Cape Verde (Cape Verdian Recipes)
A mix of African and Portuguese cultures has had a large impact on the
food of Cape Verde. Many different ingredients are used in the
preparation of dishes resulting in very delicious tastes. As well as
very traditional food, there are also many restaurants across Cape Verde
who specialize in international dishes.
Cape Verde has a huge variety of fresh fish and seafood, tuna fish is readily available and is the most consumed by the local Capeverdeans. These are the other main types of seafood available on Cape Verde, lobster, squid, rock barnacle and many other kinds of shellfish.
Cachupa is a great national dish and is the most famous dish from Cape Verde. Cachupa is made from corn, a selection of meats, variety of beans, vegetables like sweet potatoes, manioc, cabbage, squash, and different types of sausages. Cachupa is also often made with fresh tuna.
Drinking tea’s are very popular in Cape Verde and are usually accompanied by pastries like cuscus or corn paddies. These are eaten with different locally made fruit jams which are usually papaya, red currant, coconut.
For an alcoholic drink the locally produced Grog which is a strong alcoholic drink which is made from sugar cane. There are also many fruit liquors which are all locally produced.
A Wedding Dish (Xerem de Festa)
4-5 lbs. xerem (coarse ground corn)
2 lbs. salted pork fat (try it with an animal fat substitute but you compromise authentic flavor)
4 medium onions
1 lb. pork meat, cubed
Soak xerem over night in the following manner: cover xerem with water; add 1 lb. of pork fat and 2 onions. The next day, place the rest of pork fat, sliced onions and pork meat into a large pot. Add xerem and a sufficient amount of water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until all of moisture is absorbed.
800 g samp (hominy)
200 g kidney beans
200 g lima beans
100 g pinto beans
1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
900 g pork or beef spareribs
1 chorizo, sliced
1 blood sausage or black pudding
100 g lean bacon, diced
900 g cabbage, coarsely chopped
900 g tomatoes, quartered
900 g green bananas or plantains, peeled and sliced
900 g yams, peeled and cut into chunks
900 g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
900 g squash, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 garic cloves, peeled and chopped
Handful of chopped coriander
Add the beans and samp to a bowl, cover with plenty of water and soak over night. The following day add 1.5l water to a large pot along wiht 2 tbsp olive oil, the onion, garlic and bayleaf. Bring to a boil and add the samp and beans. Cook the vegetables (except the tomatoes) in a separate pot, along with the meats (except chicken). Season the chicken and fry in olive oil. Add the tomatoes to the pan and allow to simmer until the beans are almost tender (but not quite done). Now add the cooked vegetables and meats to the bean pot and allow to simmer for 20 minues. Turn off the heat and allow to sit, covered, for half an hour before serving. Arrange the vegetables on a serving platter and palce the meats on top. Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve.
5 ears fresh corn (or fresh off cob)
1/5 lb. (100 g.) linguica (Portuguese smoked sausage), sliced 1/4 squash
1/2 lb. (1/4 kg.) fava beans, (or lima beans) fresh or dried
2 ripe tomatoes (or equivalent tomato paste)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bunch of flat leaf coriander
1 large onion, sliced
Scrape off the fresh corn kernels into a boiler pot. Gently saute onion, linguica, and pepper in olive oil. Add to the corn the rest of the ingredients and a sufficient amount of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer. Prior to serving, season with salt and garnish with chopped flat leaf coriander (cilantro).
Caldo de Peixe (Fish Coup)
6 white potatoes
3 sweet potatoes
l bunch fresh parsley
l green pepper
l red pepper
3 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes
3 lbs. fresh, whole, cleaned saltwater fish (examples: tautog, cod, bluefish or sea bass).
In a large kettle, gently saute chopped onions, tomatoes, scallions and green and red peppers in oil. Next, add fish cut into small pieces and water. Cover and bring to a gentle boil. Add peeled potatoes and chopped parsley to kettle. Reduce heat and simmer. A little may be added to make a thicker broth.
Canja (Thick Chicken Rice Soup)
1/2 whole chicken, cut up
2 medium onions, chopped
3-4 chicken boullion cubes
1 c. short-grain white rice (may substitute long-grain)
Saute onions in oil. Next, add chicken pieces, boullion cubes and a sufficient amount of water. After bringing to a boil, add rice and stir occasionally. Simmer approximately 30-35 minutes, until desired consistency.
