The 3 Fs
In the last century, Portugal was under dictatorship for almost 50 years. During that time, the "3 Fs" - fado, Fátima, and football - provided some sort of collective anesthesia more than welcome by the regime. Music, religion, and sports were all the people would need to keep going with their miserable life and not complain. With the end of the long-term Salazar dictatorship, the trilogy became old fashioned. It was time for the new real "three Fs" to stand forward. Nowadays for the Portuguese, family, friends and food are inseparable... We usually meet around the table, eating and chatting through the afternoon or the evening. Food is as much an excuse to talk to friends as talking is to meet up for a meal.
I don't cook traditional Portuguese very often. Either because I'm not really good at it or just because I grew up eating world food instead of deep rooted Portuguese dishes. Or just because I'm too lazy to make the effort to reinvent some old classics, like some promising young chefs are doing currently in the Portuguese Cuisine scene. But I made a promise to give it another try to Portuguese food a while ago. When my kitchen was invaded by broad beans, aka favas, I just knew the time had arrived.
Favas com Chouriço
Broad beans with Chorizo
400 grs fresh fava beans (about 2 cups), peeled twice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large chorizo (best quality), sliced
1/2 glass white wine
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped + extra stems
a bunch of garlic leaves (optional)
1 tsp pimentão doce (paprika)
Cooked rice, to serve
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil, and add the chorizo slices. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove the chorizo to a bowl. Add the onions, garlic, and garlic leaves (if using) and cilantro stems. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the white wine to deglaze. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the fava beans, the pimentão doce and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until favas are cooked. Return chorizo slices to the saucepan. Add chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with cooked rice.