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Spanish-Inspired Wild Rice, Chicken, and Chorizo Casserole

Spanish-Inspired Wild Rice, Chicken, and Chorizo Casserole


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Since you'll be making this in a large Dutch oven, preferably one with a very heavy, tight-fitting lid, you'll need to figure out how it'll fit in your oven. Position the rack so that the covered pot sits as close to the center of the oven as possible with a couple of inches of air space above the lid.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees — without the pot in there!

Place the pot over medium heat on the stovetop and get it warmed up. Pour in the oil, then add the chorizo pieces. Brown them well on all sides, about 4-5 minutes, turning often. Transfer to a plate.

Add the chicken strips and brown them, taking care to stir occasionally so they don't stick, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the sausage pieces. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pot, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened somewhat, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, and saffron until very aromatic, about 30 seconds. Pour in the beer. As the foaming subsides, stir to scrape up any browned bits in the pot.

Stir in the canned tomatoes and their juice, the artichoke hearts, peas, and vinegar. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a full simmer. Stir in the wild rice, then nestle the sausage and chicken strips in the pot. Once the sauce is back at a simmer, cover the pot and slide it into the oven.

Bake until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, between 40-50 minutes, depending on the moisture content of the wild rice. Place outside the oven, covered, for 10 minutes to steam and meld the flavors before serving.


Spanish Chicken, Olive & Spicy Sausage Wild Rice Pilaf

I’ve been steadily going through my stocks of products brought back from our travels in May and June and when I added more items to the grocery cupboard from our short trip to Clarens and Lesotho a few weeks ago, I discovered a box of mysterious looking black rice standing around idly.

Wild rice from Canada, that I found in gourmet food store in Barcelona – in fact, it isn’t a rice at all but a grain, which are seeds of a water grass. The seeds are around two centimeters long and grow longer once cooked, popping slightly like hotdogs. This dark coloured grain has a nutty, almost smokey taste and chewy texture and was originally the favoured staple of the Sioux and Chippawa peoples in North America.

Wild rice does take longer to cook than other varieties, but is higher in protein, folic acid, B vitamins and carbohydrates.

I decided to adapt the paella of Spain and the Indian pilaf, and make a Spanish inspired wild rice dish, using chicken, green peppercorns, spicy sausage and olives.


Spanish Inspired Monkfish, Chorizo and Bean Stew

Perhaps this should be retitled “We have a decent bottle of Spanish wine and we had better drink it before it goes off.” My only reservation with that is, while true, it might not tell the recipe story. It is the inspiration but not the dish. So, let’s stick with Spanish Inspired Monkfish, Chorizo and Bean Stew as the title and please forgive the mentions of the seventeen year old bottle of Faustino 1 that went with (and in) the food.

The Wife and I were idling at home on a cold, damp, winter evening. I fancied a nice drop of red. A visit to my much depleted cellar (read: largely empty wine rack in the disused dining room.) suggested it was time to open the bottle of Faustino that had been hanging around for a number of years. Herself also thought this to be a good idea.

There aren’t too many monkfish recipes (not that I know) that would support a robust, seasoned red wine. Monk and chorizo is a great combination. This led me to rummage the presses and see if I could come up with the ingredients for a Spanish style stew to go with the wine. My eventual ingredients list includes a tin of butter beans that have been hanging around the cupboard for nearly as long as the wine.

Two kinds of paprika add some depth to the Spanish flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 400 grammes of fresh monkfish tail
  • 2 uncooked Chorizo sausages
  • 1 onion
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 peppers
  • Half a teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika
  • Half a teaspoon of hot Spanish paprika
  • 1 tin of butter beans
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • A decent squeeze of tomato purée
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 glass of that 17-year-old Spanish wine
  • Flour for dusting
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper to taste and for seasoning the dusting flour

The first thing I did was to open the wine. I really believed that after so long in my sub-optimal storage conditions, the wine would have to go straight down the drain. Thankfully, my fears were groundless and I set up a shot, as you do.

