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Tag Archives: chorizo

Recipe – Courgette and Parmesan Risotto

Hello and May the 4th be with you on this sunny Bank Holiday Monday. We’ve had a lovely slow start to the day so far and plan on having a nice, relaxed day at home.

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Ian brought me breakfast in bed (he’s a keeper!), I did some yoga (I’m attempting the 30-day Yoga with Adriene series!) then treated myself to a warming pomegranate face mask before settling down for some blogging and coursework and maybe a little order from the Stila website!

I mentioned last week that I had amazing courgette arancini when we went out for dinner recently and that I was determined to recreate it at home. Well, the first step in that is to make some risotto which essentially forms the filling. However, I didn’t just want to make a big pan of risotto and let it cool down without enjoying a big bowlful of it first so you could think of this as Meal #1 in the task of perfect arancini! This is a delicious dinner, especially with the courgette, chorizo and pine nut toppings.


The below amount made enough for 4 people (2 bowls of risotto for dinner then a big bowl of arancini the next day!)


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1 tablespoon of butter

6 shallots, chopped (you could just use an onion too)

One garlic clove, crushed

2 courgettes – one and half grated and the remaining half sliced into half circles

Salt and pepper

A pinch of chili flakes (optional if you want a bit of heat)

180g of risotto rice

1.5 litres of good quality stock (I used chicken stock)

50g of Parmesan

One tablespoon of cream cheese

A glug of olive oil

A thumbs length of chorizo, sliced

2 tablespoons of pine nuts

How to make it

  • Begin by melting your butter in a large pan on a medium heat
  • Add the shallots and garlic and gently fry until it softens and turns translucent
  • Now add the grated courgette, season well, add the chili flakes  and cook for another few minutes


  • Then add the risotto rice and stir well


  • Begin adding the stock one ladleful at a time, stirring almost constantly until absorbed then repeat


  • When the rice has softened and taken on a creamy consistency, add about 30g of the Parmesan cheese and the cream cheese then season to taste

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  • Now for the risotto ‘toppings’!
  • In a separate frying pan, heat some olive oil and lightly fry the remaining courgette and chorizo slices until golden brown and starting to crisp


  • Remove from the pan then lightly toast the pine nuts, making sure not to burn them


  • Serve the risotto with the courgette, chorizo and pine nuts sprinkled on top


  • Oh, and don’t forget the rest of that Parmesan!


Arancini recipe coming later this week! x

Recipe – Chorizo and Kale Hash

This is a dish I created recently that brings together some of my favourite foodie items. I am a huge chorizo fan and am a firm believer that a fried egg makes most meals better! Add a big helping of guacamole and I am in food heaven.


This is quite a brunch-style dish but we have enjoyed it for dinner. In fact, I’m cooking it again tonight and am tweaking the recipe slightly to see what it is like with sweet instead of new potatoes – I’m guessing it will be just as delicious!

I haven’t been too strict with amounts in this recipe – partly through laziness and partly because it’s a throw-it-in-a-pan dish and cannot imagine anyone weighing out potatoes and kale! The below amounts served two greedy people.



About half a bag of new potatoes, quartered

A glug of olive oil

One red onion, chopped

Half a ring of chorizo, halved and sliced

2-3 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped

Salt and pepper


About 100g (or a good handful) of kale with the stems removed and roughly shredded

Two eggs, fried

One serving of my guacamole

A sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

How to make it

  • Parboil your potatoes until they are just cooked then drain and set to one side
  • Heat the oil in your pan over a medium heat and add the onion, chorizo and bacon


  • Light fry for about 10 minutes until the chorizo releases its lovely oils
  • Add the potatoes and cook for another few minutes
  • Season well and sprinkle over a generous helping of paprika – I think I also threw in a spring onion I had hanging around in the fridge


  • Add the kale and cook for another 5 minutes until the kale has wilted and everything else is starting to crisp up


  • Fry your eggs in a separate pan
  • Serve the chorizo hash with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and an egg  on top, with a generous helping of guacamole on the side


My new favourite mid-week meal! x

Recipe – Chorizo, Sweet Potato and Goats Cheese Frittata

Despite having a long to-do list, we had the laziest morning, just hanging out, drinking tea (me) and coffee (Ian) and eating brunch with the sun streaming in through the windows. Talking of windows, we had new ones fitted this week, including a new front and back door. It has made such a difference to both the interior and exterior of the house and I will share some before and after pics as soon as the last few sills have been fitted next week!


