Chorizo ​​makes everything better: cooking ideas with red sausage

Chorizo ​​makes everything better: cooking ideas with red sausage

That Spain is a country of sausages is an indisputable fact; There are fresh and dried, sweet and spicy, and each region has its own characteristics: from Pamplona, ​​Leon, Canary Islands, Rioja, Asturias or Galicia and others. Chorizo ​​in Spain is the protagonist of hearty sandwiches, appetizers, traditional dishes and the biggest guarrindongads. Chorizo ​​is pure umami and fat, which is why it is loved not only here but also beyond.

Wherever we see it, from such humble origins, chorizo ​​has been the protagonist of great gastronomic controversy internationally and, I would say, of somewhat dubious morality. We didn’t waste time criticizing international chefs over and over again for overusing chorizo ​​in any Spanish dish, but we also didn’t waste time putting it between two Chiquilín cookies with a dash of mayonnaise or in a Nutella and stay as wide. as if one were less sacrilegious than the other.

Anyway; We are not here for a moral debate, but to tell the great truth that chorizo ​​- decent quality – can improve many dishes. Although it is not recommended to abuse it, its fat and its strong flavors and aromas; especially with paprika, they manage to add extra joy to a variety of dishes, traditional or not, from legumes, vegetables, pasta and more.

Vegetables

Numerous bean dishes from a traditional Spanish recipe book have chorizo ​​on the ingredient list: classic lentils, bean stew, practically all stews, Rioja-style chickpeas – and I take the opportunity to name potatoes -, Canarian ranch and long pr. be sure to stick with the traditional, many bean dishes can be improved by adding a little chorizo ​​without having to cook for hours.

A good example is this recipe for Lentils with Potatoes and Parsnips, where Monica Escudero, its creator, adds Creole-style chorizo, more tender and milder than cured, and finishes the dish with pickled onions and chili peppers. I didn’t get to try his creation, but I’m betting that the contrast between the sweetness of the parsnips and the acidity of the pickles and peppers harmonizes perfectly with the fatness of the chorizo.

Similarly, I will not hesitate to play with other combinations or adapt other recipes: saute some chard with a few diced chorizo ​​and a little minced garlic and mix them with boiled chickpeas (with or without broth), add chorizo ​​to the fried onions and garlic from these beans with pumpkin, or make the same recipe with lentils, replace the sobrasada of these beans with Raquel Bernácer’s tomatoes for chorizo, or even fry thin slices of chorizo ​​along with the beans in this recipe with green beans and garlic.

The possibilities are endless, and for those of you who put your hands on your head thinking about the fat we add when we add chorizo ​​to the pot, I want to say two things: on the one hand, you don’t need to add a large amount, a small piece is enough , to add flavor and not overlap the rest of the ingredients; on the other hand, chorizo ​​can be boiled separately for a few minutes to reduce the amount of fat, as described in this recipe for homemade beans with Iberian bacon and chorizo.

pasta and rice

When we talk about pasta, the formula is simple: pasta + chorizo ​​= pasta with chorizo. You can cook them the way they’ve always been done – adding tomato sauce and chorizo ​​to cooked pasta – or the way Ana Vega cooked them. Biscayenne -as well as Miquel López Iturriaga during his imprisonment-, cooking pasta right in the sauce. In addition to this ode to childhood, you can add chorizo, fresh or not, to pasta sauce in a casserole, fideua or dry rice – don’t worry, not paella – tomato sauce to any pasta or polenta dish or pasta gratin.

While looking for ideas to write this article among cookbooks, I came across two recipes that caught my attention. First, some fettuccine with clams and chorizo ​​from David de Jorge (Robin Food). Mixing a marine ingredient with chorizo ​​is not something I would do innately, but I have no doubt that the combination works. Second, recipe for pasta carbonara with chorizo ​​and chickpeas in the book prepare this book American cook Molly Baz. In addition to arguing about what carbonara is and what is not, the American chef’s recipe works and is prepared as follows: while boiling water for boiling half a kilo of pasta and we cook it, mix 4 yolks and 1 egg with 60 g of grated parmesan (for the final part of the grater ).

Separately cut 100g of chorizo ​​into small cubes and fry in 3 tablespoons of olive oil along with 400g of boiled chickpeas until golden and slightly crispy. Season with freshly ground black pepper and remove from heat. Add 125 ml (half a cup) of the pasta water to the egg-cheese mixture and mix well. Add the cooked pasta and another 125ml of cooking water to the pan with the chorizo ​​and chickpeas, add the egg and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, to make a creamy sauce. Finish with the zest of half a lemon and serve on top with grated Parmesan and black pepper.

