Chicken, chorizo and red wine casserole

Chicken and chorizo are two ingredients that work very well together, especially in chicken and rice, known as arroz con pollo in Spanish, type dishes and in paella. Continue reading


Pimenton-marinated loin of pork, white asparagus and patatas bravas

This was a kind of experiment, using the sort of flavours that you have with chorizo, but with roast pork. Continue reading

Chicken with peppers, fried potatoes and peas with sweetcorn

This was basically a Mexican-influenced meal.

The chicken was cubed breast meat, cooked in olive oil with shallots, red peppers, garlic, green and yellow chillies and tomatoes with a splash of red wine vinegar, some recado de achiote powder, salt and pepper and garnished with chopped green coriander.

The accompaniments were some cubes of potato, deep-fried and lightly salted, guacamole and some fresh shelled peas and sweetcorn, just blanched and drained and finished off in butter with some chopped salad onion and finely diced red pepper.

To drink we had a mature Spanish red wine, Ramon Roqueta ‘Los Condes’ Gran Reserva from Laithwaites. They are currently listing the 2003, but we had the 2001 vintage because we had bought it as part of a mixed case a couple of years ago. It was a deep wine, pure Tempranillo and with a nice long finish and good soft tannins from the time it had spent in oak.

Chicken with chickpeas, pepperoni, spinach and rice

This was last night’s dinner and very nice it was too!

I fried the chicken pieces off in olive oil and then put them on one side while I fried a diced onion, some chopped garlic and a diced orange pepper in the same oil.

Then I added some slices of pepperoni, chorizo would have been even better, I think, and a couple of chopped tomatoes and cooked this for a few minutes longer. I seasoned this with some pimenton dulce and piccante, salt and pepper and let it cook for a bit longer before adding some rice, a drained tin of chick peas and enough chicken stock to be twice the volume of the rice.

I returned the chicken to the pan, covered it and let it simmer for about 20 minutes before adding a bag of baby spinach. This wilted down for a few minutes while the rice absorbed the last of the stock.

All this needed was some crusty bread and a bottle of Spanish red wine.

We had Miguel Torres red Vina Sol, a 100% tempranillo wine, not oaked but very soft and with good red berry fruits on the palate. I think that this wine is a new addition to the Torres range and one that I think will become popular. It is definitely a good wine to match with Spanish-style dishes.

Barbecue seasoned roast belly pork

I had a nice piece of belly pork without any rind and it occurred to me that roasting it with a barbecue twist would be a nice way of cooking it.

I used some Reggae Reggae Jerk sauce mixed with some chipotle paste as the flavouring component.

I rubbed this all over the meat with some cracked black pepper and left it in the fridge for the day.

I roasted the meat on a Gas Mark 6 for about two and a half hours, which left the meat lovely and tender.

While it was standing, I cooked some plain white long-grain rice and made a tomato, avocado, red onion, yellow Scotch Bonnet chilli, lime juice and coriander salsa.

With some salad leaves, this was a really nice alternative to a normal roast.

With this we drank a 1999 Reserva wine from the Cariñena region of Spain. The wine was wonderfully mature and was very much like a mature Riioja on the nose and palate. Some of these Spanish regions produce wines with a wonerful capacity for ageing at very reasonable prices.

Chipotle seasoned pork chops

The seasoning was Discovery chipotle paste which is a great store cupboard standby.

I smeared this on the chops which I then baked in the oven until they were nicely cooked.

To go with the chops, I cooked some rice with red kidney beans and onions, coloured with annatto seeds. I also made a mixed salad of lettuce, avocado, cucumber, olives and tomatoes with a simple dressing of olive oil and lime juice.

To finish the dish off, we also had some red and green pickled jalapeños on the side.

A nice simple spicy dish to finish off the holiday weekend.

We had a bottle of Spanish wine with this; it was the 2000 Castillo de Valdestrada, Vino de la Tierra de Extremadura 100% Tempranillo. I’ve had this bottle hanging around for a while now, it was the last of a case I’d bought ages ago and I wanted to see how it had turned out. It had a lot of lovely vanilla-scented oakiness and rich deep maturity. Still with enough fruit to feel fresh in the mouth, it had plenty of body and spiciness to stand up to the smoky chipotle. A lovely mature Spanish red.