Posts tagged chorizo

Chorizo & Butterbean Stew

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his recipe is the absolute ideal for a balmy, summer provoking Monday night after work. My mind battled with the joys of staying out in the sun as long as possible and the equal craving for some kitchen relaxation that only stirring a pan with a wooden spoon can bring. Ideal for a speedy but flavoursome dinner that can be knocked up in minutes for one, for two, or for many and tomorrows leftovers.  Admittedly my holiday blues were kicking in….so the Med influence snuck back to the kitchen.

Mediterranean food is not usually my cuisine of choice but having spent last week in Corfu on a grounding, enlightening and entertaining yoga retreat (Just Relax Yoga retreats) dining on gorgeous vegetarian tapas and authentic Greek dishes, it solidified my theory that you only need just a few star ingredients to make a knock out dish. After many a beer one night in the Greek sun and a hunger like a pig on a diet, me and the yogis frantically ordered a table full of tapas. Now it may…may have been the hunger and hanger that made it more memorable but when a glutinous bowl of giant butter beans bathed and hugged in a smooth creamy tomato sauce was placed in front of me, I was in heaven. Devine. I’ll admit, the butter beans were twice the size in Greece but beggars can’t be choosers in London eh? After a week in Greece I was keen to get something similar into my regime…

Serves 2

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 400-500g chopped tomatoes (1 can or carton)
  • 150g chorizo, diced/cubed
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, light toasted then crushed
  • 1 x can butter beans, drained
  • Bunch basil and parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 x sea bream or a white fish fillet of choice.
  1. Soften the onion in a little olive oil in a saucepan for about 10 minutes until translucent and starting to caramelise.
  2. Add the chorizo and the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until the chorizo is beginning to crisp and release its oils.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, crushed fennel seed and some generous seasoning.
  4. Simmer until reduced a little for 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add the drained butter beans and heat through.
  6. Simmer until reduced to a stew like texture. Taste and season as needed.
  7. Finally add the lemon zest and herbs and stir to combine.
  8. Serve with fried or grilled fish and a scattering of leftovers herbs and lemon! (Gremolata is wanted)

Mediterranean Roasted Potato Salad

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ith a holiday on the horizon it was time to use up the rest of the ingredients littering my fridge…I love this challenge.

Thats where the excellent ingredients that Odysea Greek produce come in handy – and ironically it was Greece where I would be destined for! Odysea sent me a glorious box of their devious samples last year and from this I have savoured some store cupboard gems, waiting patiently in the back of my cupboard until called upon and ready to pack a punch when called to the spotlight.

This salad was a mixture of fridge leftovers combined with a few cheeky purchases and of course, some glorious Greek flare. I used Odysea’s ‘Sun Dried Tomato Meze’ – a mixture of tomatoes, capers, and olives chopped roughly and combined in a gloriously flavoured oil. Similarily you can use the former ingredients alone and combine in your own combination but since Odysea did it so well, I figured I’d use their convenience pre-holiday….

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his makes one large chunky roasted salad but feel free to sub in other ingredients to your taste. Serves around 2-3 as a side dish. I served mine with a lovely fillet of grilled sea bass, but some steamed or roasted cod with lemon and parsley would also be delicious.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 2 large potatoes, chopped
  • 1 x packet green beans
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • Bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 6 x large sun dried tomatoes (chopped), 1 handful olives (chopped), 1 tbsp capers OR 4 tbsp ‘Odysea Sun-Dried Tomato Meze
  • 10 slices thin chorizo OR 1/2 ring chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 2 handfuls rocket leaves
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Start by par boiling your potatoes for about 10 minutes until just tender. Drain, shake in a pan to rough the edges and then tip into a roasting tray. Season and drizzle over a generous coating of olive/sunflower oil. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden and crispy.
  3. Meanwhile while they roast, par-boil the green beans for a few minutes. Drain and cool them under cold water.
  4. Chop the spring onions, parsley and combine in a large mixing bowl with the  cooled beans, lemon zest, sun dried tomato mixture and season.
  5. Pan fry the chorizo in a dry frying pan until crispy.
  6. Once the potatoes are ready, remove from the oven. Top into the salad bowl with the beans and herbs. Add the chorizo.
  7. Finely, just before serving, add the rocket leaves and squeeze over the juice of half the lemon.
  8. Serve!

