tomato and sage risotto with crispy corn bread and bacon

Increasingly I like dishes where the star is not the meat or fish. No one can convince to convert to vegetarianism forever (because I couldn’t stop eating fish), but I like dishes more focused in other ingredients!

Risottos are perfect to highlight a special ingredient: a spice, a cheese, a vegetable or a herb. They’re quite robust dishes that complement with the addition of cheese, all the proteins we need for the everyday life. And I adoooooore it’s creaminess … the perfect marriage between simplicity and indulgence.
This dish has a bit of it all: a creamy sauce, enriched with cream cheese, crispy bread’s texture and the strong flavor of the tomatoes and sage. Perfection!

30 MIN


1/2 minced Onion
1 cup chopped Leek
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped Bacon tea
1 tbsp chopped sage
2 tbsp of Olive Oil
1 cup of Cherry Tomatoes (can use minced tomato)
150g Cottage cheese mixture Teté
200g Arborio rice
1L of vegetable broth
1 tbsp of smoked paprika

Crispy Corn Bread and Bacon:
1 clove of minced garlic
1 tbsp of olive Oil
1 cup of corn bread crumbs
1/2 cup of Bacon strips
1 tbsp of sage

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Start by preparing the risotto. Boil the water with the vegetable cube and reserve warm.
Moving on to the risotto: In a pan put the onion, bacon, leek and chopped sage and sauté with the olive oil. When the onion begins to gain color, add the tomatoes, paprika and rice. Let the rice fry for 1 minute and add a cup of broth. When the rice starts to dry gradually add a ladle of broth, stirring between additions. Repeat this process for about 13 minutes (the rice should be slightly al dente and with a thick broth). Add the cheese, stir and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the crispy corn bread: Put a frying pan on the stove, add the olive oil, sage leaves and bacon into strips and allow it to be gold. At this stage add the chopped garlic and the corn bread.
Season with salt and pepper and let the bread fry until crisp and golden.

In a platter arrange the risotto, and over it the crispy bread. Serve immediately.

Chinese food for dinner?

I love Chinese food! I love all the stir-fry dishes, I love the vegetable crepes that they serve as appetizer, I love the noodles, I love the chicken with almonds and those dishes that come in that hot plate!
Apart from a few specific ingredients (fish sauce and soy sauce) all the other ingredients in this recipe are used in countless recipes from other cuisines. The big difference is in how they are prepared.
If you don’t have a wok, you should think about buying one, because it’s a very practical tool, not only to prepare Chinese food.

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As a teenager, the first Chinese restaurants have opened here in Aveiro, so every friend’s birthday dinner, 99% of the time  was Chinese. It was a new thing … fortunately things have changed since then and now we find many more varieties of restaurants. Even so, I still love going to the Chinese, although I think that the menu was too adapted to western tastes, and any Chinese restaurant has pretty much the same dishes (at least here in Aveiro).

TIME: 50 min

garlic shrimp:
400g shrimp
2 tbsp vegetable oil
half chilli
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lime

fried rice:
1 cup rice (I used steamed)
1/2 cup of frozen peas
2 slices of ham
1 egg
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil

vegetables with sweet and sour sauce:
half courgete
1 onion
1 carrot
half a package of white mushrooms
1 pepper (I used orange, but can use other)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp White sugar
4 tbsp of white wine vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp soy sauce

shrimp with garlic:
Remove the heads and shells of the prawns and set aside. Chop the garlic cloves and also set aside.
Heat the wok (or skillet) and add the oil. Add the prawns, garlic and chopped chilli and stir the prawns until they’re fully opaque with an orange color. Remove, season with fish sauce and lime juice, stir and it’s ready to serve.

fried rice:
In a pot add water and salt. When it starts boiling, add the rice and peas and cook until the rice is almost cooked, but still a little raw. Drain the water and set aside.
Heat a wok, add the oil and the egg. Stir the egg. Add the ham and rice. Stir and add the soy sauce. Remove from heat and it’s ready to serve.

