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Posts Tagged ‘Chorizo’

Smoky Chicken & Bean Stew

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Ok, I admit it, I’m perhaps a little obsessed with chorizo. Honestly, not every meal I cook is based around this spicy little Spanish number, but it is really useful – it’s really tasty, adds great flavour to dishes, and goes well with other ingredients I seem to be using a lot right now, like chicken, red peppers, beans and tomatoes, all of which lend themselves to easy, one-pot stews like this.

I’m quite a new convert to chicken thighs. I was never this biggest fan of the dark meat from chicken, and convinced myself that breast meat was best, but thighs are great. They’re full of flavour, much more so than breast meat, and tend not to try out so much. And, they’re cheaper to boot.

You could maybe spice things up here by adding a finely chopped, de-seeded red chilli. As ever, chicken stock from good quality bouillon concentrate is fine.

Smoky Chicken & Bean Stew (serves 2)

  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped into chunks
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 3-4 strips
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into coins and then each slice halved
  • 4 tomatoes, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin borlotti beans, rinsed and drained
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped (about half of a standard supermarket packet)

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan or suitable casserole dish, and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes until softened, but not brown. Add the smoked paprika and red pepper, stir well and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the chorizo and chicken to the pan, and fry for 5 minutes, until the chicken is browned and the chorizo is releasing its fat.

Add the tomatoes and beans, and then pour over the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is completely cooked.

Scatter over the coriander. Serve with warmed pitta breads.  

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Categories: Mains, Recipe Tags: , , , ,

Chorizo and Vegetable Pasta Bake

September 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Chorizo  Veg Pasta Bake

Some might question the purpose of baking this. After all, you’ve made a sauce, cooked some pasta, sorted some veg, why not just stir it all together and eat? And yet, a quick blitz in a hot oven makes this all the more worthwhile. Everything seems to meld together, the flavours of the sauce, slightly charred vegetables, and salty, warming chorizo, and the textures change too, a little drier (in a good way), a little extra bite. More hearty, even. And if that isn’t enough to sell it, then bake it because how else will you get chunks of mozarella to melt into stringy little pockets of deliciousness throughout? Hmm?

Chorizo and Vegetable Pasta Bake (serves 4. Well. Probably wouldn’t leave 6 starving either.)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins good chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways into 1cm thick slices, then each slice cut into chunks
  • 100g chorizo, (or about half of a 225g chorizo sausage, which is the usual weight of the ones I buy), cut into 1cm ish chunks (cut 1cm thick coins from the sausage and halve them)
  • 350g dried Rigatoni, or other pasta of your choice 
  • 125g mozarella ball, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pan, add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes or so, until soft but not browned. Tip in the tinned tomatoes, stir in the basil, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or so, and season.

While the sauce is cooking, heat the other spoonful of oil (or less if you need it, you’re aiming for the thinnest film of oil you can manage) in a non stick frying pan, and add the aubergine and pepper chunks. Fry for 5 – 10 minutes, until cooked through, but trying to avoid stirring too much, to let them blacken and char a little, in places. Remove to a plate, and then tumble the chorizo pieces into the pan, frying for 3-4 minutes until they begin to release their oil and crispen a little.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions in a large pan of boiling, salted water. Drain well, return to the pan, (or a large bowl, but I’m trying to save you some washing up), and pour in the chorizo straight from its pan, and then the peppers and aubergine. Finally, pour over the tomato sauce and stir everything well, so the sausage and vegetables are distributed through, and everything has a light coating of sauce.

Tip the whole lot into an ovenproof dish, and dot the mozarella chunks over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is nicely melted. Serve with salad, or, and see previous ramblings on carb-overloading, some nice bread.

Categories: Mains, Recipe Tags: , , , ,

Spanish Style Easy Pork Stew

August 3, 2009 Leave a comment

My cooking is not often constrained by the seasons – that is to say the supposed weather rather than available produce – and while, for some, stews are winter fare, and the summer is time for salads, I like to eat what I fancy whatever the time of year – toad in the hole with mashed potato and onion gravy was a recent evening meal, eaten al fresco in the last of the day’s sun. So, it isn’t unusual to find me making something traditional and hearty even in the height of summer, but this dish does seem to fit, it’s Spanish influence evoking memories of a holiday in the sun. And, of course, being August in Britain it was tipping down with rain anyway.