Cape Verde Beans and Rice (Jagacinda)
2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, sliced
600 g rice
1x400 g tin kidney beans
1 tbsp smoked paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fry the onions in the oil in a large pan until golden brown. Add 1.5l water along with the paprika and bayleaves. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil and add the rice. Lower the heat to a simmer then add the beans. Cover the pot and allow to simmer for 25 minutes, until the rice is cooked and all the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
2 lbs. coconut
1/4 burnt sugar or molasses
Grate the coconut. Carefully brown the sugar but control for over burning. Then carefully combine coconut and burnt sugar to a little bit of water. Next, add 2 lbs. of sugar and cook. When the mixture is just about done, add lemon and mix. Remove from heat. Next, pound the mixture well for five minutes. Flatten on to buttered surface. Cut out into square or diagonal shapes. Let harden.
Cheese Pudding (Pudim de Ueijo)
l lb. (1/2 kg) soft goat cheese (use freshest cheese possible)
l lb. (1/2 kg) sugar
2 cups water
12 egg yolks
4 egg white
Grate the cheese. Boil sugar in water to the consistency of a thick syrup. Add the cheese and mix well. Next, remove the mixture from heat and combine with beaten egg yolks and egg whites.
Sprinkle the bottom of a pan with burnt sugar. Pour in the mixture and bake in a double boiler. The latter may also be accomplished by placing the pan with the mixture into a pan filled with hot water. The mixture can also be baked in a shallow, buttered and floured baking pan. Bake in the oven. After removed and cooled, cut into squares and top with granulated sugar.
Fish Soup (Caldo de Peixe)
6 white potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
3 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes
4 spring onions
1.5 kg fresh saltwater fish scaled, gutted and cleaned
Oil for frying
Gently fry the onions, tomatoes, spring onions and peppers in oil. Cut the fish into small pieces and fry for a few minutes. Cover with water and gently bring to a boil. Add the white and sweet potatoes and parsley then cover and reduce to a simmer.
Ground Corn with Vegetables and Meat (Supida de Xerem)
1,8 kg xerem (coarsely-grund maize)
2 butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
20 kale leaves, chopped
450 g salted pork fat, diced
1.3 kg pork meat, diced
900g dry beans (any kind)
4 medium onions, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp black pepper
120 ml groundnut oil
Allow the beans to soak in plenty of water over night. Form a marinade from the salt ,garlic, vinegar, bayleaf and black pepper. Use this to marinate the pork over night. Wash the dry maize in warm water and soak for 2 hours before cooking (Add 1/4 onion for flavour). The following day, drain the beans and add to a pot along with the pork. Cover with water and cook for about 90 minutes, or until the beans are almost soft. Drain the beans, but retain the water to cook the kale leaves until soft (About 20 minutes). Cook the ground corn in water until almost done (About 20 minutes).
Place the squash in the bottom of a large pot, then add the pork meat, kale, beans, onons and ground maize, forming layers. Add 120ml oil and 700ml water then cover with aluminium foil and place the lid on top. Cook on very low heat for 90 minutes then serve.
Octopus Stew (Polvo a Modo ze de Lino)
2 lbs. octopus or squid
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of oil
2 tomatoes or l tablespoon of tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic
2 grains of hot pepper or as much as you want
Wash and cut octopus into small pieces. Place octopus in a pot with two bay leaves and 3 tablespoons of oil. Heat on medium. Allow octopus to cook for approximately 20 minutes. Add tomatoes, cloves of garlic, diced onion and hot pepper. Heat on medium low until stew-like. Stir occasionally.
2 1/2 lbs. firm papaya
2 lbs. sugar
Cut the papaya into fine strips, then peel and wash well. Place the papaya and sugar on on a slow fire until the sugar dissolves. Cook for ten minutes, then set aside for a half hour. After a half an hour reheat at a higher flame, until the mixture becomes sugar-like or crystalized. Shortly afterwards remove from heat, and, using a spoon and fork, mold into different shapes.
Stewed Meat and Vegetables (Carne Gizado)
3-4 lbs. cubed meat, pork or beef
4-5 white potatoes
3 lbs. mandioca root
3 medium white yams
3 green bananas
Trim off excess fat, season and marinate meat overnight with salt, garlic, vinegar, bay leaf, and pepper. Peel and cut up potatoes, yams, mandioca, and green bananas. In a pot, cook meat with marinade and 3 onions with 1/2 cup cooking oil on low heat until medium done. Add all vegetables to meat and cover with water. Cook on low until vegetables cook. Season with salt, garlic, bay leaf, paprika, and pepper.