Mexican Chorizo is absolutely one of my favorite foods. Tangy, spicy, meaty, aromatic and absolutely delicious. Easy to prepare. And versatile enough to be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Many of these recipes rely on hot corn tortillas. Store bought tortillas can be prepared by heating a heavy pan or flat griddle on high until they’re nearly smoking. Add the tortillas, let them cook for about ten seconds – they should soften and brown slightly. Flip them, cook for ten more seconds. Flip them a third and last time. Cook for ten more seconds. If the pan is the right heat, they will puff up a little on this third flip and they are done. If the tortillas are turning hard and black in spots instead of a nice light brown, the pan is too hot. Of course, you can always substitute flour tortillas but that’s lame. FYI, the best corn tortillas I’ve found in Ithaca are in Wegman’s on the end of one of the aisles in the back of the store in their own area. I’m not sure of the brand, but they come in package sizes between like 20 and 100 tortillas. They feel very soft.
The recipes also rely on crema fresca. This is basically freshly soured cream that can be found on the table of nearly every taqueria in Mexico, usually in one of those red plastic ketchup bottles you sometimes see at hot dog stands. American “sour cream” is made from a mixture of cream and milk, which gives it a much stiffer texture that I find unappealing. I make my own substitute for crema fresca by whisking a little sour cream into heavy cream a little at a time until the texture is thick enough not to run, but thin enough that it can be drizzled on with a spoon.
Chorizo con Huevos
For a quick breakfast, cook a little chorizo in a pan, maybe one link per person. Scramble in an egg or three and cook until the egg sets. Serve with hot corn tortillas, crema fresca and fresh pico de gallo. Heaven.
Put chorizo onto hot tortilla. Top with finely shredded green cabbage, chopped white onions and cilantro and crema fresca. Serve with grilled scallions. Take a bite and dream of Baja.
Chorizo Y Paps
Cube potatoes quite small – maybe half an inch cubes. I like to use new potatoes or waxy fingerlings for this rather than a starchy baking potato. “Salt potatoes” work. Boil the potatoes in salted water until a fork will pierce them easily but before they’re mushy.
Meanwhile, cook some chorizo. Remove the chorizo from the pot and add the potatoes. Fry to brown them up. You may or may not have to add some lard or cooking oil. When they’re browned to your liking add back the chorizo, warm it up and …. serve with hot tortillas, cilantro and onion and crema fresca.
Preheat an oven to 350 or so. Put some commercial tortilla chips into a stainless steel bowl and heat them in the oven untill they’re warm and crispy, stirring occasionally. Cook some chorizo. Pour the tortillas onto a platter, crumble the chorizo over it and drizzle with crema frasca. You can also add diced onions, cilantro and scallions. You can even add fresh tomatoes if it’s tomato season!
We serve this as a large dinner salad.
Make a creamy dressing out of crema fresca by adding a splash of vinegar, salt and a finely chopped chipotle or two from a can of chipotles en adobo. If it tastes kind of thin, add more salt. We usually make a pint or more, since this can be saved and used as a tortilla dip.
Cook some chorizo. Meanwhile, shred some lettuce into large bowls or onto dinner plates.
Assemble the salad by topping the lettuce with crumbled tortilla chips, creamy dressing, chorizo, diced scallions, onions and cilantro, in that order. (Heather would suggest adding the chorizo before the chips and dressing. She is dead wrong;) The chorizo looks nicest near the top.)