Tag Archives: chorizo

Simply Ratatouille or Go for an upgrade with Baked Eggs and Chorizo…

23 Mar

Sometimes, the kitchen gets out of control…. the week-end is too busy, there is too much catch-up to do with the cousins and you just happen to forget that stores are closed on Sundays in the countryside….

As I always have vegetables in my storage, what can be missing is meat…. and that can be a real problem in my family as they really are into meat especially red meat!

We also happened to be short of cured ham then I had to think about something new…

As I intended to cook a ratatouille even if it is not the season…. I thought about the Piperades we used to have in the Pays-Basque and it also reminded me that my dad always keep a few hot chorizo in its fridge…. Here we are, it will be easy and definitely new to my family!

A ratatouille with eggs baked on top and pan-fried chorizo slices to bring some heat (only on half of the dish because that chorizo is really hot and I am not sure the teenagers will be that happy about it!).

Ingredients for the ratatouille:

  • 2 aubergines, cut into 2-3 cm cubes skin on
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 2-3 cm pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into 2-3 cm pieces
  • 1 green pepper, cut into 2-3 cm pieces
  • 3-4 courgettes, cut into 2-3 cm cubes skin on
  • 7-8 tomatoes, cut into 6-8 quarters
  • 2 onions, cut into 6-8 quarters
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lemon, cut into 2
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • aromatic herbs (oregano, thyme, bay leaves) chopped

Ingredients for the baked eggs and chorizo option:

  • 1-1,5 eggs per person
  • a chorizo sausage (mild or hot), cut into 2-3 mm slices

Method for the ratatouille:

Clean and prepare all your vegetables as mentioned on the ingredient list.

In a large pot such as the Le Creuset ones, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil.

Start to cook the onions for 2-3 minutes until they get soft then add the peppers and garlic for another 5 minutes and cover.

Add the rest of the ingredients as well as the aromatic herbs, salt and pepper. Place the lemon halves on top and cover. Keep on cooking on medium heat to prevent the vegetables from burning at the bottom of the pot.

From time to time gently stir the vegetables with a wooden spoon, the vegetables release a lot of steam and get cooked in their on juices, the lemon will also release a lot of juice and get soft.

Once the vegetables all get soft, reduce the heat and keep on cooking…. the longer the better.

At that stage, if you only want ratatouille, just check the seasoning and you can serve it straight away with a nice fish, cured ham, roast meat….. you can also serve it cold on a buffet, it is very nice as well with a green salad tossed in French dressing.

1-Ratatouille

Method for the eggs and chorizo option:

Once your ratatouille is ready and still very hot, break as many eggs as you need on top of its surface at equal distance from each other.

Let them cook on low to medium heat.

In a frying pan, fry the chorizo slices and when the eggs are almost ready, pour the chorizo slices all around the egg yolks. Let the dish cook another 2-3 minutes, the chorizo will release some of its flavor.

Bring it straight away to the table in the pot.

2-Eggs 3-Eggs and Chorizo 4-Result No Chorizo 5-Result with Chorizo

Start by serving the eggs and chorizo with some of the ratatouille then once that layer is gone, you can serve some more ratatouille.

What I really like about that recipe is that it makes me feel cosy. It’s still sophisticate enough to forget about the fact that another week is starting the day after with shopping to do and 5 more days to go before the next week-end!

The flavors are here as well as the textures…. soft vegetables, crispy chorizo and melting eggs with that acidic hint brought by the lemon slowly cooked in the middle of the vegetables.

And if you made lots of ratatouille, you have a nice left-over for the following day!

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THE Chili con Carne

5 Jan

Once again, as you may guess….. this is not really one of my recipes… but one of my sister Sophie’s recipe.
She used to live in Connecticut, in a city called Pomfret.
When we came over, she took us to a very nice Cafe called The Vanilla Bean that reminded me of some of the rustic pubs you can find when you get out of London for a walk or a week-end.
Among all the great dishes they serve, one of them deserve a special attention and as you have guessed already, it is the Chili con Carne!
My sister has been doing it OVER and OVER and the whole family seems to enjoy it OVER and OVER.
Maybe it’s time to forget about Lasagna or Hachis Parmentier as a favorite family dish and try that one!
Just to be clear….. this is not a “fast and easy recipe”….. it takes quite a long time to cook!
It’s rather one of those recipes that you prepare on a week-end when family and friends have decided to come over. There is always a time when they all gather in the kitchen to chat and enjoy a tasty glass of wine or a fresh beer while you are cooking. Just watch your chorizo and tortilla chips, they may disappear along with the beer & wine!