I wonder who’s the guy in the big hat? Big hair, big hat, big shirt and a big wine!

To prepare this stew, you need to follow these easy steps. First slice the chorizo into chunks and put them on a medium hot dry pan. We want them to sweat their fat just like a new gym member in January.

The chorizo give up its fat easily. Don’t over-cook these beauties.

While the chorizo is slimming down, chop some onions and add them to the pan.

Like an Irishman on his first Spanish holiday, the onions take on a nice red glow.

Soften the onions and then add the peppers that you have sliced while the onions were softening (you know what I mean).

I love this shot with the little wisps of steam (I might be losing it).

Soften the peppers and then add the bay leaf.

Yes, a big picture just for the bay leaf. It’s important!

Next add the tomatoes, and everything else in the tin.

A tomato pouring shot! Is there no end to the things one can pour?

Then rinse and add the beans.

I was going to say “bean there, done that.” but, that would have made them has beans.

Don’t overdo the paprika. The two sorts add a nice warm glow and some depth of flavour.

Follow this with the tomato paste.

About that much should do it nicely.

Then man up and pour in some of that gorgeous wine. It is not going to waste. It adds an extra dimension and helps the wine in the glass to integrate with the dish. You will have to trust me on that.

This was hard to do. It’s 17 years old for goodness sake!

Give the pot a good stir and let it come to a simmer. Slice the monkfish into chunky pieces. Dust them with seasoned flour and, in a different pan, lightly brown them.

Lightly brown them. There should be an expression “golden them”. That is what we want.

Don’t cook them through. Remove them and add them to the stew. Turn off the heat and let the fish finish cooking in the residual heat.

Monkfish pieces cooking in the residual heat. A couple of minutes will do the trick.

Side note on not over cooking the monkfish: Don’t overcook the monkfish. It will turn to leather faster than you can say “cuero” (That’s Spanish for leather).

Add a sprinkle of parsley and a big squeeze of lemon juice.

The lemon juice also adds another dimension of flavour. It works well.

Pour a couple of glasses of the Faustino and serve to an appreciative guest or two.

One quick shot of the monkfish before it went on its final journey, washed down by that glorious glug.

This takes very little time to prepare, as long as you discount the 17 years the wine was hanging around. I would encourage you to try it. “El vino complementa el cocido a la perfección.” as they say in Google Translate.


Bread is a staple at most tables in Spain. You might see it as a side to a meal, as the vehicle for ripe and juicy tomatoes, or in the form of a flatbread (coca). Sandwiches are also a staple look for montaditos (small pieces of bread or mini sandwiches with spread on top of them) or bocadillos (baguette sandwiches).

Whether it’s listed as pan con tomate in Andalusia or pa amp tomàquet in Catalonia, tomato-rubbed bread can be found on just about every Spanish menu. In San Francisco, chef Ryan Pollnow puts his own spin on it, by grilling slices of sourdough bread, rubbing them with garlic, then grating fresh tomato pulp and topping the bread with slices of luxurious jamón Ibérico.

Spain’s answer to pizza is this crisp flatbread, known as a coca, baked with a variety of sweet and savory toppings. Excellent cut into small wedges and served as an hors d’oeuvre, it also makes a satisfying vegetarian supper served with a salad and a glass of crisp Spanish white wine.


Spanish Chorizo Pasta

A warming, Spanish-inspired pasta with a creamy spiced sauce and chorizo.

Ingredients

  • 85 grams Linguine
  • 100 grams Chorizo
  • 85 milliliters Low Fat Single Cream
  • 150 grams Cherry Tomatoes
  • 7 leaves Basil
  • 10 grams Parmesan Cheese
  • FOR THE SPANISH SPICE MIX:
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme

Preparation

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add a few drops of olive oil. Add linguine and push into the pan as it heats to ensure all of it is covered. Set a timer for 11 minutes.

