Cheers to! 1/21-1/26

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From a lip-syncing scandal to a revengeful Matt Damon — see who we’re toasting this week!

As we head into a weekend that’s sure to provide us with great entertainment from the SAG Awards, we’re looking back on the week's events and people who have made headlines.

Cheers to… Beyoncé for not going into hiding after her lip-syncing fiasco at the inauguration this week. [ABC News]

Cheers to… James Taylor, who played guitar beautifully in the frigid cold.[VICE]

Cheers to… a season full of Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj feuds on American Idol. This is just going to get better.[Rolling Stone]

Cheers to… Matt Damon for not only hijacking and hosting Jimmy Kimmel’s show and having an insane roster of A-list guests, but for entitling it Jimmy Kimmel Sucks.[BuzzFeed]

Cheers to… Katie Couric’s facial expressions while interviewing football player Manti Te’o. [HuffPo]

Cheers to… The ultimate boy band collaboration since — well, since last year’s ultimate boy band collaboration. Say hello to the tour of 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men, and New Kids on the Block —ultimate '90s fan girl meltdown status. [CNN]

Cheers to… Paris couture fashion week and all the greatness that is Chanel. Oh, Karl — you never fail to amaze. [Fashionologi]

Cheers to National Cocktail Day with These Great Cocktail Recipes

Whether you're spending the holiday with a small group of friends, or your special someone, there's lots to cheers to this National Cocktail Day!

March 24th is National Cocktail Day, a day that celebrates all the unique concoctions that inspire memories and good times. To celebrate, we’re bringing you some excellent cocktail recipes to try out. From fruity delights to deeper, more refined cocktails, and even ones without any alcohol at all, National Cocktail Day is a celebration that can be experienced by all.

Prohibition was fantastic for American beer, or, cheers to homebrewers

Happy National Beer Day! When you open your fridge shortly after five o'clock this evening (or whenever—it's five o'clock somewhere), an amazing variety of innovative, high-quality beers may should be staring back at you.

But this has not always been possible for Americans: first, because a significant number of households did not own a fridge until the 1920s, and second, because purchasing beer has not always been legal in this country. From 1920 until 1933, Prohibition banned the manufacture, transportation, and sale of intoxicating beverages in the United States.

Prohibition was, at first, a catastrophe for American beer. (You might be saying, "I thought it was fantastic for American beer? And what about homebrewers?" We'll get there.) Prohibition halted brewery operations and erased the social worlds of the 19th-century saloon and biergarten. The brewing industry's implosion was both immediate (hundreds of breweries shuttered) and slow to unfold (others clung to life, only to close in the years following repeal). Big breweries had the resources and infrastructure to wait out the dry years. After repeal, the big fish gobbled up the smaller fish. With consolidation, American beer homogenized. Pale, light lager became American beer.

Notice of brewery auction, around 1965. Hundreds of American breweries closed in Prohibition's aftermath. Courtesy of Walter H. Voigt Brewing Industry Collection, Archives Center.

Well, homebrewers didn't actually enter there. They had been there from the start. Until the mid-1800s, Americans brewed beer at home. Homebrewing was an unglamorous necessity: a domestic chore akin to baking bread. Women, servants, and enslaved men and women were America's original homebrewers. Most brewed low-alcohol "small beer" that was less popular than cider and far less potent than rum, but safer than water to drink.

Then, with the immigration of professional German brewers in the mid-19th century, beer became big business in the United States. After the Civil War, Americans entered wage-earning jobs and found networks of brewery-backed saloons ready to quench their thirst at the end of the day. Americans no longer needed to brew at home.

Beginning in the 1840s, German immigrant brewers brought new ingredients and brewing techniques to the United States. Trade card, around 1882. Courtesy of Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center.

By the early 1900s, however, temperance advocates had begun to achieve local and statewide bans on alcohol, blaming the beer-soaked saloon for society's ills. Looking to a future without beer, brewers concocted malt syrups and beer extracts, encouraging consumers to brew at home. When national Prohibition went into effect in 1920, some breweries continued to brew surreptitiously, as "wildcat" operations supplying local customers and funneling ingredients to homebrewers. Most Prohibition-era homebrewing was not up to snuff, however. In 1932, American author Bob Brown quipped, "Good home brew is okay, but who is going to brew it. Brewing is a technical business for experts. . . . If prohibition fails to kill beer outright, amateur home-brewing may yet finish it off." Most beer drinkers wanted the real thing (or fled to the likes of Coca-Cola and ice cream sundaes) and rejoiced when beer became legal again in 1933.

