When I lived in Spain as a student I was astonished at the awful food – until I moved in with some girls who had a cook. Yes, I know, students with a cook! But that’s how seriously these people take their food, and mealtimes. After their various lectures, they would all convene back at the flat at 2pm for a hearty lunch made by Loli (she also ironed and cleaned for them, for a pittance, I seem to remember).
My absolute favourite creation from Loli was a chickpea and chorizo concoction; it was invariably laced with gorgeous olive oil, and you could add that here, for a more decadent recipe, but always use the best quality extra-virgin oil you can find. In the meantime, as a slave to the WeightWatchers ProPoints programme, I’ve found a way to make something just as tantalising and warming, for only 8 ProPoints per person.
Warming Chickpea and Chorizo Casserole (serves 4)
You will need:
400g can of chickpeas, drained
400g can of chopped tomatoes
100g chorizo, cubed
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 green pepper, finely sliced
tsp turmeric (you could use saffron – it’s just for the colour – but turmeric is cheaper)
tsp garlic granules (again, you could use sliced garlic, but I was in a hurry)
190g black olives in brine, drained
I was in a blind panic and had 5 minutes to spare so I just threw everything into the slow-cooker, gave it a stir and some seasoning, and set it to medium. The beady-eyed will notice that I used sliced pepperoni instead of chorizo, because that’s all I had. It was delicious, but chorizo is better. I left it for 8 hours, by which time is was a thick, salty hug on a plate!
If you’re using a normal casserole dish, it’s best to fry the chorizo cubes in their own fat and then drain on kitchen paper, before adding the other ingredients, as this will reduce the ProPoints value. Add the rest of the ingredients, season, stir and bring to the boil. Pop your covered casserole into the oven at 140°C (or less for fan ovens), 280°F, gas mark 1 and leave for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. When the liquid has reduced, and developed a glossy thickness, settle down by the fire with a plateful and a nice glass of Sauvignon. Enjoy!
This is a guest post from Helen (aka – Mummy)