Thursday, November 19, 2015

C: Chipotle and Chorizo

I seem to be moving along the spice-meat lines here with this alphabet challenge.  Alas.

Today's kitchen experimentations involve ingredients which have become more mainstream over the last few years.  One has been recently taken over a big damned fast-food franchise (which shall remain nameless) and one IS the name of another big, damned food franchise.

I'm going to set the record straight.  In that relatively ignorant manner in which international foods are talked about by Americans who may or may not know what they're talking about.  Moderation, people, is the key here.  That, and don't believe everything you read.

Honestly, try to sort of believe everything you read here.  I try to keep it legit.  It's just, well, chorizo and chipotle are foods native to a culture that I am not...so I won't claim to be an expert.  Long time learner, folks.

Here in my hometown, there's a sweet, sweet, sweet, authentic taco truck...and they offer chorizo as one of the fillings in their burritos, tacos, or tortas.  If this place didn't offer lengua (tongue), I'd be all over the chorizo.  I first became familiar with this Spanish-originated sausage in culinary school...so I've only really been intimate with it - oh, three or four years?  (Good gravy, that is by far the most perverted thing I think I've ever typed on my blog)

Chorizo is typially a pork product.  And it's Spanish, and those guys use everything.  Pork fat, pork parts, etc. If you buy chorizo in Iowa at your everyday grocery store, the odds are good you'll pick up a brand called Cacique...and the ingredient list will look like this:


Not sure what soy flour is doing in there, but alas, it's par for the course around here.  It's a tough thing...chorizo is gaining popularity with us Midwesterners, but to just import it from Spain to southeast Iowa?  Yeah, not going to happen, unless I want to pay A LOT of pesos.  Which a.) I don't and b.) I can't, because no les tengo, if you catch my meaning.

So, leave to the you-know-whats at McDonald's to capitalize on this new food trend.  Chorizo burritos.  Which...incidentally, sound incredible, right? Yummy, spicy pork bits with scrambled egg cheese and a tortilla?

But, not from McDonald's, friends.  NOT from there.  Usually, when I go to a Mexican place, I'll order the Huevos con Chorizo, and they'll include the tortillas.  And that, readers, is the way to get your chorizo burritos.

But I digress.

Here's what I did with my tube of Pork Salivary Glands.  I took Justin Chapple's recipe for Cheater Chorizo Burger, and left out the vinegar and hot paprika (still went with Spanish paprika, though).  After softening up a diced onion and minced garlic in medium-heated olive oil, I added only a pound of ground pork and the above tube of "chorizo" before I added all those spices listed in the recipe and let it brown up.  And then, guess what?  I found a half-open can of...

in my refrigerator.  So, I minced the peppers left in the can and added them (sauce too) to my spicy meat mix.  As a psuedo-journalist, it would be remiss of me not to mention that I really did not just brainstorm this amazing, spicy combination all by myself.  I used the chipotles because they began with the letter 'C', and appropriate for today's blog post.


Then, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of black beans, a can of dark red kidney beans went into the mess.  A pinch of salt later, I tossed the entire pot into my crockpot to stay warm for dinnertime.

The youngest tester said it was "pretty" spicy.  However, he managed to choke it down after diluting the spice down with plenty of crackers and cheddar cheese (thus, sullying the purity, sigh).  Nobody else complained, and it was rather enjoyed by all.

And now, off to research the archives (mental and otherwise) for 'D' inspiration!




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