Posts Tagged With: Soup

Chicken & Chorizo Stew – A Cold Nose Dish

Project4_Page000Yes, it’s that time of year again where the nights are getting darker, the bikini’s are firmly locked away in their summer drawer and we are all freezing are bottoms off when we open our front doors to head to work in the mornings.

It’s stew time!!! And I have the perfect one for those that want warmed-up cold noses and one-pot-wonders. I present to you, Chicken & Chorizo Stew!

This dish is good. And why wouldn’t it be? You’re pairing chicken with a fiery Spanish pig sausage for God’s sake! Definitely, a greater love story than Twilight… Match made.

Chorizo packs a great deal of flavour and it works really well with the delicate chicken. This stew has a slightly smoky, spicy flavour and the chicken ends up falling off the bone; moist and succulent!

It’s also super for winter dinner parties. I made this last year (yes; last year. Worst. Blogger. EVER) and it was for a dinner party with some friends. The dish was delicious and convenient because once you have done the prep and done the simple steps outlined below, there really is little else for you to prepare but maybe a green salad and opening a few bottles of red wine.

So warm up those noses, sit back and enjoy!

Difficulty: Easy

Prep and cooking time: 95 minutes

Price:  €16

Music I listened to: 

Instead of listening to music, I watched a few episodes of “Friends”. Ah, it never gets old.

Wine I drank: Pinot Noir

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

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  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g chorizo, cut into ½ cm slices
  • 850g-1kg chicken pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, trimmed and diced
  • 200ml of white wine
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Sea salt  and black pepper

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 170˚C/330°F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Gently fry the chorizo until it starts to brown and the oil has turned all lovely and red. Remove the chorizo from the casserole dish to a clean plate.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add half of the chicken pieces. Brown them on all sides for about 3-4 minutes and then remove them to the plate with the chorizo. Brown the other half of the chicken in the same way and remove to the plate as well.

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Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and then the onion, garlic and celery. Fry until soft. Add the wine to the pan and let it boil for a few minutes,

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Now add the tomatoes, chicken and chorizo.

While the casserole is coming to the boil, add the pepper pieces, paprika and the potatoes to the casserole and cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then transfer to the oven for an hour.

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Remove the lid for the last 15 minutes to let the top brown.

Serve with a lovely green salad and a spicy Rioja Reserva to wet the pallet!

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Categories: Chicken, Main Course Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poached Salmon Miso Soup

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So it’s practically summer* and I’ve decided to blog about a type of dish to reflect such a season. Now yes, I know; a soup is hardly a summer course, but this is a lovely and light poached salmon soup which leaves you satisfied but does not fill you up and bloat you out of your bikini or swimming trunks.

It’s a beautifully executed dish and the colours are lovely. It’s served with Asian vegetables and the broth is made from miso paste and fish stock, so it’s all goooooood. Oh and low in fat too. I saw this recipe on a Gordon Ramsey programme once and tweaked it a little by using dark miso paste instead of white miso paste and shiitake mushrooms instead of enoki mushrooms.

And by the way, the above substitutions did not come from some divine chef-minded inspiration or anything… I just couldn’t find the original white miso and enoki fungi. Simple. But hey, these replacements worked really well and probably just as good as the original! You can find Gordon’s recipe in his book “Ultimate Cookery Course”.

Tip; Dark miso paste is A LOT more salty than white so use only a little and taste as you do. This is a truth that I and my 3 beautiful guinea pigs discovered when I served this one evening… The equivalent of a bathtub full of water was required and handed out with the rest of the meal. It was a near, death-by-dehydration.

*(A fact widely observed by the study of weather apps highlighting that this season is everywhere in Europe, but definitely not here in the jolly Emerald Isle of Ireland)

Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Prep and cooking time: 20 minutes

Price:  €17

Music I listened to: 

“Time for Change”, Mötley Crüe

“I Found A Boy”, Adele

“Second Crisis”, Ennio Morricone

“Slow”, Rumer

“Rocks”, Primal Scream

Wine I drank: Prosecco

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

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  • 1-1½  tbsp (approx, taste-test) dark miso paste
  • 750ml fish stock
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 500g side of organic salmon, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
  • 1 pak choi
  • 150g tenderstem broccoli
  • 25g shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Sea salt

Method

Place the miso paste in a large pan and whisk in the stock. Taste and add a little salt if necessary. Bring to a simmer, but don’t boil too rapidly as it may separate, and then add the lime leave, chilli and ginger.