 

‘Mini’ Chorizo Scotch Eggs

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call these ‘mini’ as when referencing a Scotch egg these quail egg equivalent would be considered small which made them the perfect canapé for our New Years Eve party! After a long festive week of cooking for the family and indulging in experimenting in our family kitchen and fully stocked fridge, I was pleased to know that the dinner party I was to be a guest at required me to put down the oven gloves and simply bring a bottle of fizz! However it wasn’t long before I was tasted with canapés! I usually don’t bother with the faff but not one to let a challenge go, I wanted something that would get the guests excited!

I’ve also never jumped on the ‘gooey-in-the-middle’ Scotch egg band wagon. These days you can’t call yourself a Gastropub without proudly and confidently sitting a gooey scotch egg at the top of your bar snacks menu. But since I wanted to make a little extra effort I thought I’d give them a go! I know you won’t believe me when I say it but they are actually really simple to make! They do require some effort but what else was I to do on New Years eve day when the dinner was being prepare elsewhere?

Three simple steps and you’re done. I also made cheese and pineapple on sticks. No recipe required, and no ‘steps’….but caused equal excitement. Who knew?

Makes 12

  • 12 quails eggs (at room temperature)
  • 6 chorizo sausages
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 handfuls plain flour
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 1 litre vegetable oil.

Step 1 – Boil the eggs:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Gently add the quails eggs and boil for exactly 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water immediately until the shells are cool to touch.
  2. Tap each egg to break the shell (you can be rougher than you think with these but don’t be too heavy handed) and remove the shell. This can be easier under running water. TIP – when you remove the shell, there is a thin clear membrane beneath the covers the white. If you can get under this, the shell can be removed much easier, sometimes in one go!

Step 2 – Coat the eggs:

  1. Remove the meat from the sausages skins and combine in a large bowl.
  2. Take golf ball sized portions (or divide your meat by 12) and flatten on the palm of your hand into a large disc about 6 cm wide. Place one of your eggs in the middle and wrap the meat around it. This can be fiddly but just ensure its covering the egg. Once wrapped around you can mould it in your hand.
  3. Repeat with all the eggs, setting aside on a plate when done.
  4. Place the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs each in their own bowl.
  5. One at a time, roll the eggs in flour then egg, and finally a good coating of breadcrumbs, moulding in your hand (you can be rougher here) until coated well.
  6. Repeat to finish and set aside on a plate and refrigerate until needed.

Step 3 – Cooking the Scotch eggs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Take a large saucepan and add the oil. Heat on a high heat until hot. Test it by adding a piece of cubed bread. If it sizzles and begins to turn golden, the oil is ready. You’re aiming for 180°C so if you have a thermometer use this. (Alternatively if you have a deep fat fryer, heat to 180)
  3. In bathes of 3-4 (depending on your pan size) lower the eggs into the oil and fry for about 4 minutes by which time your egg should be golden and cooked through. TIP: If you can’t gauge the temperature of your oil and they turn golden too fast before the meat is cooked (like mine) remove from the oil when golden and place in a baking tray and finsih cooking in the oven for about 15minutes.
  4. Drain each egg on kitchen towel to absorb any oil and leave to cool

When ready to serve, scatter with sea salt, slice in two if you wish or if you can manage, each whole dunking into some decedent lemon mayonnaise before hand!

