Spanish Rice with Chorizo and Veg

I love this kind of recipe. You know the one that mostly uses ingredients you’ll find in the pantry. Rice, stock, tinned tomatoes – building blocks for so many simple dinners.

Throw in some spices for flavour, veggies, either fresh or frozen, for goodness, and top with golden chorizo – for no other reason that it tastes brilliant and always gets the kids over the line with any meal. 

“What is this green bit?” one child might say, staring at his fork. 

“Yum, isn’t this Chorizo amazing!” I will reply, hoping to distract the enquiring child from realising I did indeed put asparagus in AGAIN! 

The original recipe is a Bill Granger classic from Delicious Magazine October 2012. 

I have left out the marinated roasted red capsicum simply because that is a more expensive item that won’t always be in a normal pantry and I added more vegetables, of course. 

Once again, don’t be a slave to the recipe. If you hate beans or don’t have any asparagus, use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge or freezer. 

We are a family of Chorizo lovers, but if you don’t have any or don’t like it, just simply leave it out.  It will then become a fragrant vegetarian rice dish. 

Spanish Rice with Chorizo and Veg
Serves 5
A frangrant rice dish, with mixed vegetables and chorizo.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  3. 1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, paprika and coriander
  4. 1 1/2 cups (300gm) basmati rice
  5. 400gm tin crushed tomatoes
  6. 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  7. 200gm green beans, cut into 3-4cm lengths (frozen works well too)
  8. 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 3-4cm lengths
  9. 250gm (2) chorizo, cut into thin rounds
  10. fresh coriander or parsley, chopped to garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and mix well.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes and 3 cups chicken stock.
  5. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  7. You will need to check it a few times, and give it a stir to prevent it from sticking. If the stock is all absorbed and the rice isn't quite cooked, add more stock, 1/2 cup at a time.
  8. Add the beans and asparagus, and cook for a further 5 minutes until they are slightly soft, but still bright green.
  9. In another frying pan, over medium heat, cook the chorizo rounds until they are golden brown.
  10. Throw the chorizo and fresh herbs on top of the rice and serve straight from the pan.
Adapted from Delicious Magazine Oct 2012
Adapted from Delicious Magazine Oct 2012
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Pumpkin & Pancetta Pasta Bake

Move over Mac ‘n’ Cheese.

This creamy pasta bake, finished with a crunchy, cheesy, spinach topping is just so good. Even the almost-5-year-old-very-fussy-at-the-moment-eater gobbled it up. 

The leek, pumpkin, pancetta and pasta cook together in a mix of stock and coconut cream. Once cooked, it’s poured into a baking dish before topping with a finely processed mix of breadcrumbs, baby spinach leaves, lemon zest and cheese.

IMG_8853

This is my version of a recipe from Delicious Magazine, August 2009. I subbed the macaroni for wholemeal penne, the cream for coconut cream, the onion for leek, and instead of parsley in the topping, I used spinach for colour and extra goodness.

You can easily make this a vegetarian dish, by leaving out the pancetta and using vegetable stock.

If you’ve been making the same pasta dish over and over for years now, I hope you’ll give this one a go! 

Enjoy x

Pumpkin & Pancetta Pasta Bake
Serves 6
A creamy pasta bake with pumpkin, pancetta, leek and rosemary, finished with a crunchy cheesy spinach topping.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 leek, white part only, washed and finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 100 grams pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  5. 800 grams pumpkin, peeled, cut into small cubes (to give 3 cups)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  7. 3 cups chicken stock
  8. 300 grams wholemeal penne
  9. 300 ml coconut cream
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  11. 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  12. Topping
  13. 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  14. zest of 1 lemon
  15. large handful of baby spinach leaves
  16. 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large frying pan.
  3. Add pancetta or bacon, leek and garlic and cook, stirring until leek is softened.
  4. Add pumpkin, chilli flakes and half the chicken stock.
  5. Cook for 6 or so minutes or until the pumpkin softens.
  6. Add the penne, coconut cream, rosemary and remaining chicken stock to the pan.
  7. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or so, until the penne is al dente (just cooked) and the pumpkin has fallen apart and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  8. Stir through the cheese.
  9. Pour into a medium size baking dish.
  10. Combine all the topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until finely processed.
  11. Cover the pasta with the topping and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
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Pick-me-up Pumpkin & Ginger Soup (vegetarian)

It seems like our extended summer in Sydney has finally come to an end.

As I type this I am looking out to my front yard where leaves of many colours and sticks of many sizes are dropping to the ground, covering our lawn and driveway. The wind is strong and cold and it looks like winter might well and truly be here.

I don’t know many who love this season we are about to enter, but dear friends, it’s coming anyway, so we may as well get out our scarves and hats, throw some extra blankets on the beds and start making soup. 

It’s days like these that make me happy to be at home, on the couch holding a mug of this Pumpkin Soup. 

Made in the slow cooker, it’s a little more ‘pumped up’ than your normal pumpkin soup. 

There is a beautiful sweetness from the fennel and apples, and a gentle heat from the ginger and turmeric. A mixture of sweet potato and pumpkin add the rich earthiness that brings it all together.

Turmeric is such a super spice that actually belongs to the ginger family. It is considered to be one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory’s, while also being an anti-oxidant and an infection fighter. 

Including ginger and turmeric in your diet over the winter months will help in keeping your immune system strong.

Weekends are a perfect time to bung these ingredients in the slow cooker, let it bubble away and then you’ll be set up for lunches or dinner the following week. 

Stay warm friends x

Pick-me-up Pumpkin & Ginger Soup (vegetarian)
Serves 5
A slow-cooked soup made from pumpkin, sweet potato, fennel, apple and spices.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 hr
Total Time
5 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 800gm pumpkin, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  2. 400gm sweet potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  3. 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  4. 1 small fennel bulb, white part, chopped into large chunks
  5. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  6. 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
  7. 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  8. 5 cups water (or 5 cups of ready made stock)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker, put the lid on and cook for 5 hours, (or on low for 6 or high for 3)
  2. When all the vegetables are soft it is ready.
  3. Allow to cool slightly before pureeing with a stick blender or in batches in a food processor.
  4. Serve on it's own or with greek yoghurt, sour cream or cream fraiche and fennel fronds.
Notes
  1. If you don't own a slow cooker, you can use a large soup pot and gently boil it till all the vegetables are soft.
  2. It will freeze well without the toppings.
  3. It will keep in the fridge, covered for 5 days.
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