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Posts Tagged ‘Cider’

Mussels with chorizo and cider

We had a hankering for mussels, as we often do, and thought this sounded a bit different. There’s no finishing of the sauce required once the mussels are cooked unlike other classic mussel dishes. Last minute finishing can be fiddly, especially with guests, so this worked well for us. Easily scalable, provided you have a big pot, and a good party dish.

Wine Suggestion: we used Stonewell Dry Cider from Kinsale in County Cork for this dish which has a really good depth of flavour and it would equally work well as the accompaniment. Some ciders are lighter but the robust nature of the chorizo and mussels needed a more robust flavour like the Stonewell.

Alternately if you would prefer to drink some wine we’d suggest a good South African Chenin Blanc, like Adi Badenhorst’s Secateurs. The ripe yellow apple flavours are a good compliment and the freshness, texture and zing provide a good balance. The Secateurs is a great go-to wine in our house and we highly recommend it!

Spanish mussels with cider & chorizo – serves 4

  • 2kg mussels
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g chorizo, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500ml dry cider
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Wash the mussels really well and scrape off any barnacles and beardy bits. Tap any opened mussels on the sink and throw them away if they don’t close.

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chorizo with the onions until slightly coloured and softened. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the mussels, cider and some black pepper, then cover. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and steam until the mussels have opened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Pot-roast Chicken with Chorizo, Leek and Cider

A great array of flavours and super-moist roast chicken. Chorizo cooked in cider is often served as a tapa in Spain and it’s delicious!

Wine Suggestion: A Spanish cider would be of course be great with this or failing that a good quality dry cider from somewhere else. If you feel like wine we’d recommend a really smooth Rioja.

Pot-roasted Chicken with Chorizo, Leeks & Cider – serves 4

  • 1 x 1.75kg chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cooking chorizo sausages, sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 700g leeks, washed and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 300g baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs of thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 200ml dry cider

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3.

Season the cavity and outside of the chicken with salt and black pepper.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the chicken on all sides until golden, then set aside.

Lower the heat and add the chorizo, butter, leeks, garlic, carrots, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and cook gently until the leeks have softened.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the casserole dish, pour over the cider, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the lid from the casserole dish and turn the oven up to 200C/Gas 6. Continue to cook for another 20 minutes or until the chicken skin is browned.

Remove the chicken from the casserole and onto a carving board, cover with foil. Skim the excess fat from the surface of the vegetable juices, then place over a medium heat and simmer vigorously for 5 minutes to reduce. Season to taste with more salt if needed.

To carve the chicken, remove the legs and cut each one in half at the joint. Carve the breast in slices. Use a slotted spoon to put the chorizo and vegetables onto the centre of the plates and place the chicken on top. Spoon the cooking juices over to serve.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s Spain, BBC Books, 2011.)

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Spelt & Cider Bread

We’ve done this recipe a few times and it works a treat. The texture and flavour balance makes it feel very professional. It keeps well too.

Spelt & Cider Bread  – makes one medium-sized loaf

  • 250g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt
  • 150ml full-cream milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 35g fresh yeast (we used 2 sachets of dried yeast)
  • 250ml dry cider

Warm a large mixing bowl.

Weight the flours into the warmed bowl and stir in the salt.

Warm the milk in a small saucepan until hot, but not boiling (you should be able to test it with your finger). Dissolve the honey in the milk.

Cream the yeast with a teaspoon in a small bowl and slowly pour in the warm milk and honey. When it is smooth, pour onto the flours along with the cider and mix well with your hands. When the dough has formed a rough ball, tip out onto a lightly oiled or floured surface. Knead gently for one minute.

Lightly flour the bowl you mixed the dough in and put the kneaded dough in it. Cover with a clean, warm cloth and leave in a warm, draught-free place for an hour.

Remove the dough and knead gently for a minute. Return to the bowl, cover and return to the warm place for another 25-30 minutes, or until risen again.

Set the oven to 240ºC/Gas 9.

Knead the dough again, this time forming it into a ball, then put it onto a floured baking tray and dust generously with flour. Cover with a cloth and keep warm for another 15-20 minutes.

Bake the dough in the oven for 25 minutes. When it looks brown and crispy, remove it from the oven, turn upside down and tap the bottom. If it is cooked it will sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries II, Fourth Estate, 2012.)

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