I also love the various tiny artisan cheeses, fish pate, chewy sourdough and gorgeous salty olives that come before your starter in restaurants; watch this space for a Portuguese sardine pate recipe.
This summer I had some fantastic squid in both Spain and Portugal, including the relatively unusual albondigas de choco, another recipe that will be featured here sometime soon.
But for the time being, I’ve made a caldeirada de lulas, which I took to my monthly food club this weekend, with Portugal as its theme for September. The key to the delicious rich sauce is to cook the onions until they start to caramelise and to be generous with the wine. I try to get hold of cuttlefish for this recipe as it’s so much cheaper than squid.
1 kg squid or cuttlefish, cleaned weight (ask your fishmonger to do this, as this is not a job for the squeamish!)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 onions, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 peppers, sliced
2 small glasses of white wine, preferably Vinho Verde
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
500g waxy potatoes, peeled and cut slices as thick as a £1 coin
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp sea salt
White crusty bread to serve
Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan/325ºC/as mark 3.
Cut the squid or cuttlefish into thick slices of 2 cm by 5 cm.
Heat the oil in a large roomy pan.
Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes on a medium-low heat.
Stir in the peppers, leaving to cook for another 10 minutes, before adding the garlic, and cooking for a further 5 minutes.
Add the wine, tomatoes, bay leaf and potatoes, and bring to the boil.
Once it’s simmering, season to taste and then transfer the stew to a casserole dish and place, covered, in the oven for an hour.
Season, then sprinkle with coriander.