3 Simple Spanish dishes

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Sherry vinegar and cured chorizo will add distinctive Sherry vinegar and cured chorizo will add distinctive Spanish flavors to fideos with chickpeas and olives. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

TIP Keep sherry vinegar and cured chorizo on hand to add distinctive Spanish flavors.

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FIDEOS WITH CHICKPEAS AND OLIVES

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

8 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into 2-inch pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 link (1 1/2 ounces) chorizo, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped

4 ounces queso fresco or (fresh mozzarella), crumbled or cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the raw pasta and cook, tossing, until it is golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet; add the garlic, green pepper and chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth and pasta; bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered, 8 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the chickpeas and olives; remove from the heat.

3. Stir in the cheese and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 501 calories, 19 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 19 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 695 mg sodium

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SPICY SHRIMP WITH ROMESCO

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1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup drained bottled roasted peppers

1 plum tomato

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1 1/2 pounds peeled large shrimp

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Toast the almonds: Place them in a dry skillet over medium-high heat and cook, shaking the pan, until they are lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate in a single layer to cool 5 minutes.

2. Combine almonds and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely minced. Add the peppers, tomato, vinegar, paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and puree. Set aside.

3. Toss the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the red pepper flakes and shrimp.

4. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook until no longer translucent, about 2 minutes on each side.

5. Serve the shrimp over a puddle of the sauce. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 183 calories, 21 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1,214 mg sodium

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ARROZ CON POLLO

1 3/4 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup long grain rice

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1. Season the chicken with salt. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add the onion, garlic and red and green peppers and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and broth and bring to a boil; stir in the rice. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer, covered, until rice is cooked and the chicken reaches 170 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Stir in the parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 509 calories, 32 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 20 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 573 mg sodium

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