Before we left Florida, my brother and his fiance came to visit so they could meet my little man when he was 3 weeks old. My brother used to have a fear of holding babies. The man (can I just say that’s weird to say, he’s my little brother!) that came over showed no fear, had no hesitation, and had no intention of ever putting his nephew down. I was sure that as soon as Wesley started to cry he’d be hastily handed back to me, instead Louie walked around, bounced him, talked to him, and climbed up and down the stairs. He’s a natural!
When you’re about to move the last thing you want to do is make a big grocery trip. Our last couple weeks’ dinners in Florida where comprised of whatever we could scrounge up at the house and eating out. Because we had company, I wanted whatever I made to not only use what I had in the fridge, but also be delicious. The Creamy Chorizo Pasta dish that resulted was a hit by all.
Creamy Chorizo Pasta
- 1/2 lb spaghetti
- 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo
- 3 shallots, diced
- 2 C chopped fresh tomatoes
- 3/4 C heavy cream
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat brown chorizo, breaking up into bits. Add the shallots and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Toss gently.
- Strain any fat, if desired, before adding in the heavy cream. Let sauce come to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let thicken to desired consistency. Add the cooked spaghetti and coat in the sauce.
After a month of quilting posts it’s time for the return of Mexican Monday.
This dinner was the first dinner I made after having my son. My mom was back for two weeks to help out and spend lots of time with her first grandchild, and then we had friends make dinner for us, and I had a couple freezer friendly slow cooker dishes prepared.
It may have been a little ambitious to tackle something this time consuming, but my husband was home and able to help keep our son satisfied. I was able to make the dough and get the sweet potatoes in the oven before needing to feed Wesley. And while he was napping I cooked up the chorizo. Later in the day, after the dough had chilled I started assembling the hand pies. I did have to swap out with Stuart so Wesley could eat – and I am thankful for his help in assembling!
The original recipe suggested using a 5-6″ round cookie cutter and folding the hand pies in half moons. I don’t have a round cookie cutter, so I used a glass – which I do with pierogi. But because there’s more filling in these hand pies than in my pierogi, I wasn’t able to fold them into half moons. So I created full circle hand pies by placing another circle of dough on top of the filling. (Good thing I doubled the recipe!)
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Hand Pies
- 2 1/2 C flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided use
- 2 sticks butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 C cold water
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 lb chorizo
- 1/2 – 3/4 C shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 egg
- Make the pie crust: In a food processor pulse together the flour and 1 tsp salt. Add in the cubed, cold butter and pulse until it becomes crumbly. Stream in the cold water until the dough comes together around the blade. Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill in fridge at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Poke holes with a fork in the sweet potatoes. Place in oven and bake 40-50 minutes, until soft. Remove and place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until cool enough to touch. Peel away the skin and mash potatoes. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown chorizo. Breaking up with a wooden spoon. When cooked through, drain fat and set aside.
- Make egg wash by beating the egg with 1 tsp water.
- Roll out dough on a clean, floured surface to 1/8″ thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass cut out circles. Top dough with sweet potato, chorizo, and shredded cheese. Rub egg wash around the edge of the dough and either fold into half moon or top with another circle of dough. Press hand pie closed with a fork. Cut a slit in the top of the hand pie, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden.
*This recipe is adapted from Kelley at http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2014/03/sweet-potato-and-chorizo-hand-pies/*
Today is my very first Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! Each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.
For my first month participating I was assigned Lynsey’s blog Lynsey Lou’s. Lynsey has been married for six years (happy anniversary!) to a man she won over through food. Like me, she enjoys cooking most for her family and friends. She learned how to cook from her family and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen. I have secretly pinned a few recipes from her blog to try out in the future, including: Pork Tenderloin with Cocoa Crust, Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie, and Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Spicy Pineapple Dressing.
Even though SRC Reveal Day is on a Monday I didn’t want to limit myself to finding only Mexican recipes. But Lynsey had this burger recipe that I just knew I had to recreate! Lynsey and her family absolutely love burgers, and as they’re one of my favorite foods too I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make one. Especially considering I don’t have any burger recipes on my blog yet! Other than my Frisco Melt recreation where I confess to being a terrible burger maker. Here’s to hoping I can do Lynsey’s recipe justice!
When we were in Birmingham in January we went to Flip Burger Boutique where Stuart inhaled their Chorizo Burger, by which I mean I took two bites of my burger before I could even ask to try his! The Chorizo Burger came with a fried egg on top, so I decided to add that to her recipe. (I even put cheese on mine – and I normally omit cheese on burgers!)
