Steamed mussels with red wine and chorizo

I spent a few days in the Cotswolds over the summer and came across a dish similar to this in one of the many quintessential English pubs I visited. What can I say, tastes like more……

1 lb diced chorizo
5/6 sliced shallots
Salt and black pepper
2 lbs mussels, cleaned and bearded
1 bottle dry red wine
100 ml double cream
Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

In a deep pot, shallow fry the chorizo for ten minutes until the fat has rendered and the meat has browned. Remove from the pot, add shallot, salt and pepper. Add the chorizo back to the pot along with the wine, cream and mussels. Cover and cook for 4 – 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Discard any unopened mussels and stir to coat with the liquid. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with parsley.
Voila!

Coconut Hot Chocolate

I had to do a double take when I saw Trish Deseine tweet the link to this recipe. So simple yet so inspired. It’s pure genius! The only thing that could possibly improve it, is perhaps a drop of coconut liquer.

Coconut Hot Chocolate – from Chow.com

Enough for two

4 fluid oz coconut milk
4 fluid oz  milk
5 oz good-quality milk chocolate, chopped (or use half milk and half dark for a more intense flavour)

Heat the milk and the coconut milk in a saucepan until warmed through – 3/4 minutes. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted.  Sit back and enjoy.

The peanut butter brownie

After months of daydreaming about starting my very own food blog, the time has finally comes And what happens? I freeze. Typical. Ideas are one thing, but putting them out there for scrutiny by the general blog- reading public is another. My secret weapon? Chocolate. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t like chocolate and for the short time that I had a stall at a lunchtime food market, these babies went down a treat, as they do in my own home. I use Yotam Ottolenghis basic brownie recipe but forgo the jam for glazing and instead add some chocolate drops as a finishing touch. The down side is that they can be totally addictive – try them at your peril…..

200 g unsalted butter, plus melted butter for greasing
280 g plain flour
½ tsp salt
300 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 free-range eggs
220 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

I jar peanut butter (I found tesco own brand to work the best for this recipe)

Pre-heat oven to 170 celsius and line a 22cm sq baking tin with parchment. Over a pan of simmering water, melt together the chocolate and the butter until combined. Remove from heat and leave aside (do not allow to overheat). Stir together flour and salt, and in a separate bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and vanilla until just combined. Be careful not to incorporate any air into the mixture. Fold in the melted chocolate followed by the four and mix together gently. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and even the surface with a spatula. Dollop peanut butter on the surface at regular intervals and gently press into the brownie mix. Sprinkle the surface with chocolate drops and place in the preheated oven for 20 -25 minutes (undercooked is better that overcooked). Remove from the oven and place directly in to the fridge to set – this will ensure the lovely fudgyness we expect from a brownie. Once cooled, remove and cut as desired (makes approx 16 squares).