Chicken breast stuffed with chorizo, with courgettes and tomatoes and chips

A dead easy but tasty dinner.

The chips were Charlotte potatoes, cut fairly chunky and washed and dried. Then they were blanched in oil at 160C and then finished off at 180C.

The courgette and tomato dish was courgettes sautéed in olive oil with chopped tomatoes and seasoned with salt, pepper and shredded basil.

The chicken breasts were cut lengthways, stuffed with some thinly sliced chorizo (the sort that doesn’t need cooking) and then roasted in olive oil with some seasoning.

That was it.

Hardly any work and really nice for a Friday evening with a glass or two of wine.

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Spanish-style rice

This is one of those things that isn’t really paella and is more Spanish style than necessarily authentically Spanish.

I used ordinary long grain rice for this. The ingredients are;

A few raw king prawns
Half a chorizo sausage, cut into chunky slices
Streaky bacon cut into lardons
A chopped onion
A crushed clove of garlic
A chopped tomato
1 measuring cup of rice
Frozen peas
A chopped green chilli
2 measuring cups of vegetable or chicken stock
Two teaspoons of my own “spices for rice” – see below

First heat some olive oil and fry off the bacon and king prawns. When the prawns lose the greyness, remove from the heat.

Sauté the onions, tomato, chilli and garlic in the same oil and add in the sliced chorizo and cook until the red juices start to come out of the sausage.

Then add the rice and spice blend, stir well and add the stock. Stir well and simmer covered for 10-15 minutes.

Add in the frozen peas, the prawns and the bacon and continue cooking until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is done.

If necessary, add hot water if the rice is still too firm and keep on a very low heat.

For a less meaty version, leave out the chorizo and bacon and use some chopped preserved red peppers. You could also add in some drained tinned chickpeas too.

I think that you need the prawns though.

Spices for rice blend;

2 tablespoons of ground turmeric
1 tablespoons of pimenton dulce
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
2 teaspoons of chilli powder
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of celery salt.
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a dry air-tight jar.

Chorizo and vegetable pasta bake

Another comfort food supper.

Pasta bakes are great when it is cold outside and are a good way to use up odds and ends too.

I had a couple of chorizo-style sausages in the freezer and I used these chopped up into small chunks as the meaty base for a pasta bake, with leeks, courgettes, garlic, diced carrots and tomatoes.

I sautéed all the vegetables in the oil that I used to cook down the sausage pieces, breaking them up with the spoon to release all the flavours. When these were done, I mixed them with the cooked pasta and topped it off with grated Double Gloucester cheese and baked it in a Mark 6 oven and served it with some warmed pitta bread.

Pork loin steak with mushroom sauce, cabbage with chorizo and mashed potatoes

Tonight I wanted something home-cooked after another week of hotel meals. I’d bought a couple of nice Old Spot pork loin steaks last weekend and these were the basis for the meal.

I griddled the pork, just seasoned with salt and pepper and made some mash with Desiree potatoes, which are my favourite all-rounder.

To go with this, I sautéed some shredded Savoy cabbage with slices of chorizo and also made a cream and mushroom sauce.

We had a bottle of one of our Summer wines, a Beaujolais rouge from the Domaine La Guillardière, which I have posted about before.

Avocado, chorizo and poached egg salad

What the French call a salade composée.

I used a variety of salad leaves, some nice ripe cherry tomatoes, chopped spring onions and chopped fresh parsley and coriander for the base of the salad and added a diced avocado, some fried strips of chorizo (the ready-to-eat sliced type, not the cooking version) and a poached egg as the interesting bits.

I dressed the salad with a simple vinaigrette made from the juice of a lime, some olive oil and a dollop of Dijon mustard.

Light and simple but really very tasty, the salty and slightly crisp chorizo contrasting well with the soft ripe avocado and the unctuous runniness of the poached egg yolk and the sharp dressing.