If you don't already know, I am currently doing my postgraduate study in media and cultural studies. In my current essay, I am writing about how TV cookery programmes change our kitchen, our consumption and lifestyle; and as a case study, you may already guessed it, I chose Nigella. She has such beautiful TV kitchen, with all that fairy lights, matching le creuset pots for every dish,.... I am obsessed, aren't I?!
Anyway, for dinner tonight, I made chorizo and chickpea stew, which is a good company especially when it's chilly outside. Oh, and yes, it is a Nigella recipe.
This stew is pretty much instant. It takes so little time and effort to cook, and yet, delicious. The chorizo gives such wonderful spicy flavour and a nice kick to the stew. The heat is balanced with sweet and sour from dried apricots and tinned cherry tomatoes. The stew is then served on a bed of cooked bulgar wheat. I never had bulgar wheat before and I wonder why, because it's delicious. It's like couscous, but better.
Chorizo and chickpea stew
Recipe by Nigella Lawson
50g spaghettini or vermicelli, torn into 3cm/1in lengths
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt flakes or 1 tsp pouring salt
1 litre water
2 bay leaves
350g chorizo, cut into coins and then halved
4 tbsp amontillado sherry
100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, snipped into pieces with scissors (optional)
2 x 400g cans chickpeas drained and rinsed in a sieve
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes, drained, plus 1½ cans tap water
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh coriander, to serve (optional)
Warm the olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan on a medium heat. Fry the pasta bits in the oil for a minute, stirring, until they look like slightly scorched straws, then add the bulgur wheat and stir for another minute or two.
Stir in the cinnamon and the salt, then pour the water into the pan. Add the bay leaves and bring to a boil, then turn down to the lowest heat, add a lid, and leave for 15 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.
Put another thick-bottomed saucepan on a medium heat, add the chorizo pieces and fry until the orange oil runs out of them. Then add the sherry and let it bubble away.
Add the apricots (if using) along with the chickpeas and canned tomatoes. Half-fill each empty tomato can with water and swill it out into the pan. Put on a high heat to bubble for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with the bulgar wheat and, if there’s any to hand, some chopped coriander.
OK, back to more writing about Nigella now...