During the Spanish invasion of Mexico in 1519 Cortes and his conquistadors did a lot of taking, whether it was of gold or local lives. It wasn't entirely one way traffic though as they gave them chorizo (and the rest of the words in the Spanish language for that matter too), but 500 years is a long time and now what constitutes chorizo in Spain and Mexico differs greatly. Maybe the heat of Mexico doesn't bode well for the long cool periods required for curing as the Mexican version is a fresh sausages, spiced heavily with chili, paprika and garlic. Whilst the Spanish slice their cured sausage thinly and eat it as is - or in a bocadilla or on tostada - the Mexican affair is more a flavouring. Small amounts of the pungent minced meat are fried then added to scrambled eggs or quesadillas, transforming them with spice and heat - a little goes a long way.
My recipe is based on a recipe from Lourdes Nichols and it has served me well for near two decades. Her 1980s Mexican cookbook doesn't look remotely dated today, and it's only a little paperback from Sainsbury.
300gr minced pork, fatty is better than lean
3 TB malt vinegar
1 ts salt
1/2 ts black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 ts powdered de arbol chili, or other hot (assuming you like the heat) chili powder
1 TB paprika
1 ts coriander seeds, ground
1 ts oregano, preferably Mexican but normal will suffice
Pinch of grated nutmeg
2 cloves, ground
Mix well, leave overnight in the fridge to mature, use.
I split into 6, approx. 50gr portions, wrap in clingfilm and freeze. I find these portions are suitable for knocking up something for 2 people, whether it's scrambled eggs, quesadillas or fried cheese tacos.
Here's a couple of serving suggestions, they're more ideas than recipes as I knock them up on the fly. Hopefully there's enough info to repeat them though.
Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo
This is one of my favourite breakfasts. Fry the chorizo in a little oil till browned. Remove from pan, add a little more oil and scramble the eggs in it, add the chorizo once set. Warm a wheat tortilla till soft, spread with frijoles refritos (refried beans), top with the chorizo scrambled eggs, some fresh salsa (diced red onion, tomato, coriander and lime juice), a little grated cheese and hot sauce of your choosing, here I went for a green habanero based one.
Fried Cheese and Chorizo Tacos
These aren't tacos in the Old El Paso deep fried basket sense, just soft tortillas (wheat or corn) wrapped around a filling. My nan always used to fry cheese as part of a fry up, I grew up thinking everyone did it but have literally never met anyone else that ate it. Big handfuls of cheddar were dumped in a frying pan were they separated, bubbled and eventually rejoined into a crisp around the edges but chewy slice, kind of like a lump of cheese pulled from a pizza. Judging by the amount of yellow fat left in the previously dry frying pan it must be one dish were frying reduces the calories.
Normally I do the same, just frying a lump and having it as part of a breakfast, but I recently read of a Mexican dish of fried cheese rolled around homemade chorizo so gave it a go. The results are similar to quesadillas, obviously, but the frying concentrates the cheese flavour and gives it a decent bite in the middle of the tortilla.
To make simply heat a dry frying pan and dump in a big handful of grated cheese. As it melts and spreads keep pushing it into a nice shape with a spatula and hopefully after a while it should come together enough that you can lift the slice out. Place it in a small tortilla, sprinkle browned chorizo on top then add fresh salsa, roll up and enjoy. As before some hot sauce is always a welcome addition.
Chorizo and Potato Quesadillas
I've blogged about these before so the recipe is here and just needs the chorizo above, remember to fry it till cooked before using though.