Today’s recipe is one of my favourites to make as it is lovely when warm for lunch or dinner, but equally as tasty the next day for work. I used ingredients I already had at home but you can easily substitute the main ingredients for your favourite vegetable or cheese.



2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

A glug of good quality olive oil

1 onion, chopped

About 100g of chorizo, cubed

6 eggs

A dash of milk

Salt and pepper

A pinch of dried thyme

About 100g of goats cheese

How to make it

  • Begin by putting your sweet potatoes in a pan of hot water and simmering for 5-10 minutes until the cubes have just started to soften (don’t let them go too soft of they won’t keep their shape when fried!)
  • Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, add the oil and fry the onions on a medium heat until they have started to soften
  • Add the chorizo and cook for a few more minutes until the lovely smoky paprika oils have started to come out of the meatfrit1
  • Add the cooked sweet potatoesfrit2
  • In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk, seasoning and thyme
  • Pour this mixture into the frying pan and give it a good shakefrit3
  • Continue cooking on a low heat until the frittata has almost set
  • Finish by crumbling over the goats cheese and grilling to melt itfrit4
  • Serve warm with saladfrit8
  • …and don’t forget to keep a slice for lunch the next day!frit10

Recipe – Cowboy Beans

I wasn’t sure what name to give to this recipe which is essentially a jazzed up version of baked beans! I opted for ‘Cowboy Beans’ because I think it captured the simplicity of the recipe and the lovely smoky, BBQ flavour too.

It all started with some chipotle sausages I bought and I wanted to serve them with something that would complement the spicy flavour.

I had planned on having sausage, mash and baked beans for dinner but felt I could improve on these side dishes so swapped the mashed potatoes for some hash browns (store-bought I’m afraid!) and the plain ol’ baked beans for my own version.

One of the listed ingredients is BBQ sauce. It is one of my Dad’s specialities and we always have a bottle of it in the cupboard ready to use with meat, vegetables and as a dipping sauce. I will get the recipe from him soon and share it but for these beans you can use any BBQ or hickory sauce you have (they don’t have to be homemade either!)


I have to say that the beans really were delicious and also tasted great refried the next day with the leftovers for brunch…and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy too!




1 stick of celery, finely chopped

2 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped

A thumb-sized piece of chorizo, chopped

1 tin of baked beans (I used 2 small tins)

6 tablespoons of BBQ sauce

How to make it

  • Begin by lightly sweating off the celery, bacon and chorizo on a medium heat for about 5 minutesbeans3
  • Once the celery has softened, add the baked beans and BBQ sauce
  • Heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced slightly and all the flavours have come togetherbeans5
  • Serve with your sausages, hash browns and a cold beerbeans7

Recipe – Roast Chicken with Chorizo

Before I write about today’s recipe, I wanted to share just one more snow picture and show you the little beauty we spotted through the trees yesterday…


OK, no further mentionings of snow in this post, I promise!

If I had to list my favourite foods then chorizo would definitely be near the top of the list. Sweet and smoky with a hint of spice, I love it in lots of different dishes.

We try to have a roast dinner most weekends and I love experimenting in the kitchen with various cuts of meat. However, as much as I love cooking and eating them, there is no denying that with all the different components there is a lot of work involved in a roast dinner and often a lot of washing up too!

I wanted a sort of one-pan roast dinner this week that would taste amazing and not take all afternoon to cook, so I came up with this recipe. You add the vegetables to the dish the chicken is cooking in and then add the wonder ingredient, chorizo, right at the end when the chicken is cooling.


1 free range chicken

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 onion, cut into wedges

4-5 good sized potatoes, quartered

3 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

150g of chorizo sausage, sliced into chunks

5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved

A squeeze of fresh lemon

How to make it

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 180°c, Gas Mark 4
  • Rub the chicken with some olive oil and season well
  • Begin by cooking the bird breast-side down in the oven for 45 minutes in a large roasting traychicken7
  • Turn the chicken over and cook for another 30 minutes
  • Around the bird, tuck in the onion wedges, potato and carrotschicken6
  • Drizzle the vegetables with some more olive oil and season well
  • Roast for another 45 minuteschicken1
  • Take the chicken out, cover in foil and leave to rest
  • To the oven tray, add the chorizo and tomatoeschicken5
  • Toss them in the cooking juices from the tray and turn the oven up to about 220°C, Gas Mark 6
  • Roast the vegetables for another 20 minutes or so until golden brown and coated in the lovely paprika-infused juice from the chorizochicken3
  • Carve the chicken and serve with a good helping of the roasted vegetables and chorizo, drizzled with the flavoured oils from the tray and a squeeze of fresh lemonchicken2

A delicious and easy twist on a Sunday roast!

