Earlier this week D and I took Marco for a leisurely walk around Loch an Eilean and Loch Gamma down near Aviemore. It was a wonderfully relaxing day despite the muggy, overcast weather and the continual aerial assault from midges and other biting beasties. Hoping to persuade D to go back down with me again next week, not only for another jaunt around the loch but also for a repeat visit to what is now my new favourite restaurant.
Ord Ban is a gorgeous little bistro located in the Rothiemurchas Centre at the bottom of the Cairngorm ski road. Wish I had taken pictures of the restaurant as it was beautiful both inside and out but, frankly, I was too busy angsting over which of the fabulous sounding dishes I was going to have to even think about the camera that was hanging from my neck. Don’t think I’ve ever read a menu where I wanted to eat absolutely everything on it. Eventually I settled on the roasted pepper, spinach and goat’s cheese lasagne and D picked the chorizo and bean stew. Neither disappointed and I haven’t stopped raving about the restaurant since.
To ease the passage of time before my next visit to Ord Ban I attempted to recreate the dishes we ate in my own kitchen. The results were, in the end, quite different to Ord Ban’s fare but delicious nevertheless. Especially the following chorizo stew.
I used chickpeas and pinto beans in my stew purely because that’s what was in my cupboard. Any beans would do, though I would recommend using two different types for variation in texture and ’cause it looks nicer. 🙂
Chorizo and Bean Stew
400g cooking chorizo, sliced on the diagonal
1 medium leek, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tspn mustard seeds
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 tspn smoked paprika (normal paprika would be fine if you don’t have smoked)
75g dried chickpeas, soaked for at least 8 hours and cooked until soft – reserve cooking water or a tin of ready cooked chickpeas
75g dried pinto beans, soaked for at least 8 hours and cooked until soft or a tin of ready cooked chickpeas
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Handful of coriander
- Warm a heavy based pan over a medium high heat. Add the chorizo. Stir frequently as the sausage releases some of its fat and crisps up a little.
- Remove chorizo from the pan leaving the oil behind. Add the leek to the chorizo fat and reduce the heat a little. Fry for a couple of minutes then add the garlic and mustard seeds. Continue to fry for a few minutes until the leek has softened and the mustard seeds begin to pop.
- Add the cayenne, paprika, beans and tomatoes to the pan and stir. Add the chorizo back into the pan along with enough of the bean liquor (or stock) to almost cover the stew.
- Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins.
- Before serving, season to taste and stir through the coriander.
The restaurant served this with some beautiful crusty bread but I think it suits chilli cornbread even better. Recipe to come.