SouperChef Special | Curried Pumpkin Mango and Seafood Bitsque

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SouperChef Special | Curried Pumpkin Mango and Seafood Bitsque

(Contains Seafood | Contains Dairy | Gluten-Free)

Although Brazil is generally hot, when it comes to comfort foods, they have inherited a love for soups and stews. Along Olinda’s many quiet cobblestoned streets lies Oficina do Sabor, a quaint restaurant with a small backyard garden space. It is the brainchild of chef and cookbook author César Santos. Here, Pernambucan cuisine is the real star.

The restaurant Officina da Sabor situated along the cobblestone road. The residential architecture, which brings together the Portuguese and Brazilian heritage of the city, includes 17th-century dwellings decorated with mashrabiyas, and 18th-century houses covered in tiles, as well as more recent homes. The brightly painted houses create colourful streetscapes.

The restaurant Oficina do Sabor situated along the cobblestone road. The residential architecture, which brings together the Portuguese and Brazilian heritage of the city, includes 17th-century dwellings decorated with mashrabiyas, and 18th-century houses covered in tiles, as well as more recent homes. The brightly painted houses create colourful streetscapes.

 

The restaurant opens to a beautiful yard overlooking the city of Recife

The restaurant opens to a beautiful yard overlooking the city of Recife

 

A wall decorated with special edition handcrafted plates collected over the years

A wall decorated with special edition handcrafted plates collected over the years

 

The most popular dish here, Jerimum, a hollowed out pumpkin baked with different fillings

The most popular dish here, Jerimum, a hollowed out pumpkin baked with different fillings

 

The huge menu includes the addictive Northeast specialty of jerimum, a lobster and fish stew cooked in a pumpkin and served with cream of mango known as Jerimum recheado com lagostim ao creme de manga. The moment I tried this, it was WOW. Why had I not thought about it first – marrying seafood with fruits!

The original inspiration was to mix seafood with fruit. This might seem obvious in a coastal town in a country blessed with tropical produce, but it was not part of either of the heavy seafood traditions brought over from abroad: Portugal with its “bacalhau” (codfish) dishes and western Africa with its “dendê” (palm oil) stews. While scrambling to set up his makeshift restaurant in an Olinda house rented to him by a friend who’d skipped town, Santos came up with his first original dish: shrimp in mango crème sauce served in a carved out pumpkin. From there he ventured into passion fruit sauce.

The original inspiration was to mix seafood with fruit. This might seem obvious in a coastal town in a country blessed with tropical produce, but it was not part of either the heavy seafood traditions brought over from abroad: Portugal with its “bacalhau” (codfish) dishes nor the West Africa with its “dendê” (palm oil) stews. Santos came up with his first original dish: shrimp in mango crème sauce served in a carved out pumpkin.

With a little twist, the individual flavours of the pumpkin, orange, and curry complement one other to produce a memorable soup. Orange adds a tropical flavour that elevates the pumpkin. Taking pumpkin and orange and adding it to a traditional French-style prawn and crab meat bisque with other kinds of seafood, cream cheese and a hint of curry, we hope to recreate this dish for you to enjoy. I love how the fruity, savoury and the tang all come together beautifully with the richness of the seafood stock made with prawns and crabs. We added a generous amount of quinoa to make it one hearty ‘bitsque’ (bisque with bits of ingredients)!

Ingredients used for curried pumpkin with mango and prawn bitsque

Ingredients used for curried pumpkin with mango and prawn bitsque

Curried pumpkin with mango and prawn bitsque

Curried Pumpkin Mango and Seafood Bitsque

Ingredients: Seafood stock (water, prawn shells, crabs, herbs), pumpkin, orange, prawns, crab meat, mullet fish, squid, clam meat, quinoa, curry powder, cream cheese, cream, butter, celery, carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, Worchestershire sauce, leek

Condiments: A drizzle of coconut cream, chopped coriander

 

Read more on SouperChef Anna’s travel to Brazil on our e-magazine. Download here.

 

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