If I were to make this again, I would buy some fresh thyme and add it to the tray at the same time as the chorizo just to boost the flavours and add some more colour to the plate.

We didn’t eat all of the roasted vegetables and I can confirm that they make a great addition to a salad the next day, with the rest of the roast chicken torn into strips.


Back to Work and a couple of Quick and Easy Recipes


This is a bit of a catch-up post today as I have started back at work again so am currently struggling to find the time to write on here every day while I get back into the swing of things.

I had a look back at a few of my blog posts from this time last year when I was just starting at my school and it has made me realise how different I feel this time around. I think part of it was a slight fear of the unknown but I am definitely much happier going back to work this September. I feel rested after a lovely summer off and my new class seem absolutely gorgeous! This may be the calm before the storm but so far, so good!

It has however been a bit of a shock to the system having to get up early again, be on my feet all day and make what feels like a thousand important decisions a day again. I finished work on Friday feeling quite worn out so made sure we had a lovely chilled-out weekend.

This didn’t quite go to plan when we headed up to the local pub for a few Thank-God-it’s-Friday drinks and soon realised that, in our haste to get there and start on the beers, neither of us had a key with us! Cue some tall ladders and Ian scrambling through an upstairs window!

Our house is a bit chaotic at the moment as we are having a new bathroom fitted next week. Here is our hallway at the moment:

Just out of shot is the new bath tub which is positioned so close to the front door that you have to kind of shuffle into the house through a half-open doorway! One of the spare bedrooms upstairs is filled with tiles and grout and the bathroom itself looks like a building site with bare plaster on the walls and half the floor missing…watch this space for the finished results!

My Dad is staying with us this week to help with the decorating and tiling which means we get a week of delicious home-cooked meals! On Friday it was steak:

Last night was a BBQ:

And tonight we have a poussin each currently roasting in the oven!

I am absolutely loving this weather at the moment, and it has made the early mornings that little bit more bearable; lovely refreshing mornings and sunny afternoons.

We spent all day yesterday in the garden, tidying it up  and cutting back all the weeds that seem to have flourished over the wet summer we have had. I am ashamed to say that I actually found a stinging nettle that was taller than me, which made me feel like we really had neglected our garden!

In between working in the sun, we had lots of drink and snack breaks and I whipped up a batch of iced coffees which turned out to be a lovely and refreshing drink with that added caffeine hit to keep you going!

There are pages and pages of literature online dedicated to making the perfect iced coffee drink involving cold brewing, leaving the liquid overnight stewing and all manner of other tips. I however just wanted something quick and easy so I simply brewed a couple of shot of espresso (by the way, a major pet hate of mine is people using the word expresso!) from our coffee machine, added some sugar and then milk until it was the colour of a latte.

As it was the weekend I also poured in a shot of amaretto liquor (!) but you can leave it as ordinary coffee or add another flavoured syrup.

I then popped this lukewarm concoction in the freezer for an hour or so  until it was nice and chilled. You can pop a couple of ice cubes into the coffee at this stage to speed up the chilling but be careful not to put too many in or it will dilute the coffee too much.

Serve with lots of ice. I was really excited to use my new vintage milk bottles to serve these in and they looked lovely in their white tray:

For me, there was only one possible option for dinner last night to make the most of this sunshine…BBQ!

I wanted to share my new favourite canapé that was served at the wedding I went to last weekend and I have now nicked and will totally claim as my own at future dinner parties! On a cocktail stick, simply pop on a slice of chorizo, a cube of hard goats cheese and a piece of sundried tomato…easy yet absolutely gorgeous!

My Dad made some substantial burgers to go on the grill, with a surprise filling of blue cheese which had melted and made for the most gooey, delicious and flavoured burgers.

Having cleared lots of wood, weeds and other junk out of the garden yesterday we had a huge bonfire to keep us warm as the night drew in and the temperature dropped…

…although the flames did get a bit wild at one point !

I am hoping this lovely weather continues for a bit longer as the seasons slowly shift. I found these gorgeous colourful leaves yesterday and already my mind has started to wander to Autumn and crunchy leaves, bonfire night, comfort food, scarves and mulled cider!

