Monthly Archives: May 2015

Donna Hay’s Garlic Chickpeas and Chorizo

Good morning.

I often find myself wondering these days about continuing on with this blog seeing as I’m so shit at updating. Remember the glory days of weekly, sometimes bi-weekly updates? That was over-achieving.  It was setting expectations way too high.  I often cook stuff and photograph it, thinking, ‘that’ll be a good blog post’ and then because I have, until recently, been at home with NewHuman pretty much all the time, I don’t get my laptop out very often and doing a blog post on the old iPhone is a major pain in the ass.  I never really bother.

This is not a cry for help, for compliments, or any other self-esteem booster (although obviously I wouldn’t be averse to some wailing and chest-beating on your part if you felt so strongly).  It’s rather a bookmark to let you know that I’m a lazy cow and don’t be surprised if 3-4 weekly posts are all I manage from hereon in. Awful.  I’d be no good trying to make a living out of this thing at all.  Sad.

We are still mining Donna Hay recipes at Casa Average Baker.  It’s got to be a year’s worth now, surely, of hitting up her parsimonious-lipped rendering of supper recipes but to give credit where it’s due she has only disappointed us twice in all that time.  Because the recipes on her ‘What’s for Dinner’ app tend to take around 30 mins max it doesn’t matter if I don’t start cooking till 730pm, we still get to eat at a non-Spanish hour.  Even the boyfriend has been known to gird his loins and get some of her recipes done.

Today is a big day in the UK – it’s national election day.  Unlike Australia they don’t have preferential voting here, you’re allowed to not-vote if you can’t be bothered, and you can only vote for your local MP; you can’t vote for who you’d like to be PM.  It’s really odd but it’s better than not being able to vote at all, so vote this morning I did.  As usual I got a bit emotional – well, emotional for me, which consists of a barely noticeable crinkling of the eyes and a microscopic nostril flare – at the privilege it is to be able to have a say in how your country is run.  Now obviously there are a lot of good and proper arguments about the shitness of current and past and potential future governments and leaders, and the crap nature of parliament and politics in general, but the fact remains that these idiots put a lot of effort into trying to get us to vote for them.  It’s worth taking the opportunity to do so.

I have hope that we’ll lose the current UK govt who have systematically raped and pillaged society for their own benefit, and thus for the benefit of their business cronies, developers, private health funds and so on.  It’s been a rather sickening five years, watching how the sick and ill and unemployed and disabled and women and the elderly have all had the literal rug pulled from underneath them, whilst the rich sit back and pile said rugs up in ever-increasing layers under their own, groaning tables.

Enough. Sorry.

I’m back to work now, ostensibly on a 3-day week contract but also in discussions about another 2-day week one to run concurrently so my life of (really boring but actually very luxurious) leisure, my four-times a week swims and long walks in the park with the dog, flogging NewHuman around in laps to tire him out, they are over.  Basically we ran out of money (THANKS VERY MUCH, NEW KITCHEN) so I’ve been forced to sell my soul once more.


Chickpeas, eh?  I have spent a long time avoiding them in any form bar that of hoummous. Or hummus.  Or houmus.  Whatever.  In this dish, added to some yum umami flavours and garlic and the smoked paprika burn of chorizo, they are delicious.  Also, coming out of a can you barely even need to be awake to prep them.  Life can be so good.

  Gather, for 2 people:

Chorizo – 2 or 3, depending on size, sliced.  I like hot smoked paprika ones, you choose as you wish.  If you live in Oz please try to avoid the shit supermarket ‘chorizo’.  It’s not chorizo.  Find a good deli.

4 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 tablespoons shredded lemon zest

250g or so of cherry tomatoes

400g can of chickpeas, drained (and rinsed a bit if you fancy.  I fancied).

1/3 cup or so of basil leaves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Finely grated parmesan, to serve

  Sorry bout the sideways photo, yeah.  Live with it, though, can you?  In a non-stick frypan fry off your chorizo chunks over a medium-high heat, maybe 3 mins or so each side – you want them golden and going a bit crisp.  NICE.

Then add the sliced garlic and lemon zest and mooch them around together a bit for a minute.

  Chuck the tomatoes into a sieve over the sink and give them a punch.  Fuel yourself with the pent up anger remaining for the person who tracked baby powder through the gym changing rooms earlier and ruined your jeans.

You want to break the tomatoes up a very little to release some of the juice and the seeds.

  Add the tomatoes and chickpeas to the pan.  Stir it around for 3 minutes or so until the whole thing is heated through.    See this thing? I have coveted one for YEARS and never remembered to buy one whenever I went home to Australia, and could never find them here in the UK.  It’s a fat-splatterer-shield, that’s my name for it.  Sits over the frying pan when you’re frying stuff and catches nearly all the spattering fat.  Is BRILLIANT.  Obviously I broke it almost immediately I got it home to London.  She had to sit in the pram on one visit to the park because the ground was too stony to lay down on.  I support her fully in this position.  At other times she behaves much more like a real dog does.

Right – stir through the basil leaves and lemon juice.  I added a bit of black pepper because it’s what I do.

Divide between serving bowls and sprinkle with the parmesan.  There’s no parmesan on display in the below photo because once on it looked a bit wormy.

Eat.  Is almost health.