Chickpea, Chorizo and Cod Stew with Fresh Parsley

IMG_8582

My household are on a bit of a cod roll this week. There’s rather a lot of it in the freezer so we decided to cook cod a different way for three nights running – a little bit of a challenge and to prove that you can cook with the same key ingredient in different ways and make it taste completely different. Yesterday it was a Kerala fish curry with my toor dal and tonight we are having my three C stew; the three C’s being chickpea, chorizo and cod. It’s so darn delicious you’ll have to have especially strong willpower to stop yourself picking up your plate and licking every last drop of sauce. I find serving it with fresh crusty bread normally works a treat where mopping is concerned.

IMG_8577

Like most of the recipes on my blog it is very straight forward and if you don’t eat meat you can simply leave out the chorizo as you will still get the wonderful smokiness from the sweet paprika. The basic sauce can be cooked in advance and then the cod added five minutes before you are ready to eat, so it’s also perfect if you are cooking for a crowd and want to just enjoy the moment instead of slaving over a stove when they arrive. I also find that it works well as a very comforting and satisfying mid week meal. In fact it’s perfect to eat at any time, although I would probably pass if it were served at breakfast.

IMG_8589

Like a good old Victoria sponge cake there are many versions of cooking this dish, but here is mine. Let me know what you think. Oh and for those wondering what I will do tomorrow night, well I’ll probably do a tom yam broth with cod instead of prawns or maybe my Cha Ca La Vong – recipe here we’ll see which way the wind will blow in the morning.

Have a good weekend folks.

Chickpea, Chorizo and Cod Stew

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large white onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, sliced

150g spicy Spanish chorizo, sliced or cubed

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp rock salt

1/2 a 400g tin of plum tomatoes

1 tsp of tomato puree

100ml red wine

300ml boiling water

2 tsp agave nectar (or caster sugar)

400g tin of chickpeas, drained (240g after drained)

500g cod, skinned and cut into 2cm cubes

handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

optional: bread for mopping up the juices

1. In a large pan heat the olive oil on a medium heat and when hot add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking for another 3 minutes so that the onion is soft and beginning to bronze.

2. Add the chopped chorizo and continue to fry for a further 3 minutes. Add the sweet paprika, rock salt and stir into the ingredients, which will have taken on a deep red colour.

3. Add the plum tomatoes, which you then need to cut up, red wine, tomato puree, boiling water, chickpeas and agave nectar. Let the sauce gently bubble away for 20 minutes. If it becomes too dry add a little more boiling water. Taste and see if you like the balance of sweet and salty, adjust if necessary.

4. Five minutes before eating add the cod and cover with the sauce. Do not stir too much as you do not want the cod to flake. If you can place a lid on the pan as it will allow the fish to cook through nicely.

5. Serve into bowl/plates with a scattering of fresh parsley on top and fresh bread to mop up the sauce.


New Beginnings and Small Things – Tana Ramsay’s Sausage Casserole with Savoy Cabbage and Butter Beans

There is something rather cathartic about the new year.  A whole new beginning, new goals, hopes, dreams and possibilities. It’s almost as if we can wipe the slate clean and start again. We always set out with good intentions, well I do anyway, but as the year flies by things don’t often turn out the way we hoped or planned. As Mr B and I sat in our yoga class at 10 am on new year’s day feeling very worthy, we pondered on this very question when our yoga teacher spoke about new goals and not being too overly ambitious. She explained that sometimes small changes to our lives can have larger lasting effects than we would think as they start a positive knock on effect. I think this was a good piece of advice as we will find more peace within ourselves in the long run if we set more achievable goals. So I for one am going to focus on the smaller things and then perhaps the bigger things will happen naturally.

I am excited about  the recipes I am going to share with you all over the course of  this year and how, I hope, my photography will improve as I get more practice and perhaps even upgrade the camera.

