February 16, 2010
Last night I had my little sister to stay – which is always an excuse to cook something special. As well as being my biggest fan, she is also my most honest critic, and I know she will always tell me if something is not quite right.
There was a recipe I’d cooked once before and had been meaning to try again for some time – a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall dish he calls Tupperware Chorizo, which he cooks with purple sprouting broccoli and clams. Chorizo is one of my sister’s all-time favourite foods, so I knew this would be something she’d enjoy.
However, as is so often the case with me, I didn’t quite have all the right ingredients. So, on Sunday night, I took the combination of spices that Hugh uses for the chorizo – paprika, cayenne, fennel seeds, a splosh of red wine and salt – and added it to about 400g of pork mince, leaving it overnight (in, you may have guessed, a Tupperware box) for the flavours to develop.
What I did have to go with the pork was a fantastic cabbage from the Secretts Farm stall at Borough Market. It looked like a cross between a red cabbage and a Savoy, and was sweet and crunchy – a perfect foil for the intense smoky flavour of the meatballs.
Once I’d fried the meatballs, I removed them to a plate, and sautéed the shredded cabbage in the same pan, so the greens took on the spices of the pork. Meanwhile, to keep in with the Spanish theme, I made saffron rice with some paella rice. I made it in the same way as you would a risotto – frying an onion, then adding stock with saffron in it until the rice absorbs all the liquid.
So, over to you, Sis… How was it?
December 9, 2009
I bought a huge bag of cherry tomatoes at the market on Saturday, and they looked like they were heading fast towards their ‘use-by’ even then – but at a quid for the bag, I couldn’t really pass them up. Anyway, by last night they were looking pretty soft, so I thought I better use them up quick. I’m not really a big risotto fan but this one I love. I add a couple of anchovy fillets (one of those essential ingredients my fridge is never without) when I’m softening the onions and, as the tomatoes were very soft already, I just popped them into the risotto when the rice was pretty much cooked – so the tomatoes just heat through, rather than cook. Then I chucked in a handful of parsley and chives, and it’s done.