Concept, Text and Illustration

ZEITMagazin Food Special 

For ZEITMagazin I created a special issue on the wonders of the Portuguese kitchen, which - by the time of publishing - was still quite a well-kept secret. The magazine spread is built of many recipe illustrations served with my texts and stories on the dishes or Portuguese culinary and cultural impressions. It was my first dive into culinary art and I thank chief editor Christoph Amend, responsible editor Elisabeth Raether and art director Milena Carstens for their trust and giving me free rein. I even got to do the wine recommendation - this issue was blueprint for our cookbook Die Portugiesische Küche, which was published one year later at Kunstmann Verlag.

Concept, Text, Illustrations: Alexandra Klobouk
Recipes : Rita Cortes and Liliana Escalhão
Art director: Milena Carstens
Editorial director: Elisabeth Raether

Available at ︎ ZEITVerlag  
       For more Portuguese kitchen see Die Portugiesische Küche available at ︎ Kunstmann Verlag.

A successful Portuguese evening begins with the Petiscos, delicious snacks, bites, tapas and starters. It's best to order a lot of them at once and try them all one after the other.

It may happen that the main course has to wait for another night, but what does it matter when you can choose between squid salad, pickled chickpeas, smoked ham, goat cheese, or spicy paprika sausage, the Chouriço assado? Petiscos are not only delicious but also practical
because they can be prepared in advance, and most of them can last several days in the refrigerator. Even our Pataniscas (pronounced something like pa-ta-neesh-kash), delicate fish fritters, can be made the night before. However, they taste best when they are warm.

Peixinhos da Horta, or "Garden Fish”. Admittedly, in Portugal, the land of fish and hearty meat dishes, vegetarianism is still a rather modern trend. But the meat-loving Portuguese also know many delicious vegetarian dishes, like this one. 

Perhaps this dish originated on a day when fresh fish was simply not available - maybe on a Sunday when no fish is caught because even fishermen have a day off. So, the resourceful cook went to the garden and fished there.
The crispy "Garden Fish," which literally means Peixinhos da Horta (pay-sheen-yosch da-or-ta), are green beans, sometimes okra, baked in tempura batter. They look like small sardines but 
- word of honor - they are vegetarian. "Wait a minute - " some might think, "Tempura comes from Japan." Wrong. The Portuguese did not adopt tempura from the Japanese - they brought the batter to Japan, just like bread which the Japanese got to know through Portuguese sailors.
However, Garden Fish taste delicious even without historical knowledge and are truly easy to prepare.

Lemon Tarte - how many lemons fit into a cake?
In June, Lisbon is turned upside down- The quarters of the old city center are adorned with colorful garlands, tables and the patios are closely packed with benches. The air is filled with the smoke of sardine grills and the tunes of Pimba, a popular folk music with suggestive lyrics. 

It's the Festas de Lisboa, a whole month of lively celebrations until late at night
in honor of the city's patron saint, St. Anthonio - and his best friend, the sardine. Celebrations also take place in the city's backyards. Modest festive tables are loaded with homemade delicacies from the gathered relatives. If, as a stranger in Lisbon, you're very lucky, you might accidentally stumble upon such a backyard party.
It's hard to resist the friendliness of the hosts. And since the Portuguese also know that love goes through the stomach, they will surely want to ensure that their surprise guest indulges in all
the homemade specialties. Lucky is the one who still has room left in the end. Because the best, you guessed it, comes now: the dessert. When you are served a lemon tart like this, you should gather all your tipsy courage and express your enthusiasm with the few bits of Portuguese you know. Perhaps then you might receive the recipe for this irresistible tart. The one here was written down for me by Anita, the host's cousin, whose backyard party I attended, and she also allowed me to share it at this moment.

Obrigada, Anita! (Thank you, Anita!)

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