 

 

Ricotta Gnudi with Chorizo and Peas

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hese little gnudi pillows are a lighter take on the chewier gnocchi – a potato based recipe –  and instead use creamy ricotta and very little flour to form a creamy and lovely textured equivalent. Historically they are known in Italy as ‘naked’ ravioli. Use your imagination….these ones however are clothed in a simple buttery lemon sauce. A delicious end to whats been a temperamental June weekend. Glorious sun one minute and torrential rain the next. Since the gardens and parks are in full green bloom with all the nourishing rain, a dinner inspired using fresh summer vegetables here makes them not an addition to the gnudi main event but an equal partner.

This recipe is speedy to knock up especially once you’ve fried the gnudi. Simply toss together the blanched vegetables in some buttery lemon and voila…you have a perfect summers meal!

Feel free to use any range of vegetables. Sliced blanched asparagus would be glorious here when in season perhaps with pancetta instead of chorizo. Or try string in some last minute wild garlic leaves, basil or mint.

Serves 2

Gnudi

  • 250g  ricotta cheese
  • 60g plain flour
  • 1 large egg, beten
  • 20g finely grated parmesan (plus more for garnish)
  • Grated zest 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Sauce

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 100g peas
  • 100g broad beans, podded (or any other summer green veg enough for 2)
  • 100g chorizo, sliced on the diagonal
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • Handful chopped chives
  1. Begin making the gnudi. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.Jess - Gnudi
  2. Tip out onto a floured surface and roll into a log shape (as thick as you like). Add a little more flour if needed. The texture should come together and not be wet but it will be very soft and pillowy like dough. Quite fragile.
  3. Chop into gnudi pieces (mine were about 2 inch long) and place on a tray until ready to cookJess - Gnudi2
  4. Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch your vegetables of choice and then drain and set aside.
  5. Using the same pan, season the water and poach the gnudi for a few minutes. They will rise to the surface and float once cooked and ready. When this happens, use a slotted spoon to drain and place on a lined tray. Keep the water for the sauce.
  6. Heat a frying pan and add half the butter and a little oil. Heat on a high heat and then fry the gnudi until golden brown all over. Place on a warm plate and keep warm once golden.
  7. Jess - Gnudi3
  8. In the same pan, add the sliced chorizo and fry just until beginning to crisp.
  9. (You need to now work quickly to prevent the vegetables decolouring). Add the vegetables – peas and beans – to the chorizo in the pan and season.
  10. Next add in the rest of the butter and stir to emulsify the sauce. Add a splash of the gnudi poaching water.
  11. Simmer and then add the gnudi to the mixture and warm through and coat in the buttery juices.
  12. Finally, when all warmed through, squeeze over the lemon juice and the chopped chives.
  13. Serve in deep warm bowls topped with any reserved chopped chives and some more grated parmesan

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Spanish Lamb Shanks

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adore slow cooked dishes especially as it usually involves a a budget friendly cut such as lamb shanks. My favourite way to cook meat, besides the barbeque obviously…But while the first May bank holiday weekend delivered us a beautifully sunny and fresh evening, the morning hadn’t been as promising for a barbie. My sodden raincoat and squelching trainers sat drying in the sun were evidence enough. With not much time in my working week to knock out a slow cooked creation, the bank holiday offered the perfect opportunity. So a slow cooked, tender, succulent lamb shank in a glossy, sticky sauce studded with manly chunks of chorizo and vege was a definite good alternative. Scattered with fresh mint served on some creamy silky parsnip mash we went to bed with happy stomaches. Oh and we might have finished the meal with some bank holiday brownies. Ahem….

