Where better for me to start than with the most internationally well-known Portuguese ingredient: Piri-Piri sauce.
Although this sauce is available in all manner of differently branded little bottles, it seemed only right that having moved here, we learned to make our own. We used a recipe from “Lonely Planet – World Food Portugal” for our first attempt:
First, we finely chopped 6 medium cloves of garlic, and 1 cup of red birdseye chillies (the book had US measurements, but I would estimate this at around 3 tablespoons.)
For those interested in trivia, according to the web the “malagueta” chilli is the authentic type for this purpose.
All of the ingredients for piri-piri
We then added 2 teaspoons of sea salt (from the Algarve of course, given that it is from the salt pans just down the road!) Half a cup of white wine vinegar and 2 cups of “good” olive oil (note that as yet we haven’t found “bad” olive oil in Portugal!)
You then put all of the above ingredients in a large sterilised jar, shake it extensively and put in the fridge for a week before use. It came out after a week and was fiercely hot as a sauce and surprisingly tame, yet full of flavour, when spread onto chicken before BBQ-ing. Apparently it should keep for up to six weeks, though I am a little more cautious with these things, so did my best to use it in three.
Our first attempt at Piri Piri was from a recipe in this book – click the link below to order the book from Amazon!