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A Portuguese Meal

Chef John Villa

Skewered Shrimp with Piri Piri
Caldo Verde
Portuguese Rice Pudding

Skewered Shrimp With Piri Piri
Serves 4

1 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 dried piri piri peppers or Thai bird peppers, ground, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Red Onion, quartered
1 cup cleaned, chopped cilantro leaves
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

Method: In a bowl or Ziploc bag, mix together the olive oil, garlic, peppers or flakes, and cilantro. Add the shrimp, be sure all sides are coated and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Take shrimp out of the marinade and string it on metal skewers, 4 to a skewer. Alternate with the red onion. Grill these over charcoal or under a preheated broiler for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, brushing it with marinade when you turn the shrimp. Season with salt and if you want serve with rice and lemon wedges.

Caldo Verde is usually a one-course main dish at lunch or a light supper. The rice pudding is almost like a sweet risotto, both an ending to a light meal and a delicious Sunday breakfast.

Caldo Verde
Serves 6 to 8

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
10 ounces chourico sausage, diced
6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
8 cups of cold water
1 pound kale or spinach, cut into small julienne
Salt and pepper to taste

Method: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic and half the chourico and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cover everything with water, bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are almost done, about 15 minutes.
When the soup is cool enough to handle, puree it in the food processor and return to the pot. Add the greens, bring everything back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls and garnish with the remaining cubes of chourico.

Portuguese Rice Pudding
Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons short-grain rice
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3 egg yolks, beaten
Powdered cinnamon for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk. When it comes to a boil, stir in the sugar, salt, rice and lemon zest. Turn down the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, until the rice has a creamy consistency, almost like risotto. Take off the heat. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks. Add a ladle of the hot mixture to the eggs, stirring all the time, and then stir back into the warm rice mixture. Spoon into individual dishes and serve warm, topped with a crust of powdered cinnamon.

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