The Food Page.

People have been saying since we started our travels that it often appears that the most important aspect of our travelling is food as thats all we seem to talk about. Quite true and to prove that point we are starting this food blog page where we will detail all our culinary delights and disasters.

A Dutch Breakfast

In common with much of mainland Europe a Dutch breakfast is very different from one you would encounter anywhere in UK, even in those hotels that advertise a continental breakfast.

We had
several different types of bread,
lots of different cheeses,
lots of different sliced meats,

then after the main repast

sweet fruit bread

For those of you who have yet to spend more that a few days in the lowlands, I will explain: hagelslag is Dutch people’s answer to sprinkles. But don’t be fooled — these are a different kind of sprinkle than you are used to. In this country sprinkles are primarily reserved for ice-cream and cakes and normally for the children, but  in the Netherlands, it is perfectly normal behaviour for an adult to merrily sprinkle some fruit or chocolate flavoured sprinkles on their bread at mealtime. They also have aniseed flavour sprinkles that are eaten after the birth of a baby, a Dutch beschuit (a twice baked piece of round toast), is buttered and adorned with either pink (for a girl) or blue (for a boy) anise hagelslag and served to guests visiting the new babe - weird!!

I found this quote on t’interweb “ . . . To put all this sprinkle-eating madness into perspective, I will share with you a little-known fact: Dutch people are said to consume over 14 million kilos of hagelslag each year. Yes — 14 million kilos — do you know what that means? That’s roughly the combined weight of 1,000 adult elephants! (Aren’t facts are always funner when measured by elephants??) . . . "

Sole meunière


1 fish per person
6 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp light olive oil or sunflower oil
85g butter, ideally unsalted
1 lemon, juice only
2 tbsp small capers (optional)


Check the fish for small bones and pull any out with tweezers. In a large shallow bowl, season the flour with a little salt and black pepper. Toss the fish in the flour, coating well, and shake off any excess.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the fish and cook for 2 mins. Use a fish slice or large spatula to turn, then cook the other side for 1-2 mins until golden.

Remove the fish to a warmed plate, then season. Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper. Return the pan to the heat, then add the butter. Heat until it melts and begins to turn a light brown, then mix in the lemon juice and capers, if using. Swirl in the pan for a few secs, return fish to the pan and spoon over any juices. Serve immediately.


Pulpo a la Gallega

This was a dish I had in a restaurant, we have not cooked it. I enjoyed it so much that I searched the internet for a recipe and came up with this.


2kg Octopus
2kg peeled potatoes
2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper or parika
2 tablespoons of rock salt
350 mils of virgin olive oil


First wash the octopus in cold running water. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Place the octopus in the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the octopus and leave it to cool. Cook the peeled potatoes in the same liquid for about 20 minutes until they are tender. Cut the octopus into small slices. Then remove the potatoes and slice them. Place them in a large plate. Cover the potatoes with the slices of Octopus. Drizzle the Olive Oil on top. Sprinkle with paprika or cayenne pepper (whichever you prefer).  Sprinkle rock salt and serve.

WE will definitely try this as in the restaurant it was, as I said above delicious.

John Dory

A white-fleshed sea fish found in European waters, John Dory (also known as St Peter's fish), is an odd-looking creature with an oval, flat body and a large, spiny head. The white, boneless, meaty flesh is firm and flavoursome and can be cooked in a variety of ways: grill, sauté or poach. If you like sole and turbot then you’ll like John Dory.

Suckling Lamb

After our disastrous efforts at cooking suckling lamb we would never give any advice about it but according to the t’internet:-

Suckling Lamb is milk-fed lamb that is slaughtered before it is weaned.

It is 30 to 45 days old, and will weigh between 22 and 33 pounds (10 to 15 kg.) The flesh and fat are white and very tender.

It has a very mild taste; some lamb fans feel that it doesn't really have any flavour at all.

Many offal fans rave about the kidneys from Suckling Lamb.

Suckling Lamb can be braised or roasted. For roasting, allow 10 to 12 minutes per pound, plus 10 minutes with the oven door half open. When roasted it will have crispy skin.

The picture is nothing like ours looked.

Roast Suckling Pig.

A suckling pig is a piglet fed on its mother’s milk (i.e., a piglet which is "suckling"). In a culinary context, a suckling pig is slaughtered between the ages of two and six weeks. It is traditionally cooked whole, often roasted, and is usually prepared for special occasions and gatherings.

The meat from suckling pig is pale and tender and the cooked skin is crisp. The texture of the meat can be somewhat gelatinous due to the amount of collagen in a young pig.

A firm favourite in Portugal, most supermarkets stock fresh oven ready pigs and where they have a hot food section it normally takes pride of place, we purchased ours ready cooked but from the chill cabinet ready for serving cold or by thorough reheating hot.

We ate ours cold with a salad - delicious.

Rosemary’s World Famous Roasties

Tools required,
Roasting Pan

obscene amounts of potatoes
and lard, when in Portugal  Vaqueiro com Alho (lard with garlic)

Peel and cut into required size
Boil until cooked
Drain and dry potatoes over flame then toss in pan to break up edges.

Meanwhile get the fat VERY hot in the oven ….almost smoking …..
whack in the potatoes and thoroughly coat with fat
When crispy on one side, turn over and do the other side.

When in the caravan we do them at 200ºC, 400ºF, gas mark 6.

When ready the heath conscious should empty straight into rubbish bin, everyone else - ENJOY.

Rib of Beef.

Rib of beef is one of our favourite cuts of meat, not cheap but we justify it by thinking not of the total cost but of the portion cost.

On this occasion we cooked the beef on the BBQ giving it around two hours which made it well done on the outside right through to rare in the middle, something for everyone.

Caranguejo e Camarão Arroz (Crab and Prawn Rice).

The crab and Prawn rice we consumed at O’Pescado was, for me, an amazing dish, although it must be said it did not immediately inspire when you first removed lid, there was a pale looking liquid and not much else till you stirred it and saw all the rice, crab and whole prawns. Ours contained two whole crabs (cut into pieces) and lots of very large prawns. When tasted it was delicious with so much crab and prawns that despite our best efforts we could not finish everything - and we can eat for England, as our shape indicates.

Like the fish stew I am pretty clueless as to how this dish is properly put together and cooked and as the ingredients are rather expensive have resisted the temptation to make it up. I will do some research and revisit this page when we have more knowledge.

Caldeirada (Fish Stew)

I have absolutely no idea how to make this dish but thought it worth describing and if we eventually get the proper recipe, which for two persons 3/4 fills a 25cm (10”) pan. There was a thick layer of potatoes followed by a thick layer of tomatoes and onions finally a layer of different kinds of fish. Any fish available or that you fancy would I think be fine. We would imagine that after the potatoes were peeled sliced they were boiled in fish stock The onions and sliced tomatoes sautéd and then spread over the potatoes and finally a layer of fish. Continue simmering until the fish is cooked.

Serve with crusty bread.

Last updated Sunday 21st June 2015                                                                                © S W Ghost 2015