Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Cabbages aren't reliable options in my patch. As well, a whole cabbage is a hard ask to eat quickly before it falls on the wrong side of use by.

When I was making Kimchi -- cabbages were easily dealt with. But now my requirements have shifted.

While the Mrs doesn't like it, I grow and eat a lot of Bok Choy -- which is so good in soups. Outback, is dependable in my soil +++.

You can also harvest as cut and come again by removing the outer leaves in succession. I grow a lot of it.

Bok choy (Brassica rapa chinensis) --also called pak choi -- is a member of the cruciferous family of leafy green vegetables. Really it's another Chinese cabbage but without a dense heart.

Portuguese cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. costata)  doesn’t form a cabbage head and grows similar to kale. (See above image) Thus it is often called 'kale'. But it really is a different critter -- especially in the mouth.

Compared to kale, Portuguese cabbage is more succulent and has a sweeter taste -- like it is tasty with a flavour akin to  wong bok or won bok . Portuguese cabbage is also one of the few varieties of cabbage that can grow well in both hot and cold conditions.

It's often referred to as Couve Tronchuda. 

Since I grow it I can say it grows well in my patch and makes an easy cut-and-come-again harvest. I'm still waiting for my many plants to consolidate this season, but they are all doing well.

No diseases. No problems. Just the promise of harvest.

Couve Tronchuda  is used in the national dish of Portugal as, like the Koreans, they are cabbage passionate. The dish is a soup which is called Caldo Verde . It comes together like this.

This is what a local retired Portuguese sea captain raved about when he first introduced me to Couve Tronchuda. I've been hell bent on growing the stuff ever since.

Chouriço referred to in the recipe is similar to Chorizo. But getting a good Chorizo here is a mugs game. I try to make my own but without the smoking and drying wherewithal am sentenced to the fresh versions.

( But I just found these. Yes I know they are from Goa but Goa was Portuguese)

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As an aside in regard to last point about  Chorizo. ... I yearn for a good chorizo I can afford. I try to make my own per the Mexican style -- which is often and usually skinless (to fit into a taco) -- but the best protocols allude me.

Chourico de goa sausages are pretty much in the chorizo ballpark, and this recipe is straightforward and very accessible.

I don't necessarily need to follow that list of ingredients, but the process is great. Especially the bit about using a dehydrator on the snags.

As far as I'm concerned, the best -- and most reliable -- snag in Aust is the Bratwurst at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Markets. Butchers may offer any number of sausages, but few flip my lid. Smallgood snags are much better, but they are so expensive. and nowadays, they are not so easily obtained as all the delicatessens have closed down and you get generic stuff loaded with nitrates.

Hans for example.

Instead, a classically made kofta is preferable. But here in Brisbane the Lebanese community isn't as large as my stomach's past experiences can testify to. I do make kofta -- but I'd like to master chorizo as well.

Kofta often carry a lot of fresh herbs and/or vegetables. Also burghal sometimes.

Another snag I have my eye on is the Tunisian Merguez Sausage...

By the way, a traditional Goan snag would probably blow your head off....40 chillies indeed!


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