November 6th, 2020
Earlier this fall, during a Girls at Library event we discussed how the intersection of what we eat as well as the books and magazines we consume help shape our understanding of the cultures that make up our community while also providing comfort in times of stress. We had just received our copy of Whetstone Vol.6 and commented that while we didn't know what the world would look like come November 3rd, (or even today, November 6th!) we found solace in knowing what we wanted to cook and share with you.
"We cannot comment intelligently on food, nor social uprisings, pandemics, or anything in between, without a perspective that is rooted in the international, intergenerational and intersectional...We believe this so fiercely that we have dedicated our work to this framing, centering concepts like origin, anthropology, and indigeneity. We are still learning, and moving concurrently with humility and fervor. understanding the parts of our struggle that are cyclical and collective provides tools for us to meet this moment with unprecedented education and empathy. The time is now!" – Mel Shi and Stephen Satterfield, cofounders of Whetstone magazine (from the intro of Vol. 6)
Jennifer's Memories of Lisbon
"For many years, Lisbon was my home. I lived in a beautiful old neighborhood called the Bairro Alto on one of the many “hills” of Lisbon — age-old buildings with crumbling facades, palaces with hand-painted tiles, simple houses right next to palaces, a wonderful mix of trendy shops and bars, as well as traditional shops and corner restaurants.Women dressed in black leaned out of windows, wearing headscarves, hanging their laundry out to dry in the hot sun. The knife sharpener would pedal his bicycle around the neighborhood, hawking his service. Tramways with worn wooden seats rode up and down the hills.
From the Bairro Alto, I would ride the funicular train down the steep hill to the Central Market along the banks of the Rio Tejo. The lower floor of the market was dominated by the fishmongers: strong-voiced, stocky women in knee-high rubber boots with an array of fish straight from the boat — Peixe-espada, which look like a silver blade, beautiful robalo, dorado, sardinhas, and so much more...
I do admit to a certain Portuguese something missing from my life in LA but these Sodade, Saudade recipes make up for it."
Portuguese-Style Roasted Potatoes
your portion of potatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large pot of salted cold water bring the potatoes to a boil and cook until tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool to warm.
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. In a large cast iron skillet or sheet pan, stir together the oil, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Stir in the potatoes until coated with the oil mixture, then roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until very crisp, about 30 minutes. Season with salt to taste and serve.
"When living in Portugal the best post beach meal was always to get Frango Piri Piri while listening to Cesária Évora..."
Frango Piri Piri
3 tablespoons butter*
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons piri-piri sauce or other hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 large shallot or 1/2 red onion, peeled, quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup piri-piri sauce or Honey Hi Lactofermented hot sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground Diaspora Co. black pepper
your portion of chicken
1-Finely chop cilantro, ginger, shallot, and garlic in processor. Add piri-piri sauce, 1/4 cup oil, lemon juice, coarse salt, and pepper; process marinade to blend.
2-Pour half of marinade into a glass baking dish and place the chicken, skin side down, in single layer in dish. Pour remaining marinade over. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
3-Remove chicken from marinade and grill or roast at 425F, turning often, until the skin is browned and the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 45 minutes. Transfer to platter. Pour warm glaze over.
4-Serve with Batatas Doce, Portuguese-Style Roasted Potatoes, rice or mixed lettuces.
Poached Eggs with Piri Piri Sauce and Bacon
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
your portion of spinach or arugula
salt and pepper to taste
Batatas Doce, Portuguese-Style Roasted Potatoes or Rice
Soften onions and garlic in olive oil in a pan, cooking over medium flame for about 7 minutes. Add spinach or arugula to onions, and mix together. Once it starts to wilt, make little indented spots and crack an egg into each hole.
Turn the temperature down to medium low, and put a lid on the pan. Steam the eggs until cooked to your preference.
Serve with bacon and potatoes or rice and piri-piri sauce.
Portuguese Lamb Kebabs
1 garlic clove
2 tsp smoked paprika
your portion of lamb stew meat
your portion of peppers
cilantro, parsley (or arugula for a peppery kick!)
Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Mix the garlic with 2 tsp of the smoked paprika, 1 tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper.
Add the lamb to the marinade. Turn the lamb in the bowl to coat it. Put to one side for 10 mins to marinate.
Peel and finely chop the onions and peppers.
Warm ½ tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the onion. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry over a medium heat for about 5 mins. Stir every so often till the onion is glossy. Add the peppers to the onion. Fry for around 5-8 mins till the pepper is soft. Set aside.
Heat your grill to high. Thread the lamb onto the rosemary sprigs . Grill for 15 mins. Turn them every so often so they’re browned.
Serve the kebabs hot off the grill with rice topped with the onion pepper mix.
From Lisbon to Mozambique
Somali chef Hawa Hassan and renowned food writer Julia Turshen share recipes from bibis (grandmothers) from the eight African countries that share the common thread of touching the Indian Ocean –including Mozambique which was colonized by the Portuguese and achieved independence in 1975.
Chatting with Hawa and Stephen
Last month we had the opportunity to sit in on a conversation with Hawa Hassan and Stephen Satterfield, hosted by Now Serving. It was a nourishing experience that we hope you take the time to enjoy as well.
Leafy Greens in Coconut Sauce Adapted from Ma Maria's Mbowa
3 tbs coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
your portion of coconut milk
1 cup water
your portion of collards or kale, stems removed and sliced (you can mix this with spinach, chard or other leafy greens)
Warm the oil in a heavy pot with medium heat. Add the onion and cook and occasionally stir until almost soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute before adding the water and coconut milk. Reduce the heat and add the leafy greens in small batches, salting to taste as you go. Cover and cook for another five minutes before serving with toasted polenta loaf or rice.
