I should just rename this site The Chorizo Blog. I know I should stop, but I cannot help myself. Chorizo keeps well and is always there when I’ve run out of groceries, am too lazy to get more, but still want something delicious for dinner. Besides, Tom is obsessed with it and showers me with endless praise whenever I make anything with chorizo in it. Who doesn’t want that?
This week, I simmered a few links of it in some dry, sparkling cider. As the chorizo cooks, it absorbs the liquid and plumps up, losing all of its firm texture and becoming a lot more like the fresh sausage it started its life as. (Ending in a preposition. I know, I know. It’s Friday, so I’m allowed.) The chorizo also absorbs the cider’s sugar, making it savory, sweet and so deliciously addictive.
I added cider-spiked chorizo to some sauteed onions and chickpeas, then tossed everything with some pieces of crusty bread. In keeping with the sweet/salty theme (and because it’s all I had, really) I used a cranberry walnut bread. Everything is bathed in an egg mixture, topped with Gruyere and baked until crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside.
This casserole feels homey and indulgent and comes together relatively quickly. The hardest part is waiting for it to come out of the oven.
Chickpea & Chorizo Casseroles
4 links Spanish chorizo
4 cups sparkling apple cider (or same amount unsweetened apple juice)
1.5 tbsp. olive oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped
4 cups chickpeas
10 slices of crusty bread (I used cranberry walnut bread and it was amazing), cut into large chunks
1.5 cups milk (I used skim)
1 cup chicken stock
8 oz. Gruyere, shredded
Preheat the oven to 400° and grease your favorite casserole dish (I used 4 individual-sized dishes).
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the chorizos and cider. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the chorizo plumps up ad absorbs the liquid. Remove from the pan and set aside. The texture should become more like fresh sausage. You can do this in advance, or make a large batch and freeze the rest for future use.
Add the olive oil to the skillet and sautee the onions. Once they’re almost translucent, add the chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes. While the onions and chickpeas are cooking, chop the chorizo, then add them to the pan. Add the the bread and give everything a big stir, then pour the mixture into your prepared casserole dish.
Whisk the eggs, milk, stock and salt together then pour over the casserole dish, making sure everything is evenly coated. Top with the cheese and bake for 40 minutes, or until the middle is set and the cheese is browned and bubbly.
Serve with a green salad.