The Algarve produces amazing oranges – a fact it likes to celebrate! Last month saw Portimão’s annual Festa da Laranja take place at Mercado Avenida São João Deus, the first of the market’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
Here’s two ways to cook up a storm with this local hero fruit.
SARRAJÃO WITH CUCUMBER AND GIN FOAM AND ORANGE COMPOTE
This recipe – featuring sarrajão, a fish similar to tuna – was cooked live at Festa da Laranja by Chef João Oliveira from VISTA restaurant at Bela Vista Hotel and Spa in Portimão. The recipe serves four.
- 1kg sarrajão cut into fillets (skin on)
- 4 oranges
- Fresh chilis (chopped)
- Fresh dill
- Salt and pepper
- 130g sugar
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup of cream
- 100ml white balsamic vinegar
- 100ml vermouth Gin
1. Marinate the sarrajão fillets in the juice of two oranges, the chilis and dill. Season with salt and pepper and leave to stand for two hours.
2. Whilst you’re waiting, make the orange compote. Slice the zest from the used oranges, then peel the other two oranges and slice thinly. Combine in a saucepan with 70g of sugar, a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until a syrupy liquid forms, stirring occasionally. Leave to cool.
3. Score the fish skin. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat but don’t use oil – there is enough in the skin for cooking. Put the fish in the pan skin-side down and leave to cook. Don’t touch or turn it, as messing with it will cause the fish to break up. Cook to your desired level.
4. For the foam, juice the cucumber so you are left with just liquid. Add the cream, 60g of sugar and a glug of gin, then use an N20 cream charger (available on Amazon) to create a delicate foam. Serve alongside the sarrajão.
5. Pickled radish makes a picture-perfect garnish for this dish. Slice the radish thinly and place in a bowl with the white balsamic vinegar, vermouth, rosemary and thyme. Mix together and leave to marinate for 10- 15 minutes.
ROAST GOAT WITH ORANGES, POTATOES AND SPINACH
This recipe serves six and is used courtesy of Mercados do Portimão (www. mercadosdePortimão.pt). In the supermarket, look for cabrito – a young goat meat.
- 1.2kg goat meat
- 8 garlic cloves
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 150ml white wine
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- 6 potatoes
- 3 small onions
- 2 oranges
- 300g spinach
- Salt and pepper
1. Peel and crush the garlic. Add a teaspoon of salt, one tablespoon of paprika and two tablespoons of olive oil, mixing well until a paste forms.
2. Spread over the goat meat, drizzle with white wine and cover the clingfilm. Leave in the fridge overnight.
3. Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, and cut the onions in half. Season with salt, pepper and paprika and spread in a baking tray. Drizzle over two tablespoons of olive oil and bake in an over preheated to 180ºC for 10 minutes.
4. Place the meat on top of the potatoes and onions. Pour some of the marinade over the meat, along with the juice of one orange. Add the thyme and return to the oven for 40-50 minutes. Regularly baste with the juices.
5. When the meat is almost cooked, sauté the spinach with one tablespoon of olive oil.
6. Slice the other orange and serve with the meat, along with the potatoes and spinach.