Monday, 28 February 2011

Frijoles Blanco with Chorizo & Black Pudding

 I was advised the other day by a chef I work for (the lovely Julie of Flavours Dining, facebook link here in Tufnell Park) to cook this dish with the chorizo I had left from my fusilli pasta recipe (post here) and some black pudding I had acquired during a recent visit to Lancashire.

A traditional frijoles using black beans can take hours to cook but this recipe uses canned white/cannellini beans and was ready in half an hour and tasted no less delicious.

First chop half a chorizo sausage and half a black pudding (skins removed) into chunks and start to cook in a large sauce pan with a sprig of fresh thyme. There is no need to add oil as the sausages will create enough themselves.  Chop one white onion and start to sweat down with the sausages. Then add 2 cloves of crushed garlic followed shortly by a large glass of red wine. Simmer the mixture well to make sure the alcohol burns off before adding two cans of drained white beans, a glass of beef stock and 1 tbsp of tomato puree. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. The black pudding will disintegrate into the sauce while the chorizo will remain in chunks. Season with black pepper, top with some fresh parsley and serve with crusty garlic bread:

For the garlic bread mash two cloves of garlic into some softened butter with lots of freshly chopped parsley. Slice the bread (use a nice rustic style bread like the ancienne bread I have used here or baguette) and butter both sides of each slice with the garlic mixture. Stick back together into the loaf shape, wrap with some baking parchment or tinfoil and roast in the oven at 180 degrees for 5-10 minutes or until the bread is crispy and the butter has melted.

Chorizo & Beer Fusilli

This was a very tasty and simple little dish I cooked up for my boyfriend and I a few nights ago.

Boil a pan of well salted water and start to cook the fusilli pasta.

Chop a good length of chorizo into cubes and fry in a deep frying pan. Chop one small white onion and add to the chorizo along with a twig or two of fresh thyme. When the onion starts to colour add a dash of lager or a light beer (a glug or two is plenty). Fiercely simmer the sauce for a few minutes until the larger starts to loose its bitterness and the alcohol has burned off. Then add 2/3 generous tablespoons of creme fraiche along with a spoonful or two of the pasta water. Crumble in half a beef stock cube and stir well into the sauce. Test the sauce for seasoning adding more spice, salt and pepper and a teaspoon of sugar if  needed. When the pasta is very nearly done slice some green beans into inch long pieces and add to the boiling pasta. Continue to cook for a few minutes until both the pasta and the beans are al dente. Drain the pasta and beans and stir into the sauce.

Pile into large pasta bowls and top with a generous handful of rocket leaves. Finally squeeze over a little lemon juice, drizzle with some olive or chili oil, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Lamb Pitas

This was one of my favorite meals my mum, Anthea would cook for us as we were growing up. It takes about 10 minutes to prep (not including the resting time) and 5 minutes to cook. It is a really delicious meal and perfect if you are short of time or just cant be bothered to spend hours in the kitchen after a long day. Anthea would normally use beef mince with onions and freshly ground coriander seeds, but any mince meat and spice mix can be used.

For this recipe I have used one small packet of lean lamb mince (250g) to feed two people. Grate 2 cloves of garlic and half an onion and add to the lamb along with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, a little ground ginger, a healthy pinch of salt and black pepper, some finely chopped dried apricots and a handful of chopped fresh parsley. Squish the ingredients together with you hands and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.

When you are ready to eat slice two pita breads in half (heating them gently in a toaster first will help them to open). Spread the lamb mixture evenly over the four pita halves and heat under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes or so until the lamb is cooked and browning on top but still slightly pink underneath and the edges of the pita breads have toasted up nicely. Serve with a homemade coleslaw or potato salad, tzatziki/raita and mango chutney.