Coming across some raw chorizo sausage recently at Verkerks‘ butchers I decided to try out one of the recipes from the Mediterranean Café’s Tapas Evening. I also wanted to try out the Spanish smoked paprika that Chef Nik had used with such success that night but, naturally, the recipe sheet had disappeared. Still, if I’ve something in my mind, I don’t normally let something small like the lack of a recipe dissuade me.
I assessed the situation. I had the aforementioned chorizo and smoked paprika, there were some chickpeas in the freezer and a bag of fresh spinach that I wanted to use before it started wilting. I ended up making a Chickpea and Chorizo Stew which, when I finally did regain my recipe sheet, bore no resemblance whatsoever to what Nik had made. His recipe included giant white Spanish beans, a red pepper and no chilli. But, despite the bastardisation, my recipe was a resounding success with the Boyfriend’s sister, who had called over for dinner, and the Boyfriend himself and they demanded that I record it as it was.
As with all spicy dishes, this tastes even better the day after it is made. For that night’s dinner I served it hot, with plain rice, and the following day it was delicious at room temperature, on top of toasted sourdough bread and soft homemade goat’s cheese.
A note on chorizo: I had only ever used the dried chorizo – a spicy, paprika-infused sausage before I discovered its raw cousin at Verkerks. If the dried one is the only one that you can find, it is better to add it later in the cooking process so that it doesn’t dry out and become tough.
Chickpea and Chorizo Stew
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
Red onions – 2 medium, chopped finely
Chorizo – 2 raw sausages, sliced
Garlic – 2 cloves, sliced
Smoked paprika – 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
Chickpeas – 2 cans
Tomatoes – 2 chopped cans
Spinach – 1 bag, washed and chopped
Lemon – ½
Heat olive oil in large deep frying pan and add red onions. Fry over medium heat until soft then, if using raw chorizo, add the chorizo and garlic. Fry until chorizo is cooked, add spices and fry for one minute. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes (and dried chorizo, if using), stir to combine and bubble over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
Add the spinach and put the lid on the pan to wilt it. Turn up the heat and simmer off any juices released by the spinach. Squeeze the lemon over, stir, and serve with couscous or rice.