Advertisements
Tag Archives: garlic

Mussels with garlic and chorizo

13 Jan
Mussels after a nice relaxing bath

Mussels after a nice relaxing bath

Some of you know this. I used to be a fishmonger. Long summers smelling like last week’s haddock, a car interior smelling like last week’s cod baked in the summer sun all day, fish scales in the most random places you can imagine (or maybe  best not to.) There was an upside to this, access to the very best of fresh fish. I still have a man on the inside and he never steers me wrong. So on a recent spin out to Howth I picked up some mussels. This is a recipe I love- 4 ingredients, sheer simplicity. I find the smokey flavour of the chorizo works really well with the sweetness of the mussels. Plus it’s nice to go for a tomato based sauce sometimes, mussels tend to be constantly subjected to wine, cream etc. Apologies about the photo not representing these delicious morsels as best it could. Manic dinner time, hungry people to feed- this food blogger chose survival over food-gawker.

Ingredients:

about 3 inches of chorizo. skin removed and cut into discs, then quarters.

1 tin chopped tomatoes

3 large cloves of garlic. Crushed.

1 kg mussels, cleaned.

Method:

Take the chorizo, peel the skin off, cut into smaller pieces so that after a brief fry they will crisp up and give off their delicious chorizo flavour! You don’t even have to add any oil as the chorizo will render down all by itself.

Once they have crisped up, add the tin of tomatoes and the crushed cloves of garlic. Don’t be afraid to give this a good bit of hob time so that it reduces down. The juices/water in the mussels will thin out the sauce. As this bubbles away, clean your mussels. Take off their beards, and give the shells a good rub with your thumb to make sure anything loosely attached will come off. I do this under running cold water as it makes it a little easier. Any mussels that do not close after a good tap, bin them. Any ones that don’t open after cooking- bin them also. It’s just not worth it.

Add the cleaned mussels to the sauce and put a lid on the pot. Turn up the heat and let them bath in the sauce until they open up wide. I stir them around once or twice as they open to make sure the sauce gets everywhere.

Enjoy.

P.S. Fiftieth blog post, time flies eh?

Advertisements

Roasted red pepper soup

19 Dec
Soup with some peppercorns scattered in a jaunty manner.

Soup with some peppercorns scattered in a jaunty manner.

Why did I cook roasted red pepper soup?  I was under dentist’s orders to eat something soft after a filling and it was a cold day. Thus the idea for a warming soup was born!

Ingredients:

2 Ramiro peppers

4 red Bell peppers

5 cloves of garlic

olive oil

4 medium potatoes

25g butter

1.25 litres of vegetable stock

salt and pepper

yoghurt (optional- go wild)

Method:

Throw your oven on. 200 degrees celsius should do it. But I’m open to suggestion.

Wash and de seed all the peppers. Cut them into quarters or thirds and place them in an oven tray with the cloves of garlic- you don’t need to even peel the garlic at this stage. Scatter a little salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil over them.

Roast at 200 degrees celsius for about 40 minutes.

While they are in the oven, peel and chop the potatoes into chunks.

Melt the butter, add a splash of olive oil and fry the potatoes of for a few minutes until they stop looking starchy and disgusting. Then add the stock, the peppers, the (now peeled) garlic and let it bubble until everything is tender.

Blitz with a hand blender until it is smooth. Serve in warmed bowls with an artistic drizzle of yoghurt and olive oil.

Slow-cooker venison stew

15 Oct

Stew. In a bowl. On a table. In the kitchen.

 

Last winter, after I heard many a person raving about their slow-cookers (Crock Pots to any American readers), I took the not so financially painful plunge and bought one. These gadgets are surprisingly good value and  for the results they produce are well worth having in the kitchen. During the summer months, the slow cooker sat in the cupboard, slowly getting jealous of its enemy the barbecue, so I thought it was due a spin this weekend with some stew-friendly weather on the cards and also with game back in season. So off I went to my fishmongers to get my venison. Yes, I did say that.

 

Ingredients:

Splash of olive oil

400g venison

1 onion (chopped according to how picky your eaters are)

4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 tablespoons of flour

300 ml of red wine

300 ml of stock (I used beef)

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of tomato puree

salt and pepper

1 bay leaf

5 sticks of celery

4 carrots

baby potatoes (4/5 per person)

 

Method:

First heat some oil in a big pan/ wok.

