Where growing, making & good living come together

Quick tomato soup with chorizo and beans (recipe)

Posted by on Tuesday 31 May 2011 in cooking, Featured, recipes | 3 comments

A common tip for people trying to eat less meat for frugal, health or environmental reasons is to use meat as a flavour not as an ingredient to add volume/bulk to the meal. I love chorizo for this purpose – the smallest pieces provide plenty of flavour. This soup doesn’t taste like a slice of neat chorizo, but the sausage adds a lot of depth to what is otherwise a pretty basic tomato soup.

Like our spicy tomato and lentil soup, this is a quicky and aside from the chorizo, is made from standard store-cupboard ingredients – so is a great last minute lunch soup. It’s not quite as frugal as the lentil one (because of the chorizo) but it’s still pretty cheap for something so easy and tasty :)

Quick tomato, chorizo and bean soup recipe

Makes 4-5 good lunch sized portions
Costs about £2 in total, or 50p a portion (would be cheaper using dried beans, they just need rehydrating first)

Splash of olive oil
An onion, finely chopped
A clove of garlic, minced
Chorizo – about 50g finely chopped or 10 pre-sliced slices chopped/torn up
A can of chopped tomatoes
About 300g (drained weight) pinto or borlotti beans
A litre of hot vegetable stock
3 tbsp of tomato puree
1 tsp mixed herbs
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional!)

Read More

Spicy stuffing with chorizo recipe

Posted by on Tuesday 7 December 2010 in cooking, recipes | 0 comments

At the end of last week, we bought a chicken. We don’t eat that much chicken really and when we do, we tend to get on-offer pieces so I’ve probably only roasted whole chickens a dozen times or so and they’ve been ok, good even, but not great.

This time I decided it was going to be great. I decided I was going to try one of those “stuff a lemon up it” recipes but when it came to it, I didn’t actually have a lemon – and was too tired, post-dog icy walk, to go to the shop to get one.

So, I thought, what else can I STUFF in there instead? What do other people use to STUFF chickens? What sort of things do people use for STUFFING chickens? I think my brain was having a bit of a lazy Sunday afternoon because it took me ages to realise what I was asking.

There are loads of recipes out there for sage and onion stuffing – the good old failsafe – but as I said, I wanted it to be great so that wouldn’t cut it. As may not be a surprise to the observant, we were going for a spicy rub for the chicken and I wanted a stuffing to complement that. This is what I came up with.

Chorizo and chicken go really well together. There isn’t enough chorizo in it to overwhelm the meal but enough to give it a delicious, smokey taste. The pepper adds sweetness and the chilli, unsurprisingly, adds spicy heat.

John said it was the best stuffing he’d ever eaten. The chicken was pretty ace too – a longer marinading time would have added to the flavour but it tastes good and was wonderfully moist. Basically, WIN.

Spicy stuffing with chorizo recipe

Yield: Enough to stuff a large chicken or to make about 12 golf-ball-sized balls

150g bread – stuff that’s a few days old works best
50g cooking chorizo sausage
1 medium onion
1 pepper – I used green, red would be nicer
1 cloves of garlic
1 large egg, beaten
A little water (or chicken/veg stock, if you’ve got some on – only need a few tbsp worth)

2tsp cumin seeds
1tsp mixed herbs
Chillis – I used three little fresh ones from the last of our summer harvest; normally I’d use dried chilli flakes, probably a large pinch of them.
Salt & pepper to season

Read More

Bargain dinners – lamb curry and lamb, chorizo & chickpea casserole

Posted by on Tuesday 29 June 2010 in cooking, eating | 1 comment

I intended to write more about wild garlic pods today but we cooked up such a bargainacious storm last night I can’t resist telling you about it.

I spotted a perfectly-fine looking 2kg shoulder of lamb in the reduced-to-clear section of the supermarket a few weeks ago. It was less than an hour before closing and the shop was pretty empty to they’d marked it down from £12 to £1.35 (it had originally been on offer at £12 too!). A 2kg joint for £1.35! The reduced meat gods were looking out for us that day – one of the staff had wrapped a couple of packs together with the sticker price of 75p – the top pack was ox tail, a less observant person might have thought the bottom pack was too. It wasn’t, it was £8-worth of sirloin steak! We ate the steak the following evening but the lamb went straight into the freezer until a time we fancied a nice roast.

I got it out to defrost yesterday and fully intended to slow roast it yesterday afternoon but work was a bit frantic and it just didn’t happen. By dinner time, we needed something quicker than a 5-hours-in-the-oven roast so I decided to hack it up instead and let John whip up a curry with it instead. There was so much meat though that I had enough to make a casserole with it too – a slow cooked one so I could use up the tougher meat.

John’s made a few excellent Achars recently but lacking yoghurt today, made a jalfrezi instead. Then forgot to add the egg, the numpty. We’ll add it when we have the leftovers though and add some more spices to freshen it up again.

Read More