Saturdays have always been ‘almost’ working days. As a teenager, those were the days when I used to go to the conservatory of music to play my violin, unwillingly cleaned my bedroom and completed my school homework. The weekend only started to become apparent after lunch once ‘almost’ duties where completed. My family and I sat at the table for some delicious and well deserved lunch. Sometimes on Saturdays my mother used to buy from the busy fishing port, something that I haven’t had for years and now surprisingly found here: fresh cod roe. She used to wash them with lemon, sprinkle with rock salt and hide the appearance of these not very attractive pouches with the fluffiest of batters, a rougher version of what the Portuguese introduced many years ago in Japan: tempura. Then she would fry them in a hot pan and dry them on paper, serving them straight after with loads of lemon juice and a seasonal salad. Here, I recreate her Saturday dish and for dessert I give you a twist on one of our most traditional sweets – leite-crème – by using raspberry puree which adds a delicious sharpness to such a rich and sweet dessert.
Cod roe in rough tempura with a tomato, coriander and lime salad
350gr of cod roe (preferably fresh)
250ml of ice cold water
2 tbsp of flour
salt & pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1 small red onion
1 small bunch of finely chopped coriander
juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper
Cut the tomatoes and the onion into small cubes. Place into a small bowl, add the chopped coriander, the juice of the lime and season with salt & pepper. Mix everything well and set aside.
In a bowl and with a fork whisk the egg, add the water and the flour and mix everything well until it becomes a smooth batter. Season with salt & pepper. Batter the cod roe and fry it in a very hot pan with the sunflower oil on both sides until they are golden. Remove from the pan onto a plate with a few sheets of kitchen roll and let it dry out the oil.
Serve the salad on a palate with the cod roe on top, sprinkled with lemon juice.
500ml of full fat milk
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp of corn flour
1 lemon peel
1 cinammon stick
3 drops of vanilla essence
130g of sugar
150g of fresh raspberries
2 tbsp of water
Place the raspberries with the sugar and the water in a pan and cook them on low heat till they are soft. Remove from the heat and let them cool completely.
Whisk the eggs with the corn flour and add the milk. Place in a pan with the lemon, the cinammon stick and the vanilla essence and let it cook slowly. When the crème starts to thicken add the raspberry puree and mix well. Remove from the heat and let it cool down.
Transfer it to ramekins and place them in the fridge.
In the moment of serving, sprinkle each ramekin with sugar and burn each top using a blowtorch.