Tag Archives: chorizo

Warm blue cheese, chorizo and cucumber salad

10 Jul

Ah, Saturday lunches….

An opportunity to experiment. Or to just slap a pizza into the oven.

At the moment I’m on a carb-free couple of weeks while I try to recover from the waistline exploding effects of two weeks in the USA (see my foodie exploits in New Orleans and New York to understand why adding just shy of a stone was almost inevitable). This makes eating pizza, or pasta, or bread for that matter, a complete no no.

I’d made a Greek salad the week previously and my inclination was to repeat this, but there was a glut of ageing vegetables in the fridge which were screaming out to be gently fried and added to the obligatory cucumber, and a slab of blue cheese that was about to see better days.

This became warm blue cheese, chorizo and cucumber salad. It was unconventional, but simple to prepare and worked well. Who needs carbohydrate when there’s something like this on offer instead?

Ingredients for two

Half a cucumber
7 or 8 mushrooms
Half an onion (red or white)
1 yellow pepper
Handful of cherry tomatoes
2 inches of chorizo (roughly chopped)
150g blue cheese

Preparation

Gently fry the onion, chorizo, mushrooms and peppers in a little olive oil, until lightly browned.

Meanwhile chop the cucumber into small chunks, mix with the tomatoes and crumble in the blue cheese. Set aside and wait for the frying to be done.

Once cooked, mix all the ingredients together and marvel at how colourful it all is!

Eat.

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Spanish crusted rack of lamb

29 May

Spanish crusted rack of lamb

Never one to turn down the opportunity for a spoonerism, I made the mistake of calling this a ‘lack of ram’ which possibly reflects how a rack can often be an exquisite, but small, treat.

This rack appeared fresh from the reduced section at Tesco which meant it had to be cooked almost immediately so some quick Googling was in order

There was a small chunk of chorizo in the fridge which I had been planning on using for some Spanish potatoes, but perhaps that could be the inspiration for a different take on a crusted rack.

I came across a recipe from the New York Times that was just what I was looking for. The writer had replaced the traditional, but ever so slightly dull, crust of parsley and garlic, with what was described as ‘vegan chorizo’ because of its paprika base.

This was a breeze to knock up. There was a slightly stale burger roll in the bread bin that provided the breadcrumbs and the rest was store cupboard fare. The food processor had the crust prepared in moments and the lamb was coated before you could say “how will you use up that chunk of chorizo then?”.

Once I get an idea in my head it’s hard to get rid of it, so the chorizo was diced and fried up with some potatoes as an accompaniment. If that sounds like too much of the good stuff, then perhaps it was, but the crust and the potatoes were just different enough to compliment rather than overwhelmed with paprika.

This is a great new alternative to the traditional rack of lamb approach and rivals garlic and parsley as the crust of choice.

Mexican squash and chorizo salad

22 May

Squash and Chorizo salad

With a recently diagnosed coeliac daughter it’s all too easy to forget that the rest of the family can eat gluten to their heart’s content. I even found myself dusting a plate of courgette cakes that the children would never be touching with gluten-free flour instead of the real thing. My creativity seems to be reserved for making suitable gluten-free meals instead of delicious new meals for me to enjoy. So here’s an exception.

This salad was not trivial to prepare, but it was delicious – moreish, spicy and filling (if something can be moreish and filling all at once).

It’s based on a recipe from Thomasina Miers Mexican Food Made Easy – fast becoming my culinary bible, but I did go a little off-piste. This food is so simple it’s wonderfully easy to improvise and adjust.

I turned it into a one-pot dish, roasting all the ingredient together, although I staggered them a little to avoid burning.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash, de-seeded and cut into chunks
2 red onions, sliced
1 handful of baby tomatoes (red looks best)
10cm of chorizo sausage
1 handful of baby spinach
Grated parmesan
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pinch of flaked chilli
1 tablespoon of chopped oregano or marjoram
Bunch of coriander leaves

Preparation

Heat the oven to 190°C.

Roast the chilli, cumin, oregano and squash in a tin for 15 minutes with a large splash of oil.

Add the onion and continue to roast for 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and chorizo and roast for 10 more minutes.

Meanwhile pound the coriander in a pestle and mortar with some salt and olive oil until it makes a chunky paste.

When the roasting is complete, assemble the salad on each plate – a serving of the roasted vegetables, some spinach, a drizzle of the coriander paste and some shavings or gratings of parmesan.

