“My husband and I lived in Azores, Portugal, on Lajes Air Force Base and enjoyed many Portuguese dishes. I learned to cook a few of my favorites. I enjoyed living in Portugal so much. Terceira Island is beautiful, the people very welcoming to Americans. I made a few Portuguese friends, and they generously shared their favorite recipes. These recipes work well for the pandemic, because they remind me of better times. Also, the bread and soup pack up very well, and I was able to deliver them contact-free to my daughter who is a nurse at Maine Medical Center and too busy to cook. Everyone social-distanced, and none of us got the virus!” — ANNA M. STANKIEWICZ, Gorham

PORTUGUESE SWEET BREAD

Total time: 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours 

2-1/4 teaspoons yeast

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs, room temperature, plus 1 additional egg to glaze bread

3/4 cup milk, room temperature

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of 1 orange or lemon

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

In a stand mixer, mix the yeast with the honey, 2 eggs, milk, butter, vanilla and zest. Gradually, add the flour and salt. Knead the bread, using the mixer’s dough hook, for 5-7 minutes, or several more minutes if you knead by hand.

Lightly coat a large mixing bowl with vegetable oil. Put the dough in the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 2 hours.

Optional second rise: Gentle punch the dough to deflate it. Then set aside to rise for 2 more hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan. Shape the dough into a loaf and transfer to the pan. Let it rise for a final 30 minutes. Slash the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife 3 or 4 times. Glaze the loaf with egg wash, made from lightly beating the third egg with 1 tablespoon water.

Bake the loaf until golden, 35-45 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

CALDO VERDE SOUP

Adjust the garlic amount to your tolerance for, and enjoyment of, garlic.

Total time: 30-40 minutes

Yields 6 good-sized portions

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 (48-oz.) can low-sodium chicken stock

4 potatoes, peeled and chopped

5 ounces kale, stemmed and roughly chopped

1 pound chicken sausage (or protein of your choice)

Heat the oil in a large pot. Once it’s warm, add the onion and saute it until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, saute about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and the potatoes, cover and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. After 10 minutes, add the kale. Simmer the broth for another 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a frying pan for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Cut the sausage into medallions and add them to the simmering broth.


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