A couple of minutes before linguine is ready, heat a nonstick frying pan. I used a few sprays of fry light since this recipe is already calorie dense, but feel free to use a few drops of olive oil. You won’t need too much as the oils in the chorizo will seep out

Once pan is smoking hot, add chorizo and fry for around 4 minutes, Reduce heat slightly then add cream and a tablespoon of the Spanish spice mix (see below). Add cherry tomatoes to the saucepan mix and tear the basil leaves in. Mix everything around well to combine and cook for 1–2 minutes.

Pour linguine into a colander and drain. Add linguine to the frying pan. Swirl around the pan to coat.

Serve with grated Parmesan on top. For an extra treat, add a glass of Rioja.

For the Spanish spice mix, simply combine all spices. Store in a tight-lidded jar.


Stay in the know at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories

For an easy and elegant fall entertaining dish you can make in your Instant Pot, look no further than our savory butternut squash soup. This Instant Pot butternut squash soup is a perfect recipe for effortless autumnal vibes. Featuring chorizo sausage and spices like cumin and chili powder, matched with butternut squash’s inherent sweetness, this Instant Pot soup exudes seasonal warmth. It’s excellent when served with crusty bread and a green salad for a light entree, but also makes for a fantastic appetizer served in smaller portions. A speedy and flavorful twist on classic butternut squash soup, our Instant Pot version delivers a delightful blend of textures and flavors in each bite thanks to toppings that make the dish as beautiful as it is delicious.


Sausage casserole recipes

Cook a one-pot sausage casserole or cassoulet for a warming midweek meal – and add beans, lentils and vegetables to your stew for extra goodness.

Sausage & bean casserole

A comforting and hearty one-pot sausage stew with chorizo, smoked paprika and plenty of vegetables

Slow-cooker sausage casserole

You can use your favourite type of sausages to make this family-friendly slow-cooker casserole. Serve it over pasta, in baked potatoes or with bread

Sausage & white bean casserole

Make this easy chipolata, bean and roasted veg one-pan dish for a healthy, flavour-packed meal that the whole family will love. It offers four of your five-a-day

Sausage & butter bean stew

Use butter beans to soak up the flavour of spicy sausages in this comforting stew. It's ideal for winter evenings and it takes less than an hour to cook

Smoky sausage casserole

Sure to be a family favourite, this warming winter one-pot has gently simmered sausages, hearty cannellini beans and a crunchy breadcrumb topping

Sausages with oregano, mushrooms & olives

Mash is a must for a winning sausage dish, give it a boost with this easy one-pot stew

Sausage casserole in a Yorkie

Serve this impressive looking Yorkshire pudding filled with a warming sausage casserole and create an instant family classic. Use veggie sausages to make this vegetarian

Sausage casserole with garlic toasts

Smarten up sausages and sneak in a few vital veggies too with this comforting midweek meal

One-pot sausage casserole with garlic breadcrumbs

Take ‘sausages and beans’ from its modest midweek meal status and elevate it to an elegant one-pot casserole that’s special enough for entertaining

Venison sausage & chestnut casserole

This warming sausage stew is a perfect make-ahead main, with a rich red wine sauce, chestnuts and a creamy mustard mash

Sausage & butter bean casserole

Dish up a hearty bowl of comfort on a cold, wintry evening with this simple sausage stew that uses a tin of baked beans to make it even easier

Sausage & lentil one-pot

Pack of sausages in the fridge? Try them in this rich stew - it's made in just one pot, so you'll save on washing up too

Chorizo, pork belly & chickpea casserole

A Spanish-influenced stew with slow-cooked belly pork, a cheap cut with great flavour and soft texture


Hake recipes

This firm, white fish is similar to cod and has a flaky texture and subtle flavour. Serve it grilled, poached or baked with strong flavour accompaniments like curry or tomato sauce.

