Saute Squid with Chorizo and Harissa

Warning: This is a Knock your Socks off Dish

Saute Squid with Chorizo
Imagine a full assault on your taste buds, a big, bad, bruising combination of squid, Chorizo, garlic, chilli, salt and spice. The big secret is cooking your squid perfectly and in this recipe it is almost the last ingredient tossed in a very hot wok and sautéed for just a couple of minutes. Your Harissa paste will handily keep for a couple of weeks in an air tight container in your refrigerator and the braised Chorizo likewise. The best thing about this recipe is the great flavour is so easy to achieve and so simple and quick to cook if you use ready prepared Harissa and Chorizo.

I developed my taste for Harissa in Tunisia, searching out Roman ruins and sampling fantastic, fresh and tasty food some fifteen years ago. Harissa is undoubtedly hot with chilli but is also rich with the flavours of coriander, cumin and garlic. It is now available commercially in tins or jars but this pales beside the freshly made product which is quick and simple to make. It can be stirred into stews and tagines, used as a thin crust on baked fish or added to couscous for a really easy taste boost.


My Harrisa

6 to 8 Serrano Chilli Peppers

1 large bunch of fresh Coriander

1 large handful of fresh Mint Leaves

2 bulbs of Garlic, peeled

2 tablespoons Coriander Seeds

2 tablespoons Cumin Seeds

1 tablespoon Caraway Seeds

1 tablespoon of Smoked Paprika

1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon

Zest and juice of 2 large Lemons

100 ml quality Olive Oil

½ teaspoon Sea Salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper


In a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan heat and gently toast the whole spices to help release the essential aromatic oils and flavourings. Cool for a few minutes. Place the spices, chilli and garlic into a food processor and blend. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to form a rough paste. Store in a sterilised glass jar covered with a thin film of extra olive oil and sealed with a tight fitting lid.

Sauté Squid with Chorizo and Harissa serves 4

You can buy fresh or frozen prepared squid from your local supermarket or fishmonger, the squid is cleaned and the quill is removed. You can use tinned sweet red pimento peppers for your convenience. Do not season the dish as the olives and Chorizo are sufficiently salty.

3 to 4 prepared Squid ( ask your Fishmonger ), cut in half centimetre slices

250 gr waxy Baby Potatoes, washed and par-boiled then sliced

75 gr braised Chorizo and a little of the flavoured oil

75 gr roast Sweet Red Pepper, sliced

50 gr good quality Black Olives

2 heaped tablespoons of Harissa paste

A small handful of freshly chopped Coriander

Freshly squeezed juice of half a Lemon

Mixed Salad Leaves

Heat the braised Chorizo oil in a wok and sauté the sliced potatoes for around five minutes until golden brown. Add the squid and fry for one minute stirring all the time. Add the peppers, olives and Chorizo and fry for another minute. Then add the Harissa paste and cook out for one further minute. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander and divide on to four bowls of salad leaves.

Super – Patatas Riojanas Soup

The weather forecast for this week is not good, not good at all, we look to have some real stormy, autumnal weather heading for the islands so perhaps it is time to start thinking of some hearty, warming recipes, comfort food like a nice chunky soup. Now personally I am not a big fan of soup, if I get out to eat, I go for the fish or seafood starter and save soup for when my mum makes her thick tomato and bacon version for a big Sunday lunch. But increasing when I am working and not at home with my family, soup is a one-pot wonder. Soup is tasty, nutritious, extremely good value for money, easy to make and you can use lots of store cupboard staple ingredients and most of the odd bits in the fridge.

Now I had some potatoes, onions and Chorizo in my fridge, so in my mind I was thinking something simple with perhaps a Spanish taste, the potatoes soaking up the flavour of the Chorizo. I looked up a recipe and came across Patatas Riojanas, a very simple rustic soup or stew from La Rioja. La Rioja is a small region in the north of Spain, most famous for its high-quality wines, and it has some lovely indigenous dishes. No one is sure about the origins of Patatas Riojanas, but it would not have existed until at least the 19th century and the introduction of potatoes into Spain during the Napoleonic Wars.

Chorizo and Potato Soup

There is a story that Chef Paul Bocuse tasted this casserole in a well-known winery, and after three more plates told everybody Riojan style potatoes were the best food he had ever eaten. The world famous chef also recommended this meal to be the national dish of Spain. I have added a few carrots and some celery to my recipe to make more of a stew than a soup and have to say the result was absolutely delicious and very satisfying.

