Maria's Favorite Azorean/Portuguese Recipes

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Halloween Cake-critter

Learn a second languageCelebrate Halloween with this easy to prepare cake-critter.

You can get creative and decorate it any way you like! First pick out your favorite boxed cake mix. Prepare the cake according to the directions on the package, but use round cake pans that are two different sizes. Cover the cakes with chocolate icing, arrange them appropriately, and then decorate, using candies for the eyes. Pipe cleaners make great legs for the critter.

It’s easy! Have fun with your new recipe.


Capirotada, Bread Pudding

Serves 6

1 loaf day old white bread cubed
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup raisins
1  cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded.

If bread is fresh, toast before cutting into cubes. Heat water in a saucepan, add sugar and butter; stir until dissolved. Add bread pieces to liquid and soak completely.  Add raisins, peanuts and cheese.  Pour into a buttered 8 X 8 pan and cover.  Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.

Recipe donated by:  Inez Jennings

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Caldo Verde

Photo: Portuguese recipe - Caldo Verde Soup6 cups of water
6 medium potatoes peeled and diced
1 tablespoon of salt
1 clove of garlic diced
1 tablespoon of diced onion
1 cup of finely cut linguiça
2 cups of finely cut kale
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Put water, salt, garlic, onion, olive oil, peeled and diced potatoes in a pot and let cook for about 20 minutes. Then put the water and the potatoes in a blender and mash it.  Return mixture to pot. On the side have the kale sliced as thinly as possible. Put the kale into the mashed potato mixture and let it cook until kale is soft.  In a separate pan, boil the finely chopped linguiça.  Once cooked, remove the linguiça from the water and add it to the soup.

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Canja de Galinha (Chicken Soup)

Photo: Portuguese recipe -Canja de Galinha Portuguese Soup

1 clove of garlic cut small
1 tablespoon of onion
4 pieces of chicken
1 tablespoon of salt
½ cup of rice
10 cups of water


Put water, salt, garlic, onion, and chicken in a pan.  Let boil until chicken is cooked. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add rice, and let it cook for 20 minutes.  Let it sit for 10 minutes while rice continues to cook and absorb the juice; then, serve. 

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Orange Caramel Custard Flan

A delightful alternative to regular flan.

Serves 4-6

1/3 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar divided
1 orange, peeled and broken into small pieces
2 eggs
1 13-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
1/8 teaspoon orange flavoring (optional)

In small skillet, heat and stir 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat until sugar melts and becomes golden brown. Quickly pour caramelized sugar into a metal 9" pie pan, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Sprinkle orange pieces over caramelized sugar.

In bowl, beat eggs, stir in milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, salt and orange flavoring. Pour into caramel coated pie tin. Set pan inside another baking pan on oven rack. Pour hot water around pie tin to depth of 1/2".

Bake at 325 degrees 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted half way between center and edge comes out clean.


Carefully loosen custard from sides and invert on platter.

Recipe donated by:  Inez Jennings

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Maria's Macaroni Salad

Photo: Portuguese recipe - macaroni salad1 lb Rotelle, Rotini, or other small pasta shape
1 cup green bell pepper diced
1 cup red pepper diced
1/2 cup yellow pepper diced
1 1/2 cups cooked turkey breast chopped*
1 can (15 oz.) corn, drained
1 cup mayonnaise

*Note: Pre-cooked turkey breast such as Foster Farms works very well.

Prepare the macaroni according to package instructions, and drain.  Mix all the ingredients together.  Ready to serve!

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Portuguese Sweet Bread

Photo: Portuguese Sweet Bread3 lbs all-purpose flour
1 cube of butter (melted)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon zest (grated lemon peel)
1 pkg Rapid Rise Yeast

Mix the eggs and sugar. Add the flour, lemon, yeast, and salt. Knead the mixture, adding milk as necessary. When the dough seems ready, add the melted butter a little at a time as you continue to knead the dough. Set aside and let it rise for about 4 to 5 hours. When it is ready, divide the dough into small breads, let it rest for an hour. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the loaves. When it is done, rub some butter over the browned surface to make it shine. Enjoy!

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Maria's Potato and Chicken Salad

Photo: Portuguese recipe - potato salad8 medium sized potatoes
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon salt
6 pieces of boneless skinless chicken tenderloins
4 cups of water
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of diced onion
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of mayonnaise

Prepare potatoes
Wash and peel potatoes. Cut potatoes in cubes and place in a pan of boiling water and salt. Boil for 17 minutes. Drain water leave pan covered for 5 minutes.

Prepare chicken
Place 4 cups of water, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of diced onion, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the chicken into a boiling pan. Let boil for 17 minutes. Drain and cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.

With a fork mash the potatoes and add the chicken and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Mix everything together. Optional you can have fresh parsley, olives or green onions for decoration.

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Maria's Rice Pudding

Photo: Portuguese recipe - rice pudding1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
4 cups of milk
1 ½ cups of sugar
3 tablespoons of butter
Lemon peel
6 eggs

Step 1.
In a pan put rice, 2 cups of water, dash of salt. Let boil until rice absorbs all of the water.

Step 2. 
Put mixture in a Pyrex baking pan. Spread around pan evenly. On top of the spreaded mixture put 3 tablespoons of butter, and a tablespoon of grated lemon peel.

Step 3. 
In a pan put 4 cups of milk, 1 ½ cups of sugar, and warm it up. Don’t let it boil. On the side beat six eggs and add to the milk mixture. Do not let the eggs cook. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the rice. Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until  cooked.

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