Chorizo recipes

The Thing About Chorizo

May 7, 2010 · 25 comments

The thing about chorizo is, when it’s good, it’s big, smoky, spicy, eyes-to-the-back-of-your-head good.

When it’s bad, it’s crusty, greasy, day-old 7-Eleven hot dog bad. Uck.

There are lots of things that fit this category – shrimp, pizza, tomatoes, burgers, fish and chips, mixed drinks – the kind of stuff you can’t stop eating when it’s good. But when it’s not good, even the thought can make you gag a little.

Chorizo especially. Locally made Spanish-style chorizo is by far my favorite. Dried and aged, you’ll usually find it on a plate with other charcuterie – but you can cook with it too. I sautéed sugar snap peas, red spring onions and Fatted Calf chorizo, drizzled it with cilantro-lime oil, and soaked up the juices with slices of a brick-oven baguette. Please don’t make this with pre-packaged, gooey Mexican chorizo. If you do, you’ll never come back to Local Lemons. You’ll think all of my recipes are big heaping piles of dirty grease. And they’re not. Really, I swear! (And, Mexican chorizo is raw, Spanish is cooked. A good thing to remember…)

Okay, off topic for a second. How many of you have ever written a business plan? It’s hard, right? All week Erin and I slaved away, devising our executive summary, market analysis, marketing plan, calculating our 3-year financial projections and break-even point. I am suddenly very happy about that master’s in Marketing I almost finished at NYU. (Almost? I know, it’s a long story).

So here’s where we are: We bought a commercial space, paid for it in cash, and are seeking a loan for the build-out (hence, a super-tight business plan). Ideally, we’d find a private investor. A person, not a bank. Someone excited about getting behind our idea. Someone who looks at our business plan and sees the profitability, but also sees the passion, creativity and ambition. Plus, we can secure the loan by using the property as collateral, and we’re offering a high interest rate. If you’re interested, let me know. We’re looking for something between $150,000 – $200,000.

Somewhere between defining our target audience and writing the management profile, I strolled around the farmers’ market, letting my eyes adjust to life beyond a computer screen. Sugar snap peas, asparagus, strawberries, spring onions, fresh herbs, live music and a New Orlean’s style iced coffee from Blue Bottle. I got home, and this plate was on the table minutes later. Serve it over pasta or rice for a more substantive meal, or just clean your plate with slices of soft bread.

Chorizo and Snap Peas with Cilantro-Lime Olive Oil

The amount will depend on how many people, but use at least twice as much snap peas than chorizo.

1 pound snap peas
1/3 – 1/2 pound dried, Spanish-style chorizo, sliced thin
3 spring red onions, sliced thin, dark green parts removed
1 fresh baguette, sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil

Dressing:
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Zest and juice from half a lime
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil to coat the pan. When hot but not smoking, add the sugar snap peas. Cook for 2 minutes, shake the pan around, and cook for 3 more minutes. They should be bright green, a tad charred, and a little “puffed.” Add the onions and chorizo, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until onions start to brown.

Dressing:
Combine zest, juice and salt in a bowl Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking. Drizzle on top of snap peas and chorizo before serving, with bread on the side.

Where I Shopped:
Dried chorizo: Fatted Calf, Saturday Berkeley Farmers’ Market
Spring onions, cilantro, sugar snap peas, Brickmaiden baguette: Tuesday Berkeley Farmers’ Market

Everyone! Congratulate Aleks for winning the giveaway! Thank you for your comments, they were all super good ideas, and I’m sure we will incorporate many of them. You can come by and say, “Hey, that was my idea!”

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

arugulove May 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

This looks so good. I love spring peas, plus I am convinced that Fatted Calf was put here on this earth by angels. Must buy ingredients tomorrow.

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Claudia Hanson May 8, 2010 at 8:10 am

Perfect! I’m going to make this for Mother’s Day tomorrow. Thanks for another great post!

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Kel May 8, 2010 at 9:20 am

I am now on a quest to find Spanish chorizo! This looks amazing!

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Suzanne Sanders May 8, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I love chorizo.. discovered it in Spain, but so hard to find in some cities (and you are right the Mexican pre-packaged stuff is not the same…for awhile living in Dallas, I had gotten this thinking it was the real thing. How disappointed I was!). Thankfully we live in NY now where it is easy to find. Wonderful to pair with your sangria recipe last week!

