There is a large Portuguese community in Luxembourg Over 100.000 residents are of Portuguese origin – that is impressive, considering that Luxembourg only has a population of about 575.000. Portuguese immigration started in the 1960s, when Luxembourg was calling on manual labourers, and targeted a large-scale recruitment campaign at Portugal. Many Portuguese people I know are second-generation and grew up in Luxembourg.
For me it was essential to create a dish for this book that explores and celebrates both our cultures and culinary heritages It was pretty obvious to use bacalhau, the dried saltfish that features prominently in Portuguese cuisine. Many Luxembourgers shy away from this ingredient as they think it is too fishy in taste. I wanted to overcome this perception and create a bouchée au bacalhau (Bouchée à la Reine being one of the country´s traditional staples: a puff pastry vol-au-vent filled with creamy chicken, mushroom and veal sauce). By desalting the fish overnight, cooking it in milk and serving it in a creamy white wine béchamel, the bacalhau loses its pungent fishiness. I have managed to convert quite a few Luxembourgers with these little appetizers, and my Portuguese friends approve of them, too.
You can watch me make these bacalhau bouchées here.
If you want to read the recipe in Luxembourgish, click here.
This is a recipe from my book “Home Sweet Home – My Luxembourg”.