As grilling season is just around the corner, I can already taste the juicy, sweet flavors of a perfectly grilled red snapper (pargo grelhado na brasa), sardines and bass. The mouthwatering aromas evoke lively memories from massive immigrant get togethers as temperatures climb above freezing. It’s one of my favorite times of the year, in large part, because it reminds me of home, of Portugal.
Our secret weapon is Piri-Piri, one of the ingredients that distinguish our cooking from other Mediterranean-based cuisines. The mildly hot and sweet concoction is a co-invention of the Portuguese and its former colony Mozambique using birds-eye chili peppers.
Our other secret is the way in which we butterfly the fish, a skill that comes second nature to a Portuguese. It’s in our blood! And if you’re not familiar with the technique, here’s a quick 101 lesson on doing it at home. If you are a master, feel free to jump down the recipe – an easy mid week meal that permits you time to chill out over warm embers as the sun slowly sets in the west.
(photo by Pen Waggener)