Last night cooked some text-mex style food, I say tex-mex style as it was more of a homage to Cajun and Mexican cooking than authentic cooking.
We had Jambalaya, which I have a technique for, which I picked up from a programme on Cajun cooking some while back.
In a large frying pan, I fry off some smoked bacon (I use pancetta as I have it in the house) with some onions and red pepper.
When the onions are softened I add some Cajun spices. I am currently using and enjoying Fiddes Payne Cajun Seasoning, there are other seasonings available.
I cook off the spices before adding some spicy sausage, I used a Polish Kabanos, partly as that was available and yes I know it is not very deep south, and after that has cooked off slightly, I go ahead and deglaze the pan with some vinegar (usually balsamic vinegar).
I then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and some tomate puree and leave to simmer for about twenty minutes.
Whilst that is cooking I cook some rice, I use basmati, partly as it only takes ten minutes to cook and mainly as that is what I have in the cupboard.
When the rice is cooked, I stir the tomato mixture and the rice together and serve.
You could make it spicier by adding fresh chillis, I don’t.
This is a very quick and easy dish with a lovely piquant tomato sauce.
In a large frying pan, cook off some pancetta, then in the same pan soften a finely chopped onion and red pepper.
When the pancetta, onions and pepper are nearly cooked, add a good splash of balsamic vinegar, then as this boils add a blended tin of tomatoes (or you could use passata if you want to). Add some tomato puree and sliced mushrooms. Leave to simmer for at least twenty minutes and preferably a little longer. Towards the end add some chopped fresh parsley.
When you are nearly ready to eat, cook the pasta. With a tomato sauce I much prefer to use a dried pasta (and use fresh pasta with a cream based sauce). With this recipe I used De Cecco Fusilli.
When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss the pasta in the sauce.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan and ground black pepper.
If you like to you could add some black olives or anchovies to the sauce, I prefer not to due to the saltiness of these ingredients.
One of the key things about cooking chicken this way is that it stays really nice and moist with lots of flavour.
Firstly take four chicken thighs, now you could use a whole chicken, half chicken or other chicken pieces. I much prefer chicken thighs over the breast meat as it has a lot more flavour (in my opinion).
Tonight I had a very nice spanish chicken dish (that was cooked for me). Containing tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, potatoes and chicken and cooked in a single pot, it was delicious. The main seasoning was freshly ground black pepper which to me gave it a very spanish feel, as did the potato.