I’m not really that particular when it comes to good food. I like most of it and I like a lot of most of it (moderation is a work in progress for me; serving sizes have never been my strong point) so perhaps it will surprise you to know that I also love lovely little plates of tapas. Possibly because it represents as good a reason as any to sample most of what the menu has to offer but that’s by the by. I’d find it hard though to condense down though to one or two of my favourite dishes; Spanish cooking always seems so undeservedly underrated to me. From the garlicky prawns to the Serrano hams served with various cheeses all the way through to the octopus salads, simple tortillas, anchovies, olives or padron peppers the choices are almost infinite. And hidden in there comes this dish. I couldn’t even dream of claiming this as one of my own as one of my own; even the briefest trip through Spain will reveal hundreds of variations on the theme but this is my take on it. So good that if you don’t fancy preparing the other bits or bobs for a true tapas feast you can serve a soup bowl full of it up rustic style with a hunk of crusty bread on the side. Make it in advance if you’re that organized and let the flavours develop then serve it a bit warmer than room temperature or stick it in an ovenproof dish and crack a couple of eggs into a couple of wells you made for just that purpose and bake for a different version of heuvos rancheros. Your choice. However you serve it it won’t matter. It’s always delicious.
Spanish Style Chorizo and Chickpea Recipe.
Serves 4-6 (more as tapas):
125g chorizo, diced
2 red onions, sliced
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (don’t panic)
1 red chili, diced
125ml fruity red wine
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
3x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
2x 400g tins chickpeas
Warm 50 ml olive oil in a cast iron pan then throw in the diced chorizo and fry until the fat starts to run out.
Turn the heat down slightly and throw in the onions. Cook over a low to moderate heat for 10 minutes then add the garlic and chili.
Pour in the wine and turn up the heat so that it starts to bubble away nicely.
Reduce it done by at least half so that you are left with a gorgeous smelling syrup in the bottom of the pan.
Add the thyme and paprika then stir in the tomatoes and chickpeas with around 100 ml of water.
Bring to the boil then simmer for half an hour until it has thickened slightly and the flavours have come together.
Serve as it comes with a green salad and some crusty bread or anyway you see fit. Enjoy!