crispy rice with chorizo and mushrooms
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Chorizo, mushrooms, cooked rice, seasoned with tarragon and garlic and blasted under the grill for crunchy topping. It’s a bomb of flavours and it’s easy and quick to make, even if you cook rice from scratch.
There are dishes that can get you excited as soon as you see the ingredients list. Of course the list might be very short and say just ‘fillet steak’ or ‘lobster, butter, mayo’ or even ‘chocolate, cream, more chocolate’ but that’s not what I’m thinking about. I’m thinking about foods that rarely seem exciting on their own but take on lots of appeal when used in a recipe.
Chorizo is one of those – can you honestly think of anyone who would name it as their favourite thing to eat? No, but something-something-with-chorizo is usually hugely popular except among vegetarians. Even people who don’t like sausages much will make an exception for chorizo. Mild or hot, smoked or raw, sliced thinly and cooked crisp or diced into a salad instead of lardons of bacon, chorizo has a wide fan base and no surprise – it is one good sausage with plenty flavour.
Then there are mushrooms, the meaty vegetable. I always bemoan the scarcity of wild ceps or porcini in England but even the humble cup mushrooms always add value to the dish: substance to veggie food, texture to casseroles, flavour to gratins. Mushrooms as veggie burgers, mushroom ragu for pasta – they would be the staple of my diet if I were vegetarian.
And then there’s Parmesan, umami central. The irresistible pong, the melty-not-melty texture, the rind that must be the most addictive snack you can chew on for hours (or is it just me?). As they say, adding some cheese makes everything taste better – adding Parmesan makes it divine.
So the parts are great but the whole is even better than the sum: the flavour powerhouse mixed into the canvas of cooked rice and grill-blasted under – wait for this – cheesy breadcrumb topping. With tarragon, the finest of herbs. And a few peas for a spot of colour. Simply gorgeous.
crispy rice with chorizo and mushroomsServings: 2Time: 50 minutes
- 160g (scant cup) long grain rice
- 1 tsp chicken stock concentrate
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 150g (5 oz.) cooking chorizo, sliced thickly on the diagonal
- 100g (3 oz.) cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 fat spring onions, sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
- 100g (3 oz.) frozen peas, thawed
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp. Parmesan, shaved or coarsely grated
- 1 tbsp. breadcrumbs
1. Rinse the rice several times until the water runs clear. Put it in a pan with 250ml water (about 1:1¾ ratio of rice volume to water), the stock concentrate and the olive oil and bring to the boil. Cook covered for 3 minutes on high heat. Turn the heat down to minimum and cook for 20 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, still covered and let it sit for minimum 10 minutes before lifting the lid. If you have leftover cooked rice, go straight to point 2.
2. While the rice is cooking, place the chorizo in an ovenproof skillet or pan on the hob over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until crisp.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until wilted. Add the spring onions, garlic and tarragon and cook stirring for a couple of minutes. Stir in the peas and turn off the heat.
4. Preheat the grill or fan grill to medium.
5. When the rice is ready, stir it through the mushroom and chorizo mix, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
6. Sprinkle the rice with the Parmesan and breadcrumbs and put under the grill for 12-15 minutes, until the rice is crispy and lightly browned. Serve with green salad.