16 March 2014

21 Ways Chorizo can Enhance your Life!

Cooking and eating is more fun if you always keep in stock, as I do, a few long keeping ingredients that you love and which can used to add deliciousness to your spontaneous (or routine) creations.



I often turn to chorizo, actually a recent addition to my stores which is turning out to be invaluable. A pack of about 30 slices from Tesco costs £1.20 and the pack I bought a couple of weeks ago, at least, is dated “use by 6th April” so that’s about 5 weeks shelf life. Mostly I only use 2 or 3 slices at a time to enhance my dishes so that’s about 10 meals for lucky old me (my real man being so conservative in his tastes).

Here are 21 of the many ways I have enjoyed chorizo  …


1.   When sautéing potatoes crispen a little chopped or shredded chorizo in the oil first then set it aside whist cooking the potatoes and stir back in towards the end

2.   Add to pizza, this is one I ate earlier topped with roasted butternut squash  (incidentally, the charred bits are on purpose!) and chorizo.




3.   Add to pasta dishes, obviously, either by cooking it into the sauce or adding to a bake. Ditto for gnocchi.

4.   Mix finely chopped chorizo into breadcrumbs to top a gratin.

5.   Chorizo Croutons 


Tear bread into pieces (better than dicing as you get lots of crispy points and edges), toss with a little shredded chorizo, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in a hot oven for a few minutes till crisp.  Good with both soups and salads. See here for lots of useful tips when making croutons.

6.   Many egg dishes benefit from a smoky spicy addition, add a little to omelettes, frittatas or scrambled eggs, baked eggs  and, of course, Spanish Omelette.

7.   White Fish with Beans and Chorizo


Finely chop a small red onion and soften in a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add come coarsely chopped chorizo and continue to cook till they have exuded some pretty red oil.  Now toss in diced white fish (cod or haddock or even monkfish if you are that lucky) and turn in the oil to colour. Add a few spoons of cannellini beans, a splash of white wine and 2 or 3 tablespoons of chopped tinned tomatoes (with chilli are good). Simmer all together till the fish is tender.  I love this topped with roasted garlic mayonnaise (something else I always have in stock, sometimes homemade, sometimes bought in).

This recipe is the meal I alluded to when interviewed by The Independent (I’m very slightly almost coming up to might be a bit famous one day!) 


8.   Baked Chicken with Chorizo and Tomatoes


~    Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC/180C fan/gas 6
~    Toss together chicken pieces (eg. thighs, drumsticks, quarters etc.), diced red onion, garlic, a little olive oil, salt, pepper and coarsely chopped chorizo. 
~   Roast till the chicken is tender and brown. 

    Tomatoes are also good in this so maybe add few cherry tomatoes for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

9.   I used to make a fabulous pork burger (basically just minced raw pork seasoned and formed into a burger) into which I munged a lot of crispy bits of bacon. I recently discovered that this is just as good with crisp bits of chorizo!

10. When making Bubble and Squeak or other hash gently fry some chorizo in a little oil to start the dish, it will release some delicious red oil.  Set the chorizo aside, make the hash in the pan and add the crispy set aside bits of chorizo at the end.  Try sweet potato and chorizo hash with salmon (for instance)!

11.  Chorizo Butter


Mix finely chopped chorizo and red onion into soft butter together flavourings of your choice (for instance garlic, orange zest, black pepper, paprika) and see here for lots of info on making and using flavoured butters. Depending on what else you have included try serving pan fried chicken or fish with a couple of slices of chorizo butter melting over it. Mash into jacket potatoes or use the butter to sauté prawns or scallops. Another idea is to make chorizo bread, like garlic bread only different!

12.   With cheese I am partial to sliced tomatoes and a little red onion drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, dribble of balsamic vinegar – that sort of thing.  This is extra special with a slice or two of chorizo chopped into it.


13.  Add some to stuffing for chicken etc.

14.   I think in Britain we tend to think of chorizo as Spanish which, of course it is and should be pronounced tchoreetho (and maybe accompanied by a glass of sherry!). It is also, however, a major player in South American food so add it to nachos, tacos, burritos, quesadillas etc. according to your will and pronounce it tchoreezo.

15.  Add chorizo to bread dough – fry a small red onion, diced, and a few slices of chorizo, shredded, in a dry pan. This is because chorizo is oily and you don’t want to add too my fat to the dough.  When the onion is soft cool a little and then knead into the dough.  Continue with your bread.

16.  Use in paella, of course, and risottos (risotti?).

17.  Chorizo Puffs

       These are a great way use for puff pastry scraps (for more ideas for passtry scraps see here.) 

~     Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC/180C fan/gas 6.
~     Roll out puff pastry and cut into rounds. 
~     Mix together about equal parts of coarsely chopped chorizo an grated cheese (strong cheddar is good).
~    Put a spoonful of this on each pastry round, brush the edge with egg, fold and seal into crescents.



17.  Cheese & Chorizo Bread Pud aka Strata - serves 4


150g stale bread, torn into pieces
4 slices chorizo – shredded
120g grated mature cheddar + a little more
(or other cheese of your choice)
salt and pepper
200ml milk
100ml double cream
3 eggs

~   Put the bread, 120g cheese and chorizo into a greased shallow ovenproof dish, season and toss all together.
~   Whisk together the eggs, milk and cream and pour over the bread mixture pushing the bread under the surface to soak thoroughly.
~   Set aside for half an hour or more (quite a lot more will be fine, even overnight in the fridge).
~   Preheat the oven to 350°F/180ºC/160ºC fan/gas 4
~   Sprinkle the strata thingy with the rest of the grated cheese and bake for 40 minutes until risen, golden and wobbly when nudged.

18.  A little chorizo adds a lovely smokiness to chilli of any persuasion; bean, beef, chicken or turkey.

19.  Salad of course – chorizo is good with cheese, tomatoes, avocado, beans and more so see what you’ve got and take it from there.

20.  Chorizo Oil

lll
1 small red onion – finely chopped
1 crushed clove of garlic
3 slices of chorizo – coarsely chopped
100ml olive oil

~   Gently fry the onion, garlic and chorizo in a tablespoon of the oil till the onion is softening.
~   Stir in the remaining oil and allow to warm through.
~   Cover the pan and set aside to cool and take flavour.
~   Drizzle (with or without the lumps!) on things such as this fine bean soup which I just had for my sudden lunch.



21.  Mussels and Chorizo in Saffron Garlic Broth – serves 4


a pinch of saffron threads
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 finely minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
100g shredded chorizo
120ml chopped tomatoes – the ones with chilli are good here
(tinned or from a carton)
1 kg fresh mussels

~   Firstly toast the saffron threads for a few seconds in a dry pan, this helps it yield more of its expensive flavour and colour.
~   Set the saffron aside, add the olive oil to the pan and soften the onion and garlic in this.
~   Stir in the chorizo and cook a couple of minutes then crumble in the saffron and add 250ml water (or fish stock if you have some) and the tomatoes.
~   Bring to a boil and add the mussels. 
~   Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes by which time the mussels should have opened.  Any that haven’t should be discarded.

Serve with crusty bread, a glass of wine and a grin.

Preparing Mussels


This post is long enough so if you need to know how to prepare mussels go here and the lovely people from Waitrose will explain it to you. 




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3 comments:

Sue said...

Wow, so many uses for this.

I have heard that there is a vegetarian version (although I have no idea what they make it out of), I'll have to keep my eyes open for it and then I can use some of your ideas :-)

CharlotteP said...

That's amazing...wonder if Aldi sells it!

Suzy Bowler said...

Surely, surely they must!