Hot Sausage Casserole

I think you know a bit of you has died inside, when you walk past one of these, and you, even for a single minute, consider it as a serious option. When I asked Greedy Colleague what she thought of this, a look of horror crossed her face. She could picture the future, and it was filled with snuggie’s, not shagging, long hedonistic holidays, short skirts and fast cars. Never mind though, I’m sure Eastbourne is very nice at this time of year.

There are far nicer ways to warm up than even blankets with sleeves. I’m not even talking about doing  the happy dance  under a 15 tog with the warm body of your choice (if only), but rather the simpler pleasure of a casserole.

To serve two cold and hungry:

  • Packet of Premium Sausages
  • Half a hoop of chorizo
  • Splash olive oil
  • 135 g mushroom
  • Leek
  • Half a butternut Squash
  • Small Courgette
  • Herbs (whatever you like)
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • Chicken stock, made with cube is ok, made to the volume of the can of tomatoes

Brown the sausages in a pan or under the grill, until brown all over, but no longer really. Chop all the other ingredients into roughly bite sized pieces (our mouths are rather big, so our veg is chunky). In a large saucepan, or in a flameproof casserole, soften the leeks in the oil over a medium heat. Then add all the other ingredients except the sausages, tomatoes and stock. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the other veg have started to soften. Add your sausage, tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 40 -45 minutes. Serve either with mashed potatoes or crusty french bread & butter.

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Peppers and Chorizo

Time is tight at the moment. So, I could have made this quicker. On the other hand, I’m not sure that going the long way round isn’t sometimes a reward in itself. That is unless you hate cooking.

I was just going to make a spicy red pepper sauce to serve over some cooked chicken, which is why I peeled the peppers in the first place. If you’re going to make a sauce you don’t really want the skins hanging about. But then I had an unexpected third for dinner and needed something a bit more substantial. Plus I had some chorizo hanging around so this just seemed like a nice way to go with  it. Eventually served with chicken and rice and enough for 3/4 as a side dish. You don’t have to char and then peel the peppers if you don’t want to.

pepperchorizo

  • 4 peppers, red or yellow or both. green are NOT suitable for this dish (or many that I can think of)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • half a hoop of chorizo, chopped into pound coin size chunks
  • small red chilli, finely chopped
  • half glass of white wine
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Right, so, if you’re going to peel the peppers, follow these instructions. Its really not the end of the world if you choose not to, but its quite an enjoyable little job and you get a better dish. Slice the peppers into long strips, about a centimetre wide.

In a pan, heat some olive oil and slowly cook the garlic and chill and chorizo until the chorizo browns slightly and begins to release its oil. Add the pepper slices and cook, stirring occasionally over a medium heat until the peppers begin to soften. Season and slosh in the wine and bring to a simmer. Then turn down the heat and cook very slowly for around 20 minutes. Serve.

pepperchorizo&chicken

Special Fried Rice

I don’t know whether it is the fact that we are now in September that has made me crave carbs like the culinary equivalent of a duvet, or its just been a particularly bad day, but it is what it is and starchy comfort  food is what I want. I am going to make a conscious effort to cut down on the carbs a little bit before my trousers get any tighter, but not today…

So. Rice and stuff. There are versions of this from all over the place. Wherever there is rice, there is a version where someone has put the rice in a pan with something tasty and some butter or oil and cooked it off. Whether its risotto, paella, nasi goreng, pilaf or jambalaya, whatever it is, clever eaters know their rice tastes better with stuff. So this is my midweek version. Its probably closest to special fried rice you see in Chinese restaurants but it is intended as a main, rather than a side, and unlike the rationale used by many (one wonders if by ‘special’, takeaways mean ‘specially designed to make the most of the scraps and offcuts’) , I have shopped for this specifically, rather than using leftovers. If you’re looking for more than a nod to authenticity, you won’t find it in this particular recipe, however, the chorizo does add a specifically non asian flavour. You could replace it for chinese smoked sausage if you wanted, or leave it out all together. It is quick, easy and tasty  though, and as I curl up with a glass of wine, my plate and a book tonight, that is really all I will care about. Serves 3-4.

  • large mug of long grain rice
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, thoroughly beaten
  • 1 large *free range* chicken breast
  • chorizo sausage, half of one of the hoops you can get or a couple of the uncooked ones
  • small packet of cooked prawns
  • bunch of spring onions, whites only, chopped into inch pieces
  • handful frozen peas
  • red chilli, chopped

In advance, cook the rice as per the packet instructions, rinse, drain and leave to cool. If your rice is still hot when you go to make this, it will stick. I don’t know why.Given the quantities of food given here, I prefer to cook this in stages.  If it had less in, or smaller quantities I would be fairly certain of just bunging it all in and scrambling the egg over a high heat. Where chicken is involved though, I prefer to be extra sure. So, I would heat your wok until smoking slightly and add a teaspoon or so of oil. Tip your beaten egg into the wok and swirl the egg gently around until you have like a very flat omelette and slide it out onto a plate. Roll your ‘omelette’ up like a swiss roll (if you can imagine that) and slice finely. Leave to one side.

Now, put the wok back on over a high heat and add another splash of oil. Add the chicken and stir round, until white all over and depending on how big you have cubed your chicken, cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add your chorizo, stir briefly, add your chilli, spring onions, peas and  prawns. Stirfry for another couple of minutes, add your egg and then add the rice. Keep the heat as high as possible and turn the rice into the chicken, chorizo and prawn as thoroughly as possible. Keep stirring and turning for another 2 minutes or until the rice and everything else is piping hot.

Lemony Chicken and Chorizo Stew

Oh, chorizo and chicken combination, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

This must have started as an iffits dinner somewhere along the line because I don’t remember ever seeing a recipe for it, and also because I change it all the time. Sometimes, I put squid in this too. Sometimes I put tomatoes in. Sometimes it’s very spicy. Sometimes its very winey. I wouldn’t usually put lemon in with wine or tomatoes. Anyhow, it’s the sort of dinner that doesn’t mind too much what you do with it. This particular version has a lot of garlicky, lemony sauce so I would get some crusty bread to mop it up with.

chicken chorizo stew

  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on, bones in
  • 100g chorizo, roughly chopped into 1 inch square chunks. (Piccante or dolce, doesn’t matter. Just don’t buy the presliced stuff)
  • splash of olive oil
  • 1  onion, roughly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, squashed
  • 100g chestnut any mushrooms, but chestnut for preference, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, cut into about 8
  • 250g minature new potatoes
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • salt & pepper

You could brown the chicken in a pan first of all if you wanted to. Alternatively:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6. Put the sliced onion, smashed garlic and olive oil in an ovenproof casserole with some salt & pepper. Sweat off the onion over low heat, and after about 5 minutes and the onions have started to soften, add the chorizo and stir. What will happen is the chorizo will start to release it’s lovely paprika-ey oil and the onion and garlic will start to go a nice reddy-gold.When onion is fully softened, stir in the pepper, mushroom and potato. Stir everything round, rest your chicken pieces on top and pour on the stock. Turn the heat up and bring to a simmer, and then pop it in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the chicken browns. Take it out of the oven and put it back on the hob, and simmer for another 20 or so minutes until the sauce has started to thicken and the chicken and potatoes are completely cooked through.

Scoff.