Sunday, 8 May 2011

Homemade Mexican Chorizo

Canada is a mosaic. We have a lot of different peoples living here and that is awesome. Don't get me wrong, I am not your warm and fuzzy let's-all-love-each-other kinda person. Okay, maybe after a couple glasses of wine.. but really I see diversity as a way of broadening my palate. It's all about the food, babe.

What we are lacking here, especially in my neighbourhood, is Latin representation. Too cold up here? Maybe. But I long for a good little Mexican market.

The internet has introduced me to so much, really expanded my cooking repertoire - but I envy the US and their easy accessibility to cool Mexican ingredients.

Often when I do spy something posing as Mexican, it is usually a lightly spiced impostor. Take Mexican chorizo for example. When I do find it at the butcher, it is generally a mildly jalapeno-spiced sausage. Hardly even discernible from the Italian.

So my good friend Heather challenged me to make my own. And taste authentic Mexican chorizo for the first time. What a revelation! So deeply flavoured, it is used as a component of a dish - as a flavouring agent.
It is powerfully flavourful indeed. And wonderful. And I am so glad Heather posed this challenge this month!

Homemade Mexican Chorizo
adapted from Antojitos via girlichef
yield: ~1 1/2 lb.

3 chiles de árbol
7 pasilla chiles
1/2 c. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. white vinegar
1 Tbs. kosher salt
2 tsp. cumin, ground
2 tsp. Mexican oregano, dried
1 1/2 tsp. cloves, ground
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 lb. ground pork

Layer the chiles, onion, and garlic in a non-reactive bowl or shallow dish.  Add the bay leaf.  Pour in the vinegar and cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap.  Set aside, at room temp, for 1 hour.

Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Transfer the chile-vinegar mixture to a blender and process to form a rough paste.  If it is too thick to move easily through the blender, add ~1 Tbs. of water at a time 'til it moves freely.

In a bowl, mix together the chile paste, salt, cumin, oregano, cloves, & pepper.  Add the pork and mix until the paste and spices are evenly distributed.

Put the raw chorizo in a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 5 days.  If keeping longer than 5 days, transfer to freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

*If you want to test for seasoning before letting it age in the fridge, simply cook a little blob in a skillet and taste the cooked product.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.
How I served up my chorizo:

I sautéed some of the chorizo up in some olive oil until cooked through, then added 4 beaten eggs thinned with a little milk. (Standard scrambled egg mixture, seasoned with a little S&P).
When cooked, I spread it out on 6 tostadas laid out on a baking sheet. I topped the meat with diced zucchini sautéed in olive oil with garlic and a pinch of kosher salt.
Topped with shredded mozzarella and broiled until melty.
Then I sprinkled on some spring onion, thinly sliced radish and cilantro.
Then we gobbled those babies down.