Portugal’s cuisine draws in both Atlantic and Mediterranean influences, stewing them together into flavours renowned worldwide. As part of our Eat Like a Local series, we decided to get to know Portugal's food a little better, drafting in a few of the UK’s best cookery schools along the way.
Kinloch Lodge Cookery School
The Kinloch Lodge Cookery School, a Skye-based school just off the northwest coast of Scotland, gave us this appetizing recipe for bacalhau balls. It takes a little longer (you need to soak the fish in fresh water overnight), but the result is more than worth it.
Ingredients – bacalhau balls
Main fish mix
600g salmon and other trimmings
2 whole eggs
½ an onion
½ red pepper
10g fresh ginger
2 cloves of fresh garlic
2g fresh chilli
15g caster sugar
18g white wine vinegar
1 bag blanched spinach
200g bacalhau (dried and salted cod – alternatively, you can use smoked haddock fillets, gently poached for five minutes)
½ bag chopped raw spinach
Sweet chilli dip
170ml white wine vinegar
350g caster sugar
25ml fish sauce
2 red chillies
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of fresh ginger
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of cornflour (mixed with cold water to dilute)
Method – bacalhau balls
- Blend the fish trimmings in a food processor.
- Add the eggs and mix again for a short period of time. Then add the tabasco, caster sugar, salt, white wine vinegar and cornflour. Blend again.
- Remove from the food processor and place into a large mixing bowl. Add the fennel, red pepper and onion into the food processor then blend to a pulpy liquid. Add this to the large bowl holding the fish mix.
- Chop the chillies, ginger and garlic by hand and add to the mix.
- Blanch the spinach by dowsing in boiling water and removing immediately. Leave to cool. Once cold, squeeze any excess juice from the spinach.
- Roughly chop the blanched spinach along with the raw spinach. Combine into the mix, along with the salted cod or haddock. Mix well and as gently as possible.
- Portion the mix into walnut-sized pieces and deep fry for 2-3 minutes. Allow to drain and serve with a sweet chilli dip.
Method – sweet chilli dip
- Remove the seeds and stalks from the chillies and chop into small pieces.
- Finely chop the garlic and ginger.
- Add all the ingredients to the saucepan (apart from the dissolved cornflour) and bring to the boil.
- Whisk in the diluted cornflour, continuing to boil for a further 1-2 minutes then set aside to cool.
Find out more about Kinloch Lodge Cookery School on the school's website, or look at Villa Plus holiday rentals in Portugal for more travel inspiration.