FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

NYC, Alfama, Chef Luis Caseiro

Apr 1, 2006
2006 / April 2006

Luis Caseiro remembers watching his mother baking cakes in the family kitchen.

“I was truly intrigued by that,” Caseiro said. “So much so, that I tried to mimic her by making sugar and butter ‘sandwiches’ for my younger brother. That’s how I had my start in pastry-making.”

And the rest is history.

Caseiro, an innovative Portuguese chef whose culinary career spans more than 15 years, is the executive chef at New York’s Alfama restaurant. Previously, he was affiliated with Hotel Flor de Sal, a small luxury hotel in the charming Portuguese town of Viana do Castelo, 45 miles north of Oporto.

Having also lived on the Chinese island of Macau — a former Portuguese colony — for two years, Caseiro brings an innovative flair to Alfama’s traditional Portuguese menu.

“Portuguese cuisine is earthy,” he said. “The flavors are bold and its base is quite healthy — fresh seafood, vegetables and the purest of olive oils. Dry salt cod is a major staple and there are hundreds of ways to prepare it: broiled, boiled, baked, roasted, sautéed, fried, grilled and many garnishes to go along with it. There aren’t too many sauces to mask the flavor of anything. I’d call it ‘honest’ cuisine.

“What I bring to the table is the fact that I lived in Asia for two years, precisely in Macau, a former Portuguese colony,” Caseiro added. “What was interesting about living there was seeing how much of a culinary exchange had taken place between the two cultures — Chinese and Portuguese. Upon joining Alfama, I decided to create a section of the menu called ‘new wave Portuguese,’ which is reflective of the age of Portuguese navigation and discovery when the Portuguese were present in so many different parts of the world including India, China, Malaysia, Japan, Angola, Mozambique, Guiné-Bissau and Brazil. It is really amazing how we influenced the cuisines of these cultures and, in turn, were influenced by them.”


Seared red snapper in a mussel saffron soup with crispy leeks Serves 1
6-ounce red snapper fillet
1 leek, cut into thin strips
1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup diced white onion
15 mussels
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup shrimp stock or water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Trim away the heavy green part of the leek. Take the white part of the leek, cut away the root and halve it lengthwise. Peel away the layers until you reach the center; discard the yellow “heart” of the leek. Flatten the external white parts of the leek and cut into even-sized strips. Soak strips in ice water for at least an hour or overnight. Heat olive oil to 350 degrees and deep-fry the leeks until crispy. Set aside.

Steam 10 mussels in 1 cup water. Discard any that do not open. Remove from heat. Strain the liquid, set aside. Remove meat from the mussels and discard the shells. In a stockpot, heat olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add saffron and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mussel broth, shrimp stock (or water) and mussel meat. Simmer for 30 minutes, add cream and blend. Strain soup. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, make three evenly spaced slits on the skin side of the red snapper fillet. Season the fish with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil until it is lightly smoky. Add the fish, skin side down first, and cook until crispy. Flip fish over and add the saffron mussel sauce along with the five remaining mussels. Cook until mussels open and the fish is moist and flaky, about 5 minutes.

PRESENTATION: Place five mussels in bowl and top off with the red snapper. Pour the remaining sauce in the pan over the fish and garnish with the crispy leeks.


Crispy bronzini with gingered yams and arugula in star anise sauce Serves 1
6-ounce bronzini fillet
1/2 pound yams
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/4 pound butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup arugula
3 star anise pods
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup fish stock
1 tablespoon olive oil

Boil yams in water until tender. Let yams cool. Peel and purée through a food mill or ricer (If you do not have either of these items you can just mash with a fork until smooth). Return purée to the stove and mix in grated ginger, butter, and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Set aside.

Combine wine, star anise, onions and fish stock over medium heat. Reduce to half. Add remaining cream. Simmer until reduced by half. Blend sauce and strain.

Divide the bronzini into two equal pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan. Add bronzini and sear, skin side down first. Cook until tender, about three minutes each side. Reheat yam purée and adjust consistency with heavy cream.

PRESENTATION: Place yam purée in center of plate. Top with arugula, then the bronzini. Drizzle sauce around plate and serve.

ALFAMA

551 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10014
tel 212 645 2500

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Feb 23, 2024

The Radical: A New Boutique Hotel, Opens in Asheville, North Carolina’s, River Arts District

Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.

Why Buy Annual Travel Insurance?

One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.

February 2024
Feb 23, 2024

Pickle Up: Get in on America’s Fastest Growing Sport

Early on, pickleball had something to do with pickles. Pickles the dog, that is. In one story, the game was named for a family dog that ran off with the ball between sets.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

Hôtel Norman Opens Near the Top of Champs Elysées

Located a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe, Olivier Bertrand recently opened Hôtel Norman for those looking to explore the city.

MORE TO TRAVEL

There’s more to travel than just getting there.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco Completes Renovations

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco recently completed renovations of its entrances, lobby, culinary concepts and meeting space. This marks the final stage of the renovation, which began in 2021 with the revitalization of its 269 guestrooms and 45 suites.

Daily
Feb 21, 2024

Make Alberta, Canada, Your Next Wellness Getaway

Rich in mountains, prairies, forests and hot springs, Alberta, Canada, takes nature and wellness travel to a whole new level. Combine the beauty of this western Canadian province with relaxation and you’re in for a treat.

Fill Your Heart with Ireland

Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?

eFlyer Reviews
Feb 21, 2024

Amantaka Review

You know what you’re going to get at an Aman hotel, and also you don’t. Expect peerless service, obsessive attention to detail, architectural elegance worthy of a fashion magazine, a holistic approach to wellness and astounding levels of comfort. But each property is also intimately connected to its setting, and that’s where the surprises lie. For instance, finding yourself on your knees on a sidewalk in Luang Prabang handing out sticky rice to Buddhist monks at 5:30 a.m. isn’t something we expected.