Saturday, 6 March 2010

Those you've known, and lost still walk behind you

A post brought to you by sadness I'm afraid. But I guess it's better than no post at all which is all I've managed of late. Sorry about that. Shocking I know. But life, well just gets in the way sometimes.

So, last weekend I lost my Grandpa, which was a bit of a shock to the system, not least as it went hand-in-hand with a rejection for a job that I'm more than qualified to do (and that internal politics seemed to have more than a slight hand in the outcome of) Despite being knocked sideways by the joint devastation, over the week I've tried (and just about managed) to pull myself together, or at least together enough so that no one notices the cracks.

Anyway, some cathartic batch cooking was in order, as for some reason, bread products and chicken stock seem to make up most of my freezer at the moment, and I seem to be largely surviving on hot cross buns (Morrison's own brand, not so hot - to0 little spicing, and no sweetness despite a lot of fruit, and believe me if I want hot cross buns without sugar, I can make my own!)

The first dish to be tackled is Waitrose's Chorizo, Bean, Pepper and Butternut squash chilli. Catchy title Waitrose. It's easy enough to make, a one pot meal, and freezes up beautifully.

Serves: 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
225g Spanish chorizo (from the deli counter), peeled and diced
1 large red chilli, chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 butternut squash or pumpkin, about 500g peeled weight, deseeded and cut into 3-4cm dice
410g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
20g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1.Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the chorizo and red chilli, and cook for a further minute until the chorizo releases its red juices.
2.Add the tomatoes, sugar, pepper and 150ml cold water. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
3.Stir in the squash, cover and simmer for a further 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender. Finally, add the cannellini beans, simmer for 5 minutes and stir in the parsley. Serve immediately

My notes:
I omit the sugar, and have no parsley today. The dish is plenty sweet enough from the squash, tomatoes and pepper and won't suffer from the lack of parsley.
I find the chorizo and chilli give it a good heat, so serve with yoghurt, soured cream or cheese to mellow that out.
Don't forget to peel the chorizo.
Also, I find that these easily stretches to 6 servings without stinting.
It freezes up beautifully aswell, I just take it out either the night before or the morning I want it for dinner, leave it on the side and it's easy enough to heat it through on the hob.

Next to be tackled is an Atul Kochher Malay lamb curry from Saturday Kitchen (yes, I still nurse a prolific crush on James Martin. Still being since University when he lived down the road from me.)

The title of this post is brought to you courtesy of Spring Awakening. Well I'm feeling sad, what else am I going to be listening to? And which was also what I quoted when I wrote to my Grandpa after my Nanny died. I guess I know that they have found each other now.

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