The other day I found out in the morning that I was going to host our small group for tea (translate; a simple evening meal) that night because my friends had fallen ill.
I felt this very energising mixture; fortunate for the unexpected company when my husband was going to be out for a fancy meal with his work colleagues…and I was also just a bit apprehensive that I would have to manage the children’s meal, bath and bed on my own, and somehow try to create a welcoming atmosphere. It’s called EEEk!
But energy was flowing, so that’s a good thing. And in my mind I did a supershuffle of all the potential evening meals I’d planned for that week. And got lucky!! One of them was beautiful babylovesveg Popeye’s black bean stew….
This is the easiest meal to stretch and make a little more fancy for adults. Just multiply the quantities by however much is required.
Instead of tinned black beans, you can also use the much cheaper dried ones and just keep them simmering away for at least an hour or so before using them as the recipe suggests.
All you then have to do, when the kids are in bed, is;
slow fry some chorizo, as much as you think your friends will want,
cut some spring onions,
perhaps some fresh or dried chillies
and/or some cumin seeds
and/or some chopped fresh coriander
If you also want the stew to be a bit thicker and saltier, you can throw in some fajita spice mix, which will deal with both those issues.
When the guests arrive, throw your chorizo alongside its cooking oil into the bean stew and put all of the extras in small bowls, so people can pimp their bean stew according to their own taste.
If you’re as fortunate as me, they will bring a salad and some crusty bread, some wine and dessert, and the party can begin.
I cooked the rice twice, once for the kids, once for the adults. This can be a bit of a juggling act when you’re also ‘on bed time’, but if your oven is any good, you can also keep it warm in there, and there’s always the microwave!