Flying Away to Mexico [Chorizo & White Bean Stew]
This is my last post before I head to Riviera Maya, Mexico with my handsome man for a week of bun-sunning, toes-in-sanding, coconut-drinking, hammock-laying and maybe some tequila-drinking (FYI: “Maybe” means “absolutely, definitely, 100% a lot of tequila drinking”). We head there tomorrow morning and I haven’t quite had a chance to get excited yet because work and life have been so incredibly packed with things to do. I won’t keep you long, but I wanted to share this recipe with you before I go. And I really hope you’ll make it while I’m gone and maybe, if it’s not too much to ask, take a picture and send it to me so I can look at it and remember how much I love and miss you all (ok, I’m only going for a week which isn’t long AT ALL, but still, guys. Just do it, ok!?)
This stew is ridiculously simple. Nothing but a few pantry items involved, but I will insist that you buy really good quality fresh chorizo. That’s the flavour-maker in this stew and it needs to be a product that’s made with big, powerful flavors that haven’t been sitting around in packaging for weeks (or months). If you can’t find a high quality chorizo, than I’d suggest going with another high quality sausage of your choosing (an Italian would be lovely here – especially if you can find a good spicy one). As well, a good homemade stock, or at least one you’d be willing to sip on its own, makes a big difference in the overall flavour of the soup. Because the ingredients are so few, finding the best ones becomes paramount for an impeccable finished product. The creamy white beans, bold crumbly sausage and savoury broth swimming with onions will melt you right to your core.
I was feeling slightly under the weather (err… hungover) last Sunday and this stew got me right back on track. Warmed my tummy, filled my body with nourishment, and the fattiness from the sausage never hurts a hangover now, does it? Short of a super spicy Bloody Caesar, this might be the next best hangover cure!
Chorizo and White Bean Stew
adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 2-4 depending on how hungry your tummies are
I used Seed to Sausage chorizo in this dish and highly recommend you do the same if you’re able to find it in your grocer/market. And if you can find it at your market, I suggest you stock up on EVERYTHING because once you taste it, you’ll want to try everything Michael McKenzie and his crack team of butchers and chefs puts out. It’s just that good.
1lb fresh Chorizo
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed well
2 cups good quality chicken stock
1/2 tsp Smoked paprika (more if desired)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
4 big handfuls of baby spinach
Drizzle about 1 tbsp of oil into a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and let it cook to a golden brown on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the sausage to a plate. Turn the heat down a touch to medium and add the onion. Cook until golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minutes. Add the beans, stock, paprika and a few pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper. Use the back of your spoon to crush some of the beans and thicken the stew slightly (option, but gives nice texture). Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Slice the sausage into bite-sized chunks while the stew cooks. Remove from heat, fold in the spinach and sausage until spinach is just wilted. Spoon into bowls and drizzle with more olive oil and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.