Sorry for the slight hiatus in blogging, Bird started a new job and it’s been pretty busy in the Fats and Bird world! But we have still, of course, been cooking loads and have so many recipes to share with you. This one was a find on the BBC Food website as we were looking for inspiration on how to use up half a tenderloin of pork. While this dinner was gorgeous we can only imagine how much better it would be if cooked on a barbecue… bring on summer!
About 150-200g pork tenderloin cut into 8 pieces
8 baby new potatoes, boiled in their skins until tender
8 thick slices of chorizo
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 tbsp olive oil
3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped
About 200-300g broad beans (fresh or frozen, we always keep frozen broad beans in the house!)
3-5 mint leaves, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
About 75g feta cheese
To start with whack the grill on. This is a super quick recipe, it will be ready in less than 20 minutes excluding cooking the potatoes. Thread some skewers with the pork, chorizo and potato – we used four skewers for more even cooking.
Mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary and some seasoning and brush it all over the kebabs and then pop them under the grill.
They will take about 7-8 minutes per side which leaves plenty of time to make the broad bean salad. Turn the kebabs over once halfway through, if yours are anything like ours they will refuse to stay the way you want them to so you may have to get creative with a knife to hold them in place. Let’s just say Fats’ engineering degree certainly wasn’t wasted!
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the broad beans. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then drain and rinse under the cold tap to cool them down. Once cooled and drained toss the broad beans with the extra virgin olive oil, chopped mint and seasoning then divide between two plates and crumble the feta over the top. Delicately plonk the kebabs on top and tuck in!
Weather update: still flipping miserable. What you need is a warm, comforting stew to tuck into while the wind howls and the rain lashes… and we’ve got just the one! Chunky veg, chorizo and chicken that just melts in your mouth in a delicious tomato sauce. This is inspired by a pork and chorizo stew that we made in Spain but the pork there is something else, we couldn’t find anything to match up to it here so we went for chicken. Make sure you use chicken thighs in this – they are so much more suited to stews, casseroles and slow cooking, they’ll be beautifully tender. Now imagine yourself on a sun-drenched balcony, sipping a glass of Rioja as the sun just starts to set…
Ingredients for 4 people
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
2-3 carrots, roughly chopped
2-3 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
3-4 new potatoes, sliced
red/green pepper, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
About a 10cm piece of chorizo, cubed
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 3/4 pieces
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
2 heaped tsp plain flour
1 carton of passata
Chicken stock (enough to cover – about 500ml)
1 tin of butter beans (or any other beans you fancy!), drained
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
A handful of black olives – optional
To start with heat the olive oil in a large pan/casserole dish and add in the vegetables. Cook over a low heat for around 10 minutes until soft and slightly caramelised. Add in the chorizo and garlic and stir together until the beautiful oil starts to come out of the chorizo.
After this time turn the heat up slightly and throw in the paprika, stir to coat all of the vegetables in it. Then whack the chicken in and immediately add in the flour. Cook all of this together, stirring almost constantly for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is lightly coloured all over. Tip in the passata and enough water to just reach the top of the meat and veg – they will squash down as they cook. Stir in the beans, sugar, salt and pepper and then cover and bring to the boil. Turn it right down to simmer and leave to cook for around 1-1.5 hours by which time the vegetables should all be soft and the sauce should be thickened slightly and coating everything beautifully. About 10 minutes before the end chuck in a handful of olives if you like them (we love them!).
We had ours with some braised cabbage but this would be lovely on its own, or with a big hunk of crusty bread!
It’s rare these days for us to have a soup without some delectable little morsel sitting on top of it jazzing it up – this time it’s crispy chorizo which adds a different texture as well as a big hit of smoky flavour. Taking a few minutes to create a topping for your soup makes all the difference, whether that’s simply some cheese crumbled or grated over, some crisped up meat or vegetables, croutons, pesto… the options are endless! It adds another dimension to soup which to some is a boring dish, we however are a little obsessed!
This is a favourite for autumn/winter; it is comforting, warming, sweet, spicy and smoky and just begs to be mopped up with a big hunk of bread. You can make this soup even sweeter, the flavours even more intense, by roasting the onion and potato first but honestly, the flavours are so great that if you are short of time (as we were) it really won’t suffer from just chucking it all in a pan.
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into roughly 1 inch cubes
crushed chillies (as much as you like! We used around 1 heaped tsp)
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
Chicken or vegetable stock, enough to cover the vegetables
A chunk of chorizo, diced into 1 cm cubes
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, when hot add the onion and sweet potato. Stir to coat in the oil and cook for around 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the sweet potato is starting to sear. Add the paprika and the crushed chillies. Cook this for a further couple of minutes and then cover with stock. Let this bubble away for around 15 minutes or until the potato is soft. Blitz the soup until smooth, we have a stick blender and think we’ve wanged on about it before but BUY ONE. They are cheap and make life so much easier if you’re anywhere near as much of a soup fiend as we both are. Your soup is ready to serve as it is, or perhaps with a drizzle of cream or sour cream. We chose to fry some cubes of chorizo in a non-stick frying pan until really crisp and top the soup with them and their oil. Enjoy! This would be lovely with our basic bread recipe or how about an adapted Paul Hollywood roll recipe, maybe with some manchego? What are your favourite autumn/winter warmers?