vegetables in sweet and sour sauce:
In a bowl place the cornstarch and dissolve it with vinegar. Stir in the ketchup, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reserve.
Peel the onions and cut them into wedges.
Clean the seeds of the pepper and cut it into squares.
Wipe the mushrooms with a wet paper towel and cut them into four wedges.
Also cut the courgette and the carrot into pieces.
You should have all the vegetables ready when placing the wok or skillet to heat.
Heat the wok, put oil and add the onion and carrot. Let them sauté for 30 sec.
Add the pepper and let it sauté another 30 sec.
Now add the mushrooms and zucchini. Stir and sauté for 1 min. Add the previously prepared sauce, let it simmer a few seconds and add the water.
Stir, correct the salt if necessary (adding more soy sauce), and let the sauce reduce to the desired consistency. Remove and serve.

Broad Beans and Peas Risotto

Make a risotto has nothing special to it. It’s all a matter of doing a few times to get the hang of it . This recipe serves as an appetizer , or a meal itself, or even as a sidedish. Again I used the broad beans without skin, and if you need to see how it’s done , take a peek here .


1 Cup of Peeled broad beans
1 cup of peas
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp Butter +1 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Chicken broth cube (or 1/2L of the liquid one)
Hot water ( approx. 1/2L if you’re using the chicken stock cube)
1/2 cup white wine
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt and pepper
1 Bunch of Thyme
1 cup of arborio rice
Grated parmesan to taste

In a pan put 1/2 liter of water , the saffron and the chicken stock cube . Boil and set aside.
In a pan put 1 tablespoon of butter with the olive oil. Add the chopped onion and the cloves of garlic and sauté for 2 minutes .
Add the rice and fry for 1 minute, stirring occasionally .
Add the white wine, the borad beans, peas and also the thyme and let it evaporate.
Keep adding a cup of broth at a time , as soon as the rice starts to dry. Between additions stir occasionally to help free the rice starch (no need to do constantly) .
Season with salt and pepper .
The rice takes about 13-15 minutes to get ready , but taste it . The goal is to be al-dente .
When you reach this point , remove it from the heat , add the remaining butter and the grated parmesan ( about 3 tbsp ) and leave covered about 2 minutes before serving .

Dried Porcini and Bacon Risotto

Comfort and warm food … perfect for autumn days. For those who haven’t tried dehydrated mushrooms, you must try them. Have lots of flavor and a depth that you won’t find in the fresh ones. The porcini are lovely … a earthy taste, almost woody. The infusion used to rehydrate keeps all your flavour … what better way to use then a risotto!

TIME: 40 min

Arborio Rice 200G
100g Bacon
1 Cup of Chopped White Mushrooms
1 bag of Porcini Mushrooms
1 Chopped Onion
1 White Wine Glass
1 Clove of Garlic
Salt and pepper qs
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Butter
Hot Water

Prepare the dried mushrooms as directed on the package. Reserve the water used to rehydrate them, but remember to strain it.
Cut the bacon into cubes, chop the onion and garlic and laminate the mushrooms. Reserve.
In a frying pan heat the olive oil with 1 tbsp of butter and add the bacon until it browns. Saute the chopped onion and garlic. Just until they’re transparent.
Add the rice and let it soak the sauté for 1 minute. Shake the pan occasionally. Add the white wine and stir the pan (don’t use a wooden spoon to stir the risotto, stir the pan).
Whenever the risotto starts to dry add some of the juice from the mushrooms to the skillet and stir. The rice cooking time should be approximately 13 minutes, but try it until the grain texture is”al-dente”. Rectify the seasoning with salt and pepper whenever necessary. If the broth is insufficient add some hot water.
Halfway through cooking add the white mushrooms.
When it’s cooked add the remaining butter , some grated parmesan and gently stir. Let stand 2 minutes before serving.