Smoky hake, beans & greens

Grill white fish fillets and serve on top of chorizo, cannellini beans and spinach for a quick dinner that packs in 3 of your 5 a day

Hake with stewed peppers

This Spanish-inspired dish of white fish with sweet paprika-spiked peppers will bring a taste of the sunny Mediterranean to your dinner plate

Keralan hake curry

A midweek meal to satisfy your spice cravings. White fish, peppers and cherry tomatoes with fenugreek and mustard seeds in a creamy coconut sauce, scattered with fresh coriander

Pan-fried hake, white bean & chorizo broth

This gutsy soup has a Spanish tone and works with other white fish like cod - layer the flavour up with garlic and paprika


Grillstock Smokehouse, Walthamstow – review

There may be some (or indeed many) that view the opening of a new American BBQ joint in London as yet another example of lazy, greedy people trying to cash in on recent food trends. Another attempt to grab a few extra quid from the ‘dude-food’ obsessed crowd of bearded 20-somethings who slavishly follow every pop-up, food van, or ‘next big thing’ bricks-and-mortar establishment. And if the new branch of Grillstock in the heart of Walthamstow (alarms begin to sound as people realise they have to travel beyond the hipster haven of Hackney) was the result of cynical, soulless, cash-laden backers trying to make a quick buck then perhaps such suspicions would be justified.

But this, my good friends, is Grillstock.

And there’s a little bit more to it than that.

Starting life as a Bristol music and food festival way back in 2010, long before pulled pork featured on almost every pub and restaurant menu, Grillstock is a loud, meaty love-letter to the massive BBQ festivals and traditions of the US. We’re talking about groups of people who all get together over a weekend and sit around their blackened smokers, occasionally testing temperature and burn rate, to produce the ultimate in low and slow cooking, drinking ice cold beers, and generally being awesome. Grillstock (the festival, which this year is taking place at three different locations) puts meat at the centre of their celebrations and, like the US, features a genuine BBQ competition where everything from chicken to brisket to ribs is judged and rewarded with a variety of prizes and awards, alongside some great music, fine beer, BBQ demos, and some excellent places to chomp on various parts of porcine anatomy. And the chilli-eating competition is alarmingly entertaining to watch.

Following the success of the festival, a little smokehouse in Bristol’s St Nicholas market opened which was quickly followed by a larger site at Clifton Triangle and the lucky locals were thus able to feast on genuine, fabulous BBQ all year round. Having visited both on several occasions I can honestly say that the meat at Grillstock in Bristol seriously rivalled anything I’d had in London and, actually, made me rather jealous in the process. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got some excellent BBQ in the capital – Miss P, Pitt Cue Co, The Joint – but we didn’t have Grillstock.

Following the success of their first opening outside of Bristol (in the beautiful city of Bath), the owners turned their eyes toward London and, having carefully found the right site, opened their doors to the baying public on April 10th this year. I was lucky enough to get an table at the soft opening (which was by guest-list only) the day before and took a good friend along who also shares a penchant for smoked meats. This was my first proper expedition out of South London since being ill and I was personally very pleased I could just sit on a tube to the end of the line – thus saving more energy for meat.

On entering I have to say I was pretty bowled over by the place. The Clifton smokehouse is small – one large table down the middle of the room and that is it – but Grillstock E17 is spacious and filled with a huge variety of seating options. There are tables for two, a few booths, a big communal table with high stools, and a selection of customisable options for groups of anything from 5 to 10. Like Bristol (and I assume Bath too), once you’ve been seated you then order your food from the bar, collect your drink, and sit back and relax in anticipation of a huge meaty feast to come. The decor is pretty stripped back – the breeze block walls are adorned with posters from Grillstocks past and a bit of metal here and there – but the atmosphere and lighting is welcoming and hearty. It’s the kind of place that will be great on a hot summers day but also perfect to hide away and warm up in thedepths of winter. Also like Bristol, the staff are relaxed, friendly, and clearly enjoying themselves.

