Spanish inquisition

Monday, 11 March, 2013
Shante Hutton,
This month is certainly unusual. I mean, what could be stranger than a rabbit bringing you chocolate eggs. Strange things are afoot.
We’ve divulged some wineries making unusual wines as well as wineries that have unusual winemakers so let’s put that knowledge to good use.

Let us take Raka’s Mourvedre and use that as the starting point for this month's recipe.

Mourvedre, I think, is rather sexy. It’s like a Burlesque dancer. It’s heady, full, bursting with spicy pepper, forest fruit and a touch of ginger to give you that nose tickling sensation.

It used to be that Burlesque was something kept behind closed doors, away from the public, rather like how Mourvedre started off by being blended with Shiraz and Grenache. However, ever since Dita Von Teese shook her tail feathers -not that she had any influence on wine at all, I’m merely using her as an example – Mourvedre has taken over the limelight.

To help it shine even brighter and to add a little ‘Senorita’ to the mix, we’ll be pairing it with a saucy Spanish stew by Sarah Graham, author of one of the most used cookbooks in my house, Bitten, and blogger at A Foodie Lives Here

Spanish-style Chickpea and Chorizo Stew
Preparation time 5-10 minutes | Cooking time 15 minutes

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
200g chorizo sausage
1 red or yellow pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
2/3 cup rosa or cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 level tsp dried chilli flakes (or slightly less if you prefer it very mild)
1 tin chopped, peeled tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
1 tin chickpeas, drained
About half a handful each of fresh basil and parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan on med-high. Add the chorizo and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain off any excess oil.
2. Add the red or yellow pepper, garlic, chilli and rosa/cherry tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the tinned tomatoes. Add the sugar (to counter the tang of the tomatoes), stir and leave to simmer for about 7 minutes.
3. Add the chickpeas, simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove and serve with a starch of your choice e.g. chunks of fresh ciabatta or cous cous before topping with a mix of the fresh basil and parsley.

For more Spanish flavour, you could sprinkle some Paprika into the mix and then get those castanets out.

Spanish-style Chickpea and Chorizo Stew
Spanish-style Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

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