Wouldn’t it be good if life could always be as simple as it is on holiday?
No panic about switching off the alarm and going back to sleep for an hour.
No having to make sandwiches for lunch in the morning while you are still half asleep.
No energy-sapping commute with miserable fellow-commuters.
No worrying about what to wear – the seagulls won’t mind if you wear the same bikini two (or even three!) days in a row.
No jammed staplers, offline printers or software screw-ups.
No discussion about whose turn it is to do the washing up.
Yup, things are pretty blissed out here on CookSister’s holiday at the southern tip of Africa
The one thing that you can control and keep simple, even if the rest of your life is complicated, is what you cook. Sure, there is a time and a place for fiddly, complicated, show-stopping food, but that time and place is not on a weeknight after an exhausting day at work. One chilly night recently, Nick was out and I was determined to keep things simple by a) not go shopping for ingredients and b) using one pot only for my dinner.
As usual, when I want something blindingly simple and addictively delicious, the answer lay with my darling Nigel Slater. This chickpea and chorizo is an adapted version of his stew and uses ingredients that I almost always have on hand and dirties exactly… one pot. Simply delicious (in every sense of the phrase!). I served mine with the last of my spinach salad which worked very well indeed.
CHICKPEA AND CHORIZO STEW (serves 4)
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
about 400g dry chorizo sausage
dried chilli flakes to taste
a glass of dry sherry
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 x 400g tins chick peas, drained and rinsed
small bunch parsley (optional)
Peel and chop the onions and the garlic. Warm the olive oil in a deep, heavy-based pan and add the onions, garlic and crushed chillies to the oil, stirring to coat. Allow to cook over moderate heat until the onions are soft and pale gold.
Cut the chorizo into chunks or slices as desired. Stir into the softened onions then add allow to cook until the chorizo releases some of its delicious red oil. Pour in a glass of dry sherry (or substitute white wine) and bring to a bubble. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes, bring mix to the boil, then add the chickpeas and half a can of water. Season with salt and black peppe to taste. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and leave to cook, slowly, half covered with a lid for 45 minutes.
Just before serving, roughly chop the parsley and stir into the stew (I left this step out as I did not have fresh parsley). Serve in shallow bowls.
I am submitting this as my entry into the December 2009 edition of My Legume Love Affair, the leguminous event initiated by the lovely Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons. Do get your entries in by 31 December as you stand to win a copy of the fabulous BloggerAid Cook Book!
Don’t forget to check out my latest column on Food24, all about the foods that make my tastebuds homesick.