Spicy chorizo breakfast hash

28 Apr

Chorizo breakfast hash

I’ve blogged previously about how Saturday breakfasts are characterised by ‘weekend cereal’ (i.e. sugary) and ‘second breakfast’ (i.e. more sugary, or occasionally fatty). It is the route to undoing all the good work you’ve managed in the week to eat healthily.

This morning I decided to make second breakfast the main event and try something that I hadn’t done for a while.

The result was chorizo breakfast hash – the love child of an English greasy spoon and a Spanish tapas bar

It’s gooey, crumbly, tangy, spicy – everything a good hash should be. The time investment is pretty small. You will spend most of it waiting for the potatoes to cook. I thoroughly recommend this if you want a breakfast that is a little left-field.

Ingredients

A finger’s length of chorizo, roughly chopped
4 eggs
3 medium-sized potatoes (the less waxy the better), roughly chopped into smallish chunks
4 spring onions
1 teaspoon of cumin seed
Olive oil
A knob of butter

Preparation

Boil the potatoes until they are falling apart.

Meanwhile fry the cumin feed and chorizo over a low heat until starting to fall apart.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain and mix in the spring onion, chorizo and cumin.

Keep warm while you melt the butter in the same frying pan as fried the chorizo (don’t clean it!).

Fry the eggs until cooked but the yolks are still runny.

Serve the hash topped with the eggs and enjoy.

Cuban, almost one-pot, chicken

18 Apr

Cuban chicken

I can’t over-emphasise how good this is.

That’s a bold claim, but backed up Mrs G who had to work hard to keep herself to one portion. I was not so virtuous and ate a lot more than I intended to.

Easy to prepare, spicy, unctuous – this dish has it all. It’s not fine dining, and it’s not a food revolution, but it is simply great. It’s almost one pot. You have to have a bowl to hand, but in general this is light on washing up.

There are plenty of websites out there that aspire to help you plan a meal by letting you enter stuff you have in the fridge and matching it to recipes. “Overkill!” I say. Just stick it all into Google and let it do the hard work. This was the trigger for my Cuban chicken dish which was inspired by recipes discovered by searching for “chicken thigh chorizo”.

This is both an amalgamation and a simplification of what I discovered there. Let the Lazy Gastronome do the hard work so you don’t have to.

Ingredients

Marinade

2 tablespoons of olive oil
Pinch of crushed chillies
Juice of 1 lime
Teaspoon of cumin
Teaspoon of paprika
Teaspoon of allspice
Handful of chopped coriander stems

The rest

Chicken thighs or drumsticks (as many as you fancy)
Chopped chorizo
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of rice
Half a pint of chicken stock
Tiniest pinch of saffron
1 large diced tomato

Preparation

Mix the marinade ingredients in a bag or large container and then mix thoroughly with the chicken. Leave for as long as you can, overnight if possible, but I only had 10 minutes and it was still great.

Dry fry the chorizo for 3 or 4 minutes until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Fry the chicken, skin side down  in a splash of olive oil and the chorizo oil, over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove and reserve.

Fry the onion and garlic in the chorizo, chicken and olive oil for 5 minutes until lightly cooked.

Add the rice and stir.

Add the leftover marinade,tomatoes, chorizo and chicken stock and stir thoroughly.

Place the chicken, skin side up, into the rice and cover.

Cook over a lot heat for 20 minutes, adding some extra stock or water if necessary.

When the rice is tender and the chicken cooked through serve in a bowl with a scattering of coriander leaves.

Volcanic mexican eggs

7 Mar
Volcanic mexican eggs

A bubbling pool of lava, or diabolic mexican eggs?

This is one of the most colourful, and occasionally frustrating recipes in my repertoire. It always sees the light of day when I’m trying to cut down on the carbs because it is a filling and tasty meal that, because of the presence of chorizo, seems more luxurious than it really is.

If you like you can spice it up with extra chillies, but there is a good degree of heat that comes from the chorizo so it’s not necessary unless you have a thirst for the burn.

The frustration comes from the fact that despite the fact that the tomatoes and chorizo are bubbling at what appears near to a boil, the eggs seem to take an age to cook. The whites often take much longer that you would expect and if you are at all worried about eating raw egg it’s worth ensuring that you cook them all the way through.

If you aren’t cutting down on the carbs, serve with crusty bread.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 onion, chopped
200g chorizo, sliced or chopped
1 cup of red wine
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
4 eggs
Sour cream to taste
Olive oil

Preparation

Gently fry the onion and chorizo in a large frying pan until the onion is translucent.

Add the wine to the pan and reduce down by half.

Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer, cooking until the mixture has thickened.

Make four indentations in the tomato mixture and break an egg into each hole.

Simmer until the eggs are cooked through, then serve in a bowl with sour cream drizzled on top.

Chorizo, chipotle and potato wraps with tomato salsa

4 Feb

Chorizo chipotle tortillasThe basis of this recipe caught my eye the other day in a tweet from the Good Food Channel (@GoodFoodChannel), but I didn’t have all the ingredients, couldn’t find the web page when I looked for it a few days later, and wanted to make something a little more appropriate for a proper evening meal.

In the end it turned out to be a filling, spicy and somewhat authentic take on Mexican food. There is no cheese involved, so the primary food group here is carb, not fat. The filling would be delicious on its own, but add the tomato salsa and it takes it to a whole new level. This one is definitely going into my list to repeat. I will even try toning down the chipotle and serving it to the miniGasts.

Ingredients (serves 2 + some leftovers for lunch)

The wraps

150g chorizo, chopped roughly
125g potatoes, chopped into sugar cube sized lumps (I kept the skins on)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 pinch of thyme leaves
4 flour tortillas
Sour cream (if you like it)

The salsa

2 large whole tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, sliced
1 good glug of lime juice (mine came from a bottle)
1-2 teaspoons of chipotle paste to taste (2 teaspoons made it spicy but not burning)

amazing colours

The chorizo and potatoes frying - amazing colours, but you can't see it for all the steam

Preparation

Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling water and cook them until approaching tenderness.

Meanwhile, chuck the chorizo into a hot frying pan and fry until the oil starts to leak out of the sausage and turn the base of the pan red.

Fry the onion, garlic and thyme in the chorizo oil until they soften, then add the almost-cooked potatoes and fry, stirring constantly to prevent them burning.

While all of this is going on, start to dry fry the garlic and onions that you’ve reserved for the salsa. After a couple of minutes add the whole tomatoes.

Remove the onions and garlic from the pan when they look cooked (you will have to rely on your chef’s judgement for this) and continue to sear the tomatoes until they start to blacken.

At this point put the reserved onions and garlic, the tomatoes, the chipotle paste and the lime juice into a blender and whizz until it has a smoothish consistency. Again, I’ll leave the decision on when to stop to your own preference.

Assemble the wraps by placing a layer of the chorizo and potato mix into the centre of a tortilla and adding salsa to taste. Wrap them up as you like – I just rolled them – and serve with a helping of fresh green salad and sour cream.

Should risotto be red?

1 Feb

Chorizo and leek risotto

Risotto has to be the ultimate dish for using up things that are left in the fridge. With the exception of soup, which although I can appreciate for its nutritional value and ease of preparation, I can never get excited about.

I do get excited about risotto and I’m pretty excited about the version that emerged from the kitchen a couple of nights ago. I have christened it Chorizo and Leek Risotto from which I’m sure you can deduce that it is risotto, containing chorizo and leaks. Can you spot the mushrooms in the photo above? Well done, you have spied the secret ingredient.

This risotto is creamy, spicy and packed full of flavour. If you want subtle, this is not the one for you. It also goes through phases of being alarmingly red, although as you can see, by the time you serve it has downgraded itself to yellow.

I think that my base risotto recipe is pretty foolproof and relatively faff free, so I’m going to share it with you here in the guise of last night’s dinner

Chorizo, leek and mushroom risotto

Ingredients

Knob of butter
1 garlic clove chopped
3 leeks sliced
Chorizo (as much as you like) chopped roughly
1 handful of mushrooms, sliced
1 goodly splash of white wine
1 stock cube (I used beef)
1 cup of arborio rice
Plenty of boiling water
Some grated cheddar

Preparation

Gently fry the garlic, leeks and chorizo in the butter until softened and the chorizo oil is colouring the leeks.

Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Chorizo and leeks frying

Chorizo and leeks frying

Pour in the rice and stir quickly, frying the rice in the hot chorizo oil for a minute tops.

Add the wine and stir while the wine is absorbed.

Crumble in the stock cube and quickly add a splash of boiling water. Stir to make sure the stock cube is evenly distributed.

Add another cup or so of water and turn down the heat.

This is the point at which most recipes will tell you to stand over the stove stirring continuously to ensure the risotto doesn’t stick. I say “rubbish”. If the heat is low and you check back every so often to give it a quick stir and top up the water then you can get 20 minutes of your life back. Of course, if you try this and promptly burn your dinner, don’t blame me.

After 20 minutes add the grated cheddar and stir. Add more water as necessary until the rice is cooked, swollen and gooey.

Serve in a bowl with a sprinkling of parmesan.