I want to dedicate this post to my friend, Ken.
We convinced Ken to come to Panama one night at a bar. We were watching basketball, discussing work and life, and Ken let slip that he had accumulated some absurd amount of leave at work. I’m a strong believer that you should never have, oh I don’t know, more than 120 hours max of vacation time saved up at any given time. So, we planted the seed of far-off adventures, warm weather, exotic food… and I awoke the next morning to an email from Ken, with his itinerary attached. Date of departure? Less than a week away.
Now, let me rewind. While discussing the trip the night before, the group had got to talking about jokes, or chistes in Spanish. Our dear friend Ken, with his extensive Spanish vocabulary, also let slip that one of the only words he knew was chorizo, which he thought meant joke. Well, from that point on, chorizo was on Ken, and we introduced him as such to our acquaintances in Panama. To top it all off, Ken does actually love chorizo.
Upon returning home to the States, we decided it was only proper, after a chorizo-themed trip, to cook some up. Luckily, Roy Choi’s cookbook L.A. Son, which I received for Christmas, has a recipe that may or may not be Korean fusion chorizo. This recipe is derived from his.
2 ancho chiles, 2 pasilla chiles, 2 jalapeno peppers; seeded (less if you don’t want it to be as hot, but c’mon, it’s chorizo!)
oregano, coriander, paprika, ground cloves, cumin; to taste
1/2 C rice wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion (optional)
whatever ground meat your heart desires (recipe calls for pork, but ground turkey or beef are delicious as well)
EVOO, salt, pepper
lime, avocado, hot sauce, salsa, etc. (whatever garnishes make you smile)
and, of course, tortillas!
1. Split the peppers and take out the seeds. Roast ’em up over medium heat in a pan to soften them. I recommend turning whatever fans and air vents you may have on full blast. This part of the process is painful, and very sneezy.
2. Combine the spices and garlic in a food processor. Add the cooled roasted chiles and pulse to a paste – an aromatic, deeply colored, heavenly paste.
3. Combine your meat with the pepper-and-spice paste, as well as the vinegar. Let marinate, covered, overnight in the fridge.
4. When ready to cook, heat a large saucepan over medium heat. I sauteed some onion first in some olive oil, but it’s really your choice. While the meat cooks, season it with some salt and pepper.
5. Warm up some tortillas (corn are my favorite) and slice up some fresh avocado. Squirt some lime over everything, and whala! You have yourself a meal.
This recipe makes plenty of food to last for at least two meals for a handful of people. For a heartier breakfast, I recommend you enjoy some chorizo, scrambled eggs, and salsa in little corn tortillas. And, if you happen to enjoy some chorizo on your own, please remember: “You have to live life to its full chorizo.” #mariobatali