Believe it or not the origins for this recipe lie in an Asda magazine from about 1998. We mean really it’s origins lie in a Caribbean interpretation of some French and Spanish food but this one right here is a vintage Asda classic. Updated by the Bird clan with some chorizo and chilli (and what a bland dish it would be without them!), it’s now a firm favourite for when you want a comforting, warming, one pan dinner in around 30 minutes. Oh one tip though? Leave time for the pan to soak before you wash it up – that delicious crusty rice at the bottom makes it a hell of a job to clean!
Ingredients (serves two hungry people or three less greedy people)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 skinless chicken breast fillets, cut into strips
Chunk of chorizo, chopped
1 small onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small red pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 small green pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1 green chilli, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
340g can chopped tomatoes
330ml chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp dried thyme
135g long grain rice
Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet and then add the onion and chorizo. Allow the oil to come out of the chorizo and the onion to soften for a minute or two. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until there are no visible pink bits left. Add the garlic and cook briefly – you don’t want it to burn! Add the peppers, chilli and chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Dissolve the tomato purée into the hot chicken stock – we might have mentioned this tip before but it makes it so much easier to distribute it evenly throughout the dish! Stir in the chicken stock/tomato purée mixture, the dried thyme and the rice. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. This last step is a bit open for interpretation, we tend to stir ours every five minutes or so to prevent it from becoming a total nightmare, and we have a well fitting lid so the stock to rice ratio usually works for us but if you need to add more stock then go ahead! Also it might be worth adding a layer of aluminium foil if your pan lid doesn’t fit too tightly.
And that’s it! Serve with salad if you want to be good but if you’re anything like us then serve yourself a mountain of the stuff and eat your way into a spicy, paprika-y, chicken-y carb coma.
We’re back with one of our favourite autumn ingredients again – butternut squash. Bird stopped by the market again after ballet and couldn’t resist a huge squash (and this absolutely giant cabbage which we used in about 6 meals!).
We decided to stuff the squash with quinoa as we enjoyed the quinoa stuffed vegetables we made a month or two ago so much. We chose to spice up the stuffing with some chorizo and dried chilli flakes, adding courgette and spinach for some fresh greenery. We then topped them with a little smoked Applewood cheese which matched the smoky paprika flavour of the chorizo perfectly. This is one of those meals that can tick away nicely on a weekend afternoon and will make 4 portions – we had it for dinner and then lunch later in the week, but if you’re just cooking for yourself you would have a couple of dinners and lunches for about an hours work!
Ingredients (for 1 very large butternut squash):
1 large butternut squash
50-100g chorizo, finely diced
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 small courgette, finely diced
5-10 sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
200ml chicken stock or boiling water
Spinach (fresh or frozen, we used 3 blocks of frozen)
Cheese (any good melter will do)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Using a large, sharp knife slice the butternut squash lengthways and then scoop out the seeds. Stab the squash a few times in the middle with the knife, not going all the way through, to help it cook quicker and then brush with a little olive oil. Pop them in a large roasting dish and whack them in the oven to cook. They should take about 30-45 minutes to cook depending on size, they’ll be ready when the flesh is soft all the way through. Meanwhile heat 1tsp of olive oil in a small saucepan and add the chorizo.
Let it sizzle away until slightly crisp, then add the chilli flakes, the sun-dried tomatoes and the courgette. Stir these to coat in the oil, add the quinoa and do the same until it starts to pop. Pour in the chicken stock and add the spinach if you’re using frozen – if you’re using fresh then wait until just before it’s cooked so you don’t lose all of the goodness. This will need to cook for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to start with and more frequently towards the end as the liquid is absorbed so that it doesn’t stick. Have a little taste at this stage and season it with salt and pepper to your taste.
Once the squash is cooked and the quinoa mixture is ready take the squash out of the oven and (carefully because it’s hot!) scoop out most of the flesh, just leaving around 1 cm around the edge to keep the shape. Mix this flesh with the quinoa mixture and stuff back into the squash. Top with a small amount of grated cheese and then put it back in the oven for 15-20 minutes to let it all cook together and for the cheese to melt.
Serve with salad and enjoy! This makes a brilliant lunch when cold, if anything you can taste all of the flavours even more.
