Where have I been???
Goodness but it has been a long time since I have been able to sit down and post! And it is not for lack of trying…or lack of wanting. I feel like I have so much to tell you, and so much I want to do. So many grand plans for this blog, for food, for the kitchen, for cooking, for eating…for doing more of all of that with you.
But, as is the case with real life, there have been many things jumping on my to-do list: big things, little things, urgent things, regular-everyday sort of things…business trips, moving-up days, mountains of work, day-to-day meals to prepare, boo-boos to kiss, date nights, and everything else in between.
In any case…I’ve missed this space so much! Despite inactivity, and the frustration that comes with not being able to come here and blab to my heart’s content, I have never grown tired of this blog. Never. Nor will I. I just love what I have made here. A little nest where I can be myself and go on nauseatingly about the things I like (mostly food…as you know). And although it is true that I made this space for myself (at least originally)…if you would like to come over for a coffee and a chat you are oh so very much welcome.
So…where do we even begin to catch up?
Well. I have been sitting on this recipe for ages. Yes, ages. So even if I was busy doing a million other things, I have been, at least ten times a day, thinking of sharing this with you. Because not only is it relatively easy to make, you can also take this in so many directions.
But first…how did I come by this gem?
I was invited, many months ago, to an event called Spring Brunch and Bellinis put together by the lovely ladies of Bungalow 300. I had long wanted to visit their chic and stylish home store but since it is a ways off from me, I’ve never had the chance. Also, I love brunch. And bellinis. And there was going to be a cooking demo by Sabrina Artadi (of Sabrina’s Kitchen). So I jumped at the invitation.
It was such a lovely morning (that crept luxuriously into the afternoon). Bellinis, as promised, and flowers, and an absolutely gorgeous setting. They also had a very well curated group of purveyors for us to peruse (shopping!): Tuminugan Farm & Hinelaban Coffee (from whom I bought a super delicious honey), Wit’s Sweets & Savories (whose granola I love…the green mango variant is my favorite), Farm to Table (whose grass-fed dairy products were a wonderful discovery…I have their milk delivered to my home to this day!), and of course Bungalow 300 themselves who laid out a beautiful selection of their treasures (which I couldn’t help but sample!).
And then there was the very engaging cooking demo…I had only ever seen Sabrina Artadi on TV before, and let me tell you, in person she is even more charming. She was sweet and super approachable, and you could just tell that she was very passionate, not just about food, but about cooking, and about sharing that passion for cooking with others. Something that really resonated with me. Because when I really think about it, it’s not just food and cooking that are my passions, but it is also in the sharing of these passions that I draw fulfilment.
Suffice to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the brunch, and came away from it inspired.
And also wanting to try this chorizo recipe at home!
I’ve asked Sabrina if I could share it with all of you and she gave me a very enthusiastic yes. So here it is (with a few amendments based on what I had at home)!
(adapted from Sabrina’s No Preservative Homemade Pamplona Chorizo)
- 1 kilo ground pork (composed of 80% meat and 20% fat…have your butcher do this for you)
- 3 1/2 – 4 tablespoons pimenton de la Vera (I use 50% picante and 50% dulce but you can make your own mix to your tastes)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons rock salt or coarse sea salt
- Olive oil, for frying
- Optional: pork casing
– Place the ground pork (with fat), pimenton, garlic, oregano, basil, and salt in a bowl. Mix thoroughly to ensure all the herbs and spices are distributed evenly. The best way to do this is with your hands! But you can certainly do this with a spoon as well…just make sure everything is well incorporated.
– If you are using pork casing, stuff it with your mince mixture. I did not, and most likely am incapable of the dexterity required to manage that operation, so I stuck to just forming the mince mix into small oblong-shaped logs. Make sure your logs are tightly packed so they don’t break apart during cooking. Chill for about 20 minutes, longer if you have the time.
– Heat a pan on medium high heat. Add a generous glug of olive oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add your chorizo. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side, until just done. The oil will have turned orange from the pimenton…don’t lose that! It’s gold!
– Transfer the chorizo to a serving plate or shallow bowl and drizzle with the smoky paprika oil. Garnish with fresh herbs.
Sabrina’s recipes calls for two bottles McCormick Spanish paprika, but since I had my stash of pimenton de la Vera from Spain, I used that instead – I just reduced the quantity since pimenton, especially one with a D.O.C., is much smokier in flavor. If you don’t have access to pimenton de la Vera though you can go ahead and use Sabrina’s original quantities of Spanish paprika. I did use the McCormick dried basil I got in the Bungalow 300 goody bag that day!
The recipe above makes the basic chorizo mix and prepares it in small logs. These are good for an appetizer spread or tucked into bread or simply eaten with rice. But this is only one of the things you can make with it. What I like to do is freeze the mince mix in 2-3 portions and use it in different ways when I need it. So far, aside from the little choricitos, I’ve used it in the following delicious ways…
As chorizo hubad…just sauté some garlic and chopped onion, add the chorizo mix, and fry (breaking up the mince as you go) until cooked. Serve with lots of rice! Or use in this Spicy Chorizo & Jalapeño Dip.
For chorizo fried rice…sauté as above for chorizo hubad, then add day-old rice. Adjust seasoning since you are adding rice. Serve in a bowl topped with a fried egg and drizzled with some chili oil!
For a smoky Bolognese…use in replacement of the ground beef in your regular Bolognese recipe.
I feel like this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uses for this very versatile recipe. You can make them into meatballs, add it to your meatloaf mix to give it a flavor boost, use it as part of a stuffing for a chicken or turkey, as chori-burgers, as topping for pizza or salad or a baked potato, in a wrap, or for some Spanish-style tacos…the possibilities as endless. This is definitely something handy to have stashed away in your freezer.
Also, speaking of pimenton de la Vera, I came back from a trip to Spain a couple of months ago, and have replenished my stash…with a little bit of extra. So I will be giving away a tin (and some other Spain goodies) very soon!
And, I have some exciting news I will be sharing next week! Yes, it has to do with food and cooking!
So please stay tuned for all of that!!
Bungalow 300 will be having other events as well so if you’d like to be updated you can follow them on Instagram. They already have one coming up on July 9, at La Creperie Salcedo Village so do check them out for great home finds!