Caldo Verde

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Caldo Verde

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Was in a doctor’s office yesterday and, with time to kill, I started flipping through a magazine when I came across a recipe for Caldo Verde or “Portuguese Green Soup”. What immediately caught my eye with this one is two of my favourite ingredients….. Chorizo sausage and Navy beans and so I knew I just had to make it.

Traditional Caldo Verde, from what I have managed to find out, contains ( amongst other things) Kale and Potatoes but seeing how I didn’t have Kale and didn’t really feel like peeling potatoes I left them out and substituted Savoy cabbage for the Kale. In addition I strayed a little bit more from the recipe I found by adding a bit of spice in the form of a Poblano pepper and some Cajun seasoning. The addition of the Cajun seasoning and the Poblano pepper makes this a perfect “I feel awful from a cold” type of soup since it provides a warm and comfy feeling and the spices help clear your sinuses.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 5 Chorizo sausages cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups Navy beans – washed and rinsed
  • 1 medium Poblano pepper – seeded and diced
  • 1 medium yellow Onion – diced
  • 1/2 head of a small Savoy cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves – finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 cups low sodium Chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • Sea salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste
  • Olive baguette (optional)

Putting it all together:

  1. Place the Navy beans in a large non reactive bowl, cover with water and set aside for about 2 hours
  2. When the beans have softened place the Olive oil and Chorizo in a large pot or Dutch oven and brown on medium high heat – about 5 to 8 minutes
  3. Remove the sausage and set aside.
  4. Add the onion, Poblano pepper and garlic to the pot and sauté for about 3 minutes
  5. Add in the chicken stock, Navy beans and the remainder of the seasonings and simmer for about 15 minutes
  6. Add back the Chorizo and mix well
  7. Mix in the cabbage and continue simmering for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has softened
  8. Adjust the seasonings and enjoy

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……

                            Bon Appetit

Shrimp and Grits

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I think the first time I heard reference to Grits was in an old John Wayne movie and the person talking about them turned his nose up and said they were basically gross. I didn’t give it any more thought until a few years ago when I started watching the Food Network, specifically Diners Drive Ins and Dives, and I started to see episodes where people were making Grits and I thought “Wait a minute. They don’t look gross” and a love affair with grits was born.

Now for the uninitiated Grits are merely coarse ground Corn Meal and a staple in any Southern, or in my case Northern, kitchen and they are a very versatile ingredient that can be made in many different ways but my absolute favorite is Shrimp and Grits.

Here’s my take on a classic Southern dish.

Ingredients:

–           1 cup stone-ground grits

–           Salt and pepper

–           1/4 cup butter

–           2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

–           1 pound shrimp, 35-40 peeled and deveined, left whole if small and roughly chopped if medium or large

–           6 slices smoked bacon, chopped into tiny pieces

–           4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

–           2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

–           1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts

–           1/2 Medium white onion, diced

–           1 large garlic clove, minced

–           2 Tablespoons corn flour

–           1 Tsp of Cajun seasoning, Old Bay seasoning and Smoked Paprika

–           4 Cups chicken broth

Directions:

–           For the Grits bring 4 cups chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the grits and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a whisk. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook the grits until all the broth is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Keep covered until ready to serve.

–           Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned and crisp, then drain on a paper towel. Add the diced onion and garlic to the bacon grease. Add two tablespoons corn flour and mix well. Let the flour cook out before adding enough chicken stock to make a roux to your liking. Mix in the Cajun seasoning, Old Bay and Smoked Paprika and bacon and blend well. Add the shrimp and sauté over medium heat just until they turn pink, about 3 minutes. Do not overcook! Remove the skillet from the heat.

–           Pour the grits into a serving bowl. Pour the shrimp mixture over the grits and garnish with chopped green onion

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I thank you for dropping by.

Bon Appetit