Thursday, March 09, 2006

Potage with chorizo

Potage with chorizo really doesn't *sound* that appetizing, does it? Especially if you don't know what potage is, I guess. Poh-taaazh..... I love that word. Here, say it with me: pohhhhh-taaaaaazzzzzhhhhhh........ I get visions of sturdy clay pots with bubbling, savory broth containing vegetables and meat, on a solid old farmers kitchen table in the middle of the Provence, accompanied by a piece of crusty French bread, and a fancy piece of cheese. Not that I've ever been to the Provence, mind you. Or at least doubt I have. But the word potage just sort of rolls of your tongue. Poh-tah-zhe. Poh-tah-zhe with chorizo. No, definitely doesn't sound right. Chorizo is such an abrupt, strong short word. Cho-ree-zoh. Almost sounds Japanese, if you didn't know any better. Which I don't, let's face it. Oh by the way, potage is " liquid food prepared from meat, fish, or vegetable stock combined with various other ingredients and often containing solid pieces", as defined by Answers.com. Hmmm....I think I like my visual better.

Julie Engel from the Argus had a nice article about bridging cultural gaps through food in last Sunday's edition. Two of the food items she mentioned have stuck with me all week: chorizo and baked ziti. Neither one of these dishes are in my freezer so I'm caught in a dilemma. Should I give the freezer a break for a day? I weigh my chances, yes no yes no, and go with the yes. What the heck, I'll just make up for it tomorrow, how's that !!

Potage with chorizo

Chorizo is a brilliant invention: a spicy pork sausage with garlic and paprika. Yummmm !!! It's originally from Spain, but can also be found in Mexico and the Caribbean, although in a slightly different version. The Spanish chorizos are usually cured, the Mexican chorizo is often fresh. For today's dish we're using the Spanish sausages, you can find these at Red Apple.

1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 large onion, peeled
4 medium potatoes, peeled
3 chorizos, cut in 2 inch pieces
warm water
half a cube of Maggi Pollo con Tomate bouillon (or beef bouillon)
1 1/2 cups of turnip greens, green cabbage or kale
pinch of thyme
salt, pepper
1/2 tablespoon of paprika

Choose a pan, or pot, with a lid. Add the olive oil to the pan and put it on the stove, on medium. Thinly slice the garlic cloves, chop the onion and add both to the pan, stirring carefully, letting the onions get soft. Cut the potatoes in bitesize pieces, and add to the onions. Keep stirring occassionally so that the garlic doesn't burn. Add the chorizo, cook for five minutes, then add just enough warm water to cover the contents. Carefully stir in the bouillon cube and the greens, then top off with the pinch of thyme, and the paprika. Bring quickly to a boil, lower to simmer and cover with a lid. Let it simmer until the potatoes are done, approximately twenty minutes. About ten minutes into the cooking, uncover the pot and stir the ingredients once. This will release some of the starches in the potato and thicken the broth. Serves 4.

This is great: it's simple, good, solid, honest food. Gotta love it!!

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