Grillstock offer either a plate of one type of meat, a combo of three, a sharing platter of all four meats for two people, or the Grand Champion which is a selection so big I wouldn’t be surprised if it took more than one staff member to carry it (finish it in an hour and win a shirt and some hot sauce – maybe next time). They also do a range of burgers which includes the vast Lockjaw, consisting of two 5oz burgers, pulled pork, brisket, burnt ends, cheese, and fry-sauce which has to be seen to be believed, as well as hot dogs and a variety of sides and extras like BBQ beans and cornbread. This may make choosing your dinner rather difficult.

I’ve eaten my fair share of ribs, pulled pork, and wings in my time. Some have been good, others pretty poor. My combo platter of all three aforementioned meats at Grillstock was, quite simply, amazing. The ribs were soft and tender with a good ‘bark’ of smoked exterior that yielded to reveal perfectly cooked meat within. The wings had a nice zing and were succulent and delicious and the pulled pork was smoky, savoury, and incredibly more-ish. These marvels of smoked flesh were served with a huge fistful of fries, a well-balanced slaw, a lovely little brioche-style bun, and some house pickles which put many so-called ‘home-made’ pickles I’ve sampled in London to shame – crunchy, tangy, a bit of spice – everything a pickle should be.

Ribs, wings, and pulled pork combo

My companion also had pulled pork but chose the smoked chicken and a slab of brisket to go with it. Brisket is a hard thing to get right – it is easy to dry out and turn into a leathery mess that needs a saw to hack through it – but the years of experience of low and slow cooking pay off here, producing a juicy, smoky, slab of wonder. The chicken was pretty special too.

Chicken, brisket, and pulled pork

All of this can be smothered in the house BBQ or hot sauces, which sit proudly on the table alongside traditional condiments like ketchup, American mustard (French’s of course!), and the classic Frank’s Hot Sauce.

And speaking of Franks – Frank Underwood would definitely come back for the ribs here, even though he has a favourite rib joint of his own.

Sorry, I may have been watching a bit too much ‘House of Cards’….

To go with our meats, we sampled the own-brand pale ale which was light and nicely hopped – perfect with BBQ – and were certainly tempted by the wall of bourbons and other boozy delights that shone from behind the bar. I can also recommend the Pistonhead lager or any of the Brooklyn beers they offer – all easy drinking and all perfect with the food. Or you can have cider, cocktails, iced tea, or root beer. You get the idea.

We were reluctant to leave – it was very tempting to sup on a few more beers, wait for the food to go down, and then start again but eventually we shuffled off, full and happy.

I cannot recommend Grillstock highly enough. Everything from the staff, the room, the food, the drink, the atmosphere – it’s all brilliant. And surprisingly well priced too. The combo platter (which filled me up enough so as not to need dinner) is £18 which is an absolute bargain, I have been to places where a single portion of (not so good) ribs cost more and certainly didn’t come with such a wide selection of sides. The beers were £3.80 each and you can get a Jack Daniels and Coke for £3.50! This is all good news.

So get on up to Walthamstow and try it. Or, if Bristol or Bath are nearer, head down there instead – you’ll find the same quality of food and service across the board. And once you’ve done that, buy a ticket to one of the festivals this year either in Bristol, Manchester, or London and take your experience further. Grillstock’s motto is Meat, Music, Mayhem – it could not be a more fitting description of this excellent enterprise.


Stay in the know at a glance with the Top 10 daily stories

For an easy and elegant fall entertaining dish you can make in your Instant Pot, look no further than our savory butternut squash soup. This Instant Pot butternut squash soup is a perfect recipe for effortless autumnal vibes. Featuring chorizo sausage and spices like cumin and chili powder, matched with butternut squash’s inherent sweetness, this Instant Pot soup exudes seasonal warmth. It’s excellent when served with crusty bread and a green salad for a light entree, but also makes for a fantastic appetizer served in smaller portions. A speedy and flavorful twist on classic butternut squash soup, our Instant Pot version delivers a delightful blend of textures and flavors in each bite thanks to toppings that make the dish as beautiful as it is delicious.