Monthly Archives: January 2015

Chorizo with Chickpeas, flavored with Saffron, Tomato and Sherry Vinegar

Chorizo_with_Chickpeas (1 of 1)It’s Tuesday evening, and we’re in the midst of a blizzard here in New England. Blizzards are nice, but only on weekends. We have over 2 feet of snow in my town, and the wind is whipping it all over the place. The snowblower won’t start, so it’s going to be the shovel — ugh! Anyway, during the summer between high school and college, I went to Europe with a couple of buds of mind. We had Eurorail passes, and went to just about every western and southern European country. We spent a lot of time in Spain — exceptionally beautiful, including the people, but I was too immature to really appreciate the fantastic cuisine. Well, I’ve learned to love that food, and I have to say, it’s exceptional! Last night, I made this delicious dish, which has the key Spanish ingredients of saffron, chorizo, sherry and garlic (together with other great stuff). Serve with fresh, crusty bread, or steamed rice. I hope you’ll try this tonight!

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 chorizo sausages, cut on the diagonal into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 tsp very loose saffron threads
2 15.5-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 large cloves garlic, very finely grated or minced
1/2 fennel bulb, diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
6 oz roasted red bell peppers, drained and sliced into 1/4 X 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 cup dry white wine
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add chorizo and cook for 5 minutes, until brown. Add saffron and stir 30 seconds. Add chickpeas and stir 1 minute. Add the garlic, fennel, celery and roasted bell peppers. Stir 2 minutes. Add the sherry vinegar and stir 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add tomato sauce and bring back to a boil. Stir in the salt and black pepper. Reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Veal Roulades with a Flavorful Beef and Wine Demi-Glace (Paupiettes de Veau)

Veal_Wraps (1 of 1)Perfect for a small gathering of dinner guests, this dish is amazing! It may seem strange — meat stuffed with meat, but it’s not an unusual dish in France (or Germany). And hey, how can you go wrong with meat stuffed with meat. Veal, in and of itself, has a fantastic flavor, and this dish is enhanced by the simple, but fantastic filling inside. The crown jewel of the meal, however, is the demi-glace — a delicious touch!. Serve with a green vegetable and a starch. I hope you’ll try the dish out for dinner guests this weekend!


1 oz butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, very finely grated or minced
8 oz lean ground pork
8 oz ground veal
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp dry white wine
3 Tbsp breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 boneless veal cutlets (about 1 3/4 lbs total), pounded into 5 inch by 8 inch rectangles (I like to pound to between 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness).


1 oz clarified butter (to make clarified butter, simply heat butter in a small pan over low heat until it foams. Skim off the foam/milk solids. This is important for this dish, as it allows the butter to cook at a higher heat without burning).
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tsp tomato paste
1 1/3 cups beef stock

Melt butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add shallots and cook 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cool, combine with the rest of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl.

To make the veal roulades, place a good amount of filling on each cutlet, leaving about 1/4 inch of room from each side of the cutlet. Roll roulades up length-wise, and gently secure with butcher’s twine on each end. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the demi-glace by heating half of the clarified butter in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Turn heat up to high and brown vegetables (about 2 additional minutes).  Remove from pan.

Heat the remaining clarified butter in the sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the veal wraps and brown on all sides (about 10 minutes). Remove from pan. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Deglaze pan for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, bay leaf, beef stock and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Add onion mixture and veal roulades. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove veal roulades from the pan and keep warm.

Strain the demi-glace back into pan, pressing down with a spoon to get all of the liquid. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high. Cook liquid until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.

Serve veal roulades, drizzled with demi-glace.

Serves 6.