*Ma Maria cooks her greens for another 10 minutes until the leafy greens lose their brightness and are super tender. She serves it with Xima (cornmeal porridge).
For a fresh raw salad version, try our fall adaptation of Between Heaven and Harlem's Collard Green Salad with Coconut Dressing
your bunch of collards or kale, shredded
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch carrots, shaved
1/2 cup cooked kidney beans
1/4 cup cashews (candied, spiced or plain roasted)
sliced avocado (optional)
Coconut Mustard Dressing
1 tbs toasted cumin seeds
1 tsp minced ginger
1/4 cup roasted Fresno peppers
juice of 2 limes (zest before juicing and reserve)
3 tbs M.Greenwood curry or dijon mustard
3 tbs White Buffalo Trust Persimmon Vinegar
Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Toss the greens, onion and carrots with just enough dressing to coat. Top with beans and cashews. Serve with additional dressing or sliced avocado on the side.
For a soup...try Caldo Verde
1-2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 your portion of potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
5 1/2 or more cups flavorful broth or water (add a bit more if you like a brothier soup)
2 bay leaves
1 bunch collard greens or kale, stem removed and leaves cut into thin ribbons
your portion of heirloom tomatoes
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Warm a tablespoon or two of oil in a large soup pot. Add onion and cook until soft, then add garlic and cook for one minute. Do not let the garlic brown.
Add potatoes and broth/water, along with the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 20 or so minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard.
Ladle 2 or 3 cups of potato cubes from the pot, into a heat-proof bowl. Blend the soup remaining in the pot with an immersion blender or food processor until the broth is smooth and creamy with rough chunks of potato here and there.
Add potato cubes back into the pot. Bring soup back to a gentle simmer and add the greens and tomatoes, plus 1/2 teaspoon salt or more (depending on whether you are using water, or the saltiness of your broth). Taste the soup to decide how much salt to add.
Cook until greens are wilted and tomatoes are barely soft, about 2 - 4 minutes. Serve with cheese and crusty toasted bread.
Honeyed Fresno Chile Sauce Inspired by Ma Maria's Piri Piri Sauce
This sauce is Portuguese in origin, but peri is a Swahili word for a specific type of chile that is believed to have been first cultivated in Africa. Various hot peppers can be used in place of piri piri chiles, but Hawa and Julia suggested Fresnos. Not feeling like making your own hot sauce? Use Honey Hi's lacto-fermented hot sauce made with Weiser Family Farms Calabrian peppers and JF Organics Fresno and habenero peppers.
your portion of Fresno chiles
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs minced ginger
1/2 cup persimmon vinegar (Ma Maria uses lime)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbs honey (Ma Maria uses sugar)
salt to taste
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Before writing "In Bibi's Kitchen" with Hawa Hassan and other amazing books, Julia Turshen founded Equity At The Table (EATT), an easy-to-navigate database for food industry professionals featuring only women/gender non-conforming folks and focusing primarily on POC and the LGBT community. EATT was inspired by the aphorism that it’s better to “build a longer table, not a higher fence.”
In the wake of the last election, she also wrote "Feed the Resistance", "a practical and inspiring handbook for feeding your political activism – and your appetite. As we search our our own ways to resist injustice and express support for our fellow human beings, our communities, and causes, people begin by gathering around the table to talk and plan." Both Hawa and Stephen were included in the roster of 25 activists that Turshen featured. The following is an adaptation of Stephen's Sweet Potatoes with a nod to Sana Javeri Kadri, founder of Diaspora Co., who first introduced us to Stephen's work at Whetstone magazine.
Batatas Doce with Turmeric- Honey Butter
your portion of sweet potatoes
3 tbs olive oil
coarse sea salt
Diaspora Co. black pepper to taste
1/2 cup butter at room-temperature
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp of Diaspora Co. turmeric
coarse sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Stephen pricks the whole sweet potatoes with a fork, coats them with olive oil and sprinkles them with salt before baking, but we had a hankering for home fries and cut them into small cubes instead. Bake until they are tender yet crispy, about 45 minutes.
While the sweet potatoes are baking, mix the butter, honey, turmeric and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Serve the sweet potatoes with eggs and bolos levados (or toast) with turmeric-honey butter.
"Growing up on Cape Cod taught me about how the Portuguese moved people and ingredients around the world by being fed in the homes of my Cape Verdean and Azorean cousins, Brazilian best friend and when visiting back east as an adult, in the kitchen of my partner's grandmother, whose family is from Portugal.
Fridays meant TGIF with Feijoada (Brazilian black bean stew) or a visit to the churrascaria in Hyannis, Saturday mornings were sweetened by bolos levados (Portuguese sweet muffins) with honey and butter at Maria's, apple picking and raking leaves in the fall with cousins and friends was followed by bowls of kale or collard soup with the Cabrals or manchup with the Fontes family, and every potluck was a competition of whose titia or vovo made the best jag.
While we didn't discuss the reasons for overlapping ingredients as a family growing up, it's something that my partner and I discuss frequently as we plan for kids of our own – our duty as good ancestors in the making. I'm grateful for essays like "Finding Africa in Lisbon" for speaking on the nuances of this topic, and hope it deepens your experience as well."
Tomatoes are already used in many of the recipes shared in this box – Ma Maria's Mbowa, Caldo Verde and Cachupa – but to let these late season heirlooms shine on their own while letting out some election anxiety, we hand crushed a few heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled them with sea salt, and warmed them in a bath of olive oil before enjoying them with day-old cornbread and Krystal Mack's poetry.