Spring is definitely here – rain, fresh green smells, vegetable garden popping up all lively and bright, lily of the valley spreading lush fragrance low to the ground, lilacs towering above and spreading their own heady perfume, birds and bees doing their spring dances, kids going mental.
But there is still a chill in the air, especially at night, and there is certainly time for one or two more heavy comfort meals.
One of my favorite is Garbanzos con chorizo – chick peas or ceci with Spanish hot sausage. I don’t make it that often, because the little guy won’t eat garbanzos (yet), but after the crazed month or two I’ve just put behind me, I deserved to slather on some favorites.
Here it is – simple as pie and tasty as all get out.
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Tbs sofrito, if using prepared, 3-4 ice cubes worth if using homemade frozen (see Sofrito for Freezing) or follow the recipe below for making fresh sofrito to order*
3-4 oz Spanish-style spicy chorizo sausage (you may substitute hot dry Italian sausage, or one of those hot supermarket brands that comes fully cooked), peeled and chopped into 1/4” pieces.
2 Tbs tomato paste
15 oz can diced tomato
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs dried oregano
¼-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 pint soaked garbanzos (or 2 15 oz cans, rinsed and drained)
Heat oil in a large saucepan at medium-high until fragrant. Stir in onions to coat, then lower heat and sauté, about five minutes. Add garlic and sofrito and cook until fragrant. Add chorizo and heat until it begins to release its oil, then immediately add tomato, cumin, oregano, salt to taste and garbanzos. Cook at a lively simmer for 20 minutes and serve over rice.
*Here is a quick sofrito recipe that will work for this dish if you are actually making it to order. If using this sofrito recipe, do not use additional onion. The garlic stays the same.
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 3 oz ham steak or jamón para cocinar, diced (optional in this dish)
- 1 oz bacon, chopped rustically (optional in this dish)
- 1 green cooking pepper (cubanelle or Italian pepper), diced
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 6 culantro leaves (recao), minced
- 4 sweet small peppers called ají dulce in Hispanic markets (do NOT purchase Jamaican ají or scotch bonnet! They look the same but the Jamaican/scotch bonnet are HABANEROS, deadly hot and inappropriate for this dish!) seeded and minced
- ½ Cup cilantro leaves, minced
Heat olive oil in whichever sauce pan you are making your dish in. Add ham and bacon, if using; cook until done (bacon can be crisp) then add other ingredients and saute until soft and fragrant.