Archive for the Cooking Category

Just try it! – Pasteis de Belem

Posted in Cooking with tags on June 8, 2009 by Silvia


pasteis-de-nata1,3 kg of puff pastry
0,5 l of milk 
275 g of sugar
35 g of flour without yeast 
salt enough (itsy bitsy)

margarine enough (one little ball)

one egg

five egg-yolks


Put the milk on the fire with the margarine ball.
Mix up the flour with the sugar and salt and, when the milk is finally boiling, add the mixture, spinning it hardly with a spoon.

Remove it from the fire, let it cool off a little and add the egg and the egg-yolks.

Add some vanilla or lemon, as you like it.

Let it cook at 290 degrees to 300 degrees, for about eight minutes. Never let it any longer, otherwise the filling will start coming out of the pastry.


Now this is one of the most famous recipes in Portugal. It is called “Pasteis de Belem” and the marvellous original ones are sold in a small but very busy confectionery shop in Belem (Lisbon). The secret of these extraordinary “pies” is kept by a Master-chef of this confectionery. Only he knows the secret ingredient added that makes them special (and it is worth millions!) It is a lifetime secret with centuries, which is passed from Master-chef to Master-chef and nobody else knows. I tried to find it, cooking these “pies” time after time and trying to get the right taste. Sometimes I got close, but never exact. As I just love them, I am defying anyone who finds out to tell me – not for the money; just to be able to eat those wonders again.


Sunday Dish – Hungarian Goulash

Posted in Cooking with tags , , on June 7, 2009 by Silvia

Goulash (Gulyás) in Hungarian language means cattle stockmen. Goulash is a dish from the Hungarian cuisine. Here is one very simple Goulash stew recipe, being pretty close to the idealised version. It is important not to use hot paprika, use the red powder sold simply as “paprika” in most supermarkets instead, hot peppers (chili) would make the soup too spicy and of the wrong consistency when used exclusively.


3 onions

1 and a half pound (750 g) beef

4 potatoes

2 bell peppers

1 tomato

2 tbsp ground sweet paprika

5 black peppercorn

1 bay leaf

a half garlic (6 whole cloves)

olive oil

salt to taste


Chop the onions and the vegetables. Fry half of the onions in the pot. Take some beef (leg or stringy meat) and cut it into small cubes.

Put a layer of meat on the bottom of a pot over the fried onions, then a layer of onions, vegetables, the whole garlic cloves, spices and salt. (Wait with the potato). Add another meat layer; continue until you have used all the ingredients, except the potato.

Cover the meat with water. Put on a lid, simmer on low heat. Add water only if there is not enough while cooking. It requires almost no stirring.

When the meat is cooked, add large pieces of potatoes, add water to cover it if needed, and cook for further 15 minutes.

Notes, tips and variations

Its color could be even nicer if you add more paprika in the last 10 minutes.

Add half pound lean cubed pork meat (if you wish) after 20 minutes.

If you’re not afraid of fats add some bacon to the dish.

A pinch of caraway (seeds or grounded) is often used (caraway not cumin)

 Enjoy 🙂

 Short essay about Hungarian goulash

Origin: (Hungarian)