I have one foot already out the door as I’m writing this but just want to share it with you while I still have the warm cosy feeling inside. After the food and sherry pairing with Heston Blumenthal earlier this week, I was blessed with a bottle of Manzanilla sherry. Unfortunately, I was also the recipient of a nasty cold and so needed something to fortify and comfort – stew. When a big bag of kale arrived in the vegetable box I immediately thought of a favourite chorizo-kale-chickpea dish but a little splash of sherry makes it that bit more interesting, adding extra flavour and depth. I’ve used sherry with similar ingredients before (in a soup) with great success and I shall be adding a slosh to all manner of braises, soups and hearty winter grub in the near future.
I cannot urge you enough to make this dish with dried chickpeas – they are totally worth it for two reasons, firstly – the knobbly firm texture and secondly, the nuttiness. As I’m sure most of you already know, they are far superior to the tinned version and yet require a little more effort on the part of your memory and your time. It is necessary to re-hydrate the peas overnight by soaking in water and then giving them a bit of a cooking to avoid a rather nasty stomach upset. That out of the way, you are rewarded for your efforts accordingly.
It then just remains for you to crack on with the one-pot wonder that is stew, leave it while it plop plops away on the stove, filling your house with the most droolsome aroma and then finally, ladle yourself a big bowlful, curl up on the couch and prepare yourself for a big cosy food hug. Just don’t get impatient and burn your tongue like I always do.
P.S – I know that I promised you that recipe I have finally perfected after so many years and for which I picked up the missing ingredient recently at Persepolis. It is coming – next week I promise, to you and myself.
Chorizo, Kale and Chickpea Stew
I have lost the paper on which I recorded quantities but I think stew is something you add to as necessary anyway, while quantities are not hugely important. However, if you would like a more clearly stated recipe – don’t hesitate to e-mail me. Here’s the rough version.
Fry some onions until opaque, add carrots, peppers and garlic, followed by a good glug of sherry. Let the alcohol burn off then add stock, passata (or tinned tomatoes), the chickpeas, cooking chorizo, kale, a little potato and a good pinch of (hot) smoked paprika to taste. Let simmer for about an hour, then season and add fresh chopped parsley.