Serves 4

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 300ml hot beef stock
  • 350ml red wine (Rioja is suggested)
  • 200ml balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Handful of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 125g chorizo, sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 carrots, sliced into chunks horizontally
  • Fresh mint to serve
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper and salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Heat a large casserole dish on a medium high heat and add a good splash of olive oil. Season the lamb shanks well and brown on all sides in the pan until golden and crisp in places then remove to a plate.
  2. Using the same pan, heat the wine and vinegar and boil for about 5 minutes to simmer off the sharpness of the liquids.
  3. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, some seasoning and the hot stock. Peel the garlic cloves and crush lightly with the back of a knife. Finally add these and the lamb shanks submerged in the liquid.
  4. Place in the oven for 2 hours with the lid on.
  5. After 2 hours, remove from the oven and baste. Add the chopped onion, carrot and chorizo and turn the oven up to 180°C. Remove the lid and place in the oven for a further hour to brown and reduce the sauce.
  6. After this time the meat should be deliciously tender and falling off the bone. Remove the dish from the oven. Place the lamb shanks onto a warm plate and cover with foil while you deal with the sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil on the hob and simmer for about 5-10 minutes to reduce and thicken the sauce (Add 1 tbsp of cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp of cold water if needed and whisk this in to thicken further). Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  7. Place the lamb shanks back in the glossy sauce and pop in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the side dishes. I served mine with creamy parsnip mash and purple sprouting broccoli.

Serve one shank per person in a warm bowl a top some creamy mash with some vege and sauce. Scatter over some fresh mint and enjoy!image

WINE: Nothing seems more appropriate here than a native Spanish vino and something substantial to complement the lamb. Try a Rioja such as the La Rioja Alta, 2008 Viña Alberdi Reserva available at Armit Wines.

Jess - Rioja Alta

Chilli Corn Soup

I’ve been creating a lot of soup recipes recently. Its such a fantastic way of getting your greens and vegetable into your diet. And with the chilly weather recently, I’ve found myself lunching on soup nearly everyday! So some variation was in order. I churn out the same old soups, for ease, taste and price. But with a little thinking time I’ve tried to come up with some more original ideas to keep lunch times more interesting.

Like my quick pea and mint soup this is another super speedy soup that can be made in about 15minutes. Its so full of flavour and punch for such a quick recipe! While served simply as it is its great for a quick or light lunch it can be bulked up by adding some raw king prawns while you heat it through or with more chunks of hot fried chorizo for more of a hearty chowder style. I’ve also been known to crush a handful of cheese laden nachos on top too….and on the side….and errr….as a second course on those chilly nights. Its improtant to keep warm you know.

(This is a chunkier and spicier sweetcorn soup to the velvety creamed corn soup version here)

Serves 4

  • 4 spring onions, chopped including green tops
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 red chilli – as hot as you can handle
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 cans sweetcorn (net drained weight about 520g or the same weight in frozen corn)
  • About 500ml hot stock
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • Large bunch chopped coriander, stems reserved
  • To serve – Lime yoghurt, soured cream fried chorizo, prawns etc
  1. Heat a splash of oil in a sauce pan. Fry the spring onion lightly until softened then add the garlic and chilli and fry for a few minutes.
  2. Add the sweetcorn to the pan along with the chilliflakes and coriander stems and turn up the heat.
  3. Add just enough stock to cover the corn so there is enough for it to simmer in the liquid. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
  4. Blend with a hand blender adding as much stock as you need to obtain the consistency you want. Grates in the zest of the lime and squeeze in the juice. Add the coriander and blend again.
  5. Serve topped with e.g. fried chorizo, fried prawns, lime yoghurt a drop of chilli oil OR…. all of the above!

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Crusted Cod, Balsamic Lentils, Chorizo, Pea, Mint

 

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This recipe was thrown together after I caved as I frequently do to the delights of Portobello market at lunchtime yesterday. Sometimes I leave my purse in the office just to prevent myself buying anything I don’t need. What with that and an ‘All Saints’ up the road I could be in serious trouble. I saw some fresh peas crying out (literally…how could I leave them) to be stripped and podded from their padded overheated jackets now the sun is out and with some oily and spicy chorizo in the fridge at home they were immediately planned for supper.