 A wonderful recipe to start this year’s blog posts is one I found years ago when I got hold of a copy of Tana Ramsay’s ‘Family Kitchen‘. I have always felt she has been in the shadow of her rather larger than life husband, but if the truth be told (sorry Gordon) I actually prefer her recipe books to his. Its good old family comfort food, which is a joy to cook and even better to eat. Her ‘Sausage Casserole with Savoy Cabbage and Butter Beans’ is tasty and the perfect meal to eat after a bracing new years winter walk. I have made a few changes from her recipe – I omitted leeks and added more fresh thyme for example, but on the whole I have tried to keep largely to her original. If you like this recipe a very similar one on my blog is Caldo Verde, so check that out as well if you fancy.

So here is what you need:

I like to add a spicy red chorizo, but with little Z and big A eating it as well I decided to cook with a more family friendly chorizo. Chunks of brown fresh bread are the perfect accompaniment to mop up the the bits in your bowl at the end.

Happy New Year to you all, hope 2012 brings health, happiness and joy to you and your families.

Sausage Casserole with Savoy Cabbage and Butter Beans

Serves 4-6

a good glug of olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

1 garlic, chopped

500g/1lb sausages

55g/3oz pancetta, or bacon lardons

a handful of fresh thyme

55g/3oz chorizo sausage, cut into bite sized chunks

1 tin of butter beans, drained

1.5 litres/2.5 pints of vegetable stock

8 mushrooms, sliced

1 savoy cabbage, shredded and core removed

1. In a deep pan, I like to use my favourite Le Creuset cast iron casserole pot, heat up the oil and add the onions and garlic and fry for 3-4 minutes so that they soften. Add the sausage and do not add any further ingredients until they have begun to brown – this may take a further 5 minutes.

2. Add the pancetta and fresh thyme and leeks if you are going to include them as well. Stir well and then add the chorizo so that is begins to sweat and the casserole begins to take on a reddish hue.

3. Add the butter beans, mushrooms and stock and leave to simmer for around 15 minutes.

4. Add the shredded cabbage to the pot. It may look like a lot, but I promise you it will cook down, similar to spinach, when it has been cooking for while. Simmer on a low heat for at least 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls with chunks of bread.



Caldo Verde

Caldo Verde

Caldo verde is otherwise known as Portuguese green soup, or broth, and whilst you can simply cook it as a soup, I tend to make more of a meal out of it and give it centre stage.  Its perfect for autumn or winter as it is satisfyingly hearty and filling. I deviate slightly from the traditional recipe of onion, garlic, cavolo nero/kale and potatoes by also adding 240g (basically one tin) of butter beans and spicy chorizo. It’s satistfyingly easy to make and guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. If you are passionate, as I am, about stews and soups then this one will really appeal to you. I particularly like to add spicy chorizo to give it that extra kick, but if you cannot find the spicy variety you can simply use normal chorizo and add a sprinkling of paprika on the top before serving.

Caldo Verde

Serves 6-8

400g of spicy chorizo, chopped into slices

700g potatoes, peeled and diced

2 onions, chopped

4 garlic, chopped

200g cavolo nero/kale/greens, thinly chopped

1-2 pints chicken stock (depending on how thick you want the soup)

240g butter beans

3 bay leaves

4 tbs olive oil

pepper and salt, to taste

paprika, pinch on each serving (optional)

1. Place the olive oil in a deep pan – I use my Le Creuset casserole pot – and when it is hot add the chopped onion, on a low heat for 5 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and stir into the onions.

2.  When the onions have become translucent add the spicy chorizo, which will begin to create a lovely red hue to the onions as the spicy chorizo begins to mix with the onions. Stir for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the diced potato, butter beans (tinned variety) and bay leaves and thoroughly mix into the onion, garlic and chorizo. Add 1 pint of chicken stock and let the soup simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes, by which time the potatoes should be soft.

4. Add the finely chopped greens. I use cavolo nero, which is black kale, but any type of greens works equally well. You may find you need to add some more stock at this stage, depending on how soupy you like your soup.

5. Season with pepper and salt to taste.

Serve piping hot with crusty bread on the side.

Caldo Verde