Portuguese Dinner Party: Main Course and Desserts
If you missed part one from this Portuguese dinner party, head on over here to grab the recipes for a couple of different appetizers and a yummy little cocktail. I also shared a little bit about what went into the table design and a few things Portugal is known for. But today we’re focusing on the main course, a delicious side dish, dessert, and an easy after dinner drink too!
As if we haven’t talked about enough food yet already, it’s time to plan the main course (and dessert).
Rice is traditionally used in a lot of Portuguese recipes and it’s not uncommon to find it cooked with chunks of fresh tomatoes and meat, but this side dish is a bit different.
Chick peas are used in a lot of Portuguese recipes, but it’s not everyday that you’d think to add them to rice. But they actually pair really well and they help to make the rice a little bit more hearty too. And don’t skip the fresh parsley on top. It adds a fresh bite to the whole dish!Print
2 Cups Rice
4 Cups Water
1 Small Onion, Chopped
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Tomato Sauce
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Small Can Chick Peas
1 Tsp. Finely Chopped Parsley
On medium heat, saute the onion in olive oil until translucent.
Add the rice to the an with the olive oil and onions, and stir to coat. Let the rice cook for about 2 minutes.
In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add to the rice.
Add the tomato sauce and the salt.
Turn the heat up to high and let the rice come to a boil.
Reduce the heat back down to medium, stir and cover.
Let the rice cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes stirring a few times.
Remove the rice from the heat and add the drained chick peas.
Stir and cover the pan until ready to serve.
Before serving, top with the chopped parsley.
- Cuisine: Portuguese
Keywords: rice, chick peas, side dish, portuguese
Let me just start by saying DAMN this dish is soooooo pretty. The pops of yellow from the lemons and the corn, the fresh clams, those meaty chunks of cod, and the pops of blue from the serving bowl just really makes the main course for this Portuguese dinner party stand out. It’s almost too pretty to eat. But just almost.
This recipe comes from one of my favorite Portuguese chefs, George Mendes. (If you like this recipe, you can find a ton more of his recipes in his book here).
It’s an easy recipe, but is full of so much flavor, and is the perfect dish to serve during these warm summer months. It pairs well with the rice and I also love using some crusty bread to soak up all of those leftover juices once the bowl is empty.Print
Set the cod on a plate and cover all over with the salt. Let stand for exactly 10 minutes. Rinse off the salt and pat the cod dry.
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.
Add the corn and cook for 2 minutes; drain and pat dry. Cut the kernels off the cobs.
In a small skillet, toss the corn with the butter and lemon juice and season with pepper. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
In a large, deep nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Dust the cod with flour and season with white pepper.
Add the fish to the pan, skinned side down and cook over high heat until golden, about 4 minutes. Flip the cod and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute.
Add the clams, garlic, cilantro and thyme and season with pepper.
Add the wine, cover and cook over moderate heat until the clams open and the fish is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Discard the herb sprigs and any clams that do not open.
Rewarm the corn and spoon it into 4 shallow bowls. Top with the cod and sprinkle with the smoked paprika. Spoon the clams and broth all around and garnish with the parsley.
Serve with crusty bread.
Once the main course at this Portuguese dinner party is finished, it’s time for my favorite part…dessert!
Chá com leite, or Portuguese milk tea, has been served in Portugal since the 16th century! It’s still a very traditional tea recipe, but with a little bit of added sweetness and flavor. I grew up thinking that tea should always be white, because of the milk that my grandma would always add to my teacup. Haha.
I picked up these Portuguese teabags while visiting a tea plantation in Portugal on vacation, but you can also order the same ones here. Lipton, or any other black tea would also work, but if you want that authentic experience, get yourself some Portuguese tea bags.
It’s the perfect drink to sip on at a Portuguese dinner party, while eating dessert, which it just so happens, I mention below 😉Print
I grew up drinking this Portuguese milk tea at my grandparents house, with every breakfast and dessert I can remember. It’s one of my favorite things to drink with Portuguese sweet bread too!
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Nutmeg
2 Tbsp. Honey
1 Portuguese Tea Bag (Green or Black)
Brew a pot or a cup of Portuguese tea.
