porc lambchops with roasted potatoes with peel in the oven. Wash the potatoes very well. Use a brush. Dry it and then make some tiny holes in it with a fork.  Put a drop of olive oil on top of each one. (You can skip these two details if you want.) Put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 200º.Turn it after 20 minutes. With a wooden spoon pressure on top of one potatoe to check if it's already roasted because it depends on potatoe size, temperature, etc. The lambchops were cooked in a saucepan, slowly, before going into the oven for some strong heat on the top of the roasted potatoes. No secrets to it.

And this is one of my favorite rice recipes - it has pinenuts and raisins. Also very easy to prepare. Just pay attention that raisins should go into the saucepan just when you add the rice to the water and not at the beggining, with the onion.

Red and White wine from Setúbal region.  Really, folks, I never enjoyed Coca-Cola or any kind of soda drinks. Natural fruit juices and wine and beer for me, please.
More about these Portuguese wines - Quinta da Bacalhôa Winnery

King Cake or Bolo Rei is our Christmas traditional cake. It's a wreath like fruit cake laced with crystallized fruits and pinenuts. When I was a child there was a tiny present inside the cake and a broadbean. Now there's just a broadbean. The person who finds the broadbean in one slice will pay the next "King Cake"!!(This one I did not make!)


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