Qestion about portuguese acorda....
I was looking at a pretty delicious sounding recipe, but it doesn't say whether you keep the crust on the bread that you soak and add to the acorda....does anyone have a clue about this? Also, if you have a great acorda recipe, please share it!
You might check Leites Culinaria for info. He has a Portuguese page and is quite knowledgeable about Portuguese cooking. You can contact him on the site directly too.
The whole point is to use crusty bread, to be "authentically" Portuguese. My inlaws don't remove the crust. No recipe I have ever read for it indicates to remove the crust, and most emphasize that if you don't have a crusty-style bread, it's probably not worth making the dish.
The recipe I use for açorda is to use 1 tbsp coarse salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 3-4 cloves garlic, plenty of chopped cilantro, boiling water, stale papo seco, and 4 eggs.
re: David Leite
A good açorda de marisço is one of the best things you can eat. Real Portuguese olive oil helps a lot. The biggest problem is finding the bread. Any clues to that? I actually made a decent açorda using a light non-seeded rye (that wasn't very rye-tasting) from a Russian shop. It was dense enough. American white breads tend to be too fluffy, even now in the artisan baker age.
re: David Leite
There's a very popular restaurant in Lisboa called PAP AÇORDA that is famous for their açorda (as the name might imply.) Most often they use bacalao instead of other seafood products you mention. The only problem is that they do not use the boneless bacalao, so you're forever picking pieces of sharp, hard bone out of your mouth. If you make the mistake of swallowing one, you're headed straight to the hospital. It's really dangerous. If it doesn't skewer your throat or stomach, your small intestine is almost sure to get punctured. BE CAREFUL!
AÇORDA ALENTEJANA (Traditional Portuguese Bread Soup)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
2 tsp sea salt 1/3 cup of olive oil
6 medium eggs (the freshest possible) at room temperature
7 cups lightly boiling water
6 cups (a good size loaf) day old Portuguese, French or Italian crusty bread, torn into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1. In a large pot, get the water boiling and add the salt
2. Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the garlic and cilantro together until it forms a thickish paste. Transfer to the bottom of a heat-proof bowl or casserole dish and drizzle with the olive oil.
3. Crack the eggs one at a time, and add to the simmering water holding the egg as close to the water as possible. After about 20 seconds, very carefully move the eggs to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Gently simmer until eggs are barely cooked through but the yolks are still soft on the inside (about 2 or 3 minutes.) The eggs will continue to cook in the hot water/bread mixture. (Very fresh egg whites will hold together much better than old eggs.)
4. Add the bread to the bowl and coat all the pieces with the cilantro-garlic-olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with the ground pepper.
5. Pour the boiling egg water mixture into the heat proof bowl and arrange the poached eggs on top. Sprinkle the top with fresh cut cilantro.
6. Serve at the table with a ladle being sure to place an egg in each person's bowl.
This soup is very often served topped with shrimps, lobster pieces, cooked salt cod, good quality black olives (NOT the canned ones).