Cinco de Chorizo…Or How to Not to Learn Spanish
Mierda. Cabron. Cojeme. Que chingados! Me cago en la leche!
I had this whole wonderful post written up about Cinco de Mayo and then had an issue with my server. (Not my server at a restaurant….my website server.)
I am not a computer whiz so this gets me really frustrated fast. I was trying to entertain myself while waiting for tech help to answer and I looked up some Spanish swear words. (See above.)
I then started to think to myself “How did I not learn any words after two years in Spanish class in high school?” (I did remember the word baño because it means bathroom…and that really shouldn’t need any other explanation in any language.)
To be fair to myself, it wasn’t really two years. I had a lot of sick days my first two years of high school so I wasn’t really in class very much. I mean one day we’d be conjugating verbs and the next time I was in class people were throwing around insults about su madre. (I don’t think “Yo’ Mama jokes were part of the curriculum but we can all admit that they are funny in any language.)
The schools “tried” to give me adequate homework equivalents but I’m not sure if translating Menudo lyrics was really the same as conversational Spanish in class.
With that said, I probably learned the most about Spanish words by reading a Mexican restaurant menu. I knew that suiza meant cheese and caliente meant hot. It also helped that there were sometimes pictures to go with the words and that is also very helpful. I never learned what “Impreso en papel reciclado” meant but it sure sounded good. (If you put that sentence in your English to Spanish translator….you should be laughing hysterically right now.)
So, my post (which will not have a picture today because that is still one technical glitch I need to work on this week) was supposed to talk about homemade chorizo. Chorizo is a pork sausage common in a lot of different cuisines like Spanish, Mexican, Portuguese and Filipino. From what I have learned over the years it can be made smoked and cured so it can be eaten without being cooked. (Think of it like pepperoni.)
But today I am going to talk about making the “ground” chorizo that you can make at home. It is actually super easy to get an “authentic” taste and jazz up your favorite Mexican American dishes. (You can add it to your nachos, tacos, enchiladas, tostadas and even your eggs!)
I’ve gone rogue a few times and made it with ground turkey or ground chicken for you folks who don’t like pork. (Not liking pork is like not liking the sol in my book…but that is a discussion for a different day.) It probably isn’t called chorizo anymore maybe we can call it “faux”rizo.
There are a couple of keys to making it taste wonderful…..don’t be afraid to add the spices slowly until you know what you like. I learned a trick in a sausage class where you mix up your meat and then take a tiny piece out and cook it quickly in a pan. It is a great way to taste it as you go and learn what you want your chorizo to taste like.
The next key is to use GOOD smoked paprika. This is not the time to pull out that bottle you sprinkle on your devilled eggs or the one that has been hanging on your spice rack since 1998. Look for Spanish paprika in the market or my favorite is from La Tienda.
Finally, you have to really mix in the spices. If you have a food processor, a good pulse or two does the trick. I’ve also seen folks hand mix the meat and spices and then put it through a meat grinder. If you don’t have either of those devices available, sprinkle on the spices and cut them in with scissors and then mix by hand some more. You can’t overmix it….it isn’t like a meatloaf or a meatball (albondiga)
With all of this said, I do apologize (lo siento) for not having pictures and the delay this week. I have a new computer which is awesome but there are some kinks (kinkos) I am still working out with the blog. (I should also apologize for any Spanish words that I did not use correctly or that I made up.)
1 pound of ground pork (preferable) but you can use ground turkey or chicken (I have tried it with beef and did not like the flavor as much)
Approximately 2 Tbsp SMOKED paprika
1 tsp ground garlic1 tsp oregano (if you have the Mexican oregano, use that)
1 tsp coriander
dash of cumin
Add all ingredients to either a large bowl and mix or your food processor and pulse.Remember make sure it is REALLY incorporated. I usually just brown up my chorizo and add it to whatever Mexican American cuisine I’m making. Buen provecho!!!