Chorizo and Sugar Snap Pea Giant Cous Cous

Chorizo and Sugar Snap Pea Giant Cous Cous (1)

I hope you were all able to enjoy a little sunshine over the weekend.

I’m trying (hubby isn’t aware of this yet) to turn our property into a smallholding. One day, he may come home to find that I’ve purchased a cow. I’m not at that stage yet, but I did spend my weekend tenderly looking after some plants I have grown from seed which I am hoping will reward me with bountiful veggies in a few months.

So, today, I went to the shop to buy ingredients for dinner and was loathe to spend all of that money on food. One red pepper for 79p?? It’s daylight robbery! Still, as I said, I have a couple of months to go before I can start harvesting any crops (providing I don’t accidentally kill all of the plants in the meantime) so I will have to suck it up for the time being.

As the weather has been beautiful today – stunning sunshine – I wanted something light and fairly salad like, so I decided on a cous cous dish. You can eat this hot or cold, though I prefer it hot, and is wonderful for lunch the next day.

This will serve 3-4 and will take no more than 30 minutes to make.

Chorizo and Sugar Snap Pea Giant Cous Cous (2)

Chorizo and Sugar Snap Pea Giant Cous Cous

1 tbsp olive oil

300g giant cous cous

150g chorizo

200g sugar snap peas

1 red pepper

1 small bunch spring onions

75g green olives

100g feta

1. Gently fry the cous cous in the oil in a large pan for a couple of minutes. Tip in 600ml water, and bring to the boil, stirring often. Cook until all of the water has been absorbed (approx 15 minutes), stirring so that it doesn’t stick. When the water has been absorbed, try the cous cous – if it’s still a bit crunchy, add a little more water.

2. Meanwhile, slice the chorizo and place in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry until golden on both sides, then add the whole sugar snap peas and chopped red pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Finely slice the spring onions, and chop the feta into chunks.

4. Finally, mix the cous cous, chorizo mix, spring onions, feta and olives together well. It’s ready!


Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew (1)

Chicken and chorizo is a fantastic combination – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. To celebrate the swiftly approaching weekend, I decided to treat my husband to this – one of his favourite dishes.

Hubby loves chorizo. When I buy and slice up a chorizo ring, I always give him the raw ends attached to the string to chew on. Typing does make it sound a little as though he is a dog, but I promise he is human.

This is a really warming stew; the broth is flavoured almost entirely by the chorizo – so make sure you buy a fairly decent one, if you can afford it. The spinach and chopped tomatoes add a nice bit of health, and the butter beans make it very hearty. We had a nice loaf of ciabatta on the side of our stew, but you don’t really need it – we used it simply for its juice mopping capabilities.

This will serve 4, and take about 40 minutes to make.

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew (2)

Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

250g chorizo ring

6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

200g button mushrooms

1 smallĀ  glass red wine

400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 x 400g tins butter beans

100g spinach

1. Slice the chorizo and add put in a large casserole dish over a high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the whole chicken thighs. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often, until the chicken is browned.

2. Add the sliced mushrooms, then tip in the red wine. Let it boil down, then add the chopped tomatoes. Fill the chopped tomato tin with water, and add this too. Put a lid on the dish, turn down the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the drained butter beans and cook with the lid off for a further 5 minutes. Turn the heat off, stir through the spinach, and when it’s wilted, you’re done!

Leek and Chorizo Fusili

We’re having a New Year’s Eve party tomorrow and so this is an ’empty the fridge to make way for the booze’ recipe.

I’ve spent lots of the day in the kitchen preparing the food we’re having tomorrow night, so something quick and uncomplicated was a must. This recipe is so, so straightforward and you can throw in any meat or vegetable you have in your fridge.

I hope you all have a lovely New Year’s Eve!

Leek and Chorizo Fusili

250g fresh fusili

10g butter

25g chorizo

1 leek

200g half fat creme fraiche

150g frozen peas

1 handful fresh parsley

Cheese, to serve (parmesan or any other hard cheese would work)

1. Boil a pan of water and cook the pasta according to packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, thinly slice the chorizo and put in a large saute pan over a medium high heat. When it starts to crisp, add the butter.

3. Slice the leek and add this to the pan. When it starts to soften, stir in the creme fraiche and frozen peas. Turn down the heat and allow to cook gently until the peas are cooked.

