Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Josie Riviera, and her recipe for Bacalhau A Braz along with an introduction to her holiday romance, A Portuguese Christmas. Please join me in welcoming Josie and savor her recipe for Bacalhau A Braz as you read about her new book!
Bacalhau A Braz (Dried Cod Dish)
A Traditional Portuguese holiday recipe.
You will need:
5 Large potatoes
3 pieces of boneless, skinless dried code (previously soaked for 24 hours)
4-5 jumbo eggs
3 large onions
4 large garlic cloves
1/3 cup half and half or whole milk
oil to fry potatoes
salt, pepper, paprika to taste
½ cup olive oil
The salted dry cod needs to be presoaked inside a pan with water, in refrigerator, for 24-36 hours. If cod has been pre-soaked and is frozen, boil for 5 minutes to defrost it.
Cut the potatoes into fine sticks (as close to shoestring as possible) and sprinkle with salt. Fry potatoes in hot oil and put aside.
In a large pot, place the olive oil and sliced onions. Cook onions until transparent. Add cod broken into small pieces (about the size of your fingers) and chopped garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the eggs (that have previously been beaten with half and half) alternating with the fried potatoes and mix well. Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste.
To serve, place in a platter and garnish with fresh parsley and olives. Serves 6.
Love can come softly, like holiday snow. Or sweep you away like a riptide.
World-class surfer Krystal Walters would have appreciated the beauty of her surroundings—a quaint cottage in a fragrant Portuguese olive grove—if a wipeout hadn’t changed all her holiday plans.
Now, suffering the dizzying aftereffects of multiple concussions, she’s determined to make it home to Rhode Island for Christmas, even if she has to defy doctor’s orders. Except those orders are being enforced by Adolfo Silva. A man as arrogant as he is ruggedly handsome.
Spending every waking moment working to make the family olive farm a success, Adolfo barely has time to savor a traditional Feliz Natal. But the moment Krystal disappears under a mountain of sea water, his focus shifts to a sun-kissed spitfire with golden hair, sky-blue eyes, and a will as immovable as his own.
Keeping her safe is his first priority, but this bold, courageous woman’s wings won’t be clipped. Before they can plant the seeds of a future together, he’ll have to convince her that spending Christmas—and maybe every holiday to come—with him isn’t the end of the world. Because she’s become the center of his.
It was simply the way it was in Portugal, another morning dawning so brilliantly. Dappled sunbeams reflected off the Atlantic Ocean; the surf pounded along a long, sweeping beach.
So this was a Portuguese December, Krystal Walters thought. It was so different from the cold weather battering her hometown of Newport, Rhode Island.
Here in Portugal, the sun never stopped shining.
She shaded her eyes, admiring the shimmering turquoise water. Feet snug in booties and reef socks, she wiggled her toes in the golden sand.
Hurray! Her anticipation grew with each breath of brisk, salty air. After a grueling year-long championship tour, the World Surf League ranked her as one of the top seventeen women surfers in the world. She actually stood on Medão Grande Beach’s shoreline in Peniche, Portugal.
She tucked her waxed surfboard under her arm, hoisted her belongings, and headed for the competitor’s area to check out the scheduled surf heats. Earlier that morning, she’d showered at the Oasis, an inexpensive hotel, and surfed for a short while. She’d encountered a sizeable wave and had spent a few seconds underwater. An hour had passed, and she still felt winded.
Shake it off.
Nothing would stop her, certainly not a little time underwater.
She gripped her water bottle, drained the contents, and refilled.
Slinging her lucky striped beach towel over her shoulder, she regarded the panoramic view of sky, tidal channels and mountains.
I wish you were here to see all this, Ernie.
A scream of sorrow slammed into her chest. Her carefree marriage to Ernie had lasted four months. And then, a week prior to their first Christmas together, he’d drowned while surfing.
“A huge wave will pack a big punch,” the emergency medical responder had remarked. “Rip currents are drowning machines.”
Ernie’s death had left her disheartened. To escape a despair that never went away, she turned inward. Never again would she rely on anyone for emotional support. She couldn’t bear the pain of loss, of abandonment, of defeat.
Sam Larson, an American surfer competing in the men’s event, came to stand beside her. Playfully, he snatched her towel and dangled it in front of her. “Nervous?”
She seized her towel from him. “Absolutely.”
