Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I'm on Fire: Chickpeas and Chorizo

If it's grey and cloudy in your head AND in the sky, you might want to try this dish, guaranteed to burn those clouds away. The ones in your head, anyway.

Chickpeas and Chorizo is inspired by my recent interview with Chuck Prophet (read it here), in which he shares his version of this Spanish dish. Chuck's recipe is beautifully bare-bones, and totally rock and roll, but I wanted something richer and more complex, and here's what I came up with. The combination of spicy sausage (vegetarian "chorizo" works perfectly, vegetarians), hot paprika, and crushed red pepper is intense, but offset nicely by the creamy mouthfeel of the sauce. We served the leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg on top and it was a revelation. 

Chickpeas and Chorizo
Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup dry sherry or dry white wine
14.5-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
3 or 4 Spanish chorizo sausages, cut into large bite-sized pieces (vegetarian chorizo works great, I tried it)
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon hot smoked paprika, optional
Large handful parsley, coarsely chopped

Warm olive oil in a large, heavy pot. Add onions and celery, stir until they sizzle, then reduce heat to medium-low for ten minutes. Add garlic and stir well. Partially cover, and cook at least ten more minutes, until onions are golden brown and very soft.

Add crushed red pepper, sherry, and tomatoes and bring up to a strong simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Optional: After simmering, blend mixture until smooth and return to pot. Skip this if you prefer, but I recommend it—blending results in a wonderful color and texture.

Add chorizo, chickpeas, salt, pepper, and paprika (if using vegetarian sausage, wait and add after 30 minutes). Bring to a low simmer and cook partially covered for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning (maybe a little more paprika?). Stir in parsley and serve. Cry and sweat. It's good for you.