Saturday, October 20, 2012

Txistorra with fagioli beans and bell pepper

The first time I tried txistorra was in Valencia at Casa Montaña, a fantastic tapa bar near the beach. It was presented simply on a white plate, fried in hard cider. Txistorra is a cured sausage from the Basque country, seasoned with garlic and paprika. It's fantastic for frying and serving with eggs for breakfast or as a tapa. Because it's rather fatty and salty, I like to fry txistorra with either mushrooms or beans, both of which mellow out the salt and spice. I've prepared txistorra a half dozen times now, but this recipe, which I assembled from what was available in my fridge and pantry, is my favorite so far. I served this dish for brunch along with Spanish tortilla, roasted asparagus and fruit salad.

Ingredients/Sources in HK
Txistorra - Available in the refrigerated cured meats section at CitySuper IFC
Fagioli beans - I used a can of beans that I picked up at Oliver's
Yellow bell pepper - anywhere, but try to get organic
Olive oil
Red wine 

Heat a pan over medium heat and add about 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Chop the txistorra and add to the hot oil, lower heat to somewhere between low and medium. The sausage should slowly brown, and the spices should be seeping out so that the olive oil is a bright burnt orange color. Drain the can of beans and rinse well. Chop the bell pepper into thin slices. Once the sausage has browned around the edges, add 2-3 tablespoons of red wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated. Add the bell pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the drained beans and continue to cook until beans start to brown (but they should not get mushy). Turn off heat and serve immediately.

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