Fresh Borlotti Bean, Tiger Prawn and Chorizo Horneado
Eating the produce from my garden this summer has been a wonderful experience. The fruits of our labour are swiftly coming to an end. I harvested the last of the borlotti beans yesterday, there are only a few tomatoes, one courgette, six aubergines and a few blackberries left to be picked.
Oops I nearly forgot about the olives. Yes the two very well looked after olive trees in my garden have finally borne some fruit. They are tiny and probably worthless but they are all mine!!!
It’s a Friday, late afternoon, mid September and the sun is shining. I have pre-booked two movie tickets to go and see Julie and Julia, I’m excited as the trailer looks hilariously funny and to be honest I need a laugh. All this serious work business and the struggle for survival is taking it’s toll on me. Looking in the mirror I’m horrified, where has my youth gone? I feel old and look wrinkled and it’s all down to the rat race, making ends meet and trying to build a successful business.
So this dish is a “salute” to all my hard work, it’s fun, slightly careless and absolutely good for the soul. I put that theory down to the lovely bright and happy colours. The flavours are pretty good too, they remind me of summer, sun and happy visits to the Mediterranean. I’m not fond of the surf and turf old hat dishes that make their appearance on desperate chefs menus but this dish is so different. The spicy paprika laden sausage and prawns are almost a match made in heaven. It just simply works!
When I harvested the borlotti beans I had ‘posh’ baked beans in mind. Mr.P visited Borough market on his way home and was the bearer of fabulous gifts. In one hand he had a bag filled with girolles , in the other fresh tiger prawns and under his arm a stick of chorizo from Brindisa. I smiled, as it had been a tough old day and all of a sudden it became all light and all good. I love foodie gifts, they make me happy so I make happy dishes like this one with them.
I ended up making this tomato baked borlotti bean, chorizo and prawn dish. While my ‘posh’ baked bean dish was in the oven I had a quick chinwag over the phone with Alex from Venezuela. I asked him what the word for baked was in Spanish and he replied ‘horneado.’ In all honesty he did tell me how I should have written the whole name of my newly concocted and proudly developed dish but I thought it might seem that I had tried to replicate a traditional Spanish dish. This was not the case, as it’s a British Larder dish cooked in my home, carefully devised by me but with happy thoughts of the Mediterranean.
It’s the perfect Friday evening supper dish. If you do not have fresh borlotti beans then use tinned ones, it’s just as good. I bake the dish in the oven and add the prawns after two thirds of the elapsed cooking time. Be adventurous and add whatever you have to hand in the fridge or cupboard. This dish would be just as delicious with butter beans or haricot beans.
I made this dish in small individual oven dishes, however you can bake it in one large terracotta style dish. It’s very pretty and I think it would be perfect for a help yourself dinner with friends, one of those dishes you put in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves.
- 250g fresh borlotti beans out of the pods
- 300g chorizo sausage, peeled
- 2 red onions, on diced and one cut into 8's
- 1 red chilli, de-seedd adn sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tin of whole plum tomatoes
- 100ml Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1tbs red wine vinegar
- Salt and Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1tsp freshly chopped thyme
- 1tsp freshly chopped oregano
- 300ml chicken stock
- Juice and Zest of one lemon
- 12 in number tiger prawns, peeled and vein removed
- 2 whole red peppers
- 2 slices of ciabatta bread
- 20 whole baby cherry tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
First make the tomato and borlotti bean cassoulet. Peel and dice one of the two red onions and crush the garlic. De-seed the red chilli and finely slice.
Heat a medium size sauce pan with 80ml of the olive oil. Saute the diced red onion, sliced red chilli and crushed garlic with seasoning until it starts to colour.
Add the red wine vinegar, stock, tinned tomato and sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the fresh borlotti beans, chopped thyme and oregano. Simmer for 15 minutes until the beans are cooked and the sauce becomes rich and slightly thickened, turn the heat off. Add the lemon juice and zest.
Wash the red peppers and cut them in half, remove the seeds, I keep the green stalks on purely because it looks pretty. Place the peppers in a the oven dish of your choice. If you would like to bake individuals like mine then choose four oven dishes or one large terracotta dish.
Lightly drizzle a tablespoon of oil over the peppers and season. Bake them in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Spoon a few ladles of the borlotti bean and tomato cassoulet into and around the baked peppers.
Remove the skin from the chorizo and cut into even size pieces.
Peel the remaining red onion and cut through the root into 8's.
Peel the tiger prawns and set aside.
Divide the chorizo, baby cherry tomatoes and onion wedges between the four dishes. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Arrange the peeled prawns on top and rip the bread into pieces and scatter it over the dishes.
Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 - 12 minutes.
Serve with freshly chopped thyme and oregano.