Cod & Chorizo Stew

The weather had been fractious all day and by evening it was building itself up into a proper little temper tantrum – the wind was flinging things around streets and gardens, and the rain was sounding like small stones as it hit the windows in intermittent bursts.  It was a night most conducive to snuggling on the sofa, watching something silly on TV and eating something from a bowl.

Served codI’d taken some cod loin out of the freezer, intending to have it roasted with vegetables, but that plan was quickly cancelled in favour of this cod and chorizo stew.

In the process of making it I discovered a terrible gap in our spice collection…

Edvard_Munch_-_The_Scream_-_Google_Art_Project…no smoked paprika!! 😉

I’ve included paprika in the recipe because, although good without, the dish needed it to elevate it to wonderful status.

Ingredients
300g cod loin, cut into chunks
A splosh of olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 celery sticks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
100g chorizo, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½-1 teaspoon dried oregano
½-1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
Approx. 250ml dry cider (or dry white wine)
2 tins chopped tomatoes
10-12 cherry tomatoes
1 vegetable stockpot (or stock cube)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Music

(Always makes me think of Chef J 🙂 )

First, make sure the living room’s ready for your return – close the curtains, turn on the lamps, get the cushions just how you like them…

Ok, now we’re ready to cook!
Diced onion, celery and carrotYou need a pan with a lid.  Heat the oil in that pan and add chopped onions, celery and carrot.  Swish everything around to make sure it’s well mixed and lightly coated with oil.  Cook over a low temperature, with the lid on, for 15-20 minutes.  Stir and prod occasionally.

Chopped chorizo and dried oregano

Add chorizo, oregano, garlic, smoked paprika, and most of the thyme (keep some back for garnish) and cook for a further 3-5 minutes.Chopped red pepperAdd chopped pepper and continue to cook over a low heat, with the lid on, until your pepper is just soft around the edges and your mix looks…Cooked soffritto with chorizo and peppers…something like this!

CiderTurn up the heat a little, add cider (or wine) and simmer with the lid off until the liquid is reduced by about half.

Cherry tomatoes

Veg stockpot

Add tinned tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and stockpot (or cube).  Simmer for 10-15 minutes, with the lid off, until liquid has reduced and started to thicken.From this to this

Before and after reduction: not the best pictures but if you click on them to enlarge and study them quite closely, like a spot the difference, you can see the changes 😉
Add cod chunksAdd cod chunks, pop the lid back on and cook for a further 3-5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked through.

Cooked codSeason to taste, sprinkle over reserved thyme and serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.  Or both.

Cod & Chorizo Stew with Mashed PotatoesNow, take your bowl and go snuggle up in your cosy living room 🙂
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Quick and Easy Creamy Seafood Stew

Much as I want to forge ahead with posting recipes from the birthday banquet, I really should finish up the Cupboard Challenge recipes first.  After all, one purpose of this blog is to help me practice discipline, to learn to see one project through before flitting off to another 😉

This seafood stew, from day eight of the challenge, used up some odds ‘n’ sods of fishy things from the freezer – a hot-smoked salmon fillet, a handful of king prawns and a bake-in-the-bag cod thing bought by Barn on an occasion when he’d been left to fend for himself.  You can easily amend the recipe according to what you have available.

To serve two

Ingredients
A glug of olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
A small portion of frozen peas
A really good slug of white wine. In fact, make it two.
300ml chicken stock (or even better, fish stock)
2 teaspoons cornflour, mixed to a paste with cold water
Approx. 400g mixed seafood (if frozen, defrosted; if fillets or large pieces, cut into chunks)
Approx. 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
A pinch of fresh thyme leaves
About half a tub of crème fraîche
Lots of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt
Music

Ready to make an easy, satisfying dinner?  Ok then, let’s get cracking…

Carrot, celery, onionHeat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion, carrot and celery on a low heat, for 10-15 minutes, until soft but not brown.

GarlicAdd the crushed garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Frosty peas

Toss in the frozen peas.  They don’t have to be as frosty as these ones.White wineGlug in the wine and simmer on a high heat until reduced to about half.

Pour in the stock, add the cornflour mix, turn up the heat slightly and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes, until sauce has thickened.

SeafoodSeason, then add the seafood…

Chopped herbs…and thyme, and most of the parsley.

creme fraicheSimmer for a few more minutes, until fish is piping hot, then stir in the crème fraîche.

Creamy Seafood StewHeat gently for a another minute, just to bring the temperature back up, then scatter with the remaining parsley.  Add more black pepper.  Serve with buttered, crusty bread.
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