As commercial as Valentine’s Day may be, the truth is that the next February 14th gives us the opportunity to surprise our better half with more originality and commitment.

The most romantic day (they should be all and always) this year does not escape the restrictions of the pandemic that affects us.

As commercial as Valentine’s Day may be, the truth is that the next February 14th gives us the opportunity to surprise our better half with more originality and commitment.

We are all at home, cocooning and relearning relationships and affections and what better way is there to declare our love than cooking an unforgettable meal, full of flavor and meaning?

Whether to remember the flavors of that trip you made to Portugal or to reveal your skills as a cook and dream of the long-awaited visit to Lisbon, here are some suggestions and recipes for a romantic dinner, 100% Portuguese, but very easy to do, with ingredients you can find anywhere in the world.

Let’s give olives the main role, a fruit that is gold for this country!

Start by making a “tapennade”, a kind of pâté that you can use as a dip or spread and our suggestion includes rich tastefull olives.

It is very easy to make but it will stand out!

Coarsely chop 200gr of pitted olives (you can choose black or green), one tablespoon of capers and a touch of ginger and blend everything in a processor. Add some zest and the juice of half a lemon and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Mix a little more and adjust the seasonings of salt and ground pepper to your liking.

Serve as a dip, preparing strips of raw carrots and small toasts of bread to dip in this paste.

Or you can also prepare a Tiborna, a typical tidbit from Alentejo, south of Portugal, spreading the tapenade on a slice of toasted bread, with a thin slice of tomato on top and some grated cheese, to take to the oven to gratin, before serving.

Chicken is probably the most consumed animal protein in the world, so you can easily buy it at a local market near you.
The surprise of this dish will be the sauce, present in a traditional Portuguese recipe.

Learn how to make a Frango de Fricassé (chicken Fricassé) that will surely occupy the podium of your favorites.

Season a chicken cut into pieces, with salt and pepper.

In a large saucepan add three tablespoons of olive oil, an onion and two chopped garlic cloves and a bay leaf.
Stir and as soon as the onion starts to glaze, add the chicken pieces and cook over medium heat until the meat is sealed.
Drizzle everything with 150 ml of white wine and 1/2 lt of chicken broth.
Cover and cook over medium heat for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix a tablespoon full of unleavened wheat flour with two egg yolks and slowly add the juice of a lemon to this mixture.

When the chicken is cooked, turn the heat off, mix chopped parsley in the amount you want, and finally add the flour dissolved in the egg yolks and stir quickly, without stopping, until everything is covered and the sauce thickens a little.

Serve with mashed potatoes.

To finish off, serve a traditional Bolo de Bolacha (biscuit cake).

This is one of lisbonners’ favorite desserts and very common in several menus of local restaurants.

It is incredibly easy to make without mistakes and it surprises visually and, more importantly, with its sweetness and creaminess.

In Portugal we use Maria biscuit, but you can use any kind of your favorite milk biscuit brand.

Place in a bowl 300 g of butter at room temperature, 200 g of powdered sugar, cup of strong coffee and two egg yolks.
Beat and mix everything very well until you get a fluffy and well bound cream.

In a round plate, arrange alternating layers of biscuits soaked in extra coffee and the butter cream. Mind that the last layer should be cream.

Chill until solid and serve sprinkled with the grated biscuits on top. 

To accompany this meal we suggest that you serve a Portuguese white wine of your choice.