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.