Brussel Sprout Salad

Brussel Sprout, Chorizo and Chickpea Salad

Brussel Sprout Salad

I don’t say this often or lightly but I hate brussel sprouts. I always have. Brussel sprouts and squash are the only things I don’t like. In saying that, I’ll still eat them, but I don’t enjoy them. Huh! I showed them!

After discussing brussel sprouts with my husband, I said I didn’t like them, he stopped in his tracks, starred at me and exclaimed that was the first time he has ever heard me say that I didn’t like something. He was shocked at how I could hate something that he had such found memories of eating, coated in butter, cheese or white sauce. I explained that in my family they were served au natural and complimented by their cabbage-like flavours any child it set to love. If something is covered in butter, cheese or white sauce – chances are I am going to enjoy it.

I decided to give brussel sprout another crack. I sat down, pen in hand and created my ‘perfect’ brussel sprout dish – spicy chorizo, sharp parmesan, zesty lemon and nutty chickpeas. drool.  I then decided to invite over some brussel sprout loving friends so they could provide an honest opinion on the dish. I wanted to know if it was good, even if I didn’t like it.

I set out with my shopping list and stumbled upon a delightful discovery in my local Woolworths,  Springbrook Valley Organic Chorizo. Made in NSW, with premium pork, no nasties, no preservatives and 100% delicious! You MUST try it. Once home, I got cracking and whipped up my flavour-loaded brussel sprout ‘salad’… and you know what? I loved it!

Ingredients

  • 750g of McCain Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 Springbrook Valley organic chorizo – sliced into rounds – trust me, you will taste the difference!
  • 1 tin of chickpeas – drained and rinsed
  • 200g of rocket
  • 3 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of crushed garlic
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Shaved parmesan to serve

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add chorizo and fry, turning for 1 minute or until brown. Add McCain Brussel Sprouts and chickpeas, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel the rind from the lemon, finely slice and reserve. Juice the lemon and reserve. Add the remaining olive oil, mustard, lemon rind, lemon juice, garlic and honey to a small bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Remove brussel sprout mix from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, toss with fresh rocket leaves and dressing. Place salad in a large serving platter and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Char-grilled Chorizo Rolls

Image: Gourmet Traveller http://bit.ly/15JFCsP

Image: Gourmet Traveller http://bit.ly/15JFCsP

The final weekend of the NRL season is here and what better excuse to fire up the barbie?! This year, ditch the bulk-buy snags and horrible, artificially flavoured chicken kebabs for a delicious char-grilled chorizo roll. Served with two yummy sauces and salad sides, these rolls are sure to be a hit.

Ingredients

  • 6 fresh smoked chorizo – if you use fresh chorizo you may need to increase your cooking time
  • 6 soft torpedo rolls, split lengthways
  •  Rocket

Ingredients – Roast tomato salmorejo

  • 500 gm (about 2 punnets) cherry tomatoes
  • 90 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 90 gm coarsely torn crustless sourdough bread
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar

Ingredients – Salsa vinagreta

  • 40 gm tiny salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup (firmly packed) oregano
  • 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml white wine vinegar

Method

  1. For roast tomato salmorejo, preheat oven to 200C. Place tomatoes on an oven tray, drizzle with 30ml olive oil, season to taste and roast until dark golden (8-10 minutes), transfer to a food processor. Combine bread in a small bowl with 60ml cold water, stand until soft (2-3 minutes). Add to food processor with garlic, process until smooth, then, with motor running, add remaining oil in a thin steady stream until emulsified. Add vinegar, season to taste, process to combine. Makes 250ml, will keep refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight container.
  2. Meanwhile, for salsa vinagreta, process capers, egg and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add herbs, process until coarsely chopped, then, with motor running, add oil in a thin steady stream and process to a fine paste. Add vinegar, season to taste and set aside. Makes 250ml, will keep refrigerated for up to five days in an airtight container.
  3. Preheat a char-grill or barbecue to high heat. Cook chorizo, turning occasionally until browned (6-8 minutes). Split lengthways, then stuff into rolls and serve with wild rocket, salsa vinagreta and tomato salmorejo.

Best washed down with an icy cold beer!

Enjoy!