Recipe – Roasted Sausages and Butternut Squash

I am writing today’s post from our picnic bench at the top of the garden. Wow, it feels good to say that!

Today has been absolutely glorious and the rest of the week is meant to be pretty good too *high five*

I was hoping for good weather today as my school took our children to see the Olympic torch being carried past a nearby town.

Now, I admit that I haven’t really been too fussed about the Olympics coming to London. I didn’t try to buy tickets, I probably won’t be watching that much of them over the summer and I truly believe that there are much better causes to support with the millions of pounds that have been spent so far.

However, I am a sucker for some bunting and Britishness and today had both! It was a really lovely experience…although I am sporting some rather attractive sunburnt feet this evening!

Today’s recipe is so simple and can be easily adapted to fit in with whatever you have lurking in your cupboards…for me, it was a packet of sausages and a butternut squash!

You can also change the herbs you are using – if you are using a spicy chorizo sausage then throw in some extra smoked paprika.


1 pack of good quality sausages or chipolatas

A glug of olive oil

2 onions, roughly chopped

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced

 A handful of new potatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper

A good pinch of dried thyme

How to make it

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 5
  • Prick your sausage then brown in a frying pan with a little oil
  • When golden brown, place the sausages in a large oven proof tray and add the onions, butternut squash, new potatoes, salt, pepper and thyme then drizzle with some olive oil
  • Pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until browned. (I took mine out halfway through to give everything a good shake too)
  • This is lovely on its own but I served mine with a fried egg and my guilty pleasure of cold baked beans

Enjoy the sunshine! Xxx

Recipe – Paella

As promised, here is my paella recipe. Now I know there are an abundance of regional variations on this Spanish classic, including the addition of rabbit, squid ink, seafood and chicken, but mine contains three key ingredients: chorizo, prawns and saffron.

Chorizo offers that lovely smoky paprika flavour.

The king prawns give you a taste of the sea and another meaty texture in the dish.

And finally, the saffron, which is rather pricy but gives that gorgeous colour and authentic flavour.

The only item I didn’t have was a proper paella pan, known as a paellera, which paella purists would insist on,  but I found my Le Creuset casserole dish did just fine!

This was a main course that I served at a dinner party last week and is ideal if you want a dish packed with flavour but don’t have a huge amount of time for chopping and preparing. To make it a bit more of a special dish, I also popped a few lovely langoustines on top but these were more for decoration than flavour.


A glug of olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 pepper, chopped (I used an orange pepper)

Half of a ring of chorizo (about 130g), chopped

150g of calasparra rice (most supermarkets package it as ‘paella rice’ which is fine)

450ml of chicken stock

A pinch of saffron

A good handful of king prawns, cooked (about 150g)

A langoustine per person, cooked (optional)

A small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped

A fresh lemon for serving

How to make it

  • Begin by heating the oil in a large pan or casserole dish, then add the onion and pepper and fry on a medium heat for a few minutes
  • Add the chopped chorizo and continue cooking until the chorizo starts to release its lovely, fragrant oils
  • Add the paella rice and stir until it is coated in the juices of the pan
  • In the meantime, prepare your stock and add the saffron to it, then pour this mixture over the rice and stir well
  • Cover the pan and leave for about 15 minutes or until the stock is almost absorbed
  • Add the king prawns and cook for another few minutes until they are heated through (you can also add your langoustines at this point if you are using them)
  • Stir through the parsley and serve with a quarter of lemon for your guests to squeeze over the top

I served mine with some salad and a warm French stick to soak up any juices…Enjoy! x

Recipe – Savoy Cabbage and Chorizo Soup

I made this recipe for dinner last night to try and use up a rather sorry-looking cabbage I had in the cupboard, and to be honest I wasn’t too sure how it would turn out!

Luckily for me (and you!), it was delicious and, although I used chorizo, this recipe would work just as well with bacon or pancetta.

If you don’t have the cabbage or meat to add, then the base of the meal itself is a lovely, wholesome vegetable soup which would be perfect with some warm, crusty bread dipped in.