As Prohibition approached, the brewing industry created ingredients such as this "beer extract" to encourage Americans to brew at home. Advertisement, around 1900. Courtesy of Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center.

Not all improved overnight. The Depression left Americans short on cash to buy beer. Hasty brewery openings resulted in tainted batches and public health scares. In post-repeal decades, breweries continued to close or consolidate. Efficiency and uniformity became the name of the game in American brewing.

Mid-20th-century American brewers prized efficiency, uniformity, and standardization in their ingredients and the brewing process. Advertisement, The Brewer's Digest Annual Buyer's Guide & Directory, 1954.

Paradoxically, the bland homogeneity of mid-century American beer was the perfect motivation for things to get much more interesting. A handful of enthusiasts discovered the venerable beer cultures of Europe during military or educational travels abroad. They returned to the United States with brewing manuals and embarked on an under-the-radar hobby (homebrewing remained illegal until 1979), adapting hardware store equipment and repurposing supermarket ingredients to make better beer.

Charlie Papazian, "godfather" of American homebrewing, taught generations of American homebrewers with this spoon.

And they did. In the 1970s Charlie Papazian published a whimsical guide to homebrewing, founded the American Homebrewers Association, and inspired millions with his maxim, "Relax. Don't worry. Have a homebrew." Michael Lewis, America's first professor of brewing science, was already teaching home- and soon-to-be craft brewers in his University of California, Davis, classroom and lab, as he would for more than 50 years. Ken Grossman, proprietor of a homebrew supply shop in Chico, California, taught himself to weld and scrounged for used dairy equipment to open a small brewery he called Sierra Nevada, after the mountain range he loved. The rest was history—our current, golden era of brewing history, to be exact.

Sierra Nevada's iconic Pale Ale, first brewed in 1980, played a key role in developing Americans' taste for hoppy beers. Brewery founder Ken Grossman began his career as a homebrewer.

The Brewers Association estimates that America now has more than 6,000 craft breweries and 1.1 million homebrewers. And according to Papazian, 90% of craft breweries were founded by brewers who began as homebrewers. Without Prohibition, would America have experienced a vibrant tradition of mid- and late-20th-century homebrewing? Probably not. Would America have craft beer without homebrewers? Definitely not. Increasingly skillful homebrewing in 20th-century America served as the critical link between Prohibition and our contemporary wonderworld of craft beer. So on this National Beer Day, cheers (and thank you!) to homebrewers.

Theresa McCulla is the historian of the American Brewing History Initiative.

The American Brewing History Initiative is made possible through generous support from the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers.

Cheers To National Margarita Day!

If you need an excuse to enjoy a margarita, consider February 22 your day. It’s a celebration of all things margarita, which means “daisy” in Spanish. Whether you’re enjoying on the rocks, frozen or straight up, remember to enjoy responsibly!

Tequila Herradura

Horseshoe Margarita


1 part fresh squeezed lime juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake hard so some of the ice melts, then strain over fresh ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

19th North


2 parts Herradura Reposado

1 part fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2-3/4 part agave nectar (to taste)

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake hard so some of the ice melts, then strain over fresh ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

Sandia Fresca


1 part fresh watermelon juice

Shake all ingredients and strain into rocks glass with large ice cube and garnish with watermelon. Consider adding a peel of watermelon to enhance the garnish.

El Duelo


1 part fresh squeezed lime juice

1/2-3/4 part agave nectar (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake hard so some of the ice melts, then strain over fresh ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

Bittercube Bar & Bazaar

Alchermes Margarita


3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce prickly pear juice

1-1/2 ounces Fortaleza Tequila

1/2 ounce Heirloom Alchermes

1 dash/dropper Orange Bitter

Add all ingredients to a shaker. Add ice and shake with a strong, fluid motion. Double strain into glass and garnish with orange twist.

True Food Kitchen

Citrus Skinny Margarita


1.5 ounces Ixá Organic Silver Tequila

To make simple syrup, mix equal parts sugar and water. Next combine cucumber, mint, oranges, lime juice, orange juice, simple syrup, and tequila. Shake vigorously, add soda water and pour into a glass.

K’ya Bistro Bar

Orange Jalapeno Margarita

Orange Jalapeno Margarita.


1.5 ounces spicy Patron Silver (cut one Jalapeño in half and put into Patron bottle. Let it sit for at least 4 hrs for the flavors to meld).