15 Minute Monday – Chorizo and Garlic Prawns

Super Food Ideas - November 2011, Page 31. Photographer: Cath Muscat.

Super Food Ideas – November 2011, Page 31. Photographer: Cath Muscat.

This delicious and quick salad is perfect for spring nights and lazy summer lunches.

Ingredients

  • 500g green prawns
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tbs of butter – melted
  • 4 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
  • 2 chorizo sausages – sliced
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • Ciabatta loaf – thickly sliced
  • Aioli to serve

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the green prawns, olive oil, butter, crushed garlic cloves and dried chilli flakes.
  2. Preheat a lightly greased barbecue plate on medium-high. Cook prawn mixture, tossing, for 3 to 4 minutes or until just cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  3. Add chorizo to barbecue plate and cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side or until crisp. Remove chorizo from barbecue plate, add to prawns and cover.
  4. Juice half of 1 lemon and cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Add parsley, chives and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the prawn and choirzo mixture; toss to combine.
  5. Place prawn mixture on to a serving platter. Season with freshly cracked salt and black pepper.
  6. Serve with bread, lemon wedges and aioli.

Enjoy!

Spanish Paella

Paella is one of those festive looking dishes that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the taste-buds. With a base hue of bright yellow and splashes of red and green throughout this dish is as synonymous with Spain as tapas or sangria or really bad wine hangovers for that matter.

Originating in the rice-growing region of Valencia, Paella was traditionally a dish to feed farm workers and peasants, but aren’t the best? Consequently, it was bulked up with whatever was at hand, typically rabbit, chicken, snails and beans dependent on the farm location with each region adding their own twist; like seafood which is not in the original incarnation of paella, however is now a popular inclusion in variations found by the coast.

While within reason you can throw just about anything into your Paella there is one crucial rule that you must follow – DO NOT STIR! Paella is meant to be a dry rice dish that relies on the delicate partnership of absorption and evaporation. At the end of cooking, the aim is for the surface to be pitted with holes and the base crusty, crispy and slightly caramelised. This is called a socarrat and is the sign of a good Paella.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs olive oil – this seems like a lot but you need it to coat the rice
  • 1 large brown onion – diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 long red chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
  • 500g short grain rice such as calasparra or arborio which is more common to find
  • 2 good quality chorizo – sliced diagonally
  • 500g chicken thigh fillets – trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbs of turmeric – you’re welcome to use saffron here if you can afford it would like
  • 2 tbs of smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs of sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of ground oregano
  • 1 tsp of dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1.5L of good quality chicken stock
  • 500g green prawns with tails in tact
  • 1 large red capsicum – cut into strips
  • 1 cup of frozen green baby peas
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley – coarsely chopped
  • 1 lemon – cheeks cut off to serve

Method

  1. Heat half the oil in a Paella pan or a large flat pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and fry until translucent.
  2. Add the rice and chorizo to the pan and allow to fry, constantly stirring, until the rice and chorizo turn golden. Do not freak out that the chorizo will release oil, this oil will act as a delicious flavour base for the Paella.
  3. Add the remaining oil, chicken and all spices, salt and pepper to the pan and fry until fragrant the chicken has browned. Add the stock, cover, turn the pan down to a simmer and allow to cook for ten minutes. This is where you will stop stirring.
  4. If your burner is not big enough to directly heat the entire pan ensure you are rotating the pan every two minutes so that your Paella cooks evenly.
  5. Uncover and add the prawns to the Paella by pushing them into the rice mixture with the tails slightly visible at the top. Cover and allow to cook for another five minutes.
  6. Uncover the Paella and check the consistency of the rice and the amount of liquid in the pan. The rice should be almost cooked and almost all of the liquid absorbed. If the rice is still hard and there is not much liquid you will need to add a little more, use your best judgement but you shouldn’t need anymore than 250ml.
  7. Pour the lemon juice evenly over the top of the Paella, arrange the capsicum strips to fan out from the centre of the pan and sprinkle the peas over the top. Cover and allow to cook for another five minutes.
  8. Remove the lid from the pan, sprinkle with chopped parley and arrange with lemon cheeks. Serve the pan straight to the table for your guests to serve themselves.

Enjoy!