Domestic Goddess my arse!

These are the recipes I'm good at... quick, simple, out of the store-cupboard and onto the plate fare. I never spend more than 30 minutes faffing in the kitchen. So there.

This will be my recipe & homemadey remedy diary.

If you have those 'OMG! It's lunchtime and all I've got is a parsnip and a packet of boil in the bag rice.' moments, then you're a kindred spirit and you know that bad planning is often the mother of great food. So welcome to fast slurpy soups and 'really?' salads made from what's left in the fridge.

Never, ever believe there isn't something wonderful to make from the last 3 ingredients in your kitchen. Unless those ingredients really are fairy liquid, eggshells and dead flies.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Chorizo & Barley Autumn Splodge

Hey! It's here... The golden tones of Autumn have crept up on my garden this year and the shift in the temperature has felt a little sudden for my liking. Still I'm dragging out my long boots, checking my cardies for holes and digging out my scarves and gloves ready for chillier mornings and leafy swish - swish walks.

To celebrate the changing of the season & the scoring of a sixer of lush chorizo inspired sausages from my local butcher I made a simple, insanely tasty one pan dish this week.

I give you Chorizo & Pearl Barley Autumn Splodge - it's a sort of thick, stick to your bones kind of a dish - so it's doesn't qualify as a stew. If you would like to experiment with other grains - this is a great way to get into pearl barley - you could also use pearled spelt too - it's a bit more pricey!

Here's what you will need:

6 chorizo sausages (soft sausagey sausages not the hard versions - you can also any other snag)
1 carton mushrooms - any type but I'd go for good old brown meaty ones rather than fancy delicates
3 stalks celery chopped (about 1-2 cup fulls)
1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 large leek chopped (about 1 cup full)
1 small sweet potato chopped
1/2 pint stock (I use chicken)
red pepper chopped

1 cup pearl barley (or pearl spelt)
2 - 3 cups water for cooking it
1tspn chicken stock paste (not necessary - but I like it)

1tspn chilli flakes (more or less depending on how hot you like it)
1 tblspn oil (olive or 'Healthier Oil for cooking ' from Carontino- which is high in omegas and they aren't destroyed with cooking according to the hype - I'll leave you to decide!).

Additions you might like to consider:
1/2 courgette chopped
8 - 10 black olives chopped
100g cottage cheese (or greek yoghurt)

Time to make magic...
  1. You need to rinse the barley/spelt - do it a few times until the water isn't so cloudy. 
  2. Pop it in a pan with 2 cups of water and some stock. Put it on a low heat and cook it for about 20 mins. I find that it often needs another cup of water added - so keep an eye on it and don't be too precious about it. It will get added to the main dish a little later.
  3. Put a tablespoon of oil in a big, wide non-stick pan (mine has a lid) - add chopped garlic & chilli and then your chopped onion, leek and celery - put the lid on and sweat them together.
  4. Add the sausages - sort of wiggle them down so they get to the pan and colour up a little. 
  5. After a few minutes add the chopped mushrooms and the sweet potatoe - put the lid on. Now's a good time to chop your courgette, peppers, olives etc. make a cup of tea.
  6. Keep an eye on your mixture and add a cup or two of stock to the pan after about 10 mins. You don't want to drown it - but you're after creating some moisture to make sure your veggies cook down fully - and those lovely sausages are properly cooked through too - without sticking and burning in the pan.
  7. Check your barley/spelt and add any extra stock to keep it from sticking. 
  8. After @ 20 mins add the barley/spelt to the big pan and stir it all up. Check there is enough liquid and add a little more if you need to.
  9. Finally add your courgette, olives, peppers - and stir through. I like these to remain al dente - so I turn the heat off and leave it to absorb the last of the stock. 
Serve this with some cottage cheese (surprisingly lovely) or greek yoghurt. 
Podgey loved this - and in fact it made enough for a huge portion for him, a more modest portion for me and a decent two sausage portion left over - which I am going to put into a wrap for him for his lunch tomorrow. 

On the whole I'd say it would feed 3 adults - if you added another two sausages you'd get 4 portions out of it - but you'd need pudding! 

Apple & Cinnamon Crumble anyone?

Podgey Rating 10/10
Luli Rating 10/10


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