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Serves 2 (as with many of my recipes, this is done with the ‘handful’ measurement so scale up as appropriate. I usually allow 1 handful per person for things like peas etc)

  • 2 cod fillets
  • 2 Large handfuls of breadcrumbs (About 30-50g)
  • Bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1-2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 oz Puy Lentils
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • About 500g fresh peas in their pods, 250g shelled (of two large handfuls of frozen peas)
  • 50g chorizo, chopped into chunks
  • Handful chopped mint
  • Green beans to serve
  1. Begin by simmering the lentils for about 18-20 minutes until tender
  2. Meanwhile, whiz up the bread crumbs in a processor until fine and then add the parsley and some seasoning and blend until all chopped together. Add enough oil to bind the mixture together so it isn’t too dry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking try with foil. Place the cod fillets  skin side down on top and pat a large handful of the breadcrumb coating onto the top. (add more oil to the mixture if it looks a bit dry and won’t hold together).
  4. When the lentils are cooked, drain and set aside. Fry the crushed garlic in a little oil to soften on a low heat. Once soft, turn up the heat and add the balsamic and let it simmer for a few seconds before tipping in the lentils and seasoning to taste. Keep warm while you cook the fish.
  5. Bake the cod for about 6 minutes until just cooked and flaky and the breadcrumbs have started to brown and crisp on top.
  6. Lastly while the cod is cooking fry the diced chorizo in a hot pan until the oils begin to release. Add the peas (which you can par- boil first if you like but I love them raw and green) and coat in the lovely orange oil.
  7. When ready to serve, place the cod on top of the warm lentils and spoon the pea and chorizo around the edge. Drizzle with any remaining oil from the pan and scatter with mint.
  8. Serve with buttered and minty green beans if you like!

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Spring Supper (Seabass, minted pea puree, roasted parsnips, chorizo)

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Finally the evenings are getting longer and the evening light is perfect for photography and dining in the sun (not warmth quite yet unfortunately). Home to the countryside for Easter weekend and the warm days continued. Good Friday called for good food. Naturally. This dish seemed to personify the start of spring and a spring cleaning of the diet and lifestyle. Except if you’d given up chocolate for lent that is. You folks will probably be in a cocoa comma still….this dish may help?

Serves 2

  • 2 seabass fillets
  • 250g peas
  • Handful mint leaves
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • Large knob butter
  • 100g chorizo, chopped
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp grated parmesan
  1. Parsnips – season well and coat in olive oil. Roast at 200°C for 25-30 minutes until tender and crisp.
  2. Parmesan wafer – Line a baking tray with non stick parchment and spoon the parmesan into a cookie cutter to form a circle – don’t be tempted to press the cheese down as it will melt on cooking. Bake for 5 minutes at 200°C until melted and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before peeling gently from the parchment.
  3. Minted pea puree – boil the peas with half the mint leaves for a few minutes until soft. Drain while reserving the minty cooking water and tip into a food processor. Add a large knob of butter, salt and pepper, the fresh mint leaves, lemon juice and blend to a puree. Add some of the reserved cooking water a bit at a time to thin it down until you reach the desired consistency.
  4. Chorizo – heat a frying pan until hot. Fry the chorizo in the dry pan until it starts to release its oily juice and crisp up. Keep warm.
  5. Seabass- season the seabass fillets well making a slit in the skin side to stop it curling up on cooking. Coat in a light drizzle of olive oil. Heat a frying pan to a medium-high setting and fry the seabass fillets, skin side down, for about 3 minutes until crispy skinned and mostly cooked. Turn for the final minute to finish the cooking and squeeze with a splash of lemon juice.
  6. Top serve – lay the roasted parsnips on the plate and spoon on some pea puree. Top with the seabass and spoon over the chorizo and drizzle with some of the oils. Complete with the parmesan wafer!

Delicious served with a chilled glass of Italian, Puglian Verdeca. I had the pleasure of working at a recent event with the producer – Masserai Li Veli. Delicious. humble and organically produced wines. See here for where to buy some!

