Monday, 17 December 2012

Not so meat-free monday:

What with the shop, not enough hours in the day and my inherent laziness, I gave up on Meat-free Monday for a while. A Long While. 

And I got fat. Whether that's related or not I can't tell, but in an effort to be more responsible, MFM is back! Although it's not so very meat-free tonight. But that's because it's freezing, and this is the only thing that is on my mind. It is Lindsey Bareham's recipe for chorizo, chickpea and celery cocido, which appeared last year in the Times food section. 

As you can imagine, I don't follow the instructions properly, so you should probably head here for the real recipe. However, if you're up for winging it, here's what I do - it's worth telling you that this is so delicious that I actually always make sure we have ALL of the ingredients at any given time. 

  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery heart
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g cooking chorizo (I doubled this)
  • 3-4 sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g can of chick peas
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 400g big waxy potatoes
  • 2 vine tomatoes 
  • 50g coriander
Finely chop an onion, then trim and slice a heart of celery. Except hearts are more expensive, so just use regular old celery torso, for want of a better word.

Zest a lemon. I wish you could buy that, but as far as I'm aware, you can't - although this is a good excuse to have a gin and tonic so as not to waste the lemon! 

So then, heat a heavy bottomed, lidded pan with some olive oil and chuck in the onion. (Keep stirring 'cos otherwise you make onion charcoal which is not good - except for on homemade bread with a lot of butter!)  When it's soft, add the celery, finely chopped sage and lemon zest. Cook for about five minutes or until boredom sets in. 

This part is important - take the skin off the chorizo before dicing it, and adding it to the mix. When the juices have run clear, add a tin of drained chickpeas, and 900ml of boiling water with the 2 stock cubes. 

Chuck in some chunks of potatoes - I think this works better with waxy new potatoes...

And boom. When the potatoes are cooked, you're just about done - a couple chopped tomatoes last minute and some coriander, just really for as long as it takes to get the plates ready and you're good to go. 

It's delicious as it is, but you can bulk it out with rice, or prawns, or both. Or bread. Or more veg - carrots if you're that way inclined (but not if you've invited me over, please); spinach, which is my favorite and a good way to get your greens, or whatever needs cooking - peppers work too. 

It's fabulously light too - probably just what's needed this crazy week in the run up to Christmas. 



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