It's been a while since I shared a recipe and some thoughts with you. I have no idea about where March went to... I've been doing so many things, dreaming of so many more that time just wasn't enough to pass by and say hello. But I'm back to tell you all about a great project I've been working together with a bunch of talented Portuguese bloggers! When my friend Mariana asked me to take part on 4 por 6 working balanced meals for 4 persons with a budget of 6€, I was really happy with the idea of helping people plan their food with little money. Although this is obviously focused on Portugal's present scene, I thought I could share the recipes with you anyway.
So today we're doing potato an ode, and will be having the first strawberries of the season!
Potato, Onion, Zucchini and Bacon Tian
Tian aux pommes de terre, oignons, courgettes et pancetta
Adapted slightly from French Magazine Saveurs, n.162 July/August 2008
4 small-medium potatoes (500 grs)
2 medium onions (I used red onions but white are fine too)
4 small zucchini (400 grs)
12 bacon strips (about 175 grs)
1 Tbps fresh thyme (just the leaves)
3 Tbps (50 ml) olive oil
3 Tbps (50 ml) single cream (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Peel the potatoes and cut into thin slices. Put aside in a bowl covered with water. Slice (unpeeled) zucchinis and peeled onions about the same size of the potatoes. Discard the water from the potatoes, add half the olive and season with salt and fresly ground black pepper. Toss to coat. In a covered ovenproof dish (or individual ones), place the potato, zucchini, and onion slices with the bacon strips (halved) to create alternate "layers". Sprinkle the thyme leaves on top. Add the remaining olive oil and single cream (if using any). Finish with about 3 Tbps (50 ml) of water, and cover. Bake for 20 minutes. After that, remove the lid, slightly increase the oven temperature, and leave for an extra 5-10 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with watercress salad.
And for dessert: soup!
Strawberry and Basil Soup
Adapted (slightly) from Elle à la table, n.63 March/April 2009
500 grs strawberries
6 basil leaves (or ment or lime-thyme)
35 grs sugar
1 Tbps balsamic vinegar
dash of white pepper
Wash the strawberries, remove leaves, and half each one. Put 1/4 of the strawberries in a saucepan with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water, sugar, white pepper, 2 basil leaves and boil for 5 minutos. Add balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil once again. Place the remaining strawberries into serving bowls and pour the cooled syrup (you may or may not sieve it before). Finish with a basil leaf on top.
I've actually manage to buy the ingredients for the main dish and the dessert with only a total of 4.95€ ... More suggestions 4 por 6 (in Portuguese) at my partners in this project: Mariana, Pipoka, Laranjinha, Elvira and Marizé. We'll be running 4 for 6 every two weeks. Stay tuned for many more cheap meals!!