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Chorizo and Balsamic Lentils

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This weekend I journeyed home for a village pig feast that has been vigorously and unheathily circled in the diary for a while! I’ll explain. My home village where I grew up and spent my life can be imaged as a hybrid of the ‘Vicar of Dibley’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ (without the killings I stress!) A Wiltshire village with a stereotypical local pub, glorious fields and the strong signature smell of manure tainting the air like the smell of perfume at the duty free! For the past few years we’ve shared the caring, feeding and more importantly eating, of two village pigs who we take in turns to feed and water only to butcher respectfully 6 months down the line and divide up the takings. From piglets to healthy happy curly tailed porkers the sausages and juicy joints of pork that have filled our freezer for a long while have been some of the best I’ve had. We’ve had some teathing issues along the way but nothing can beat the taste of happy wholesome and local meat. So this weekend we saved a giant leg to roast and feast on with all the team! It was delicious and I have nothing else to add.

However, after a rich and fatty roast with shards of caramel cracking, sweet and sharp apple sauce and lashings of wine (perhaps too many lashings?) I craved the fresh flavours of fish and vegetables. This little dish is so simple to knock out but so tasty and pleasing in many ways.

Serves 2

  • 2 seabass fillets, seasoned
  • 4oz Puy lentils
  • 100g chorizo
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Vegetables to serve
  1. Simmer the Puy lentils for about 15 minutes until soft and tender but with a slight bite (don’t let them get mushy). Drain and keep warm.
  2. Chop the chorizo into hearty chunks and fry in a medium hot pan until they begin to release their scarlet oils. Add in the garlic and fry for a few more minutes but don’t burn so keep an eye out.
  3. Turn up the heat a little and add the vinegar (and stick on the extractor fan as it will be pungent!). Simmer the vinegar until thickened and syrupy.
  4. Add this chorizo mix with the oily balsamic juices to the lentils. Grate in the zest of the lemon and add the herbs and season. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Fry the seabass fillets, lightly seasoned, in a tsp of hot oil for a matter of 2-3 minutes on the skin side until crisp turning for the last 30 seconds to finish off.
  6. Serve the lentils topped with the seabass and some freshly steamed and buttery asparagus or green beans.

Quadruple Tapas

I know the concept behind tapas is to eat each dish as it is ready- picking at little morsels of delicious oily, salty and punchy delights to give all your taste buds a go on the flavour dodgems. A long evening should be spent savouring tapas with no where to be and sipping delicious wine in the summer sun. However, I decided to make a selection for dinner and couldn’t find the relaxing side of constantly running back and forth to the kitchen to fry a croquetas or bake some fresh bread or turn off one of 100 timers. So I made a selection all to be eaten and enjoyed together with some delicious wine. I won’t lie, my way took a strong organisation and a large accommodating hob but I managed it. In addition, I have a new found respect for tapas bars….the amount of work that goes into the prep to bring together all the aspects and flavours of just one small dish is huge,-all requiring those little details to make them perfect. I won’t be opening a tapas bar in the near future but what can be gained from this experiment is that 1) I LOVE tapas but will leave it to the experts and 2) I won’t be so horrified at the staggering prices of a few small tapas dish from now on as I venture out to dine thinking that ‘tapas is just a cheap meal right?’.

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Croquetas (Makes about 9 large croquetas)

I first saw a recipe for these in a Jamie Oliver book which this recipe is based on but they are a common little tapas dish and various flavours and recipe derivatives can be found elsewhere. They are essentially a cheesy flavoured bechamel sauce that is cooled and set and rolled in breadcrumbs and fried so that the inside in a hot molten cheesy mixture hugged lovingly in a crispy coat. You can actually use anything to add flavour to the sauce such as different cheeses, smoked fish, anchovies, different herbs or spices. Go wild!

