July started with a bang. The first day came with a number of memorable things-our son turned 11, which is a momentous event in the life of an English child. The moment they crossover from boyhood to manhood, the year they start a secondary school, the time when they graduate from shorts and polo shirts to long trousers and blazers. It also happened that on Mitchell’s birthday his new secondary school hosted an induction day for all newbies and he got to spend the whole day in the new school, the size of a town, and then took a city bus to travel home because that’s what 11 years-olds do. I am looking at my tall and lean son and wondering where has my chubby baby gone.
Along with Mitchell’s birthday we celebrated Canada Day, as an homage to the country we still call home, and all of it happened on the hottest day in the history of London or at least since they started keeping record.
Being too hot to cook is not the problem I usually deal with but I am now! Needless to say, most cooking happens on the grill or by a way of mixing salad ingredients.
There is always a third option…that is throwing an impromptu wine and tapas party, which sounds far more exciting, don’t you think? I have to admit we are quite obsessed with everything Spanish here. It’s partially due to Spain’s amazing beauty but mostly because we spent some of the best times there as a family, which I wrote about here, here and here, so the food immediately evokes fantastic memories.
Another reason I love a tapas meal for the summer is because it requires very little time around the hot stove…at least the way I do it! All you need is some sliced cured meat like Serrano ham, Spanish cousin of Italian prosciutto, cheese such as Manchego, a selection of olives, some crusty bread and the star of the show…Chorizo in Red Wine. What?!!
You can’t find a bigger chorizo fan than my daughter Vika but the rest of us find it a bit too… resilient to the bite. Good quality in humans when faced with… let’s say… vampires but generally not in food. However, after searching for more tapas recipes we found that it could be cooked and that was a true revelation because the heat transforms the texture of this robust Spanish sausage from tough and unbreakable to soft and juicy. Chorizo flavoured with smoky paprika barely needs anything else but wine is known to make almost everything better.
All you need is to slightly brown your sliced chorizo with garlic and rosemary and then hit it with a glass of deep red wine and a teaspoon of honey, let the sauce reduce until it’s thick and sticky and serve! You won’t believe the transformation!! I used a bottle of French Bordeaux, which was kindly sent to me by Yapp Brothers, a wine merchant specialising in French wines, but any red wine with deep flavour will do.
And here you have it, summer entertaining done easy and with a lot of style and flare!
I hope our summer tapas tradition will become yours as well!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 300 g/10 oz of cured chorizo sliced
- 250 ml/1 cup cup red wine
- 1 tsp honey
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add sliced garlic, cook over medium heat for 1 minute, then add rosemary sprigs and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Add chorizo sliced into 1" thick rounds and fry until it releases red liquid for about 2 minutes.
- Pour wine all over the chorizo, add honey and cook until it's reduced in volume so the sauce just coats the chorizo. It will take about 5 minutes.
- Watch your chorizo closely to avoid burning.
- Serve this tapa with some crusty bread.