Ingredients for the Chili con Carne – serves 10-12 –

  • 900g (2 lbs) of minced beef (20%) 
  • 1 tsp chili powder 
  • 1/4 tsp cumin 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (adjust for spice) 
  • 2 Drops Tabasco (optional)
  • 1 long Chorizo sausage peeled and diced 
  • 1 tbsp diced jalapeno (adjust for spice) 
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped 
  • 3 tbsp beef fat (from the beef) 
  • 3/4 tbsp chili powder 
  • 3/4 tbsp cumin 
  • 1 medium onion – diced 
  • 2 celery stalks- diced 
  • 1/2 red pepper – diced
  • 1/2 green pepper – diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce (16 oz/400 g)
  • 1 can tomato puree (28 oz/800 g)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz/800 g)
  • 1 can kidney beans drained (16 oz/400 g)

Method for the Chili con Carne

In a large and deep pan (such as a pressure cooker) gently cook the ground beef with the chili, cumin, pepper, cayenne
and Tabasco. Once it is cooked, drain it over a bowl and reserve 3 Tbls of spicy beef fat for later use.
Set the cooked beef aside for later use.
Using the same pan in order to built the taste, gently fry the chorizo for 4-5 minutes.
1-Meat & Chorizo

Add the onions, celery, pepper, jalapeno, garlic, chili, cumin and beef fat.
Cook until the vegetables are tender (10-15 minutes).

2-Veg

Add all the tomato products and cook on medium heat for 15 -20 minutes stirring occasionally.
At last, stir in the cooked beef and the kidney beans.
Simmer for 2 hours.
3-Reducing

Serve in a crock with corn chips, grated cheddar cheese and a sour cream.

4-Chilli Result

Typically, Chili is also one of those dish even better the day after. Do not hesitate to go for generous quantity when you prepare it. It also freezes very well. Just take it out of the freezer 24 hours before and bring it back to heat in a pan or even in the microwave…..

Spanish Chicken*

24 Apr

Many of you have been waiting for that recipe as I have been doing it many times since I learned it from Philippa, my dear friend from the partners kitchen.

She found it in a newspaper and kept it in case…. Thinking that sometimes, after busy periods such as Christmas or Easter, you can get somehow lazy and go for unmissable recipes!

The other advantage of that recipe is that everybody craves for it and you can easily adjust the quantity… it can be perfect for 2 as well as for 22 and it’s still very tasty as a leftover.

So definitely  a top 10 recipe! Once again…. thank you Philippa for that recipe!

Ingredients for 6 people

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 12 chicken thighs, on the bone, skin on
  • 2 red peppers sliced in stripes
  • 100g of chorizo cut into 3mm slices
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 3 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 1,3l of chicken stock
  • 375g of Spanish rice
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon juice

Method

Preheat your oven to 180° and get all your ingredients ready.

In a broad, shallow pan, heat 4 tbsp oil. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown them on all sides in 2-3 batches depending the size of your pan. Once they have a nice coloration, set them aside and throw in the peppers and chorizo and cook them over a medium heat until the peppers start to soften. Still in the same pan, add the onion and garlic and cook gently until the onion is soft. Stir in the paprika and chilli and cook for another minute.

Depending on how you wish to present it and how big is the pan you are using, keep the same pan if it can contain the whole chicken and rice or divide it into two or use a nice oven dish that you can present on a table. Spread the onion, peppers, chorizo and chicken evenly in the dish or in the pans and cover with the chicken stock. Cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes.

Then pour the rice all around the chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper.

Cook in the oven for at least 20 minutes or until the stock is fully absorbed and the top is getting gold. Don’t stir the rice at any moment.

Once the rice is cooked, take the dish out of the even and cover it with foil paper and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Just before serving, squeeze a lemon juice on top and spread some chopped parsley on top.

*Like any curry recipe, this recipe is a good base for any rice dish. You can replace chicken with shellfish, pork or rabbit. You can also add some vegetables such as spinach, green beans, courgettes, mushrooms or tomatoes and use other spices if you wish to. The idea is just to save some time and to make everybody happy including you.