4. Stir in the chopped parsley and cooked pasta. It’s as easy as that!

Chorizo and Pea Pearl Barley Risotto

This isn’t technically a risotto at all; it’s made with lovely pearl barley (I had some left in the cupboard from my Pearl Barley, Vegetable and Bacon Broth) which makes it comforting, light and less labour intensive than a normal risotto.

You already know I love the flavour combination of chorizo and pea (Chorizo and Pea Pilaf, Creamy Chorizo and Pea Gnocchi) and they work just as well as always in this tasty recipe. Mixed with parsley and just a little crumbling of feta (instead of the parmesan you’d normally have on a risotto) it’s a winner.

This will take about 40 minutes to make and will serve 4.

Chorizo and Pea Pearl Barley Risotto

225g chorizo ring

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

350g pearl barley

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 litre chicken stock

250g frozen peas

1 handful chopped parsley

10g feta

1. Slice the chorizo and put in a large pan over a medium heat. Cook until golden and crisp, then remove from the pan.

2. Chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Sizzle for 30 seconds, then add the pearl barley. Stir to coat it in the chorizo oil, then tip in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer for 25 minutes, until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

3. Throw in the peas, heat for another 2-3 minutes until the peas have cooked through, then season with salt and pepper.

4. Stir in the chopped parsley and the chorizo. To serve, top each bowl with a little crumbled feta.

Chorizo and Scallops with Vegetable Cous Cous

If you ever find scallops cheap, buy them up. They freeze really well and you can defrost the little ones so quickly for a delicious dish like this.

Everyone knows that chorizo and scallops work well together, but rather than being the star of a starter, in this dish they make a lovely Mediterranean style meal with bright, fresh flavours. The cous cous would work well on its own, and is fantastic for lunches, but the chorizo and scallops add another level with their sweet sauce.

This will serve 4 and takes about 20 minutes to make in total.

Chorizo and Scallops with Vegetable Cous Cous

150g chorizo

150g small scallops

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp runny honey

250g cous cous

2 red peppers

150g green olives

100g button mushrooms

100g feta

1 large handful flat-leaf parsley

1. For the cous cous, pour into a large bowl with 500ml boiling water. Sprinkle with a little salt and cover with a tea towel. Leave for 5-7 minutes until the cous cous has absorbed all of the water.

2. Fluff up with a fork, then add the finely chopped peppers, sliced mushrooms, olives, most of the chopped feta and most of the chopped parsley. Stir well and leave to one side.

3. For the chorizo and scallops, finely slice the chorizo and put in a frying pan over a high heat. Sizzle until the oil has been released and the chorizo is crisp.

4. Add the scallops and cook for another minute (depending on the size of the scallops), then stir in the balsamic vinegar and runny honey.

5. To serve, pile a mound of cous cous into each bowl, top with the chorizo and scallops (making sure you get plenty of the juice), then add a sprinkling of chopped parsley and crumbled feta.

Chorizo, Tomato and Olive Pasta

Today, I found one of those packs of marinated green olives and manchego cheese in the reduced section of the shop. I decided to base my meal around it (because I couldn’t think what to make tonight!) and came up with the idea of a Spanish flavoured pasta dish.

The flavours are punchy and bright; just what you need on a miserable, cold, November day. It has the added benefit of being ready in 15 minutes, meaning it can warm you up almost as soon as you walk through the door.

You could also use a normal jar of green olives if you can’t find any of the marinated ones in the bargain bin of your local shop.

This will serve 4.

Chorizo, Tomato and Olive Pasta

400g fresh penne pasta

125g chorizo

220g cherry tomatoes

150g marinated green olives and manchego cheese

1 small glass red wine

Large handful chopped parsley

1. Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted water, then drain.

2. Dice the chorizo s finely as you can and cook in a large saute pan over a medium heat and cook until golden and crisp.

3. Prick a small hole in each of the cherry tomatoes with a knife and add to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until they are starting to soften, then crush each one gently wih your wooden spoon.

4. Add the olives to the pan (leave the manchego cheese to one side for now) then tip in the red wine. Allow to boil down, then add 150ml water.

5. Stir in the cooked pasta, chopped parsley and manchego cheese. Enjoy!