Begin by taking a pint glass and add lemon, lime and orange wedge. Muddle with ice. Then add Patron and simple syrup. Shake, pour back into a sugar rimmed pint. Re ice then add orange juice and top with grand marnier.

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse

Italian Margarita


3/4 ounce blood orange juice

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake vigorously. String into a Tajin-rimmed glass.

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen

El Palomar Margarita


1.5 ounces AsomBroso Blanco (100% blue agave tequila)

3 (1/4-inch) Serrano chili slices

Combine all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker, shake well and strain into an ice-filled, salt-rimmed glass (keep chili slices), garnish with lime wheel.

MUTTS Canine Cantina



1-1/4 ounces Lunazul Reposado Tequila

3/4 ounce Cointreau Orange Liqueur

1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

1/4 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

Serve with a salted rim and lime wedge

For an iced Barkarita, combine all ingredients into a tin shaker with ice, shake for 20 seconds, strain into a glass with a salted rim over new ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Slater’s 50/50

(served at California & Nevada locations)

Spicy Pineapple Margarita

Spicy Pineapple Margarita.


1.5 ounces Olmeca Altos Plata

1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes Verde

1/2 ounce Senior Orange Curacao

Pineapple slice dipped in Tajín lime wheel for garnish

Muddle pineapple slices in a mixing tin. Add ice and build ingredients short shake. Cover half rim with Tajín and fill with ice. Strain shaker tin into glass and garnish with pineapple slice dipped in Tajín and lime wheel.

Coastal Kitchen

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita.


Sliced cucumbers and jalapeño

Combine all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled glass (add sliced cucumber and jalapeños). Garnish with lime and jalapeño slice.

John Scroggins

As VP/Editor-In-Chief, John sets the overall tone and quality standards for the site's content. He's passionate about storytelling and loves exploring the history, cultural influences, and people behind the story of food. John has more than 25 years of food-industry experience, having worked in public relations, media, event production and philanthropy. He is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and The International Foodservice Editorial Council. His passions beyond food are rescue dogs, ending childhood hunger and poverty, and veteran's causes.

'Cheers' Bar Closes Permanently Due to the Pandemic

The Boston institution is shuttering after two decades in business.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, independent bars and restaurants are closing in record numbers. With little government support, even high-profile establishments are barely holding on (if they haven&apost already closed), and one of the most famous—the Cheers Replica Bar—has announced it&aposs closing its doors.

The Boston bar, which is located in Faneuil Hall Marketplace, is a replica of the bar in the sitcom Cheers and has been open for two decades. On Tuesday, CEO Markus Ripperger told CBS Boston that the bar would close on August 30, due to financial struggles brought on by the pandemic.

Cheers founder Tom Kershaw said in a press release, “I have faced, and pulled through, many kinds of downturns and upticks in the economy within the last 20 years Cheers Replica Bar at Faneuil Hall Marketplace has been in business."

"Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with no assistance from our landlord," he continued, "has made this current challenge insurmountable.”

Cheers, which aired from 1982 to 1993, is one of the most popular sitcoms of all time, and the Cheers Replica Bar has long been one of Boston&aposs liveliest tourist hotspots. (The bar that the show is based on is located in Beacon Hill and is still operational.) As Boston Magazine put it in a headline, "If Cheers Can’t Survive COVID-19, What Boston Bars Can?"

And it sounds like Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which houses several vendors, isn&apost in great shape, either. Kershaw told Boston Magazine, "The whole place looks like it’s closed down."

In late July, Yelp released findings that 60% of American restaurant closures since March 1 have been permanent and that the second wave of closures is inevitable as businesses struggle to pay rent while operating at a small fraction of their capacities.

Projections for the second half of 2020 are bleak. In June, the Independent Restaurant Coalition issued a report suggesting that 85% of independent restaurants could permanently close by the end of the year.

Cheers to a mainstay of community spirit

Without much fuss and fanfare, a mainstay in the community, possessing boundless energy, liveliness and an indomitable spirit, quietly slipped away recently.

More than six decades ago, Mainstay cane spirit was born in KwaZulu-Natal. Over the years, it became unique and special to South Africa just as tequila is to Mexico, vodka to Russia and rum to Jamaica.

Now the once top-selling liquor brand is no more - it was taken off the shelves as sales had dropped in favour of more expensive brands of liquor for bulging wallets and sophisticated palates.

While there was no race classification for Mainstay cane spirit at birth, it was not long before the liquor that was distilled from fermented sugarcane juice became a firm favourite among Indians.

