..or spinach and chickpeas. This is one of my favourite tapas, and is basically what it says on the tin – a stew of spinach and chickpeas. I’ve used frozen spinach and tinned chickpeas for this recipe because they’re quick and this is a great meal to rustle up if you’re not quite sure what you’d like for dinner. Of course, you can use fresh spinach and/or dried chickpeas if you wish; just remember to soak the chickpeas then boil them (without salt) until they are tender and cooked.
4thick slicesciabatta bread(a day or 2 old is best. If you don't have ciabatta, use a couple of large, thick slices of any unseeded bread)
ground black pepper
1kgbagfrozen, chopped spinach
Servings: as a main meal (8-10 as a tapa)
Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large pan or casserole pot. Whilst the oil is heating cut the bread into cubes. Add the bread cubes to the hot oil and shallow fry until they crisp up and turn golden.
Add the cumin, chilli, garlic and black pepper (I use 20-30 twists of the grinder) and heat for another minute or two until you start to smell the garlic.
Pop the bread and spice mix into a food processor, add the sherry vinegar and blitz into a thick paste. Return the mixture to the pan and add the drained chickpeas. Stir together to coat the chickpeas with the bread paste.
Add the frozen spinach and salt, cover and cook over a medium low heat, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes, for half an hour or so until the spinach is thawed and the stew and hot throughout.
Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of smoked paprika. This is delicious with warmed slices of your leftover ciabatta with alioli spread on it.
Add the frozen spinach, cover and cook over a medium low heat, stirring every 5 or 10 minutes, for half an hour or so until the spinach is thawed and the stew and hot throughout.
Firstly, apologies there was no recipe post last week; I was a bit under the weather with a heavy head cold and really couldn’t summon up the energy to photograph and write down a recipe. Well on the way to recover now though, so normal service will be resumed this week.
Now onto the subject of this post – beads! I’ve beaded for quite a few years now and it’s a hobby I really enjoy (unless I’m three quarters of the way through a long project!). The last year however, it’s take a bit of a back seat. I’ve dug my beads out, looked at them, then put them away again. Basically, I’ve been suffering from the scourge of crafters everywhere – lost mojo. I think Mr Mojo is slowing and surely returning, thanks in past to some lovely beads purchased from a good friend of mine, Linda Mabbott at Inside the Fire (more about these in a later post).
So, I thought I’d show you what’s on my bead board this week. It’s been a bit of a work in progress, started about a year ago and sadly neglected, partly because I can’t decide whether to make a long necklace, short necklace with dangles, or a lariat. I love this colour combo, and I’m very proud of the big beaded bead. The lampwork bead came from my stash via a friend’s destash.
I love this colour combo, and I’m very proud of this big beaded bead. The lampwork bead came from my stash via a friend’s destash.
I’m hoping to have it finished within the next week or so, as it has dragged on a bit too long now and I really want to start something new.
This year, spring has been a long time coming, so I decided to use the leftovers from Sunday dinner to make a nice hearty casserole.
With this one, the pork can easily be swapped with venison or beef. If your meat hasn’t been pre-roasted, don’t worry, just cook for an extra 30-45 minutes then add the chestnuts and cook for a further 30 minutes.
If you are using an oven-proof pan, pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees c.
Heat the oil in a large pan or casserole and cook the onions with half a teaspoon of sugar until they start to caramelise.
Add the halved mushrooms and keep cooking until they also start to brown.
Now add the pork, garlic, rosemary, and juniper and give a good stir to combine the ingredients.
Pop the stock cube into the pot, along with the wine and quarter of a cup of water. Stir again.
Add the chestnuts, put the lid on the pot and cook in the oven for half an hour or so.
If you feel you want to add some gravy (I did), do that just before serving.
Serve with mash and green beans (or peas if you forget to pick up some green beans!)
Make sure you use chestnuts, not water chestnuts. I once went to a local restaurant where the 'partridge with chestnuts' came with water chestnuts - not a very pleasant culinary experience.