Well, I’m back at school now and it seems that the first day of the summer term has been a lot easier than the previous two terms. The kids are mostly revising now, meaning that there’s a lot less lesson prep to do and, to my astonishment, I left work today at 5pm! Previously I would have rarely left by 7:30.
I’m taking full advantage of these easy days before revision clinics take off and I’m thrown back into the crazy-busy schedue I had before. There has only been one problem with work these last two days. Apparently someone in the finance department decided it was a good idea to turn the heating off in the maths block and boy, is it cold!
I feel the cold badly anyway. You know the type of girl who insists the flat is kept permanatly at 25 degrees, doesn’t care about the heating bill and then still sits right next to the radiator all the time? That’s me. Any degree of cold makes me lose concentration remarkably quickly, and on these sunny but chilly spring days it is marginally warmer outside in the quad than it is at my desk.
After about half an hour of pacing up and down the office during my first free period and grumbling to anyone who’d listen, I decided I couldn’t take it any more and went and took refuge in the photocopying room. I didn’t need to photocopy at that point, but those printers don’t half keep the place warm!
Even my colleague Luke admits its freezing and he’s Northern! In fact, he was the man who said last term that I was a weed for adding extra layers to go outside in February and that I should be made to live in a freezer for a week to make me understand the true nature of cold.
So for these last two days, I’ve been craving really warming food and, for a change I have had the time to make exactly what I wanted for dinner. After our initial training day, when I spend all day sitting in the office with my coat and scarf on, I felt what I needed was this.
Marinated, Griddled Squid on Pepper, Tomato and Chickpea Stew with Smoked Paparika, Bacon and Chorizo
- About 200g baby squid, cleaned with hoods and tentacles seperated and heads discarded
- The juice of half an orange
- 1 cubic inch ginger, crushed
- a small onion, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow pepper cored, deseeded and chopped, roughly into 1 inch squares
- 300g drained tinned chickpeas
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne
- 300g chopped tomatoes
- 200ml fresh vegetable stock
- 3 links spicy raw chorizo, chopped into small chunks
- 4 rashers smoky bacon, chopped
- large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
- Make a slit down the side of each squid hood and open it out, score in a cris-cros pattern over the outer side.
- Mix the orange and crushed ginger. Toss the squid hoods in the mixture and leave to marinate while you prepare the stew
- Sweat the onions and garlic gently until the onion is beginning to soften. Add the cayenne and paprika, stir well, cover and leave to cook for another few minutes.
- Add the bacon. pepper and chorizo, stir and allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes turning the heat up to just below medium.
- Add the tomatoes, stock and chickpeas, stir well and bring to a gentle bubble. Leave uncovered to bubble down to a thick stew consistency.
- Taste, adjust seasoning and when ready to serve, stir in the coriander.
- Griddle the baby squid over a high heat for about 90s per side or until just cooked through. Serve the squid on the chickpea stew. I accompanied this with roast cherry tomatoes, wilted green spinach and a glass of rioja.