It was a combination of several factors that endeared Indians to Mainstay cane spirit.

Chief among these would be the link to the cane fields, which Indians, with their sweat and toil, had turned into a veritable economic engine room for then Natal.

Compared to other alcoholic drinks such as whisky and brandy, cane spirit was relatively cheap and affordable for the lower economic group that was more prone to imbibing hard liquor in large quantities regularly. Also, cane spirit has a flavour that is neutral - not sweet - and this paired well with traditional Indian dishes such as pungent curries.

In the 1960s, a 750ml bottle of Mainstay cane sold for less than R3 and in the 70s, it could be bought for about R5.

This may be regarded as a small amount of money when considered today but the mirth or mayhem a bottle of cane caused could be significant.

After a week of hard work, many men would head home on a Friday afternoon with oily brown paper bags of sev and nuts, chilli bites and an assortment of cakes that filled children with glee.

As his own reward for his loyal labouring, the head of the household will also have tucked under his arm a bottle of “blue top”, a nickname Mainstay cane spirit earned because of the blue cap on the bottle.

Like a magic potion, a couple of tots of cane dashed with Coke soon calmed frayed nerves and relaxed stiff and sore muscles.

“Cane for the pain” became the mantra that many factory workers recited as they drank their troubles away.

There would be those who became jolly after a few drinks and got their families laughing hysterically with their tall stories.

Some would sing rather well because with the intoxication, inhibition was lowered and all tension was gone.

And then there would be a small group whose members were usually never violent but after a good few drinks, became aggressive - using foul language and threatening all and sundry with a bush knife.

One personality who put Mainstay to good use was the late sports activist RK Naidoo who was a sales representative for liquor company Henry Tayler & Ries.

The company was keen to promote its Mainstay cane spirit brand and Naidoo managed to secure a small sponsorship to promote non-racial soccer.

By getting some money in the name of Mainstay for the South African Soccer Federation Professional League, which he headed, and coupled with his success as a liquor sales representative, it was not too long before Naidoo came to be regarded as Mr Mainstay.

Fifty years ago, it was easy to know that Mainstay was the most popular drink of the time. The majority of bottles used when buying cooking oil that would be decanted at the local grocery store with a hand-operated siphon from a battered 44-gallon drum had formerly held Mainstay cane spirit.

Mainstay reigned supreme among the Indian community for several decades. However, for some reason that I cannot easily fathom, cane spirit fans in Pietermaritzburg preferred the Sundowner brand over Mainstay. Could it have had something to do with KwaZulu-Natal’s capital city being referred to as Sleepy Hollow?

Soon enough, whites learnt that for a reasonable price, you could get a mule’s kick from cane spirit, never mind that it gave you a hangover of note.

Cane and Coke came to be known as “spook and diesel” while cane and cream soda were referred to as a “green mamba”.

Within a few years after its launch in 1954, the Mainstay brand had built an enviable national footprint. By the late 60s, volumes had exceeded 4.5million litres, with initial production being handled by Henry Tayler & Ries, followed by Sedgwick Tayler and then by Distell’s predecessor, Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery (SFW), before the merger of SFW and Distillers Corporation which became Distell in 2000.

Volumes peaked in the early 80s, making Mainstay the number-one-selling spirit in South Africa.

Mainstay, often regarded as a sugarcane-based vodka, was voted as best vodka ahead of its Russian, Polish and Finnish competitors at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2007.

Until its recent demise, the label on the Mainstay bottle featured a sailing vessel while the neck of the bottle had a seagull.

In nautical lingo, a mainstay is a stay, or line, extending forward from the mainmast, supporting it and holding it in position.

I was recently reminded of Mainstay’s long association with religious fervour among some Hindus.

My daughter was battling a toothache. A teetotaller cousin surprised me when she suggested she would make available some Mainstay to be swished around the mouth to ease the pain.

When I asked why she had stashed away Mainstay when it had been discontinued, she said she offered it to Lord Madurai Veeran, who is worshipped for his valour and courage, during the annual Amman or “porridge” prayer.

I guess for the mythical warrior of Madurai, who is reputed to have protected the people of the south Indian city against thieves and bandits, a tot of Jameson Select Reserve Irish whiskey will just not match up to old, legendary Mainstay.

An old friend of the community may be gone - but will not be easily forgotten. The jingle I heard on the radio since boyhood still rings in my head: “You can stay as you are for the rest of your life, or you can change to Mainstay!”

* Devan is a media consultant and social commentator. Share your comments with him on: [email protected]

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Online (IOL).

