Chorizo Enlivens a Wintry Spanish White Bean Stew

Christopher Kinball wrote . . . . . . . . .

In Spain’s rugged Asturias region, winter winds coming off the Atlantic demand rib-sticking meals that make the most of preserved foods.

That often means fabada asturiana, a homey mix of cured meats, dried beans and alliums slowly simmered with various cuts of smoked pork. It could spend half a day on the stove, but in this recipe from our book “Tuesday Nights Mediterranean,” which features weeknight-friendly meals from the region, we make a quick-and-easy version that comes together in 30 minutes.

We pared back on the meats, using only chorizo and ham, both of which lend deep flavor to the broth. The dish gets its name from fabas, the large beans traditionally used, but we found that canned white beans worked well. We especially liked the relatively large size and creamy texture of cannellinis, but great northern and navy beans are fine, too.

A pinch of saffron adds a Spanish flavor and fragrance, while giving the stew an alluring golden hue.

Be sure to not overcook the chorizo and ham after adding them to the sautéed onion mixture. If the pieces begin to sear or brown, they’ll be chewy in the finished dish. Cook only until the chorizo begins to release some of its fat.

Spanish Chorizo, Ham and White Bean Stew

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon saffron threads
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, casings removed, halved and thinly sliced
8 ounces ham steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1-1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
Three 15-1/2-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
3 bay leaves
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Warmed crusty bread, to serve

In a large pot over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, saffron, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is slightly softened, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the chorizo and ham, then cook, stirring, just until the chorizo begins to release its fat, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth, beans and bay. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to medium and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay, then stir in the scallions. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with bread.

Source: AP






Stir-fried Squab in Lettuce Leaves


12 soft lettuce leaves, such as butterhead lettuce
8 oz squab meat
1 lb center-cut pork loin, trimmed
1/3 cup light soy sauce
3-1/2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
2-1/2 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
8 dried Chinese mushrooms
1-1/2 cups peeled water chestnuts
1/2 cup oil
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch


  1. Rinse the lettuce and separate the leaves. Drain thoroughly, then lightly pound each leaf with the flat side of a cleaver. Arrange the flattened leaves in a basket or on a platter and set aside.
  2. Grind the squab meat in a food processor or chop very finely with a sharp knife.
  3. Grind the pork to the same size as the squab.
  4. Place the squab and pork in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, 1-1/2 tablespoons of the rice wine and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil, and toss lightly. Marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 30 minutes, then drain and squeeze out any excess water. Remove and discard the stems and chop the caps.
  6. Blanch the water chestnuts in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh in cold water. Drain, pat dry and roughly chop them.
  7. Heat a wok over high heat, add 3 tablespoons of the oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry the meat mixture, mashing and separating the pieces, until browned. Remove and drain.
  8. Reheat the wok, add 3 tablespoons more of the oil and heat until very hot. Stir-fry the scallions and ginger, turning constantly, for 10 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 5 seconds, turning constantly. Add the water chestnuts and stir-fry for 15 seconds, or until heated through. Add the remaining soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil with the salt, sugar, cornstarch and 1/2 cup water. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the cooked meat mixture and toss lightly.
  9. To serve, place some of the stir-fried meat in a lettuce leaf, roll up and eat.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Food of China

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Simmered Pork Hock


1 kg pork hock
150 g daikon
150 g carrot
300 g spinach
5 Chinese black mushroom
2 sprigs spring onion
5 slices ginger
1/2 tsp Sichuan pepper powder


  1. Remove bristles, bones from pork and cut it into big pieces. Blanch with boiling water for about 10 minutes, remove.
  2. Mix pork with 1 tbsp light soy sauce and 1 tbsp dark soy sauce.
  3. Soak and remove stems from mushrooms. Clean and remove stems from spinach. Cut carrot and daikon into cubes. Cut spring onions into shreds.
  4. Make the sauce. In 600 ml of stock or fresh water, add 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp chicken chicken broth mix, 1/2 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp dark soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, and a dash of ground white pepper. Stir well.
  5. Mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water to make the thickening solution.
  6. Heat a wok with 4 cups of oil. Fry pork until golden brown. Remove.
  7. Fry carrot and daikon in the hot oil briefly. Remove.
  8. Pour away most of the oil, leaving 2 tbsp in the wok. Add ginger, mushroom, 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine, sauce, Sichuan pepper powder and pork. Cook for about 10 minutes under low heat.
  9. Transfer pork and sauce to a large bowl with the skin portion facing downwards. Steam pork for about 2-1/2 hours until tender.
  10. Arrange pork in the serving platter with the skin portion facing upwards.
  11. Blanch spinach in boiling salted water. Remove and place around the pork.
  12. Pour the remaining sauce into the wok. Add carrot and daikon and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper if necessary. Add thickening solution and cook until the sauce re-boils and thickens. Pour the sauce and vegetable over the pork in the serving platter. Sprinkle spring onions on top before serving.

Source: The Master Chef

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Croque Monsieur


1 tbsp butter
4 slices bread
4 thin slices good quality ham
4 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp plain yogurt
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Butter the bread slices and sandwich them, buttered-sides together. Place the ham on top of the sandwiches and sprinkle a little of the grated cheese over the top.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet large enough to take 2 sandwiches. Place the top slices of bread (with the ham and cheese on top), buttered-side down, into the skillet. Top with the remaining slices of bread, buttered-side up. Cook until the base of each sandwich is golden brown.
  3. Preheat the broiler to hot. Mix the remaining cheese, yogurt, and salt and pepper to taste together. Remove the skillet from the heat and spread an equal quantity of the yogurt mixture on top of each sandwich. Place under the preheated broiler and cook until lightly browned. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Brunch

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Baked Ham Noodles


3-1/2 oz onions, finely chopped
3-1/2 oz) butter
9 oz ham, diced
9 oz noodles or pasta
3-1/2 oz) butter
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1-1/2 oz cheese, Emmentaler or medium strong cheese
1 cup sour cream
salt, pepper,
finely chopped parsley
butter and breadcrumbs for the frying pan


  1. Fry the onions and ham in a suitable pan.
  2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain and mix with the ham and season to taste with salt, pepper and marjoram.
  3. Beat the butter creamy and stir in the egg yolk.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites stiff and thick. Carefully fold in cheese, sour cream and the whites in the yolk mixture. Stir to combine and add the pasta.
  5. Take a ovenproof dish, brush with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Pour the pasta mix in and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes with 180°.
  6. Garnish with parsley and serve with salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Culinary Austria

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