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Kitchen Essentials

There are somethings I just can’t cook without. Good olive oil (natch) decent parmesan, tinned tomatoes – the list goes on. But, there is one ingredient in particular I go out of my way to have in my fridge and thats chorizo. Really good chorizo seems a lot easier to track down than it actually is. Most supermarkets sell the kind that has been cured like a salami and can be eaten straight from the pack without cooking. Nothing wrong with that but if you’ve ever tried cooking with it you’ll know that it’s not really cut out for the job. A decent deli is the best place to look for fat juicy cooking chorizo.

A good fresh (as opposed to cured)  chorizo is packed full of fatty pork shoulder and either sweet or spicy paprika and one of the best things about them is that when they cook they release copious amounts of deeply flavoured red oil which will enhance any sauce you throw them into.

Try frying chopped chorizo and ading the results (oil and all) to a simple tomato sauce to dress pasta or add to soups and stews.

But one thing the Spanish and Portugese discovered way before I did is how delicious chorizo is when its served up with fish. You need to choose something fairly gutsy to stand upto the big paprika and garlic flavours like hake, saltcod or my favourite – monkfish.

For a recipe for ‘Monkfish, Chorizo and Rosemary Spiedini with Smoked Paprika Aioli’┬ácheck out Miniature Feasts available to download as a kitchen friendly iBook by clicking the button on the left.

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