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Cut the salmon in half widthways if not already sliced, then add to the stock, skin side down and gently simmer for 8-10 minutes, basting the salmon in the liquid until cooked through.

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Separate the pak choi leaves from the stems. Chop the stems into bit-sized pieces and shred the leaves. Trim the broccoli and slice in half from top to bottom.

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Carefully transfer the salmon to a plate with a fish slice and pour a small ladleful of broth over it. Bring the remaining stock in the pan to the boil.

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Put the broccoli and the mushrooms into the broth and after 30 seconds add the pak choi stems. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes, then add the pak choi leaves and cook for about 1 minute.

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Meanwhile, carefully peel the skin off the salmon, discard it and flake the salmon flesh into large chunks.

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Just before serving, rub your bowls with a little toasted sesame seed oil, place the Asian vegetables into the bowl and tier them into layers while placing the salmon on top. Spoon a few ladles of broth around the tower of yummy-ness and serve!

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Categories: Fish, Starter Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lavish Homemade Fish Stock!

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Anyone who values the love in preparing a dish from absolute scratch will most likely agree that nothing will ever compare using a homemade stock from the commercial stuff you buy in any supermarket. There is something “homemaker-ish” (yes I know that’s not a real word but I’m coining it!) about making a dish completely from the bare-bones-beginning and also a distinct satisfaction in being a thrifty cook as well! “Bones don’t go in the bin… they go in the fridge and then tomorrow we boil them up”!

Using your own homemade stock will completely elevate the flavour model of a dish from standard to gourmet. There really is zero comparison.

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not a complete Julia Child (oh holy Julia). I do cheat and use the generic stuff 70% of the time as it is more convenient and sometimes, I just simply don’t have any leftovers to prepare the stock. But when I do have these bones sitting and looking all morbid in my fridge, I rarely throw them out so I make a stock and then freeze it for future use.

Now about this recipe; one evening I was treating myself to a meal of Dublin Bay prawns from http://cavistons.com. On this occasion, I could not just get the prawn tails they frequently supply so I had to buy about 20 of the full prawns… head, claws and all. The price of this was over double what I normally pay as the weight of this yummy crustacean’s head and claws consequently pushed the price up.

Well, I got home, twisted the heads off (a very gooey sight to behold) removed the claws and the tail shell, extracted the meat and blanched them in salted water. It was a delicious meal but I couldn’t help looking at all the ravaged raw heads and shells that were sitting in the sink and realising the expense of this meal was actually about to go in the bin.

So I decided to make stock from it.

I have to say preparing this was not the most visually appealing experience (advance apologies) but the smell is amazing and when I did use the stock to prepare a mussel soup meal, I was astounded. It was absolutely delicious and definitely elevated the meal to a very lavish one! (I’ll pop the recipe up for this mussel soup later)..!

Difficulty: Easy

Prep and cooking time:

Price:  €9 not including the prawn carcasses

Music I listened to: 

Watched an ‘Ice Age’ movie instead!! Always cracks me up.

Wine I drank: Actually had a Gin & Tonic with Bombay Sapphire Gin.

Serves: Makes about 1.5 litres or 1 litre for a concentrated flavour.

Ingredients:

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  • 1 medium leek, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • ½ bulb fennel, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 100ml olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • Roughly 1.5kg white fish bones and head or shellfish carcasses and heads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 2 springs of fresh thyme
  • 4 springs of fresh parsley
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns

 

Method

Put the leek, onion, celery, fennel and garlic into a stockpot or large saucepan. Add the oil and heat until the veggies start to sizzle. Gently sweat these under a low heat, covered for about 15 minutes, until softened.

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 Stir in the fish bones and head or prawn carcasses and heads. (Now this may start to resemble a major, prominent cast member of the movie Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 etc)… Add the wine and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Pour in 2 litres of cold water and add the herbs, lemon and peppercorns. Bring to the boil, skimming off the scum off the surface with a wide spoon.

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Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, no longer. Remove from the heat and leave to settle for about 10 minutes. For a more concentrated flavour (which I prefer especially for soups and sauces), you can boil the stock down to 1 litre.

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Using a coliander or large sieve, strain the liquid through it, removing the larger bones with a draining spoon first. If you are not using it straight away, cool, then chill and use it within 3 days or freeze it in 500ml batches and use within 1 month.

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There you go!

 

* This recipe is loosely based on a Gordon Ramsey fish stock recipe from his booked entitled “Passion for Seafood”. I changed it by using more parsley, a bay leaf and the luxurious prawn carcasses and heads instead of just white fish bones.

Categories: Fish | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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