After yesterdays slightly faffy (although totally worth it) post we’ve got a really simple chuck-it-all-in-the-pot-and-ignore it recipe now! This is also one that works with whatever you have in – we used chorizo, butter beans, courgettes, potatoes and kale but it would be lovely with different beans, spinach or cabbage instead of kale, sweet potatoes instead of new potatoes, peppers or aubergine instead of courgette… anything goes really. After a bit of chopping and about an hour of leaving it to do it’s own thing you’re rewarded with a rich, tasty stew to warm you up.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
50-100g chorizo, chopped into chunks
2 bay leaves
a large handful of new potatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 courgettes, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tins of beans (we used butter beans and black eyed beans)
200g shredded kale
crusty bread to serve
Put a large casserole dish on a medium heat on the hob and put the olive oil in to heat up. Once it’s hot add the chopped onion and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring gently. Once the onion is starting to soften add the chorizo and bay leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes, the smoky oil from the chorizo should come out and smell amazing.
Add the potatoes and courgettes and cook for another few minutes until coated in the oil and the courgette is starting to soften. Then add the chopped tomatoes, the drained tins of beans and enough chicken stock to cover.
Put a lid on it, turn the heat right down and let it simmer away for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 45 minutes whack the kale in, put the lid back on to help it wilt, then stir it in and cook for a further 10 minutes and that’s it, you’re done! Serve with some crusty wholemeal bread, the one pictured is a spelt and wholemeal loaf that we made using our basic bread recipe but using 200g of spelt flour, 200g of seeded wholemeal flour and 100g of strong white flour which produces a really nutty loaf, perfect with these strong autumnal flavours.
While white fish has a delicate flavour which is perfect just with a slice of lemon, sometimes you want to spice it up with some big, hearty flavours and this recipe is perfect for those occasions! A smoky, slightly spicy, white wine-infused sauce, slices of potato, flaky white fish fillets and then the fresh, lightly peppery parsley. This dish is also great because it’s ready in about half an hour but seems so much more impressive than that, so if you have friends round, or you want to fancy up your week night give this a try.
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50-100g chorizo (picante or regular), thinly sliced
400-500g salad or new potatoes, thinly sliced
4 tbsp white wine
2 skinless fillets of white fish (we used haddock but any firm white fish will work)
a large handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
half a small bunch of parsley, chopped
green vegetables and a slice of crusty bread to serve
Heat a large frying pan with a lid that fits (we used a small wok and the lid from a completely different pan… maybe Father Christmas will bring us a shiny new pan set this year?), and add the oil. Throw in the chorizo and fry for a few minutes until it releases it’s oils. Then tip in the sliced potatoes and a little black pepper. Splash over 3 of the 4 tbsp of wine (or just chuck a good glug in like we did – who wants to measure wine?!), stick the lid on and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, giving it a little stir every now and then.
Season the fish with pepper, then after stirring the potato mixture again add the cherry tomatoes and most of the chopped parsley to the pan, stir again and place the fish on top. Splash in a bit more wine (or 1 tbsp if you like measuring things), put the lid on and ignore it for 5 minutes or until the fish is white and flaky. Scatter the remaining parsley over and serve with some green veg and a slice of bread. Now the bread might seem like carb overkill but believe us, you will want something to soak up the amazing sauce!
Bird had had this before, or something similar, cooked by her mum but had mostly forgotten what it was like and we were so impressed – the wine, chorizo oil, tomatoes and starchyness from the potatoes combine to form the most delicious smoky, spicy sauce which manages not to overwhelm the delicate fish because of the acidity and freshness from the wine, tomatoes and parsley. This definitely took us back to Spain – simple, bold flavours and great ingredients.
We told you it wouldn’t be long before we were back with the recipes! This one is one of our favourites, we have been known to have it every other week sometimes if running low on inspiration. It’s another one-pan wonder (neither of us are fans of washing up) and the ingredients can be swapped around -there are several different variations which we will share with you at a later date.
This one is the Spanish version, it feels particularly Autumnal but is gorgeous any time of the year.
Ingredients (for 2 hungry adults):
4 chicken thighs – bone in and skin on
About 5-80g of chorizo – you can choose normal or picante depending on how spicy you like things – cubed
1 410g tin of butter beans
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 red peppers, cut into chunks
200ml chicken stock
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 whole bulb of garlic (we forgot to buy any for this time and it was still nice without it)
Grab your chopped vegetables and place in a large roasting dish along with the butter beans and the chorizo. Make up the chicken stock and squeeze in the juice from the orange and then stir in 1tsp of the smoked paprika. If you’re using the bulb of garlic leave it whole but remove as much of the papery skin as possible so that each individual clove is exposed. Place this in the middle of the roasting dish nestled amongst the vegetables.
Pour the stock/orange/paprika mixture over all of the vegetables trying to get everything coated, then place the chicken thighs on top (skin side up) and sprinkle them with sea salt. Put this in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 40 minutes, checking about halfway through to make sure the pieces near the edge aren’t burning. After 40 minutes mix the remaining 1tsp of paprika with 1tsp of olive oil and brush this over the chicken thighs which will have started to go beautifully crisp by now. Whack this back in the oven for 10 minutes and you’re done!
We love this meal not just because it’s ridiculously tasty but it’s low maintenance, you can get on with other stuff while it cooks and it will forgive you if you overcook it because the stock keeps the chicken really moist.
Give it a go and keep an eye out for the other variations!