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Cooking with a Butcher's Apprentice, Part I - Caldo Verde - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
Cooking with a Butcher's Apprentice, Part I - Caldo Verde
Caldo Verde, or "green soup" is the national dish of Portugal. It's based around a few simple ingredients that create a humble and comforting pot of meals to be enjoyed throughout a week of what's been deemed the "snowiest winter ever" by the locals here in not-quite-Upstate New York.

If you're following along at home, you will need:

Olive Oil
3 links of Chorizo or Andouille
1 large Onion, diced
3-4 cloves of Garlic, minced
5-6 Russet Potatoes, peeled & diced
7 cups Water (or even better, Chicken or Pork Stock)
3/4 lb Kale, finely shredded, stems removed
Salt & Pepper to taste

...and here's what you'll need to do. Make adjustments as necessary to reflect your own circumstances and experiences:
  • Acquire a handful of sausages from the shop, resisting all attempts by the manager to give you additional meats. If it helps, keep in mind that the soup you are planning will keep you well fed and happy for much longer than it will take to return to the shop in a couple of days. Chorizo would be the most "authentic," but I opted for chicken andouille because it smelled amazing.
  • Stop at the organic produce market and collect the rest of the ingredients. Explain to the helpful and inquisitive staff that you are, in fact, just making soup for the week and not preparing for the Super Bowl.
  • Return to your adorable cottage and realize that you are incredibly sore and may be nursing a touch of carpel tunnel from all the cutting you've been doing over the course of the week. Opt to recuperate for the next day or so, or at least as long as it takes to get feeling back in the tips of your thumbs. Content yourself with Annie's Shells & Cheddar or some other suitably low-thought dinner substitute. Sleep like a stone.
  • Take the largest pot you have and pour in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Heat the oil over medium-low heat.
  • When oil is just shimmering, add whole sausages and brown on all sides.
  • While sausage is browning, figure out a clever way to sharpen the only suitable knife (in my case, a 4" sheepsfoot Ginsu) on the the butter dish cover. Once you are satisfied with the edge, prepare the vegetables.
  • Remove sausages and add onions to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  • Add garlic and cook for a minute or two more.
  • Add potatoes and water or stock, and return the browned sausages to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer until potatoes are just cooked.
  • Remove sausages again, and use the back of a cracked wooden spatula to mash the potatoes against the side of the pot as best as you can.
  • Cut sausages on the bias and return the sliced links to the pot. Add shredded kale and continue simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until kale is tender. Season and serve with a crusty bread (or Broa, if you've thought ahead and were feeling particularly ambitious).
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