A glug of olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

A few sticks of celery, chopped

2 or 3 potatoes, chopped

Enough vegetable stock to cover the vegetables

Salt and pepper

A small savoy cabbage, shredded

About 9-12 slices of chorizo, chopped

How to make it

  • Begin by heating the oil in a large pan, then add the onion, carrots and celery and cook for 3-5 minutes on a low heat, until the vegetables have started to soften
  • Add the potatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper and then cook for another few minutes
  • Cover the contents of the pan with the stock and cook for 5-10 minutes on a medium heat until the vegetables have softened
  • Allow to cool, and then blitz to make a smooth soup. (at this stage, mine was a bit thick, so I added some more water until I was happy with the consistency)
  • Season to taste
  • Put the pan back on a low heat and add the shredded cabbage and about half of the chorizo
  • With the remaining half, gently fry in a small pan and then set to one side
  • As soon as the cabbage has softened (after about 5 minutes) serve the soup and top with the crispy pieces of chorizo

Enjoy the first dish from my new kitchen! x

Restaurant Review – Menu Gordon Jones, Bath

Last night, we had the absolute pleasure of eating the seasonal seven course menu at this new restaurant on the outskirts of Bath. Upon walking in, you will see it is quite a small dining room but this adds to the intimate feeling, and you also get to watch the Michelin-trained chef at work as he creates his magic in the kitchen.

After ordering a lovely Chilean merlot (my favourite!), we were given some delicious bread to nibble on. One of the reasons I love coming to restaurants like these is the creativity that goes into ensuring that it is an interesting and fun dining experience, and the scientific equipment that this course was served in ticked all the right boxes!

In the sealed brown paper bag, we both had a chunky slice of warm ‘Carrot and Coriander’ and ‘Bloody Mary’ bread, each perfectly cooked and full of flavour. In the accompanying test tubes we had a reduced balsamic vinegar and a bottle of herby olive oil, and as a starter this was spot on.

Next came the wild mushroom espuma (foam), topped with fennel seeds and truffle oil, beautifully served in small espresso cups. A lot of the foams I have had at restaurants in the past have been very light and almost melted away as soon as the dish was served but this was a lot more robust and I would describe it as being more like a whipped up soup. The rich and woody taste of the mushrooms came through perfectly and this dish was lovely with our bread dipped in.

Next came our starters. Ian opted for beetroot and cumin cured sea bream, with an avocado puree and a fennel salad. This was again beautifully presented, and the salad was a tangy and refreshing accompaniment to the robust fish.

I chose a dish of rabbit, Bath pig chorizo risotto and shallots. The slow-cooked rabbit was wonderfully tender and just fell off the bone. The risotto was rich and well-flavoured and all the separate parts of the dish came together well.

Our next amuse bouche was the dish I had some trepidation about – smoked eel with lime and honey. I shouldn’t have worried as it was divine! It was the first time I had eaten eel and I imagined quite an overpowering flavour but these few mouthfuls were delicately balanced, with the rich smokiness of the fish and the subtle lime and honey dressing complementing each other perfectly.

For our main courses, Ian ordered the grey mullet, which was served with confit chicken wings, baby fennel and a decadent champagne butter sauce. This very modern ‘surf and turf’ was delectable, with the fennel keeping the dish very light. The fish in particular was very well cooked and flavoursome.

I had a slightly heartier main course of guinea fowl, roasted artichokes and pickled cabbage served with a rich gravy made from the meat juices. I had two good sized piece of meat, which were tender and juicy. My only niggle was that although the cabbage was delicious on its own, it was quite a strong flavour which slightly overpowered the guinea fowl.

Our next palate cleanser was an interesting combination of blackberry sorbet, marinated cucumber, kale water and crystallized dill. The sorbet was delicious and bursting with flavour. The cucumber added a lovely crunch but I think the slightly salted kale water divided us slightly. Nevertheless it was refreshing after the main course and I’m always keen to try new flavour combinations.

Finally, it was time for puddings and both were absolutely divine and I’m glad we went halves on them as I wouldn’t want to have to choose between them!

The first was a chocolate and mango soufflé which was so light and fluffy it just melted in the mouth. It was served with a deliciously creamy pumpkin ice cream and some walnuts which added another interesting texture. This whole dish went together perfectly and has made me determined to master the perfect soufflé.

The other dessert was s modern take on rhubarb and custard. This dish contained custard, rhubarb jelly, poached rhubarb and sweet vanilla rice topped with crushed almond cake pieces. This perfectly balanced the tangy rhubarb with indulgent creamy rice pudding and my only complaint was that I would have liked a larger bowl!

Overall, this menu was exciting and deliciously matched with interesting palate cleansers in between. The location is slightly off the beaten path but is well worth the journey. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, using lots of local ingredients and presented beautifully, I hope to keep coming back here and enjoying Gordon Jones’ fabulous food.