In a small saucepan combine the milk, honey, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Stir over medium heat until combined.
Pour the tea into a cup and add the milk mixture.
Serve, sip, and enjoy!
If serving multiple guests, you can also make the milk mixture ahead of time and keep warm until ready to serve.
- Cuisine: Portuguese
Keywords: tea, cha, portuguese, milk tea, drinks
I could always count on a tin full of these biscuits sitting on my grandma’s counter in the kitchen. They’re crunchy and slightly chewy, but they really do pair perfectly with Portuguese milk tea. (Especially if you dip them!)
The recipe is simple enough for the kids to help with and they’ll especially love shaping the dough before baking.
An “S” shape, circle, or a figure 8 shape are the most commonly used shapes when making these biscuits, but you can shape them however you want!
They also store really well in the freezer, so you can make a few extras and take them out when you get a craving, or just throw another Portuguese dinner party and serve them again. 😉Print
I could always count on a tin full of these biscuits to be sitting on my grandma’s counter. Crunchy and slightly chewy, they pair perfectly with a cup of Portuguese milk tea!
3 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs, Room Temperature
6 Tbsp. Margarine or Butter
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Grated Lemon Peel
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Soften the butter and mix with the sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and lemon peel and beat for about 1 minute.
Add the flour and baking powder to the sugar and mix with a dough hook for about 3 minutes until the batter forms into a ball. (You may need to a little flour if you find the dough too soft depending on your butter or the size of your eggs).
Place the smooth dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat disc with 1/2 inch in height.
Cut the dough evenly into 1/2″ by 5″ strips.
Roll each strip into a round snake like form, a figure 8 shape, or a circle. (These are the traditional shapes, but you can form the dough into letters, shapes etc.).
Slightly grease a cookie sheet and place the biscuits evenly on the pan.
Cook for about 15-18 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
Let them cool slightly before removing from the pan.
Once cool, store in a tin or a container.
- Cuisine: Portuguese
Keywords: biscuits, portuguese, tea, dessert, cookies
These world famous custard tarts have been around for more than 200 years, which is why I had to make sure they were on the menu for this Portuguese dinner party! The original Pastéis de Belem, were first created by nuns who lived at the Monestary of Jeronimos in Belem, Lisbon in 1837.
Casa Pasteis de Belem, the bakery who is famous for these popular little tarts is located in the town of Belem in Lisbon, Portugal. They sell over 20,000 pasteis per DAY! The recipe is a trusted secret and many bakeries have tried to copy the exact formula they use, but no one can.
This recipe is a copycat and one that gets close, but if you want to try the authentic recipe you’ll just have to travel to Lisbon and try the real deal for yourself!
1 Lb. Defrosted Puff Pastry Dough
Rind of 1 Lemon, Cut into Strips
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Using the top of a drinking glass, cut out circles into the puff pastry dough or puff pastry sheets.
Place the circles into the bottom cavities of a muffin pan, pushing the dough against the bottom and up the sides of the cup until it reaches least 1/8 inch past the top. Set aside once all of the muffin tins have been filled.
In a medium sized pot, combine sugar, 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, cinnamon, and lemon zest.
Boil over medium heat, without stirring, until syrup reaches 210 to 215 degrees F.
Remove from heat.
Preheat oven 550 degrees F.
Whisk flour, salt, and cold milk together very thoroughly in a cold pot. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until milk thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
Whisk egg yolks into the cooled milk. Add the sugar syrup and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Strain custard into a glass measuring cup.
Fill each cup 3/4 of the way with custard.
Bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is browned and bubbly, and the tops start to blister and caramelize, about 12 minutes.
Cool tarts briefly and serve warm.
Since ovens vary slightly, you may have to adjust your oven temperature and baking time.
You can also use puff pastry sheets if you can’t find dough.
- Cuisine: Portuguese
Keywords: portuguese, puff pastry, dough, custard, tarts, dessert
I think we’ve covered all the good stuff now…the FOOD!
Once you invite your guests, and prepare the menu, it’s time to enjoy your Portuguese dinner party. But you can’t do that without a little music, right? Check out this post for the perfect Portuguese dinner party playlist that will help set the mood and transport everyone to “Portugal” while eating all of this delicious food!