Portuguese Caldo Verde
Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at making a variety of bean and sausage soups—perhaps due to the cold weather. In my readings, I came across a recipe for Caldo Verde, or green soup, the iconic soup of Portugal, beloved by all, and apparently, the national dish of Portugal–every son claims that his mother makes the absolute best Caldo Verde in the world! Traditionally, this soup, from the Minho region, is made with just water, onion, potatoes, with some sort of greens, (kale or collard greens) and a slice of chouriço.
The actual cooking seemed relatively easy, if time consuming. It was simply a matter of sautéing the onion, garlic cloves, and potatoes, and once, done to a golden brown, adding chicken stock and or water, and cooking at a simmer for 25 minutes or so. The trickiest part for me was deveining the kale and stacking and rolling the leaves into a tight, cigar-shaped bundle and chopping it into fine, thin slices. Once cooked, you purée the soup into small batches with a hand-held blender, return to pot and simmer for an additional five minutes or so. In the meantime, I sautéed a few slices of chouriço, and then added them to the soup, prior to serving. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The soup was excellent and did, indeed, have a green cast; the chouriço added a touch of smokiness. I had fun trying something new, and the soup tasted even better the next day!
Recipe adapted from The New Portuguese Table by David Leite (Clarkson Potter, 2009) $32.50
The essential ingredient in French cassoulet. The tarbais bean flourishes at the foothills of the Pyrenees in Southwestern France. These special ivory beans possess a delicate skin, and sweet, milky flesh. When cooked most of the beans will remain whole, while just enough will burst open, thickening a stew to just the right consistency. A magic bean worthy of the iconic dish of southwest France!
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2015 Domaine de l’Amauve ‘Laurances’ Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret $17.99
Domaine de l’Amauve is the estate of Christian Voeux, who was the winemaker for Mount Redon and Chateau la Nerthe in the past. These wines are high quality, age-worthy wines.
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2015 Domaine de l’Amauve ‘Estelles’ Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret $19.99
The ‘Estelles’ possesses a deep crimson color, with purple tints. It has a velvety mouthfeel, with a lot of roundness, nice, soft tannins, and a persistent finish that features black fruits and spice flavors. A wine that can be consumed in the near term, or cellared.
2011 Chateau Puy-Blanquet St.Emilion Grand Cru $28.99
A blend 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Puy-Banquet. This estate is managed by Christian Moueix of Chateau Pétrus and Chateau Trotanoy fame. He took over management of Établissements Jean-Pierre Moueix in 1991.
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90 points, Wine Spectator.
2015 Quinta De Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada Dão $9.99
A blend of native varietals Alfrochiero, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, it is a seamless blend of red fruits, forest floor and spice, with toasty nuances thanks to 6 months spent in French oak barrels. Wine Spectator gave this stunner a well-deserved 90 points!
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90 points, Wine Spectator.
2015 Ramos Pinto Duas Quintas Branco Douro $14.99
The Duas Quintas White is a blend of traditional grape varieties (60% Rabigato, 30% Viosinho, and 10% Arinto) that expresses the potential of this extreme region. It is a structured, unctuous white wine but also fine and elegant. It possesses a fine and expressive nose, with delicate aromas of sweet fruit, melon and grape, with floral notes of roses, and white flowers and a final hint of spices. A fluid wine in the mouth, with excellent acidity and a surprising structure. Citrus notes complement the aromatic expression of fruits and flowers. It received 89 points from Wine Spectator.