Living close to the sea in Portugal, we are blessed with an abundance of seafood.  A favourite starter is often a shared dish of clams. These are usually cooked in a little olive oil, some wine, coriander and salt and pepper. All that is needed to finish is a squeeze of lemon.

Next up on the indulgence list is crab.  Vegetarians cover your eyes here.  These are displayed in a tank in the restaurant and you are offered the choice of which crab you wish and it is cooked to your liking and served either hot or cold to your table.

We prefer ours cold with a special dressing of mayonnaise mixed with beer and breadcrumbs. The favourite local variant is a dish made with crabs claws and rice and green peppers — a very thick, sticky, stew.

Third, and possibly my personal favourite, is Lobster.

Not as common as crab here and usually has to be ordered — but to me even more delicious. These are also served hot or cold — again I prefer mine cold.

Last but not least — the huge Tiger Prawns — which are best cooked simply over a charcoal grill at home and served with warm garlic butter.

With offerings such as these it is very easy to eat less meat and eat more shellfish in one’s diet.

Posted by Nicola

17 Comments

  1. Great article, Nicola, thanks — the pictures are amazing! Well done!

    I didn’t know lobster would be hard to find. If you special order it, how much in advance do you have to ask? Will it be a regional lobster or will it be flown in from somewhere far away?

    The hot and cold serving is new to me. If something is fresh and cooked on demand — does it take extra time to “serve it cold” or am I missing something?

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  2. Lobster is harder to find in this part of Portugal – this could be because it is shipped to the high end restaurants in Lisbon and the Algarve where they can get a higher premium for it. We usually order it a couple of days beforehand to make sure it is there – especially for a special occassion. it will be locally caught – none of these horrendous foodmiles.

    Yes it takes half an hour more to serve cold as it is taken from the pot and placed in ice to cool it down – if we are known at the restaurant we ring them up ask if they have it and say we would like it cold and what time we will be there ! Superb service..

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    1. Oh, money and miles ruin everything! SMILE! I’m glad you’re able to get what you want.

      Fascinating about the hot and cold. You’re smart to order ahead and have it waiting for you. That’s a kind convenience to have!

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  3. It is one of the advantages about being known everywhere ………………… subject of a future blog post !

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    1. That is absolutely true! You should write that up!

      Even in big cities — you can be known in your own little niche — and get special service if you are kind and polite and tip well!

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  4. Glad to know you can get special service in the cities as well – mine has never been much to write home about – but I have always been a stranger in a strange land.

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  5. This all looks absolutely delicious! Bringing back great memories – and now I’m hungry…

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  6. Me too – we have an ENglish guest with us this weekend – so full roast beef andf yorlshires today – not had that in ages !

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  7. Gordon Davidescu March 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    What a magnificent feast! Thank you for sharing!

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  8. you are most welcome Gordon

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing! Everything looks delicious!

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  10. Thanks for showing us these pictures! I’m inspired to get this for next Sunday’s dinner.

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  11. Just one word: YUM!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Ver much so Nancy – red mullet on the menu tomorrow as well !

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  12. […] Food in rural Alentejo revolves around these six ingredients: wine, olives, bread, cheese, porco preto and eggs. Almost every household will dine on a combination of these for at least one meal a day if not both.  Wine drives the Alentejo economy and the stomachs of its workers, from simple house wines to celebrated international award winners.  This is my Christmas present to myself — a presentation box of five reds from the renowned Cortes De Cima. […]

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  13. […] the last few weeks, I have shared some of the abundance that Portuguese cuisine has to offer. David asked me in one the comments how well Vegans were catered for in Portugal.  It […]

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