Portuguese Dinner Party (inspired by David Leite)

As soon as I got wind of David Leite’s new cookbook, The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast, I knew it was going to have to be an immediate addition to my ever-expanding cookbook collection.
David Leite definitely did his homework on this one. He spent several years traveling and eating his way through Portugal, where he discovered many dishes that were updates on old Portuguese classics. His new cookbook covers both classic and contemporary, tucking a few family favorites in there too.  The food photography in the book is well-shot, and there are gorgeous photos of Portugual throughout the book. Leite took the time to introduce each recipe and tell a story as to how the recipe came to be. A few of the recipes that are on my list to make: Goat Cheese, Walnut & Honey Triangles, Azorean, Sausage & Bean Soup, Sea Bass w/ Fennel & Orange, Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Momma Leite’s Braised Beef in Wine & Garlic, Black Olive Risotto, Portuguese Pizza and Rosemary Custard.crop_2_ED[1]

I was especially delighted to read that Leite spent some time in Lisbon. Though I haven’t traveled there myself, my Mother and Aunt had quite the time in Lisbon researching our family’s history and discovering that there was a street named after their great grandmother, who wrote for a Lisbon newspaper and was a well-known playwright and poet.
Colorful tiles on the buildings are quite common in Lisbon.
Leite’s cookbook inspired me to put together a Portuguese Dinner Party for eight.
Our Menu…

Featured Beverage:
Classic Sangria

Smoked Ham with Melon (presunto com melao)
No recipe for this one… just wrapped prosciutto di Parma around chunks of cantaloupe
Green Olive Dip (pate de azeitonas verdes)- from Leite’s cookbook

Portuguese Salad

Main Dish:
Pork Stew w/ Clams, Mussels & Spicy Red Pepper Sauce and Garlic Toast
Roasted Portuguese Potatoes w/ Smoked Sausage & Tomato

Orange Cake– from Leite’s cookbook

The sangria was an excellent to sip while munching on Leite’s Green Olive Dip, which was silky & creamy and perfect with flatbread.  We picked up some red wines from Portugal to drink with dinner, and everything on the menu was devoured eagerly and well-received.   The pork turned out pull-apart-tender, and it was served over the roasted potatoes and sausage, which made for a nice, hearty stew.  The roasted vegetable salad (no lettuce) was a good addition too.  Made with olive oil and fresh oranges, the Orange Cake was especially out-of-this-world moist and delicioso (my favorite recipe of the dinner party).

All of the recipes featured can be found by clicking on recipe titles above.

26 Responses to “Portuguese Dinner Party (inspired by David Leite)”

  1. postedSep 24, 2009 3:37 AM

    Wonderful menu! And you must be so pleased everything turned out beautifully. Being dessert minded, I have to agree that cake looks delicious!

  2. postedSep 24, 2009 5:40 AM

    What a fabulous menu! I love the table setting, it looks like it created the perfect mood!

  3. postedSep 24, 2009 5:52 AM

    Everything sounds absolutely wonderful, and the table is beautiful.

  4. postedSep 24, 2009 6:05 AM

    What a beautiful post Lori! I want to travel now and eat all that good food!

  5. postedSep 24, 2009 6:27 AM

    Oh I wish I was on the guest list for this party. Fantastic food and it looks as if Martha was there guiding you in your decorating. Fabulous!

  6. postedSep 24, 2009 6:29 AM

    Absolutely beautiful; the food and the table! Love your idea for wine corks and being a wino…err, wine person; would love to know what wines you served with this meal!

  7. postedSep 24, 2009 6:35 AM

    My hubs is 100% Portuguese and would love to sit at this table. Lovely tablescape.

  8. postedSep 24, 2009 11:28 AM

    Everything looks so inviting. The stew sounds oh so “comfy.”

  9. postedSep 24, 2009 1:34 PM

    Lori, this is STUNNING! I can’t wait to try some of these recipes!

  10. postedSep 24, 2009 1:57 PM

    i have to make that cake like right now

  11. postedSep 24, 2009 3:11 PM

    This sounds so good Lori! What an awesome way to celebrate your heritage! Everything looks mouthwatering.

  12. postedSep 24, 2009 4:43 PM

    Wow, it all looks so good and your table…beautiful!

  13. postedSep 24, 2009 6:25 PM

    Lori- I lived in Portugal for several months! I am so excited to see you reviewing this cookbook. I miss it so much – I was just discussing a trip in October, 2010. The food is very unique in Portugal, and I think many Americans know so little about it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  14. postedSep 24, 2009 7:14 PM

    Yum, how do I wrangle an invite to your next dinner party?

  15. postedSep 25, 2009 3:13 AM

    SO enticing!!

  16. postedSep 25, 2009 6:37 AM

    What a spectacular dinner, and you clearly have some exceptional photography skills. Thank you for sharing an excellent cookbook review with your readers!

    Casual Kitchen

  17. postedSep 27, 2009 6:34 AM

    Your dinner guests must always be in Heaven. I can just imagine their faces when they receive an invitation from you. Sheer delight!

  18. postedSep 27, 2009 9:47 AM

    Lori, this is really fabulous. It looked delicious and you table was beautiful! Love you Mom’s pics, too

  19. postedSep 28, 2009 12:38 AM

    I just got that cookbook, and am so excited to begin making things out of it. I love the idea of a Portuguese dinner party- everything looks so good.

  20. postedSep 28, 2009 7:08 AM

    What a party! I would love to recreate this one- everything sounds marvelous and paired with Portuguese wines it would be very memorable.

  21. postedSep 28, 2009 12:34 PM

    Lori, the table setting is fab, the menu is making me hungry and I wish we lived closer so I could “crash” these dinners!

  22. postedSep 30, 2009 11:11 AM

    Looks like a great dinner and I definitely will take a look at David’s book…especially since I’m exploring the idea of a trip to Portugal next year. We foodies have to know the culinary scene before booking!

  23. postedOct 1, 2009 2:59 PM

    How cool is this for a Portuguese like me!!!

  24. postedOct 6, 2009 9:39 AM

    Thank you for this post. I love learning more about my Portuguese heritage and hope to travel there some day soon. For now, I’ll just have to educate myself through this cookbook! Thanks so much 🙂

  25. postedOct 21, 2009 3:28 PM
    Allison Woods

    I just finished making the cheese stuffed pork tenderloin…OMG how delicious. Had to make the amped up red pepper sauce in order to do the pork and it is insanely good all on its own too. What an awesome cookbook. Allison

  26. postedOct 5, 2012 8:22 PM
    Sofia Moede

    Lori, what a great looking dinner. I LOVE the candle centerpieces. Next time try making the Portuguese soup called caldo verde, easy to make and delicious. Looking forward to reading about your next dinner!

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