Posts Tagged ‘chorizo’

Potato & Chorizo Taquitos

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Taquitos are something that I’d never considered making or even as a real food until I saw this recipe in Everyday with Rachael Ray. The only way I’d ever seen taquitos was in a box from the freezer. The recipe looked manageable enough, and I was excited to try it.

I’m glad I did. They were easier than you’d think to make, and delicious. So much more crispy and fresh-tasting than the kind that come from a box.  We had these for dinner, but they’d make an awesome appetizer. Just serve with some salsa and sour cream.

Potato and Chorizo Taquitos
Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

Ingredients:

  • 1 baking potato, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 7 ounces Mexican chorizo (about 2 links), casings discarded
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons diced green chiles from a can
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 18 corn tortillas

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, add the potato and enough salted water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender, about 20 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking it up, until browned, about 3 minutes; mash into the potatoes. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet along with the onion, tomato, roasted pepper and chile; season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Stir into the potato mixture along with the cheese and cilantro.
  3. Fill a large, deep skillet with enough oil to reach a depth of 3/4 inch and heat over medium-high heat. Microwave the tortillas in a sealed plastic bag for 25 seconds. Roll up 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in each tortilla. Add to the oil seam side down; repeat until the pan is full. Fry, turning once, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes; drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.

Chorizo Tacos

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

This might be the closest thing I have to a “secret family recipe” to share with you all. There are plenty of meals that I make just like I grew up with, but I don’t necessarily think that they involve secrets or tips that other people don’t already use. Chorizo is a great ingredient, and I don’t think enough people are using it.

The chorizo that I’m talking about here is the mexican kind. (There’s also Spanish chorizo out there–it’s hard, like salami or pepperoni) The mexican chorizo, on the other hand, is soft and crumbly, a spicy pork sausage that you can find at nearly every grocery store, near the bratwurst and other sausages. I like to mix it with equal parts ground beef, ground pork, or ground turkey to make tacos–it adds a whole new level of flavor. It’s more than just heat, though chorizo-based tacos are spicier. The chorizo imparts this intense mexican flavor. Once you try tacos like these, you won’t want to go back!

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Chorizo Tacos

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound chorizo mexican sausage
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix
  • tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, or whatever you like on your tacos!
  • taco shells (soft shells or hard shells, whichever you like)

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the chorizo. It will be very crumbly and will render lots of fat. That’s okay. Once the chorizo is mostly cooked, about 10 minutes or so, add the ground beef and continue cooking until browned.

2. In the meantime, prepare your taco shells and other fixings. Hard shells require several minutes in the oven, so don’t forget to preheat.

3. When the meat is cooked through, drain the mixture thoroughly. You want to get as much of the extra fat out as you can, or the tacos will be way too greasy. I don’t like to go so far as to rinse the meat, because you rinse flavor away with the extra grease, but I do use a paper towel to soak up as much as I can. Return to the skillet and follow the directions for your taco seasoning. Even though you’ll have about 2 pounds of meat at this point, you only want to use enough taco seasoning for one pound. Remember: the chorizo half of the meat brought it’s own flavor.

4. When the meat is finished cooking, you’re done. Let everyone assemble their own delicious tacos. Dig in!

Note: It’s worth saying that while the chorizo is quite a bit fattier than using just ground beef, there are some things you can do to lighten the dish, while still getting tasty tacos. 1) I’ve substituted Soyrizo successfully–barely noticed a difference. You’ve probably noticed we’re not much for vegetarian dishes around here. I wouldn’t recommend the Soyrizo if it wasn’t good. 2) The chorizo brings plenty of fat to the mix, which will let you use a lighter ground meat without risking a dry meat mixture. Feel free to use the leanest ground beef you have, or even ground turkey or ground chicken. 3) Even 1/2 pound of chorizo to a full pound of turkey or lean beef makes a difference in the flavor. Feel free to experiment to find your favorite combination.

Spicy Taco Burgers with Pico de Gallo

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

The idea for this burger came to me during a discussion about Mexican Risotto and Chorizo. Aside from the Mexican Risotto, my family uses Chorizo as the basis for our taco meat, and has for years. It adds a heat and a flavor that you won’t find in any spice packet. I was trying to think of something new I could make, and that’s when the idea of the taco burger came to me. The burger is made with a combination of Chorizo and ground beef. We topped these burgers with homemade pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, and a little bit of sour cream in place of the traditional ketchup/mustard/pickles. And the results were pretty tasty.

Taco Burgers

For burgers:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb mexican Chorizo
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 1/2 inch chunks of sharp cheddar cheese.

For toppings:

1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients and then season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until the ground beef and chorizo have thoroughly mixed. Let rest for about 15 minutes, to let the flavors meld. (I used this time to prepare the pico de gallo and other toppings)

2. Cut a portion of the cheese into 1/2 inch thick chunks, about the size of two postage stamps across.

3. Begin to form patties from the hamburger mixture, pressing a chunk of cheese into the center of each patty and then molding the patty around it so that the cheese forms the center of the burger.