Cheers to beers!

Reykjavik: Thirty years ago, a sobering dry spell in Iceland&rsquos history came to an end. On Friday, the country celebrates the anniversary of the lifting of a decades-long ban on beer with what else? A nationwide Beer Day. The drink was outlawed in Iceland for 74 years, while all other booze was completely legal. The alcoholic anomaly finally ended on March 1, 1989.

The beer ban was a leftover from the country&rsquos prohibition era, which started in 1915 when the population voted in a referendum to outlaw all alcoholic drinks. The ban was partially lifted seven years later out of economic necessity, Spain refused to buy Iceland&rsquos main export, fish, unless Iceland bought Spanish wines.

Prohibition was repealed in another national referendum in 1933. But the majority vote was tight and to appease a powerful temperance movement Iceland&rsquos parliament decided beer would remain illegal. Historian Stefan Palsson, moonlighting as a teacher at a brewery-based &ldquoSchool of Beer,&rdquo said that at the time Icelanders didn&rsquot miss it. &ldquoThey drank in order to become drunk and beer wasn&rsquot really efficient for that,&rdquo he said.

Alcohol abuse remains an issue. One in 10 Icelandic males over the age of 15 have been to rehab at least once in their lifetime, according to SAA, the country&rsquos leading addiction treatment centre. With alcoholism still widespread, most Icelanders favour strict government restrictions on alcohol sales. Apart from the country&rsquos bars, alcohol beer included is only sold at government-run monopoly stores, with limited opening hours and high taxes.

A pint of beer costs about 1,100 krona ($9) in bars, while a bottle of Smirnoff vodka costs the equivalent of $67 in the stores that sell it. A thirst for change began in the 1970s when Icelanders increasingly started vacationing in sunny European beach resorts and developed a taste for a cooling beer.

Back home, local bartenders responded by inventing the &ldquobjorliki&rdquo cocktail, a pseudo-beer made by blending non-alcoholic pilsner with aquavit in very variable ratios. Yet a large part of the population still opposed lifting the beer ban when parliament debated the issue for the last time in 1988.

Steingrimur Sigfusson, who is parliamentary speaker today, at the time painted a gloomy picture of the chaos that would result as &ldquohundreds of taverns&rdquo opened up to crowds with no experience of the beverage. He voted against the proposition. He still defends the country&rsquos restrictive alcohol policy that aims to limit binge and teen drinking. &ldquoThe worst-case predictions never came true but underage drinking did increase,&rdquo Sigfusson said.

The ban finally ended on a Wednesday. All four bars in Reykjavik were jam packed with drinkers toasting their new-found freedom while the country&rsquos population of 260,000 celebrated by buying more than 340,000 cans of beer at overcrowded Vinbudin monopoly stores.

Cheers to 2013: Eats and Drinks for New Year's Eve Parties

When it comes to New Year's Eve parties, there are often just two kinds of get-togethers: the casual bash complete with an expansive guest list, and the intimate, elegant event with just one special person or perhaps a small group of friends. When planning for the first gathering, think ease and simplicity, both in terms of food preparation for a crowd and also logistics like serving and plating different eats and drinks. For the dressed-up dinner party, look to elaborate yet accessible dishes to match the fancy flair of the event. We've rounded up Food Network's favorite party-ready menus to fit both kinds of celebrations, plus a collection of creative and classic cocktails alike that will help you ring in 2013. Check out our top New Year's Eve recipe ideas and effortless entertaining tips below, then tell us in the comments: How do you celebrate New Year's Eve?


Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Prop Stylist: Meghan Guthrie

No one wants to be stuck in the kitchen cooking while a mob of guests is mingling elsewhere, so when you're hosting a crowd, rely on hands-off recipes that can hold their own for a while and easy-to-eat munchies that guests can help themselves to. For a simple appetizer spread, Ingrid Hoffman sets up a help-yourself tray of Fried Olives (pictured above) with Spanish ham and manchego cheese that is quick to prepare and easy to replenish as the night goes on. For something heartier, try Food Network Magazine's top-rated Lamb Meatball Sliders, made with a homemade tomato sauce and finished with a creamy spread of goat and mascarpone cheeses. Since they're smaller than classic burgers, these sliders are easy to eat, and they turn out moist and tender every time. As a sinfully sweet midnight snack, serve Food Network Magazine's Whoopie Pies, another eat-with-your-hands treat that can be prepped ahead of time. These no-fail beauties are instant crowd-pleasers, featuring fluffy, chocolate cakelike cookies and a filling of melted marshmallows.