“Ready to win?”
“I’m always out to achieve my personal best.”
Sam nodded toward the voluptuous, sun-kissed brunette woman effortlessly riding a twelve-foot wave. “I gather from Wilhelmina’s gutsy performance, she’s aiming to win the preliminary competition too.”
Krystal thoughtfully sipped from her water bottle. “She’s an epic surfer.”
“You’re more proficient. Glad you’re able to compete again. How long were you off the circuit?”
Sam’s green-eyed gaze caught hers. The proverbial surfer dude, all bronzed skin and long, bleached-blond hair. “We missed you.”
“Thanks.” She swallowed the tightness in her throat and stowed the water bottle in her board bag. Affectionately, she patted her surfboard. “Angel and I are glad to be back.”
“My surfboard’s name is Angel. You?”
“Umm, no. Although one of my buddies named his surfboard Rhino.”
Krystal laughed. “I’ve always had a love affair with the ocean. I hope to generate a sponsorship from one of the swimsuit companies.”
“Don’t we all?” Sam smirked.
“Actually, lately, I’ve enjoyed sketching and designing swimsuits.”
“Submit your designs. All the women’s swimwear companies are represented here.”
“Someday. For now, I’m here to surf.”
Sam’s smile was quick. “Conditions, swell models and the weather forecast are all textbook.”
“Textbook is reassuring. I want to get out of Portugal as soon as possible.”
“So you’ll use all your feminine blonde, blue-eyed energy to accept your first-place winnings and leave this impressive climate behind?”
Krystal pulled sunblock from her purse and rubbed it on her nose and cheeks. “After the finals on December nineteenth, I’ll return to Rhode Island.”
“The purse is $15,000,” Sam said.
“And if I win, I’m building an in-law apartment onto my bungalow so that my dad can live with me. We plan to celebrate Christmas together.”
She was done with grief and heartache, and finally ready to celebrate the holidays again.
She scanned the spectators mobbing the shoreline, pleased to see her cousin Veronica, along with Veronica’s husband, Clemente, and their twin six-year-old boys waving like mad cuckoo clocks in Krystal’s direction. Veronica wore a wide-brimmed straw hat that covered her crimped auburn hair, a long rainbow-colored skirt, and pink floral scarf. Draped around her neck hung a camera and binoculars.
Krystal assumed her merriest smile and waved back. To cheer her on, they’d driven two hours from their olive farm in Évora. There was no reason for them to know her unease, or how much was at risk if she lost.
A tall man with thick, wavy black hair stood near Veronica. He crossed his tanned, muscular arms over his creased white shirt, and his worn denim jeans emphasized his fit physique. His expression was one of utter indifference to the entire competition—the crowd’s lively applause, the announcer’s incessant bullhorn, and the loud riffs of a guitarist strumming and singing that he wished all Portugal girls could be California girls.
Krystal studied the man’s handsome features. No doubt he was Clemente’s younger brother, Adolfo Silva. Although the men resembled each other, Clemente’s softer, paler qualities suited his office environment, whereas Adolfo was tall and broad-shouldered, projecting an aloof strength.
Veronica had high praise for Adolfo. He worked the olive groves and consistently strove to build a more profitable farm.
How had Veronica persuaded her workaholic brother-in-law to attend a surfing competition? His stance was as rigid as a floorboard, a touch of arrogance in the set of his chiseled jaw. He glanced at his watch before bending to rescue one of the twin boys when the other hit him over the head with a beach ball. Adolfo muttered something and Veronica frowned, placing her freckled hands protectively on each boy’s hair.
Under dark brows, Adolfo’s gaze swept over Krystal, lingering on her form-fitting wetsuit.
Krystal felt her face heat. He was much too bold. Her wetsuit protected her body from the cold water. She wasn’t a female specimen to be gawked at, as if she were wearing a skimpy bikini.
Haughtily, she met his stare.
His lips quirked.
Chin held high, she pivoted. She pegged him as one of those smooth-talking Mediterranean men who assumed any woman could be charmed by his lazy smile.
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Josie Riviera is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary, inspirational, and historical sweet romances that read like Hallmark movies. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their home with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and live in an old house forever needing renovations.
Have you ever tried something you were afraid to try because it mattered so much to you? I did, when I started writing. Take the chance, everyone, and just do something you love.
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Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!