  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 75g plain flour ( and extra for coating)
  • 300ml milk
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 50g hard cheese- Cheddar/Manchego, grated finely
  • 3 slices of cooked smoked bacon/parma ham, chopped finely
  • Handful of chives, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  1. Melt the butter and the oil in a pan over a low heat until liquid. Spoon by spoon, incorporate the flour and stir in until you have a thick paste.
  2. Add the milk, splash by splash stirring in vigourously until smooth and lump free. Once all the milk is added, keep on the heat and keep mixing to prevent lumps but to really thicken the sauce.
  3. Once thick, remove from the heat and stir in the nutmeg, lots of seasoning, the bacon, cheese and finally the chives.
  4. Place into a chilled bowl and pop int he fridge until set. (NOTE: Mine was a little loose for moulding into croquetas so I popped it in the freezer about 30 mins before using to make it easier to handle)
  5. Get 3 plates and add the beaten egg, flour and breadcrumbs to each.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop and roll croquetas of your cooled mixture. Coat in first the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Continue you have done all and then cover and chill.
  7. Heat some oil in a pan, or use a deep fryer. When hot enough, fry the croquetas until golden and crisp on the outside. Make sure it is not too hot or the outside will colour before the inside is warm.
  8. Drain on kitchen paper and scatter with flaky salt and serve immediately.

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Morcilla Broad Beans

This recipe is open to quantities so as long as there is a nice balance it will taste great. Don’t skimp on the morcilla however as it adds bags of flavour and depth and feel free to use black pudding which works just as well.

  • Morcilla, sliced
  • Broad beans, boiled and podded
  • Peas
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  1. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and gently fry the red onion until soft
  2. Add the morcilla/black pudding slices and fry until cooked on each side.
  3. Tip in the broad beans and peas and stir to combine, breaking up the morcilla as you stir to distribute evenly. Season and then serve.

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Crisp Cod and Smoky Aioli

  • 2 cod fillets or any other firm fish
  • Plateful of polenta (seasoned with salt and pepper)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Flour for coating
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 garlic clove, grated finely
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ lemon, zest
  • 1tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • About 250ml sunflower oil
  • Flat leaf parsley for garnish
  1. Begin with the polenta coated cod which benefits from some time resting once coated. Skin the fish fillets and cut the fillets into chunky strips cutting with the ‘grain’/flakes.
  2. Get 3 plates and place the beaten egg, flour and seasoned polenta onto each.
  3. Coat the fish fillets in the flour, egg and then a good coating of polenta and then place the fillets on a polenta coated plate while you do the rest. Cover and place in the fridge for a few hours once done to allow the polenta to swell a bit and form a good crust.
  4. For the aioli, place the egg yolks, lemon and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and turn it on to blend together. With the motor running slowly and constantly add the oil in a thin stream to allow the yolks and oil to emulsify.
  5. As it starts to thicken, add the paprika and some good seasoning and have a taste. Continue to add as much oil as you like to obtain a thin/thicker texture.
  6. When ready to serve, fry the fillets in a little hot oil with a knob of butter for a few minutes on each side until cooked with a golden crust. Serve immediately garnished with parsley and dipped indulgently into the aioli.

Chorizo

This is now my new favourite way to enjoy chorizo, partly due to this sweet tangy glaze that coats it here. The sauce is wonderful when used a dipping sauce for the olive pittas or some qwilling bread to mop up the juices like an edible sponge.

  • 150g chorizo- raw or cooked
  • 1 ½ tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • Large sprig of rosemary
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  1. Cut the chorizo into chunky horizontal slices and fry in a hot pan (you can add a tiny drop of oil to get it going is needed).
  2. Peel and crush the garlic cloves coarsely with the back of a knife. If using cooking (raw) chorizo, make sure it is nearly cooked but if using cured chorizo, as it starts to colour and crisp add the garlic to the pan in the oily juices and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the picked rosemary leaves and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the sherry vinegar and the honey and stir to coat the chorizo.
  5. Return to the heat and very gently simmer the sauce until a little more syrupy and thick but not too reduced. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm while you do the rest of your dishes as this one will keep.
  6. Serve with the olive pittas or some fluffy bread dipped into the beautiful oily juices

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Olive Pitta

  • See here for pittas recipe– Don’t add the nigella seeds but instead, add a good pinch of sweet smoked paprika.
  • Once the dough has risen, add in a small handful of both chopped black olives and sun dried tomatoes.

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