Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chickpeas with Chorizo and Silverbeet

This was absolutely spectacular. I entrusted it to my husband, who does everything by the letter when following a recipe, except I hadn't written down anything except a list of ingredients when I first came up with the idea. This is one of those recipes where the flavour comes from very very slowly caramelising the onions with the chorizo and grated zucchini, which in this house is usually accomplished by me forgetting about it for half an hour but in this case was deliberate. Do not skip this step (although stirring it every so often is preferable to the buggering-off-and-reading-the-internet-and-coming-back-when-you-smell-burning technique *cough*).

olive oil
3 chorizo sausages, thinly sliced
3-4 onions, finely sliced
grated zucchini (optional, although not at this time of year in my garden)
at least 1/2 bottle passata
3 cups cooked chickpeas
½ cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced
herbs, paprika
balsamic vinegar
1 bunch silverbeet, shredded

Halve the onions and slice into half-moons. Thinly slice the chorizos and saute them both, together with the zucchini, if using, over a low heat until the vegetables are deliciously brown and melty. Add garlic, balsamic vinegar and herbs at some point in this step. When everything is caramelised, add the rest of the ingredients except the silverbeet and simmer until the sauce is at the thickness you prefer (ours ended up fairly stiff, which leads me to suspect that Mr Bat only put in half a bottle of passata, but to be honest I can't remember because I am a slack tart and blogging this about two weeks later). The silverbeet only needs to be folded in at the end and simmered until it's just wilting into the sauce. Try not to actually have a public orgasm while eating, it's that good.

Tunisian Lentil Stew with creamy (and probably not very Tunisian) polenta

I had a recipe I was going to blog when Blogger was having its hissy fit the other week and unfortunately I neglected to write it down anywhere else. So this isn't it. It is, however, equally yummy, but slightly less kid-friendly since it only met with the approval of three out of four scroggins tonight.

It was initially going to be Tunisian Lentil Stew with couscous, but apparently I like having to make last-minute substitutions, because I neglected to check if I actually had any couscous until I was ready to serve dinner. So I picked polenta as a substitute, because we had rice last night, and a bag of polenta needing to be used up. I don't like polenta but according to the people who ate it, this was a nice iteration.

Tunisian Lentil Stew
3 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
2 celery sticks, diced
1 carrot, diced
2-3 cups of diced pumpkin (I had Jarrahdale)
~1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tins diced tomato
1/4 cup currants
1 cup dry red lentils
1 heaped cup cooked chickpeas
1 heaped cup cooked kidney beans
1 cup frozen peas

Creamy Polenta
3 cups water or stock
1 cup polenta
salt and pepper
1/4 c cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice

Serve with toasted pinenuts or slivered almonds.

Paprikash Pork Sausages and Beans

This was an unexpected success with all the smalls, although perhaps not all that unexpected because sausages and beans is one of those combinations which so far has never gone wrong. Paprikash purists will frown (and they have a point) because I wasn't working from the recipe and used a bottle of passata instead of just a bit of tomato paste for flavour as I had written, but it was still delicious.
  • 4 onions
  • 1 tray of pork chipolatas (or use better quality butcher sausages if you are less poverty-stricken)
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sticks celery
  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 1/4 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 4 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika (at least - I just upended the jar and stirred in what fell out)
  • 1 can of butter beans, drained
  • passata
  • loads of sour cream (embarrassingly, I had to buy this, because we forgot to put out some of ours to sour)
Slowly saute the vegetables for at least half an hour, preferably longer, stirring occasionally and tipping in a bit of liquid if it is sticking too badly. When everything is gorgeously caramelised, add the rest of the ingredients except the sour cream. Add a couple of cups of chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer, with the lid off, until the sausages are cooked and the sauce is reduced a bit. In the meantime, steam some potatoes and mash them with plenty of butter and a bit of milk, or prepare your preferred accompaniment. Eat, to the accompaniment of busily champing jaws if it is as popular in your house as it was in ours!