Photo by: Yunhee Kim ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Yunhee Kim, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

If you're cooking for just a handful of guests, consider preparing a more extravagant, sit-down meal to enjoy with close company. Giada's five-star Crostini Alla Romana is a sophisticated appetizer that's deceptively simple to prepare with just five ingredients. She tops toasted slices of bread with salty prosciutto and creamy mozzarella cheese, bakes them until the cheese is melted and finishes each with fragrant sage butter. For an extra special entree, cook up Food Network Kitchens' Filet Mignon With Mustard Cream and Wild Mushrooms (pictured left), a deliciously classic, meaty meal. Ina dresses up a tried-and-true classic for dessert with her Salted Caramel Brownies from Food Network Magazine — fudgy, buttery bites made with both semisweet and bittersweet chocolate, plus golden caramel and flaked sea salt. When shopping for ingredients, Ina recommends picking up true caramel sauce instead of dulce de leche, which can be too milky.

Berry Cherry Cheers: Strawberry Rum Cocktail

If you&rsquore looking to set the mood this Valentine&rsquos Day, you&rsquore going to need to check out these ideas! I&rsquove teamed up with a few of my favorite bloggers to bring you Dinner for Two: a link up celebrating every step of Valentine&rsquos Day dinner! My contribution to the menu? Why, of course, it&rsquos a cocktail!

It&rsquos strawberry season here in Florida, and there is no better way to enjoy a fresh strawberry than in a drink. While I do love a good strawberry smoothie, a splash of rum can totally make my weekend. I&rsquove been experimenting with cocktails lately, and here is one to try.

I used Cherry 7UP, fresh strawberries, and white rum to make this very berry cocktail. If you need a romantic drink for a happy hearts day (or even a fun drink for strawberry season and SPRING!), give this one a try.

Cheers to chorizo – recipes

Chorizo is a dry-cured sausage and its salty, smoky, slightly sweet flavour makes it perfect to use in Spanish stews, soups and rice dishes or as a tapa, pan-fried and eaten with hunks of crusty bread.

It is also used a great deal in Portuguese cuisine, where it is often combined with seafood. Mexican chorizo is much spicier.

Chorizo is made from finely chopped pork, seasoned with garlic, chilli and smoked paprika. It’s the paprika that is responsible for chorizo’s red colour and smoky flavour. The taste varies with the amount and type of paprika used.

Chorizo is speckled with pork fat, which adds depth of flavour and melts during cooking, oozing out to coat the other ingredients with a fragrant oil.


225g chorizo sausage, sliced

300g pork fillet, sliced into strips

grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon

1 red onion, halved and cut into thin wedges

1 large bulb of fennel, thinly sliced

1 small red pepper, thinly sliced

125g green beans, cut into 3cm pieces

fennel fronds for garnish

Heat oil in a wok and fry the chorizo until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the fillet in batches and fry until cooked through.

Add the lemon rind. Remove and add to the chorizo.

To the wok, add the onion, fennel, pepper and beans and fry until just tender. Return the meats to the wok.

Add the lemon juice and wine and bring to the boil.

Combine the stock and cornflour and add to the wok. Boil until the sauce has thickened.

Season well and serve garnished with fennel fronds.


250g pork sausages, skins removed

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Heat the oil and fry the onions and garlic until soft.

Add the pork sausages and break up the meat while stirring with a wooden spoon.

Cook until lightly browned. Add the chorizo and fry for 5 minutes. Add the fennel seeds. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and seasoning and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream.


1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

400g tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil and fry the chorizo for about 5 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic and chilli and fry until soft.

Add the tomatoes, stock and beans and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the thyme, rind and seasoning.

Then simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Serve with crusty bread, if desired.


225g chorizo sausage, sliced

In an ovenproof pot, heat the oil and fry the chorizo and onion for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper.

Arrange the clams in the pot.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil and the wine. Bring to the boil and simmer rapidly for 5 minutes.

Put the lid on and place the pot in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20-30 minutes or until the clams have opened.

Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and place into a large serving bowl.

When the clams are ready, discard unopened clams. Add the pasta to the clams.

Season well and serve sprinkled with parsley.


225g chorizo sausage, sliced

Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and halve them.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes.

Add the chorizo and fry until cooked.

Add the potatoes to the pan with half the dressing. Toss to coat and cook for a minute.

Line a serving dish with the spinach and pour over the remaining dressing.

Watch the video: Cheers to 21 years! (May 2022).