Roasted chorizo and vegetables with couscous

If I had to name my top 3 grains, couscous would definitely be right up there. For not only does it taste good, it is really quick and easy to prepare (aka. the two winning factors in my dinner-making book).

I generally reach for the couscous when I have something spicy or herb-filled on the menu. For it seems to lend itself to Mediterranean-style meals, adding some ‘filler’ without adding too much flavour to what is already a bold-flavoured meal.

So when I had a big batch of vegetables and spicy chorizo roasting in the oven a  while ago, it was little surprise that I made a bowl of couscous to serve alongside. Flavoured simply with a squeeze of lemon juice and some fresh herbs.

A dinner bowl packed with flavour – with the couscous being the star accompaniment for sure!

Print Recipe
Roasted chorizo and vegetables with couscous
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a roasting dish with baking paper, and spread over the chopped onion, capsicum, pumpkin and chorizo.
  2. Combine the oil, honey, harissa and cumin, and pour over the vegetables and chorizo. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas and zucchini to the baking tray, and continue to roast for a further 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place couscous in a bowl with 1.5 cups of boiling water. Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes, or until cooked. Fluff the grains with a fork, and then stir through the lemon juice and herbs.
  5. Serve the couscous with the roasted chorizo and vegetables, along with some mixed lettuce leaves.
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“build your own” chicken and chorizo tacos

Well, lovely people, I am rather excited to realise that I only have two official work days left until my maternity leave starts. Sure there will still be some business accounting duties (and the like), but no official “real job” duties for 4 whole months?! The longest period I think I have ever had off since entering the workforce all those years ago (although I suspect caring for a newborn and toddler will hardly be ‘time off’….) IMG_2503 One thing that I am looking forward to over the next few months is getting my groove back in the kitchen. And on this blog. For pregnancy this time around has been tainted with a lack of motivation in the kitchen (and fatigue, generally), both of which I am keen to dispense with! One evening recently, though, I did find a little cooking mojo. Inspired by a recipe in the latest Donna Hay magazine, these “build your own” chicken and chorizo tacos soon graced our dinner table. And I loved the ease with which the meal came together… IMG_2504 Simply – chorizo and chicken mince sautéed with various spices (nb. the recipe called for chilli at this stage – but I left it out owing to the youngest member of our family – preferring instead to serve a bowl of chilli sauce with the other taco filings.) IMG_2505 And those fillings were rather scrumptious indeed! Black beans (rinsed), coriander, sour cream avocado and lots of fresh lime for squeezing. IMG_2508 Finished with some warm wholemeal tortillas, and we were left to build our own! IMG_2513 Even the little Miss got in on the action (although her aversion to anything green continues……) IMG_2514 A great family meal all round! What about you? Have you cooked anything fun in the kitchen lately?

Chorizo, ricotta and zucchini casarecce

Let’s not focus on the fact that I made this meal back in February and am only getting around to posting about it now. No…let’s focus on the tasty little dish that it turned out to be – using a variety of pasta that was new to me. IMG_7406 Casarecce! IMG_7408 Something akin to a thin twisted penne – that ended up being quite perfect for the meal itself. IMG_7411 Simply – chorizo, garlic, peas and zucchini. Finished with white wine, lemon juice and a sprinkle of ricotta and basil. IMG_7413 Overall – this was a beautifully light and fresh pasta – and a perfect dish for those of us who are not big fans of a heavy creamy sauce. IMG_7414 And perfect for the Summery evening on which it was served. What about you? Ever tried cassarece?

Chicken and chorizo salad

IMG_7243 I was only mentioning to Mr BBB the other day, just how much I’ve been enjoying Summer. The temperate morning runs, the living in shorts and thongs, the evening walks to park, the aroma of BBQs throughout the neighbourhood, the ice-cream for dessert. I am really quite sad that it is almost finished (and that daylight savings ends next month ….) For another reason to love the warmer weather? The salad cravings and the ability to get creative! On this occasion, it was a rather simple yet tasty chicken and chorizo salad. It had been a long day at work, so I cheated and picked up a roast chicken from our local deli, and then I had to do was cook up the chorizo and throw together the salad itself. IMG_7238 We used spinach, cucumber and mint as the base… IMG_7241 Then topped it with the roasted chicken, cooked chorizo, toasted pinenuts and some crumbled persian feta. IMG_7242 The feta was a last minute addition that made the overall dish quite salty (when coupled with the strong flavours of the chorizo, at least). I still quite enjoyed it, but I think Mr BBB was  a little over-salted. IMG_7245 All things considered though, this was a lovely way to end another balmy Canberra evening, little effort required. What about you? What do you love about Summer?

