Many of my recipes are dreamed about, cogitated upon, mulled over and carefully contemplated before I even write them down. Most commonly I will think about recipes pretty much out of thin air, a kind of “what would happen if I combined this with this?” approach – the madder the better. But also, more prosaically, ideas are formed in the shower (a classic place to daydream), while driving, eating out, and of course flipping through glossy food mags – Bon Appetit being a favourite.
To record my hungry musings I have a collection of Muji paper notebooks filled with scribbles, stains and sketches – all recipes I’ve made over these past 5 years, as well as ideas that will remain forever trapped between the matte black covers. But as an inveterate hoarder of scrap paper I also have to keep up with random ramblings recorded on receipts and cut up photocopies too, all to be crammed into a notebook already bloated with clippings and notes.
The initial scribbles rarely capture the final recipe. Every time a food thought drifts into view – it is usually visual – I open a dialogue in my head that doesn’t really end until I am snapping the images that you see here. Even then – after probably two previous testings – I will be making changes: more texture, more colour, a squeeze of lemon (almost everything one eats can do with at least a hint of citrus). I am rarely happy with things as they are. At least when I am cooking.
This is, however, one of a few recent recipes where I have made no changes from the original thought; none whatsoever. Somehow I knew I would be satisfied with the simple but unusual combination you see below. And I have been, many times.
If you read my last post involving blood oranges you will know that I am more likely to eat fruit if it is in the company of vegetables. Most usually this marriage of flavours takes place in a salad, but today I am upping my skillet dinner recipe game with Portobello mushrooms, rainbow chard, fake chorizo (one of my non-wholefood vices, I am afraid), Pink Lady apples and a good splash of spicy ketchup. That really is just about all to this recipe, save for a little olive oil. But do read on for a method, of sorts.
I apologise for veering so violently from spring back to winter with this recipe. Last week’s salad may have seemed to herald a batch of spring-like recipes, but nope. It is chilly and grey, and most definitely a skillet recipe kind of day. Unlike yesterday, where we spent the afternoon at the beach. In a coat, mind you. It is Scotland after all. 😉
Chorizo, Apple and Chard Spicy Skillet Supper
Get out your skillet or wok to make this simple, unusual and very tasty light supper or brunch dish. Don’t miss out the apple. I know it sounds odd, but please trust me on this! xx
1 tbsp rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
100g vegetarian or vegan chorizo – sliced (more if you like)
1 apple (I like Pink Lady), cored and sliced into 12-16 slices
2 very large Portobello mushrooms, sliced OR equivalent chestnut mushrooms (halve these)
150g rainbow or other chard (or other dark leafy greens), washed and chopped
Spicy ketchup (I really like Gran Luchito brand)
1. Heat a little of the oil in a heavy skillet or wok over a low-medium flame and gently sauté the chorizo. Veggie chorizo is not as robust as its meaty counterpart so be gentle when moving it. I use tongs to ensure even browning. When the slices are coloured, remove from the pan to a bowl. Add the apples to the pan and cook as for the chorizo. Add to the bowl.
2. Pour in a spot more oil and sauté the mushrooms, sautéing until they release their liquid. Turn up the flame and add the chard, stir-frying until the chard is soft and glossy. If it is at all watery form the chard, drain this off before adding the apples and chorizo to the pan and heat through if necessary.
3. Serve with spoonings of spicy ketchup.
Variations: add in cooked lentils and/or cooked quinoa for a much heartier meal; ditto, fried or poached egg.