The recipe, as I made it follows, influenced by others, but do experiment. A can of chickpeas in place of the beans would work well, likewise chicken instead of pork. If you’re in a hurry, the whole thing probably doesn’t need to simmer for quite so long for cooking reasons, but does give the flavours the opportunity to mingle. I served this with rice (in fact, I lazily tipped in some cooked rice towards the end of cooking just to heat through), but it would go just as nicely with some crusty bread and salad, and is delicious over a hot, buttery jacket potato.

Spanish Style Easy Pork Stew (Serves 4)

  • 4 pork loin steaks (or indeed, whatever pork or chicken you fancy or have to hand. I trimmed the fat off of my steaks), cut into 1cm strips
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced into strips
  • 1/2 chorizo ring (about 100g ish), sliced into fat coins and then in half
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g tins good chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 410g tin borlotti beans, drained and rinsed 

In a large pan, preferably with a lid (for later use!), heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pork strips, and turn in the hot oil until coloured. Remove to a plate.

Heat another tablespoon or so of olive oil in the pan, and add the garlic, onions and peppers. Turn to coat, clamp a lid on the pan and sweat, over a low-ish heat, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Return the pork to the pan and add the chorizo pieces. Replace the lid and cook for another few minutes, until the delicious orangey-red fat begins to melt out of the chorizo. Give everything a good stir.

Add the smoked paprika, and stir again. Add the tomatoes and beans, season, give everything a last stir, and replace the lid. Let everything simmer gently for an hour.  

Serve, and enjoy, dreaming of more exotic climes.

Categories: Mains, Recipe Tags: , ,

Ultimate Easy Pizza

July 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Something easy to start with then. This is more of a suggestion than a recipe – you will know what you like on a pizza, and the potential here is almost limitless. This pizza is one I made the other night for a spot of last minute ‘entertaining’, and seemed to go down really well.  I used a pizza base mix from a packet, as I happened to have one at home, but it isn’t much more effort to make your own dough from scratch, just a little extra weighing and measuring. There is something satisfying about the kneading and baking of your own dough, even if you cheated a little with the ready prepared mix. One thing I would say is to avoid the ready-made pizza bases you can pick up in the supermarket – their cardboardy texture is far less pleasing, and gives you neither a thin crispy crust or deliciously bready deep pan finish. Here, a simple tomato sauce takes minutes to whip up. I’ve used chorizo in place of the traditional pepperoni, mostly as I prefer it, but also as it seems to go so well with tomatoes. Some people like to spread tomato puree on pizzas, but I think here it can be a little invasive, so I’ve made a simple sauce, but if you prefer you could buy a good, ready made pizza topping sauce.   

  • 1 packet pizza base mix (I used Sainsbury’s, around 150g)
  • Half of a 500g carton Passata (seived tomatoes)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Dried oregano
  • Thinly sliced chorizo (from the large, salami-style sausage rather than the smaller ones) – you’ll probably need around 15 slices
  • Around 10 good quality baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, sliced (half moon style slices work well here)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 ball mozarella, sliced into rounds.
  • Good handfull grated cheddar and around a heaped tablespoon of finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or other good Parmesan (which, incidentally, isn’t the stuff in a small plastic pepper shaker that smells of old trainers)

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Make up the pizza base as per the packet instructions. While it is proving, drizzle a little olive oil onto a large, flat baking sheet and brush with a pastry brush to give a thin coating of oil to the tray.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan, and fry the garlic for a minute or two. As it begins to brown, add the passata. Simmer for a few minutes, adding around a tablespoon of oregano, or to taste. Season well.

Roll out the pizza base until it is around half a centimetre thick, and lay it on the baking tray. Bonus points for a perfect circle, although I am not in possession of either the dexterity or patience for this and usually end up with a large, raggedy oval.

Spoon over the tomato sauce, as close to the edge as you can, and then add your toppings. If following my suggestions, arrange the chorizo slices in a thin layer on top of the tomato sauce. Scatter over, as evenly as you can manage, the sliced onion and pepper, and then arrange the tomato halves, cut side up, over the pizza. Finally, arrange the slices of mozzarella over the top of everything else. Carefully put into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove from the oven, and scatter over the grated Cheddar and Parmesan, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden.  

Sliced, this is great served with a simple green salad. If you are making it stretch further and want something on the side, some potato wedges would be nice. And, for me, the ultimate accompaniment to pizza has to be good, shop brought barbeque sauce. Enjoy!

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