It was definitely the week for stew, I don’t think it stopped raining, and we wanted something hearty… We had Nigella out on the side and my lover picked this, and chickpeas are kind of hearty?
To make this for four you will need: 50g vermicelli, 500g bulgar wheat, teaspoon of cinnamon, sea salt, bay leaves, 350g chorizo, amontillado sherry, 100g soft dried apricots, 2 400g tins of chickpeas, 2 400g tins cherry tomatoes, pepper, and coriander (which I missed off)
If you use the full amount of bulgar wheat you’ll be able to feed an army, I used half the amount just for me and him and there was enough left over to feed four more.
This is really quick to make, which is most unlike a stew. Start by warming 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a thick bottomed pan, when it’s warmed to about medium throw in the pasta and fry until they look like little bits of slightly scorched straw.
Add the bulgar wheat and stir for two minutes then add the cinnamon, 2tsp of salt, a litre of water and two bay leaves. Bring to the boil then turn it down to the lowest heat and leave (lidded) to absorb for about 15 minutes.
Cut the chorizo into coins and then cut them in half. Heat a second heavy bottom pan and fry the chorizo until the orange juice runs out. Add 4 tablespoons of the sherry and let it bubble for a minute or two. Wash the chickpeas and cut up the apricots and throw them in with the canned tomatoes, half fill each tomato tin with water, swill it round then pour it in to the pan. Turn the heat up high and bubble for 5 minutes. I completely forgot about the water, but i don’t think it affected it much.
By now the bulgar wheat should be done, so turn the gas off and give it a fork around to loosen it up, then serve with the stew and an artistic sprinkling of corriander.
I’m not entirely sure what was wrong with it, but it just didn’t quite work in my mouth. I don’t like baked beans (never have, I know weird right?) and the tomatoes and chickpeas tasted a bit baked-bean-y for me. Also, it was a bit sweet for my sour tooth (I think next time I’d leave out the apricots) and I had to slum it with posh chorizo from Waitrose and they went really rubbery, and I’ve decided that I don’t like cinnamon in bulgar wheat… So it wasn’t the most successful meal I’ve ever made… But I’m sure you’ll love it!
I thought I’d pop it in for this weeks Fiesta Friday – just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not great for a cosy winter ‘do’. Chin chin!
Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson (Chatto & Windus 2010, ISBN 9780701184605)