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Chorizo & Chickpea Stew – Spanish Whispers

Chorizo and Chickpea Stew
For ages, and perhaps even longer than that, I have been dying to try out the Chorizo and Chickpea Stew that Essex Eating treats as his standby for when he needs something easy tasty and comforting. His recipe is based on one he ate at Brindisa, via his mum, via How to Feed Your Friends with Relish by Joanna Weinburg ..such are the Chinese whispers of recipes as they move into the collective consciousness.

What had been putting me off was the fact that I am on a diet. Not that strict a diet, but one that is resolutely low fat. Could this delicious stew be made lower fat without losing too much flavour? Well, yes, in my view it can. It may not be as luscious as the original, but if it allows me to eat it at all, that has to be a good thing.

So here is my Slimming World Chinese Spanish Whisper version of Dan’s Chorizo and Chickpea Stew.

I reckon this would feed 2 ample portions or 2 medium with enough for a light lunch the next day.

I estimate this at 9 syns on any plan for the entire panful ! So roughly 4.5 syns per portion. This is only if you are careful and drain the fat from the chorizo and pancetta though, there is at least 2 tbs oil in there, and that will add 12 syns to the calculations.

Syns update: 26th April 2010 : just checked online in the Syns calculator, and they have upgraded the value of these sausages to half a Syn each, so I have added 1 per portion syn to the calculations. If you use 0 Syn sausages, or none at all, then you can reduce the calculations back to 7 for the lot or 3.5 per portion.

50 g (roughly 3 small links) Cooking Chorizo (I got mine in Sainsbury’s – other supermarkets also sell it) – (5 syns), thinly sliced
150g cubetti di pancetta (ready cubed pancetta with herbs – you could also use chopped bacon) (allow 2 syns for residual fat not drained)
4 Extra Lean sausages (any of the 0 Syn free ones I used Sainsbury’s Be Good to Yourself Cumberland) , skins removed and roughly crumbled
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 teaspoons Lazy Garlic or 2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
1 can/carton chopped tomatoes
1 can cooked chick peas with their canning liquid
1 teaspoon oregano
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
Salt to taste
chopped parsley to garnish

Dry fry the pancetta and chorizo until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon , and drain thoroughly on kitchen paper. Pour the spicy paprika scented oil into a bowl (keep for frying potatoes for non-dieting lucky people…) Add back one teaspoonful to the pan.

In this oil, cook the diced onion, pepper and garlic until softened, add the sausages, breaking them up with the side of the spoon as you cook them, until they have started to brown nicely. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the parsley.

Allow to simmer for 15 minutes and adjust the seasoning. Simmer for a further 5 minutes until most of the tomato has thickened and the chick peas are nicely coated with a thick sauce. Serve garnished with chopped parsley , with rice or couscous.

This is so delicious that when I finished this batch, I immediately made another…(and that week I lost 3lb)