Dia de Portugal (Rhode Island Day of Portugal) was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the pandemic, but Rhode Island Day of Portugal produced videos to be seen virtually. Ana Isabel dos Reis-Couto of Rhode Island Day of Portugal (Dia de Portugal) interviews Natalia Paiva-Neves of O Dinis Restaurant at Natalia’s home in her backyard and of course is socially distanced. Natalia walks Ana Isabel through a Sunday brunch with a Portuguese classic. Natalia makes Scramble Eggs with Game Sausage and a Portuguese Tuna Salad.
Recipe: Scrambled Eggs with Game Sausage
1 Alheira (typically found in a Portuguese market)
1 small onion
1 bunch of parsley or cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
How to cook:
Finely mince the onion and sauté with olive oil until almost brown.
Remove the casing from sausage and cut in pieces places them in the frying pan along with pinions.
Turn the sausage over and let the other side get brown in the meantime beat 8 eggs with 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper.
Pour the egg mixture over the sausage and onions pushing the egg mixture around like a scramble but not to break up to much of the sausage until soft cooked .
Serve with crusty bread
Recipe: Portuguese Tuna Salad
One jar of Portuguese or Italian tuna packed in olive oil if you cannot find it just use the cans in oil
One can of chickpeas
Four hard boiled eggs
Half a cup of chopped Italian parsley
One clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
Half a cup of olive oil
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
How to make:
In a bowl combine olive oil vinegar crushed red pepper onions garlic and stir set aside
In a large bowl add chickpeas, tuna and half of the egg chopped and parsley
Combine all together top with the remaining chopped egg and olives
Natalia Shares More: Alheira is a game sausage made in the North region of Portugal (same region that makes Port in Porto). The sausage is made with game meat that could be duck, rabbit or pork mixed with day old bread and then sautéed with garlic, spices and white wine then stuffed into a casing and smoked. This Alheira is basically game meat with bread.
Funny Story About Alheira: Natalia’s mom lived in Ludlow, MA and there was a butcher shop there where the owners were from the North region of Portugal and made Alheira at their shop (only making it once a year and people come from all over to get their Alheira), Every time Natalia visited her mom there would be Alheira made many different ways and it was always on mom’s table in one way or another. Then, when Natalia had her first son and no longer could travel to her mom’s house with the baby Natalia’s mom would bring Natalia a case of Alheira and spend a day freezing it piece by piece in cryovac and it would last Natalia a year. Natalia and her family would love to bring the Alheira out for Christmas especially as an appetizer.
What Made Natalia Make This Dish For Dia de Portugal: On the last trip to Portugal (in 2019), Natalia and her family had dinner with friends on the mainland in Lisbon. When the Scrambled Eggs with Alheira was brought out for dinner, Natalia’s son Tiago questioned why were they having scrambled eggs for dinner and Natalia told him to just try it. Needless to say, Tiago and his brother Miguel cleaned their plates they loved it so much. That great memory made Natalia want to make this dish for the Rhode Island Day of Portugal Sunday Brunch. This dish just screams Portugal to Natalia.