We made the mistake of wandering through Borough Market on Friday afternoon. We had spend a very pleasant couple of hours at Vinopolis, a venue dedicated to the drinking of wine on the Southbank (if you have even vague tendency towards dipsomania it is an excellent way to while away an afternoon) and were wending our way towards London Bridge to meet friends. How could we resist the smells wafting from those tempting stalls?
Actually, in the main we were pretty good and avoided temptation (although there may have been a sausage roll consumed later at the pub) but I couldn’t resist purchasing a few venison chorizos that I happened to pass by. I love chorizo and I love venison and was intrigued by the combination of spice and rich, gamey iron.
I’ve had a Nigella recipe for a chickpea and chorizo dish bookmarked on the BBC site for a while now and this seemed the idea opportunity to give it a go. Of course, I’ve made changes. For a start, I’ve reduced the portion sizes. I’m a girl of good appetite but I don’t think the quantities she suggests are not particularly realistic (to my mind) unless one has spent the last week fasting. For a second, I roasted off some fresh cherry tomatoes instead of using a tin. I’m sure a tin would be absolutely fine mind you; it would make the whole dish a bit quicker to assemble and would mean that all the components can come straight out of the store cupboard.
D wasn’t overly keen on the addition of the apricots although I loved them. He suggested that they would have been more to his taste if they had been more finely chopped and I have incorporated this into the recipe. You could leave them out altogether and this would save you 1 pro point per portion.
Small punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium chorizo sausage (about 80g), chopped into chunks
30ml (2 tbsp) dry sherry
1 large tin of chickpeas, drained
50g dried apricots, chopped finely
Pinch of sugar
140g dried bulgur wheat
½ tsp cinnamon
Fresh coriander, chopped (amount to taste)
Serves 2, 14 pro points per portion
Heat the oven to about 150. Place the tomatoes in an oven proof dish, sprinkle with a little balsamic and some salt and pepper and roast until they have just started to shrivel – at this low temperature you could probably leave them for about an hour. Remove from the oven and deglaze the dish with about 100-150ml water. Place tomatoes and water in a small processor along with a pinch of chilli and blitz into a rough, salsa like texture.
Put the bulgur wheat in a lidded pan with a good pinch of salt, the cinnamon and the bay leaf. Cover with water and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer put the lid on and cook for about 15 minutes. You may need to add a splash more water during the cooking process.
Over a low heat, gently fry off the chorizo pieces until the deliciously spicy oil begins to render out and they start to crisp up. Add the sherry and allow it to bubble off.
Now you can add the drained chickpea, the apricot pieces and the tomatoes along with a pinch of sugar and seasoning. Bring up the heat and simmer for five minutes to reduce off some of the liquid.
Stir most of the coriander through the wheat, reserving a little for garnish, adjust the seasoning to taste and then serve up strewn with the chick pea mixture.