All Over the Plate: Cantinho do Avillez

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Como já devem ter reparado, comer é, sem sombra de dúvida, uma das minhas actividades favoritas. Sempre que posso, gosto de sair de casa e experimentar novos restaurantes, à procura não só de inspiração mas também daquela satisfação inerente a comer uma refeição realmente boa. Por isso decidi começar uma série de posts sobre as minhas aventuras foodie, em Lisboa, no Porto ou pelo mundo. All over the plate porque vai ser All over the place.

Há um par de semanas atrás, os meus pais vieram visitar-me a Lisboa e aproveitei a oportunidade para visitar alguns dos sítios que já há muito estavam na minha lista de “a experimentar”. Hoje trago-vos o “Cantinho do Avillez”.

O nome José Avillez não é estranho à maioria dos Portugueses. Dono do restaurante “Belcanto”, galardoado com duas estrelas Michelin e que sonho em visitar, é um verdadeiro empreendedor e conta, hoje em dia, com 7 restaurantes em Lisboa (incluido o “Bairro do Avillez”, outro restaurante que visitei com os meus pais e que tem peixe fabuloso. Mais sobre o restaurante mais tarde!) e um no Porto. Já experimentei 3 até agora e nunca fiquei desapontada. A comida está sempre cheia de sabor, feita com os ingredientes mais frescos e os funcionários são incrivelmente simpáticos e atenciosos.

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Nutella Eclairs

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Sei que vos tenho estado a dever uma receita inspirada em Paris há muito tempo. Acreditem em mim quando vos digo que entre aulas, estágio e avaliações, o tempo na cozinha acaba por ficar perdido na lista de prioridades. O que não quer dizer que a vontade de fazer esta receita não fosse muita. Na verdade, ando a planear estes Eclairs quase desde Novembro passado, altura em que comprei um livrinho de receitas com Nutella, e a vontade voltou a renascer quando fui até Paris e decidi dar-vos uma receita inspirada nessa viagem. Mas com o Natal, os exames, umas férias de 4 dias que foram utilizadas unicamente para matar as saudades próprias de alguém que vive longe da família, e um dos inícios de aulas mais caóticos que já tive, o livro acabou por ficar a descansar numa das prateleiras da estante. Até hoje.

Mal acordei, decidi que este fim-de-semana ia ser aproveitado para por o Blog em dia, como ele merece. Vou tentar que se mantenha actualizado, mas a verdade é que, por mais que queira, não o posso prometer. Este semestre é um daqueles que deixa qualquer um em modo KO. Mas não me posso queixar 🙂

Porque tenho mesmo de ir estudar e aqui o que importa são mesmo as receitas, deixo-vos esta esperando que não tenham de esperar tanto tempo como eu para a experimentar 🙂

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Paris

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Musée D’Orsay

It’s been a week and a half since I’ve finished my exams. I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything up until know, but my days have been all about restoring my sleep pattern and catching on with tv shows. Oh, and a weekend getaway to Paris.

There are no words to describe Paris. I haven’t traveled that much but, apart from home, Paris is by far my favorite city. Wherever I look there’s something to see, something to visit, something to eat, something to smell. The name city of light fits like a glove and there’s no way of getting bored: life is always happening around you.

It was my third visit to the city: the first one with my parents, the second with my partners in crime aka my cousins and this time I took my boyfriend along. I’m already planning trip number four if you wanna join (just kidding, I’ll give another city a try next year). One good thing about me and my boyfriend as traveling companions is that we both really really like to try new restaurants and foods. Since most of the Museums in Paris have a non-paying policy for EU citizens aged 25 or under, we got to visit pretty much everything we wanted and spend most of our money on what we love the most: to eat.

And that’s exactly what we did. We ate. We ate really great and delicious food, closing our eyes (not entirely, we didn’t loose our minds) to the almost prohibitive prices of Parisian restaurants. It was all worth it: we came home longing for the food we ate and incredibly happy with the restaurants we found. We tried to search for restaurants near our hotel so that after long days walking, dinner would be a a few minutes away from our base. We were luck enough to be surrounded by amazing places.