Patatas Riojanas Soup

750 gr Waxy Potatoes

2 large Onions, peeled and finely sliced

2 large Carrots, peeled and cut in chunks

3 large sticks of Celery, thoroughly washed and sliced

2 Red Peppers, grilled, skin and seeds removed

250 gr fresh Chorizo Sausage, cut into one-centimetre dice

50 ml good quality extra virgin Olive Oil

600 ml good quality Chicken Stock

A large glass ( 250 ml ) good Spanish White Wine preferably white Rioja

3 large cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed

1 heaped tablespoon of Plain Flour

1 heaped tablespoon sweet Spanish Paprika

½ teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves

1 Bay Leaf

Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Freshly chopped Parsley to garnish

Pour the olive oil into a large, heavy bottom pan and gently sauté the Chorizo, sliced onion, carrots and celery for about ten to fifteen minutes until the onions are soft and translucent, then add garlic slices and potato and cook for five more minutes stirring constantly. Add the flour and cook out for two more minutes keeping stirring. Pour in the stock and white wine into the onion and chorizo mixture and add all the remaining ingredients and stir. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low until potatoes are cooked. Be sure to check the level of the cooking liquid adding a little water if needed. When the potatoes are well cooked and start just to break up correct the seasoning, add the parsley, stir and serve.

Gazpacho

Trying to enjoy the not so sunny Jersey summer and dodging the thunderstorms I can at least celebrate some of the delicious produce available on the island, fragrant, ripe Jersey tomatoes and a host of salads, fruits and vegetables. This simple version of classic chilled tomato soup is ideal as an appetizer or as a light lunch. Gazpacho is very popular across the Iberian peninsula and is believed to have developed from either Moorish or Roman origins. It varies across Spain and Portugal from thick purées, almost the consistency of a dip, through to fiery pepper water with the addition of a selection of diced vegetables.

I once had a disagreement with an Executive Chef. Not good for your career, on the authentic Gazpacho texture, rough or smooth, thick or thin. He was of course right because quite simply he was the Head Chef and I was right because I am an annoying know it all ( there I said it before anyone else ). Eventually we came to an unusual and diplomatic compromise in a kitchen, especially between two opinionated individuals, we were both right. We did however totally agree on its early preparation to allow the flavours to fully develop and most importantly to ensure sufficient time in the refrigerator to completely chill. Quite a few years later, after a lot more research, as I tried to find out if I was right, I saw just how many varied recipes and what is a highly individual approach there is to making Gazpacho, there is no cookery book classic or definitive method. The texture and ingredients are different, region by region, family to family, person to person.

Chilled Spanish Tomato Soup

Chilled Spanish Tomato Soup

Traditionally made in a pestle and mortar to keep it cool, the result is rustic, less than the smooth finish achieved in many modern recipes using a food processor. You may add green bell peppers which I omit on a purely personal basis ( I just don’t like them ), whilst stale bread soaked in a little water thickens and adds a silky texture. As a lunch time dish bowls of ham, egg and almonds are served alongside the soup. I guess the key is to experiment and find your own personal preference. I have often used Gazpacho as Amuse bouche in restaurants ( see photo ) to get a customers taste buds tingling and this recipe is ideal. Modern Gazpacho variations can be made with cucumbers, avocados and watermelons for different colours, flavours and textures.

Gazpacho serves a good 12 shots or 4 individual portions

1kg really Ripe Tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 small bunch of Spring Onions, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped

3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped

1 Cucumber, peeled

2 roasted Sweet Red Peppers, peeled and de-seeded

A good pinch of Cayenne Pepper

75ml good quality Olive Oil

3 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar

Sea Salt and cracked Black Pepper to taste

to finish your choice of

Finely diced Red and Green Pepper, grated Egg, Air dried Ham, toasted Almonds, Pimento, extra virgin Olive Oil.

Put the chopped tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, cucumber and Cayenne in a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve a couple of times to remove most of the pulped skin and seeds. Put the mix back in the blender and slowly add the olive oil and sherry vinegar and season well to taste. Chill thoroughly in the fridge. Serve as an appetiser or as a light lunch with a selection of toppings to spoon over your soup in the centre of the table.

Serve with a chilled Amontillado over ice.