Bread and other dough

The success of choripan, migas, bollo preñao or chorizo ​​sandwich, regardless of their additions, shows that bread and chorizo ​​produce good results when they are together. But we go a little further: we can add chorizo ​​to a warm melted cheese sandwich with its crispy bread, or take advantage of the power of spicy chorizo ​​flavor to pair it with mild cheese like mato or cottage cheese, honey and some fresh thyme, as in a hot sandwich. , and in a sandwich with a good loaf of bread.

Speaking of sandwiches, I think it’s important to highlight the wide range of guarrindongadas – more elegant and less elegant – that exist when chorizos are paired with bread. Book Over 999 no-nonsense recipes David de Jorge and Martín Berasategui compile some of them, such as the Amaia sandwich with York and Nocilla ham, the Willy sandwich “with pâté spread over two loaves, then sliced ​​chorizo ​​from the strait and at the bottom prize: ounces of white chocolate” and one that seems to me the strangest one, Chiquilín Guarra, and I quote: “Between two Chiquilín cookies, a slice of Pamplona chorizo ​​and a good ball of mayonnaise. Sickening to read, but a good mix. Man, this isn’t a fountain, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’m not here to judge anyone.

Apart from the gastronomic creativity of the Spanish houses, we can also see chorizo ​​pairing well with other types of dough such as pizza – the most common being the misnomer “pepperoni pizza” but it can be added to others such as this with turnip tops, which Anna teaches Mayer on her blog Panepanna-; tacos, for example, these campechanos with fresh chorizo ​​and veal brisket; or some quesadillas to which you can add spicy chorizo ​​taquitos along with cheese.

eggs

Scrambled eggs with french fries and chorizo…what a treat, right? well there is more ovo recipes are possible and perhaps slightly less burdensome to prepare, such as Ana Vega’s “Biscayen” flamenco eggs or shakshuka. How to cook the last one? It’s simple: in a pan, make a sauce of half an onion, a clove of garlic, half a red pepper and 50 g of diced spicy chorizo ​​(you can use your own chorizo ​​fat and add a little oil if necessary). Once the peppers are soft, add 400g chopped canned tomatoes, season with salt (the chorizo ​​is already salty), pepper and cumin and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Make two or three holes and pour an egg into each of them, cook over low heat under a lid to the desired point and serve with croutons and cilantro, parsley or fresh herbs, which you like best.

Vegetables

Some vegetables can be given a little life by adding chorizo. Some examples: sauté a clove of minced or flaked garlic with a few diced chorizo ​​in its own fat, add some chard or fresh spinach and sauté them – this also works with pre-blanched cabbage, julienned or Brussels sprouts; make a version of peas with ham, replacing the last chorizo; crumble and dry fresh chorizo ​​over very low heat to make a crispy ground, and garnish with vegetable cream, mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, or boiled artichokes.

Other drugs

When Monica Escudero told me that “it might sound dirty, but the bechamel chorizo ​​is great,” my gastronomic curiosity swept over me and I had no choice but to try it. And yes, dear friends, it’s great. There is a mixture of flavors that no one expects will work – milk and chorizo!? – but the sweetness and softness of the béchamel is perfect for the sausage in question.

This means that you can cook béchamel straight with chorizo ​​fat, without the need for butter or vegetable oil (unless you’re looking for a thicker béchamel), and use it in pasta dishes, in potato or vegetable pies, in some baked vegetables such as like artichokes or foam, or in some croquettes. And here’s the last chorizo ​​suggestion of the day: The next time you’re making hamburgers, add a piece of crumbled chorizo, not too cured, to the meat mixture and you’ll see how the flavor intensifies. No problem.

Chorizo ​​taste without chorizo

It’s not because you don’t eat meat that you should be missing out on the good taste of chorizo. It’s probably hard to achieve exactly the same effect, but there are options like Calabiso, vegan chorizo, or Heura in a less aged version that are perfect. If you don’t have access to this type of product, you can always mimic the flavor with paprika – smoked, sweet and/or spicy -, salt, garlic and/or onions, and fried carrots or pumpkins, for example, to keep them hydrated. and get better..

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