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Beetroot and Thyme Risotto

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After the most wonderful time of the year, comes the most dreaded time of the year, aka, finals season. I consider myself to be a pretty calm person and I’m rarely stressed or overwhelmed. This is the time it all shifts and I feel like a lunatic. Lack of sleep + hours and hours of studying can do that to you. I’m the living proof.

Anyhow, this also means my time in the kitchen will be nearly zero. Apart some quick meals, like pastas, everything I eat is either delivered or cooked by my grandma or my aunt and stored in the freezer. I also have a stack of noodles, chocolate and cookies, with are my best companions for late nights studying.

Nonetheless, I do have some recipes photographed and waiting for me to write something about them. I’ll try and post them while surviving the chaos.

Today’s recipe is this amazing Beetroot Risotto, from Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Home Cooking. I’ll definitely do it again once everything calms down. It’s not only easy but oh-so delicious. Give it a try! 🙂

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Chocolate Cake with Ganache

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Christmas’ eve dinner is approaching in full-speed mode, meaning the time to think about the menu is flying right by. At my house, we usually have cod with boiled potatoes, eggs and cabbage, all topped with olive oil. Its tradition and, don’t ask me how or why, it’s actually the only time of the year when eating such meal is actually a pleasure. For some reason, it doesn’t taste as good on other dates. When it comes to desserts, we have an endless list of amazingly delicious sweets, ranging from Rabanadas to Sonhos, with Filhoses in between. While I’m not very fond of any of these, I encourage you to make them. They’re typical in Portugal and really really good. But since I prefer other types of desserts, this year this chocolate cake will keep me company.

This cake is amazing. I’ve already baked it three times, since finding it at Pratos e Travessas last month, and not only is it delicious every time, it’s also super easy to make. And eat. Before diving into the recipe, let me just tell you how amazing this blog is. The recipes are unbelievable and so are the photos. As you may have noticed, I have a super soft spot for food photography. Monica’s photos are one of the reason’s why. From the food, to the props, everything is perfectly placed to make me drool over my keyboard.

Now back to the cake. It’s perfection. As much as I love chocolate, I usually have to pair chocolate cakes with something more acidic, like berries, to be able to eat an whole slice. I didn’t have that issue with this cake. I just kept on eating, never feeling the need of another flavor.

I know it’s not your typical Christmas dessert. But I promise you it will earn it’s place ate your dinner table. As it has earned it’s place on mine.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Today I bring you what I believe to be one of the greatest snacks of all time. Chocolate chip cookies are the ultimate buddy when binge watching TV series, along with a cup of milk.I begin with one, go back to the kitchen to get another and, eventually, I surrender and bring along the whole package. Talk about control.

But apart from being so addictive, these chocolate chip cookies also make one of the best DIY Christmas’ gifts. I mean, who wouldn’t love to receive a jar full of this goodness? They’re chewy on the inside but oh-so crispy on the edges. And taking the time to make your loved ones these will be the ultimate proof of affection. And I assure they scream success. And with finding gifts becoming sooooooo stressful and difficult, who doesn’t want a recipe like this?

So I encourage you to give these a try. To eat by yourself, to share or to give this as a gift, they’ll not disappoint you. Or whoever you love.

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Simple Hot Chocolate

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As soon as cold days arrive, hot chocolate becomes my favorite beverage. I’m not a big fan of hot drinks, apart from tea. I drink milk straight out of the fridge even if snow is falling outside. Iced Tea continues to be my indulgence. But when it comes to hot chocolate, there’s no way of saying no.

It’s also one of those drinks you can enjoy on your own or, as I prefer, with your family. It’s not actually a tradition at my house, but I do remember getting excited as a kid whenever my aunt went to the kitchen to make us all Hot Chocolate.

I like it in pretty much every version. Simple, White Chocolate, with Nutella, Milk Chocolate, you name it. And while I do want to try this different versions of my number one winter beverage, today I decided to bring you the basic one.

This cup of wonder is made by simply melting dark chocolate with water and a cinnamon stick, add milk, a pinch of salt and topping with whipped cream. There’s no science to it. It’s actually hardly a recipe. Yet, it brings such comfort that it deserves it’s highlight. So here it is 🙂

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