I wish we had money to invest! Good luck on finding your angel! (I can’t believe you bought that space with cash. That is so awesome)

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Lea Ann May 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I’ve not been able to find Spanish Chorizo in Denver. I’m sure it exists somewhere. I agree, I’m so picky about a good chorizo. The bad stuff is a disaster!

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sippitysup May 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I love it when you mix your metaphors. Spanish chorizo Chinese snow peas. Yea! GREG

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Chez Us May 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I love that you cooked the chorizo with sugar snap peas. I have never thought of doing that. I have tried it with favas, peas, potatoes and greens; but, sugar snaps never crossed my mind. It looks and sounds delicious!

I grew up eating Basque Chorizo, which is not dried and you have to cook it; but, it is not slimy like the Mexican ones you get in the stores out here. I remember the first time I bought the Mexican version, it definitely was a gag moment. Portuguese chorizo is even different from Basque and Mexican versions. It has a chunky texture and is spicier. But, the problem is, both versions are very hard to find around the Bay Area. We so need to start making it!

Wish I had 150K to invest – definitely believe in what you are doing and am there to back you with lots of support!!! Good luck!

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Maggie May 10, 2010 at 10:41 am

It’s so exciting to follow your restaurant progress…hope the money comes through soon! I wonder if you could fund some of it on Kickstarter…a friend of mine does film funding that way…

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Angela@spinachtiger May 10, 2010 at 11:44 am

I have never liked chorizo. Now I know why and this will help me change my mind, especially pairing with some nice green food and citrus to cut through the grease.

Good luck with your business venture. It’s exciting and scary I’m sure.

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The Food Hunter May 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I have yet to find a chorizo I like…I wonder if it’s me or I just haven’t found the right one yet.

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Lynne May 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Fatted Calf also makes a delicious, non-greasy Mexican/fresh chorizo that goes well with all kinds of things—potatoes, mussels, risotto, butter beans, chickpeas, kale, fennel, tacos, eggs. You should try it; it might change your mind about Mexican chorizo.

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie May 11, 2010 at 7:10 am

Mmm chorizo! I grew up having it with eggs and seriously it’s nostalgic to me now.

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Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen May 11, 2010 at 7:55 am

This is an awesome combination! Looks scrumptious! :)

Good luck with your business plan!

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Bobi May 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

That chorizo looks delicious , I love the whole combination especially the way you made the bread ! I agree with Lynne Fatted Calf does make good chorizo.

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Allison Lemons May 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Hi Bobi, thanks for the comment! I feel bad, I should clarify. I didn’t mean to say all Mexican chorizo is bad. I haven’t tried the one from Fatted Calf, but I’m sure it’s delicious. My butcher also makes mean homemade Mexican chorizo. The chorizo I try to stay away from is the pre-packaged supermarket chorizo – you know, the one that’s usually a scary shade of orange…

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Kathy May 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm

This recipes looks delicious! I just had the pleasure of trying some fresh made Basque Chorizo the other day. Oh, my gosh, it was amazing!! It’s probably the best sausage of that type I’ve ever had ( gave up mexican chorizo a long time ago and have been using Soyrizo in it’s place). So, I bought a pound of the Chorizo and brought it home. I can’t get fresh snap peas at this time of year where I live – got any other recipe ideas you can share? I was thinking it would be good cooked into a pasta or rice dish but I am open to any kind of main dish (dinner). Thanks!

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Tiffany Rosenberger May 19, 2010 at 10:14 am

I completely agree with you on your stance with Chorizo. Dry and aged is the best! Love your pictures!

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Sharon Harvey May 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

This looks divine! I’m going to see if I can get dried chorizo at the Charleston, SC farmers market and will try out the recipe over the long weekend!

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john onoda July 18, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I like chorizo. My barber in Moraga has been making his own chorizo for a long time and has recently come out with a commercial version sold at some high-end grocers in the East Bay. His name is Elroy Motta and he named his chorizo Poppa Motta’s, after his father, whose picture is on the package. While Elroy perfected his chorizo recipe, he gave samples to his customers, so a lot of us gave him input. Check it out!

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Theresa September 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

Did anyone find Portuguese Chorizo in Charleston SC? I have several receipes I would like to try appreciate the advice of using true ingredients.

Theresa

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Judy September 23, 2010 at 11:28 pm

this is a beautiful recipe, reminds me of summer. Summer in Spain. of which i’ve never been, but it’s a great idea. just like this recipe. can’t wait to try it with home made baguette from your bacon and trout post!

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