Red Wine Chorizo

The first flurry of the holidays, Thanksgiving, is past and we’re into the flurry of activity getting ready for Christmas.  Our son was all excited once the meal of Thanksgiving was over because that meant the Christmas songs could start playing!  I swear that kid would play those songs year round, crazy kid.  Egg nog is pretty much the only thing that we do Christmas wise before December.  Well, that and the cards.

I normally use Shutterfly for the cards and family photo books.  This is the last year I’ll do that for the cards. Couldn’t use that site for the book because they took away a lot of features I like to use.  So I am trying to learn Blurb.  A big feature I like is to use my photos as a faded background.  Blurb doesn’t do that either but I can fade them using GIMP.  Just a bit of jumping through hoops to get the book done.  So that is getting pushed out to the New Year.  But I hear Blurb is good for creating books like cookery books so I figure now is a good a time as any to learn.  I am curious which software of Blurb to use so I’d be interested in feedback.

The recipe I’m showing here was done for my husband’s birthday to go along with the jerk chicken I made.  It came from a book my family found for me at the annual library sale.  It is called Tapas by Susanna Tee.  I found an easy recipe for chorizo simmered in red wine.  Something easily eaten at a party.

I would recommend finding good quality chorizo.  We found average chorizo and it didn’t absorb the wine during the marinating stage as well as it should have.  No worries, it came out in the end.

Wine chorizo 1 2015

To start, always pick a good wine.  Never use cooking wine or plonk.  If it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with!

In a saucepan, bring to a boil about a cup of the red wine.  Then cover and reduce the heat.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl big enough for the sausages.  Prick the sausages and marinate overnight.

Wine chorizo 2 2015

When you are ready to cook these, slice the chorizo into pieces.  Add them to a skillet.  Warm a couple of tablespoons of brandy then pour into the skillet.  And, this is the fun part, light it up!

Wine chorizo 3 2015

As fun as this is, be careful.  Not all flame is visible and you don’t want to get burned.  You can see in the picture the sausage didn’t really suck in the wine.  I suspect, better chorizo would do that.  Once the brandy has cooked off add the wine you used to marinate the sausages.  Simmer on medium heat until the wine has reduced quite a bit.

To serve, sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the chorizo.

Wine chorizo 4 2015

This is a great dish for a tapas meal, party, or potluck.  And it is very easy to make which is always good.  🙂

Chorizo Risotto and the Strange Priorities

I don’t like cheats.  I think those that cheat should face consequences.  But when the consequences are out of whack compared to other offences I have a problem with it.

A news story that lit up the internet this week had to do with the NFL and the Pats.  In a game at the beginning of the year there were some deflated balls.  The NFL couldn’t, to their satisfaction, get the quarterback to talk about it even though he wasn’t the one who deflated the balls.  So they suspended him for four games and took away the team’s first round draft pick.  People went nuts!  The reason?  In the past few years the NFL has been grossly underwhelming with their punishments over things like rape, domestic violence, etc.  But a ball is deflated and all hell breaks loose.

And that saddens me no end.  I keep hoping the world will move in the direction that my daughter doesn’t have to worry about these issues.  I do hope the increasing outrage over these priorities will usher in a world, eventually, that doesn’t consider women and girls as second class citizens and a woman being punched so hard she is knocked out and dragged out of the lift will prompt a more swift and complete investigation than the one that happened for balls deflated.

In the meantime we just keep moving along.

This week I had some chorizo from the co-op.  I actually like chorizo very much but I made the mistake of getting the ones they make at the co-op.  I keep trying but they are either dry or mealy.  I think I need another source!  Shame really.

This is for two so double it for a family of four.

As always do the prep before you start cooking for this dish.  I chopped up half a cup of onion, a few cloves of garlic, and a few mushrooms.  Grate about 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and prepare two cups of vegetable bouillon.  Make sure it is hot before you cook.

Chorizo risotto 1 2015

Heat up a tablespoon or so of olive oil and saute the onions until they are softened.  Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes.  While this is started begin to grill the sausages.  Don’t worry about cooking them all the way through as they will be finished off in the risotto but you do want to get a sear on the sausages.

Chirozo risotto 3 2015

After the garlic and mushrooms have cooked for a couple of minutes add 1/2 cup of arborio rice to the skillet.  Stir for a minute or so then add 1/2 a cup of a dark ale.  I used our Irish Red for this.

Chirozo risotto 2 2015

Bring to a simmer and add 1/2 cup of the broth at a time allowing it to absorb before adding more.  When it is halfway cooked slice the sausage and add it to the skillet.  For this dish I added some frozen corn for a pop of colour.

Chirozo risotto 4 2015

When the last bit of the bouillon is added add the cheese to melt in.

Chirozo risotto 5 2015Once the risotto is al dente it is ready to serve.

Chirozo risotto 6 2015Grate cheddar cheese over the dish and serve.  It’s a shame the sausages weren’t up to snuff as the rest of it was quite enjoyable with the cheddar and ale.  I’ll have to try again with different brands.

Paella with Chicken and Chorizo

One dish I didn’t have a chance to have was traditional paella on our trip to Spain last year but I did have it years ago on my first trip.  I’ve always enjoyed good food but in the past few years I’ve approached it with an eye to be able to recreate dishes.  Given all the great food on our trip I just didn’t have enough meals to get round to it.  Guess I’ll have to go back.  🙂

I found a recipe for an Easy Paella  to try with chicken and chorizo sausage.  While this wouldn’t be a traditional paella it does have a lot of the flavours and it takes about an hour to make.  Traditional recipes can take 2 hours to make.  I didn’t include the shrimp as half of us don’t like seafood but it can easily added to the dish.  I also used brown rice as that is what we had on hand, it takes a little longer to cook and doesn’t show off the saffron as much but works well.

I cubed 3/4lb of chicken and tossed it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon of paprika, a couple of teaspoons of dried oregano, and salt and pepper.  Chill in the fridge while prepping and starting the rice.

Pealla 2 2014

In a large skillet that has a cover heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and saute the rice.  I used a cup of rice as there was only four of us.  Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic, and a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes.  Cook this for a couple of minutes.

Pealla 4 2014

Add a pinch of saffron.

Pealla 3 2014

Add chicken stock in the amount that is needed for the rice you use.  For this dish I needed 2 cups of chicken stock.   Add fresh flat leaf parsley, a bay leaf, and a few squirts of lemon juice.  The recipe called for lemon zest instead and I would normally use that but I couldn’t find organic lemons at the store so I went with the next best thing.  Bring to a boil then cover and then lower the heat to a simmer.

Pealla 5 2014

About 10 minutes or so before the rice is finished cooking chop up half a red onion and a bell pepper.  Saute the chicken, chorizo sausage, pepper and onion in olive oil.

Pealla 6 2014

Add to the rice and finish simmering. Once the rice is cooked it is ready to serve.

Pealla 7 2014

I’m curious about the root of this dish as it’s not far off from a gumbo.  I have a feeling that a cousin of paella made it’s way to New Orleans at some point and influenced the gumbo.  I find it fascinating the journey of global food.