Menu: A Home-Style Dinner from Alentejo

Todd Coleman
Convent Egg Sweet (Encharcada)

Convent Egg Sweet (Encharcada)

The recipe for this egg-based sweet, which originated in a medieval Portuguese convent, comes from home cook Conceição Abilio of Evora.Todd Coleman

The Menu

More About This Menu

  1. Masa de pimentão(the vibrant red pepper paste used in entrecosto no forno)__can be sourced in stores, but serious home cooks still prepare it from scratch. The process is long, but it is rewarding. Learn how to make it here »
  2. The bread and garlic soup should be served hot and consumed the same day. An Alentejo native famous for the traditional dishes she's been making for decades once told us: "Never reheat a soup that has bread in it—the bread disappears!"
  3. Portuguese wines are something of a well-kept secret; they're less present on shelves and restaurant lists than those from other countries. Yet Portugal has a winemaking history that stretches back as far as 1200 b.c., and the variety and depth of its wines may surprise you. For more information, including tasting notes, read more »
  4. Many of Alentejo's rich egg desserts trace their roots to the 15th century, when Portuguese nuns starched their habits with egg whites and found themselves with an excess of yolks. Read more about the history of convent egg sweets »

  5. When making encharcada, add the sieved yolk bit by bit in a circular motion around the edge of the skillet to create layers, which give the dish its complex texture.

  6. These recipes first appeared in our November 2013 issue with Jean Anderson's story The Food I Dream Of.