Herbed risotto with scallops and chorizo crumb

IMG_0653 As promised, here is the recipe for my competition dish. Truthfully, it is not a one-pot wonder, nor can you just leave it to bubble away on the stove by itself. IMG_0656 But while I normally favour quick and easy meals, slowly stirring a risotto and watching it turn creamy before your very eyes, can be rather calming after a hectic day. Almost therapeutic, if you please. IMG_0650 This is a dish that you could certainly make without the scallops – for the risotto itself, along with the chorizo crumb, is packed with flavour. I am fortunate to have a big 5 burner stove at home (which helps when preparing the various elements) – however I am mindful that it may be more difficult to prepare if you have a smaller stovetop. IMG_0651 But if you do give it a go – please be sure to let me know what you think! Herbed risotto with scallops and chorizo crumb (serves 2 generously)

  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1L reduced salt vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1TBS GG chunky garlic
  • 1TBS GG parsley
  • 1TBS GG basil
  • 1/2 TBS GG thyme
  • 100g Emmental cheese, grated
  • 1 sourdough bread roll, processed into bread crumbs
  • 1 chorizo, diced finely
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 scallops – roe off
  • 1 lemon – zest only
  1. Place stock in a saucepan, and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat 1tbs butter and a splash of olive oil in a separate frypan. Add the onion and garlic, and allow to cook for a few minutes until soft.
  3. Add the wine, and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated.
  4. Add the rice, and stir well to combine.
  5. Add the hot stock, one ladle-ful at a time, and cook while stirring. Allow the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladleful. This will take around 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil in a small frypan and add the diced chorizo until starting to take on some colour. Add the breadcrumbs, and the thyme paste, and continue to fry until the breadcrumbs are nice and golden. Remove from the heat, and place in a bowl lined with paper to drain. (You can also pulse the mixture in your food processor at this stage if you would like a finer crumb – a handy tip given to me by Sammy at the competition!)
  7. When the risotto is almost cooked to al dente, add the peas and allow them to heat through. Remove the risotto from the heat  and stir through the GG herbs and grated cheese. Check and season if necessary.
  8. While the risotto is resting, fry the scallops in a little olive oil until the are nice and golden brown (this should only take a couple minutes).
  9. To serve – place the risotto into your serving bowls. Top with a couple scallops and a good amount of the chorizo crumb. Finish with a sprinkle of lemon zest.

IMG_0662 Enjoy!!!

Warm silverbeet and chorizo salad

IMG_8954 The run of my vegetable box inspired meals continues, with this dinner that was a recent favourite of mine. Inspired by… IMG_8944 A gorgeous bunch of silverbeet. Oddly enough, although I regularly cook with spinach, I had never tried silverbeet before. And all I can say is ‘wow’. I am impressed. So much so that I have already bought two more bunches since trying it for the first time. Unlike spinach, it held together really well, and added quite a bit of bulk and texture to this salad – which in itself was super easy to put together. IMG_8947 Silverbeet leaves (that I had trimmed, washed and sliced), fresh corn, carrot and cannellini beans. IMG_8950 Sautéed in a little olive oil, with some sliced chorizo. IMG_8951 Piled high, topped with feta… IMG_8952 And this rather random, yet rather delicious salad, was complete. IMG_8953 The silverbeet soaked up all the lovely chorizo flavours, resulting in a spicy tasty salad. IMG_8954 Certainly not a boring salad by any means. And one I will definitely be making again. Particularly given it went from thought to plate in less than 10 minutes! What about you? Are you a fan of silverbeet?