4. Divide the meat mixture into 8 equal sized patties and cook the burgers. These could be grilled, if you use clean, oiled grill grates to avoid sticking, but here in Chicago, in January, I cooked these on the stove, using our grill pan. (Similar to the one you see here). It took about 8 minutes on each side to cook these burgers thoroughly. I lightly oiled the grill pan, to avoid sticking. Remember, the Chorizo is pork, and needs to be cooked through completely–longer than you might cook your burgers normally. You won’t overcook the beef, though. The spicy pork sausage brings plenty of moisture to the burger.

5. Serve on toasted buns with pico de gallo or salsa, shredded lettuce, cheese, and sour cream.

Note: These flavors were really, really good. I had a little bit of a problem with the burgers holding together in the cooking process. I believe I could fix that next time by using something to bind them–right now, I’m imagining a little bit of egg and tortilla chips crushed to crumbs in the food processor instead of bread crumbs. Even with the burgers threatening to crumble at the edges, they were still delicious and pretty simple to make. I’ll definitely be trying these again.

P.S. I know I’ve used it here before, but remember, Chorizo is a spicy mexican sausage. You can get it in most regular grocery stores, usually in the meat case with other sausages. It brings a salty flavor to the dish, so go easy on the salt. Spanish style chorizo is also available at some stores, but for this, you want the mexican style. The Spanish Chorizo is cured and smoked, and has a pepperoni-like texture. Mexican Chorizo is an entirely different thing.

“Recipe” for Pico de Gallo

The word “recipe” is in quotes because this is more of a method than a true recipe. Pico is one of those things that can be “right” twelve different ways, and is really dependent on how you want it to taste. So here’s what I did, and feel free to make adjustments to the amount of ingredients as you go.

  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1-2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, onion, and 1/2 of the jalapeno in a small mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice and fresh cilantro. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for about 3-5 minutes to let the flavors meld, and then taste again. Add more lime juice, cilantro, or jalapeno, as desired. Sometimes, a pinch of sugar (1/4 teaspoon) can help to tone down the acidity of winter tomatoes.

Note: I skipped the jalapeno. If you like spicy, add as much as you like.

Mexican Risotto

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

David and I have been making risotto for a long time. It’s one of those things that impresses non-cooking people, just by the sound of it, but it’s really not that hard to make at all. It just requires a little bit of attention. We make a more basic risotto that is delicious, with the traditional Parmesan cheese, but I’ve also developed a few variations on that theme, and this is one of them.

This risotto is just as creamy as the traditional kind, with added bite from the sharp cheddar cheese and added spice from the spicy mexican sausage. I put a little sour cream on mine, but that’s not necessary, I suppose (David skips it). This really turns out to be a like spicy Mexican Macaroni and Cheese. Yum.

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Mexican Risotto

  • 3.5 Cups Chicken Stock or Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 C. white wine
  • 1 Cup of sharp cheddar cheese (I prefer Tillamook’s Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar, it’s not hard for us to go through a pound a week of this stuff!).
  • 1/2 Pound Mexican Chorizo Sausage
  • 1 Cup Arborio rice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil.
  2. Saute chorizo with garlic in a medium skillet, until cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Drain and put aside, reserving about a tablespoon of the chorizo drippings in the skillet.
  3. In the same skillet, add arborio rice and cook over medium high heat until grains start to turn translucent and shiny at the edges. The chorizo drippings will give everything kind of an orange tinge. You want to make sure that all of the grains of rice get coated, so if there’s not enough fat from the chorizo (and there should be), you can always add a teaspoon or so of extra virgin olive oil, or just save a little more of the drippings from the fried sausage. Don’t add too much–coating the rice is good, but extra grease will make the final dish extra greasy.
  4. Begin to add chicken stock mixture, one or two ladles at a time, until the rice will no longer absorb the liquid. The rice should have a creamy texture and be tender, with a little bit of bite to it (just slightly al dente).
  5. When rice is finished cooking, remove from heat, and stir in cheese and cooked sausage. Serve immediately, with sour cream if desired.
Note: Try this one, you won’t be disappointed. It does come out a bit spicy though, from the chorizo, so if spicy isn’t your thing (Sarah), I don’t recommend this. It’s a subtle heat, though, so as long as you don’t hate spicy things, you’ll be able to handle it.
Chorizo, if you aren’t familiar, is a spicy mexican sausage. You can get it in most regular grocery stores, usually in the meat case with other sausages like bratwurst and italian sausage. It’s made from pork, and we also use it in our taco meat, combining it with ground beef. Cut it out of the casings and brown it just like you would ground beef, just know that it takes a little longer than ground beef would to cook through. It brings a salty flavor to the dish, so go easy on the salt until you’ve tasted things. Spanish style chorizo is also available at some stores, but for this, you want the mexican style. The Spanish chorizo is cured and smoked, and has a pepperoni-like texture. Mexican chorizo is an entirely different thing.
We serve this as a main dish, but if you cut down on the meat, it could probably be a side dish just as easily.