Monday, August 8, 2011

Food Fit for a King...

All over the world, people have different traditions. Most traditions revolve around food or involve food in some way. It doesn't matter what country you live in or what language you speak, food is an important part of life and family. America, the home of fried potatoes and fast food...unfortunately to us in our Country the moto is the bigger the better, the saltier the better, the greasier the other parts of the world chefs and home cooks explore natural flavors, they appreciate the flavor of meat, they utilize fresh herbs and spices, they welcome the flavor of the ocean from fish. I learned a lot about that this weekend and grew a new appreciation for fresh food.
My cousin Ze comes to visit my family from Portugal a few times per year, the last time she visited was for Phil and my wedding (last September) so because it was such a busy time, we didn’t get to spend to much time with her. When we heard a few weeks ago that she was coming, we were more than excited! This year we were even more eager for her to arrive because we heard that she was coming with her Nephew Hugo.

We had the pleasure of meeting them for dinner on Thursday night after their arrival. We went to the Outback Steakhouse (doesn’t get any more American than that for Hugo’s first American meal huh!?) We chatted about life, work, family, and food. We found out that Hugo and Ze love to cook at home as well, but it seemed that their techniques and food preference were quite different, not only because of different traditions, but because of what is available in Europe. They love nuts, seeds, fresh produce and especially fish. We love fish too, but in Portugal when they cook it, it is the fish in its entirety; with head, with fins, with eyes…

My parent’s house in Marshfield is right near a little local fish market…and we were up for a challenge J

My mom bravely went in on Friday afternoon and requested a whole fish. At first the fishermen were a little skeptical and confused on what she would want with a whole fish but they did a beautiful job preparing a fresh caught haddock for the challenge.

he he
Seasoning with fresh garlic, rosemary, thyme, lemon zest and salt
Hugo and Ze, so proud of their creation...the fish has a blanket of onion, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, seasalt and white wine
 I know it looks a little scary, but oh man was it good....

We also had lots of other treats throughout the day...between my parents, Hugo and Ze, my sister and myself, we certainly made a feast fit for a king.

 Mahogany Clams and Figs with blue cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.
 Grilled Squash and Zucchini - Green Salad with Tomato and Mozzarella with a fresh pesto Vinaigrette (made with farm fresh basil)
So tired from the marathon of eating...
Sunday was a rainy day. What better way to spend it that with Poker games like Texas Holdem and with snacks...

 Fresh Tuna Salad- Bruchetta              
 Grilled Peaches topped with Vanilla Bean Ice cream and Cinnamon
Salted Caramels 

If you would like any recipes or tips on where to find these treat, please post a comment or send me an e-mail!


  1. Oh Melanie, everything looks soooo good. I bet Ze and Hugo loved your cooking this special meal for them. Loved all the pictures, especially the one of Hugo and Ze holding your creation. Yikes..........did you cook the head and eyes too????

  2. Yep, we cooked and ate everything! ;)
    It was just perfect! And Melanie you're a great chef! Thank you all for those splendid moments together. Hope to see you in the futuro.