Monday, October 1, 2012

Wine, Dr. Seuss Style

Usually when someone offers you wine, the selection is typically between red and white. Next time you are offered green wine, don't assume it's some weird St. Patrick's Day cocktail or some Dr. Seuss invention. Vinho Verde, or green wine, is a typical drink in Portugal. Unfortunately, it's pretty difficult to find outside of Portugal, Brazil or Macau. I haven't had any in years, but I recently found some at Trader Joe's, of all places.



Believe it or not, this was $4.50. Per bottle. It's seriously amazing. I'm only disappointed that I found it in September, because it is the perfect summer drink. Although the name does literally translate to green wine, it's not really green. The name refers to the age of the wine, meaning it's very young. (AKA - don't hide this in your pantry and think the value will increase. It will most certainly not.) It's really refreshing, a little bit sparkling, very light, has a slightly apply taste and has a lower alcohol content than typical wines - 9% to the standard 14%. Which is great, because it makes drinking the entire bottle a real possibility.  As in, good luck not drinking the whole bottle.



Even though this is definitely a warm weather wine that pairs well with salads and fish, it was kind of chilly here this weekend. And rainy. And blah. I wanted to eat something hearty, warm and substantial to counteract the terrible weather. I ended up making Caldo Verde - green soup.



This Portuguese soup is a classic dish for chilly weather, and it can actually be made into an incredibly healthy meal. To make it authentically, you would add in chorizo sausage (I used chicken and turkey sausage). Here's how I made it:

Ingredients:
3-4 sausages
6 cups of chicken broth
4 new potatoes (small), roughly chopped
1 whole sweet potato, roughly chopped
4 cups of shredded kale
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 whole onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, diced

-Brown the sausages whole in a hot pan with olive oil, searing all sides. Set aside.
-Place chopped onions in a hot pot with more olive oil and cook for five minutes.
-Add garlic to the onion mixture and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
-Add all 6 cups of chicken broth, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and potatoes and cook for 20 minutes on medium heat, or until potatoes are soft.
-Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to smash potatoes and create a thicker, starchier broth. (Don't make the soup smooth, as the rustic look with pieces is the desired result. )
-Slice the sausages into oval pieces and add to the soup for 5 minutes.
-Add the kale (with stems removed) to the broth and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until kale is soft.

Serve and enjoy! It's best with a slice of bread or a roll to sop up the goodness - Tim and I went through lots of bread (gluten-free for me!) when eating this. It was delicious and the perfect autumn dish.



Have you ever had Portuguese food? What's your favorite dish/drink?
I've never been to Portugal, but I have had some pretty authentic food from Macau (a former Portuguese colony in China). I love the little Portuguese egg custard tarts, but I really hate the salted cod that seems to be typical in Portuguese cuisine. Really not a fan.
(Side note: The middle picture of me in the header with wine and bread is from a Portuguese restaurant! )

Do you shop at Trader Joe's?
I haven't been in years, but I went last week in Nashville and got hooked! I went again this week and managed to find one pretty close to me (an hour, but it's worth it!)

22 comments:

  1. I don;t shop at trader joes....as I don't have one :( but I do like the idea of green wine....and this recipe :)

    I got side tracked listening to Tim's song which I wanted to say sounds very incubus inspired??? I definitely get that vibe from it anyway. Pretty cool.

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  2. I love Trader Joes! There are staples I always get there... falafel, peanut butter, Daily Bread, Peaberry Coffee (just to name a few). Every time I go there I get hooked on something new.

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  3. Please to write more about the running.

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  4. I have never been to a Trader Joes, although I read so much about it on blogs I hope we get one here soon!

    The wine and the soup both look YUM!

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  5. I wish we had a Trader Joes in Vermont. There are rumors....
    I'm a Pinot Grigio kind of girl all year long with everything that I eat. :)

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  6. I love this wine! You are right... it is very hard to not drink the whole thing. The soup recipe looks delicious, I will need to try it.
    The closest Trader Joe's is two hours away from me, but I have made the trip once and have loved the items I picked up there.

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  7. I'm surprised you have trouble finding vino verde. I can almost always find several kinds of it at any local wine/beer/liquor store in any of the places that I've lived in the US. Since it's usually pretty decent for the price I consider that a good thing.

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  8. Never had Portuguese food, ever. But that looks amazingly delish. And yes, I do shop at Trader Joe's. I didn't until I moved to WA though as we didn't have one in our small city in GA.

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  9. I love trader joes wines. I have no palette for wine so the cheaper the better.

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  10. Funny thing is, I usually only shop at TRader Joe's for their wine selection! That soup looks delish...remind me a bit of Italian Wedding Soup.

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  11. I love that wine! I *love* Trader Joe's. I could never live somewhere without one! Also, I'm definitely going to have to try that soup

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  12. Yes to the wine and hell yessss to that soup!

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  13. never had portuguese food but your soup and wine look great! i have a trader joe’s a mile from me but i don’t go very often. their produce and fruit go bad much quicker than whole foods-but i love some of their other foods!

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  14. I would definitely drive an hour for a TJs! When I lived in Chicago, I loved buying their wine - 2 buck Chuck! There's actually a scandalous story that goes along with it…maybe I'll tell you next time we get together :)

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  15. YUMMY! Thank you for posting this! Can't wait to try the recipe. I've been looking for recipes with kale in them.

    I love Trader Joe's two buck chuck! Never been to Portugal, maybe some day.

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  16. When I lived in Germany, we had a Portuguese restaurant in town. Vino Verde is indeed so good in the summer, but I take it anyday! :) Your soup looks really yummy!

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  17. I'll drink any color of wine except maybe orange or yellow because that would be gross. My Grandmother was first generation American from Portugal so I grew up eating Portuguese food, it's delicious. I've never been to Portugal but my husband went a few years ago for work and when he got back all he talked about was how much he missed me, HA, more like how amazing the food was. I'm not a fan of Trader Joes (I've never said that out loud because people around here are passionate about TJ's) I'm just a little concerned about where the food is coming from.
    xM

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  18. LOVE TDs. LOVE that wine. and SO making that soup this week!!

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  19. Every time I read your blog I get jealous about your worldly lifestyle. I'm still debating if the lower alcohol content is a good thing or a bad thing. I LOVE Trader Joes! Their sauces are all amazing. Ours can't sell wine though, which is lame.

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  20. The wine and the soup both sound delicious! Allan was quite excited about our Trader Joe's goodies that I picked up in Nashville.

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  21. Do you have a Cost Plus World Market nearby? They have it. Some of my favorites are: Famega, Avaleda, Casal Garcia...and screw the rules; I usually drink it with everything!

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  22. YUM! This looks good! Maybe I can make it without the sausage?? Or does that mess up the whole dish?? I haven't eaten much Portuguese food...just those custard tarts. They are GOOD!

    I've only been to TJs once in NYC and it was fab. I plan on going again next week if I have time while on my trip! There are a few things I NEED to get!!

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