Add the venison at a nice high heat and let it brown for a few minutes. I removed it at this point as I didn’t want to overcook it.

Add in the onion, which was left in big chunks (not everyone likes onion apparently.) Cook until it has softened a little.

Add the venison back in, with the garlic and the flour. Over a medium heat, stir and toss everything around until it is all covered nicely.

At this point add in the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to get the floury-goodness incorporated.

Once this is done, add in the stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper. Fling in a bay leaf if it takes your fancy. Bring to the boil.

Once it had been brought to the boil, transfer it to your slow-cooker.

I cooked it at high for about 2.5 hours before adding the vegetables in, which were all chopped into small/ bite size pieces. Cook on high for another 1.5/2 hours until the veg is tender.

Some good crusty bread would have been excellent with it to mop up the juices. I didn’t have any, so no gloating. The venison was deliciously tender after it’s slow-cook, so Bambi’s mother didn’t die in vain.

Enjoy.

Chicken, chorizo and chickpea stew

26 Jun

Tonight was one of those nights where I was tasked with putting together a dinner and there was no chance to shop- it was a ‘use up what’s in the house’ type dinner. Luckily there were some nice bits and piece lying around.

Ingredients (for 4 people):

olive oil

4 chicken breasts (chopped)

150g chorizo

400g tin of chickpeas

2 glugs (technical term) of dry sherry

5 cloves of garlic. Crushed.

2 tins of chopped tomato

1 tablespoon tomato purée

I started off by heating some olive oil in a pot. Peel the chorizo and chop it into whatever size you like, you’re the one who is going to be eating it. I prefer a smaller dice for dishes like this one. Fry it in the oil until it is crisp. Remove the chorizo, keeping as much of the oil in the pot as possible. Throw the chicken in and fry until it is sealed. Set aside the chicken with the chorizo.

Into the pan add the garlic, fry until slightly coloured. Then add the tin of drained chickpeas. When they have started to sizzle- add glug 1 of the dry sherry into the pan. After frying for a short while- add the chicken and chorizo back in. At this stage add the two tins of tomato.

At this stage add glug 2 of the sherry, the tomato purée, and season with salt and pepper. I also added a little pinch of sugar. I gently simmered the whole lot for about half an hour. I also happened to have a few stray green beans in the fridge so they were chopped and thrown in. I served it with some brown rice which soaked up the juices very nicely.

Enjoy.

Pumpkin soup with Coriander drizzle

21 Oct

It’s that time of year, pumpkins are everywhere!! This year, I thought I would do something a bit more than just using them for decoration. This soup is so simple to make, and with the peppers and coriander it’s a real warmer-upper as the weather dives towards freezing.

 

Pumpkin soup with Coriander drizzle

Ingredients:

1.2 kg of peeled pumpkin with the seeds and core removed

1 x red pepper

1x yellow pepper

4 cloves of garlic

1 x large onion, finely chopped

5 stalks of celery, chopped

1 litre of chicken stock

25 g of coriander

olive oil

chilli oil (if you have it)

salt and pepper

 

First thing to do is to heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Then peel the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and core. I found the easiest way was to cut it into slices as you would with a melon and deal with it piece by piece. I then chopped it into smaller pieces for roasting. Add the pumpkin to a roasting tray with the de-seeded sliced peppers along with the four cloves of garlic which I left whole. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes.

Ready to roast

 

About 10 minutes before the pumpkin and peppers are due to come out of the oven, in a large pan, heat some olive oil. Add the chopped onion and celery and cook until they have softened but do not let them colour too much. When the pumpkin and friends are done in the oven, add the stock to the pan before tipping in all the roast stuff. Cover and let it bubble away for 30 minutes on a low heat.

 

While this is cooking you can prepare the coriander drizzle. Wash the coriander and dry on some kitchen paper. Finely chop it, until it’s nearly minced. Place in a bowl and add a good glug of chilli oil. If you don’t have chilli oil, normal olive oil is just as good. Season with a little salt and pepper. You want a consistency that will just fall of the spoon.

 

When the soup mixture is finished cooking, blend until smooth, as you don’t want any lumps of garlic lurking in your soup!

 

Serve in warmed bowls and drizzle some coriander over the top with a spoon for a little extra kick.

 

Enjoy.

%d bloggers like this: