As you may know, Portugal is a small country in Europe on the Western side of the continent. It runs along the Atlantic ocean and looks as though it's almost a neighborhood within the country of Spain. If you had asked the lady, Senora Cefarina, that took care of me while I lived in Spain about Portugal, she would have curtly stated that Portugal should be part of Spain. She even quickly declared to me 'el portugues es muy mal hablado espanol', which translates to English as 'Portuguese is simply poorly spoken Spanish'. Cefarina obviously didn't hold the country of Portugal or it's language and culture in high esteem.
I, however, love Portugal. The language sounds a bit like Spanish spoken with a French accent to my ear, which is perfection in and of itself to me at least when it comes to the human tongue. The food is delicious not only in terms of traditional recipes, but also in terms of high quality and naturally grown agriculture. And the place is gleaming with beauty being that it runs along the coast and runs inward towards Europe, which we all know is just beauty in raw form.
Now, Portugal has some raunchy history just like the rest of us, but I won't go into that. One nice characteristic of Portugal's history though is something that it shares with many parts of Europe as well as North Africa and that is afternoon tea! I love afternoon tea, which is preceded by a 'siest' or 'siesta' (a nap). In fact, I might argue that there is nothing better in this life than afternoon siest followed by afternoon tea with homemade cakes, cookies, confections, and bread. Usually taken with family, friends, & neighbors-the ones we love. Yes, this is life!
Unfortunately, we don't stop work, school, or anything else in the U.S. for afternoon tea.The Portuguese and many Europeans close shop for anywhere between 2-3 hours in the afternoon, so that people can go home and eat some lunch, make love, sleep, and wake up to afternoon tea. Then, they go back to work for a couple more hours till the work day is done.
Sounds nice, no? Well, write to the president or somebody. WE NEED AFTERNOON TEA LIKE PORTUGAL! Am I wrong here, Dearies?
Anyway, here is a traditional Olive Oil & Orange Portuguese Tea Cake. It is delicious, traditional and easy. I adapted the recipe from Leite's Cake. It caught my eye as Leite describes it saying that it is even better the 2nd or 3rd day after sitting. He even goes so far as to command one not to take a bite out of it till the next day, so this cake holds well, Dearies!
Here is my version:
Portuguese Orange-Olive Oil Cake
1 3/4 Cup A.P. Flour
1 Cup Sugar
3/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
3/4 Cup O.J.
3/4 Cup Olive Oil
1-2 Tsp. Orange Zest (optional but fragrant)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a bread pan with sprayed Parchment Paper.
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Then add the oil, o.j., and zest to the eggs and whisk well. Slowly pour the wet mix into the dry mix and gently stir till homogeneous-do not over stir. Pour into bread pan and bake for about 45-50 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy with afternoon tea!