This burger was a huge hit. Stuart was halfway through his burger before I finished assembling mine! We made this recipe after Daylight Savings Time so the sun was still out when we got home – providing for a prefect evening grilling burgers in the almost-spring weather.
Turkey Chorizo Burgers
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 C mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, divided use
- juice of half a lime
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 3 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 1/2 tsp Creole seasoning
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 slices pepper jack cheese
- 4 eggs
- 4 hamburger buns
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place poblano pepper on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, flipping every five minutes to create an even char. Remove pepper and place in glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit ten minutes. Peel skin and remove the stem and seeds. Roughly chop poblano and place in food processor along with mayo, 1 clove garlic, lime juice, and S+P. Puree.
- In a large bowl combine meats, 1 clove minced garlic, and seasonings. Divide into quarters and form into patties.
- Grill patties until cooked through to 160 degrees F, about 7 minutes on each side. In the last minutes of cook time top each patty with cheese. Spread buns with a little bit of oil and place on grill, if desired.
- Before assembling burgers fry eggs in a little bit of oil.
- Assemble burgers by putting chile mayo on each bun, top with spinach, burger, and fried egg.
*This recipe is modified from Lynsey at http://www.lynseylous.com/2012/07/turkey-and-chorizo-burgers-with-green.html*
To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:
For Mexican Monday I am happy and proud to share with you one of my original recipes.
In January of 2011 Food Network magazine had an Iron Chef type challenge using the secret ingredient Spaghetti. I had an idea, I made it, and I submitted my recipe to Food Network. I didn’t win, or at least I don’t think I won, it’s been over two years and I still haven’t seen the winner announced!
I decided to break up the spaghetti and make a mock risotto. To add even more of a twist I opted to use Mexican flavors instead of Italian. I used a Mexican beer in place of white wine, chorizo as my meat, and Mexican blend cheese instead of Parmesan.
Makes 2-3 Servings
- 1/2 lb spaghetti, broken
- 2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 Spanish onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded
- 3/4 bottle light Mexican beer
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 C chicken broth
- 1 tomato, diced
- handful fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 3/4 – 1 C shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- zest of 1/2 lime
- In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, brown chorizo in olive oil. When cooked, remove from the pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Leave the drippings in the skillet.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the butter. Add garlic once butter is melted. After 30 seconds add in the broken spaghetti. Toast for 2 minutes. Add onion and jalapeno. Saute until onions are translucent.
- Deglaze the pan with the beer. Add in oregano. When beer is absorbed, add chicken broth in about four stages, allowing the broth to be absorbed before each addition of liquid.
- After pasta is al dente add in diced tomato, cilantro, and the cooked chorizo. Let warm through and melt in the cheese. Garnish with lime zest and cilantro.
I have another chorizo pasta combination for Mexican Monday. And although it makes quite a few more dishes and requires more ingredients than my previous Chorizo Carbonara, I am addicted to this one.
When I day dream about this dish – yes, I actually do this – I get hungry. The leftovers are even just as delicious as when it first comes out of the oven. And I’m not very big on leftovers, pastas in particular always take on a new rubbery texture, but not these!
There are also so many ways you could change this up and make it your own: use a different meat product, add peppers or chilies for heat, serve alongside guacamole, salsa or sour cream for extra creaminess with each bite. Is it time to eat yet?
Chorizo Mac and Cheese
- 2 C uncooked macaroni noodles
- 1 C shredded Mexican cheese
- 1 C shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 tsp of corn starch
- 1 C milk
- 2 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 heaping tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine cheeses and corn starch. Set aside.
- Warm milk in a small sauce pan over low heat – do not bring to a boil.
- Brown chorizo in a sauce pan – breaking it up like you would ground beef. Add in onion and cook until translucent. Sprinkle in flour and stir. Slowly add in warm milk, stirring after each addition. It will begin to turn into a beautiful pale orange sauce. Melt in cheeses a handful at a time, stirring. Mix in drained cooked pasta.
- Pour pasta into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Bake 25 minutes.
*This recipe is adapted from Elise at http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chorizo_mac_and_cheese/*
Come join Mac and Cheese Mania at Nutmeg Nanny and Rachel Cooks sponsored by Door to Door Organics and OXO!
Mexican Monday took a back seat this week for a Spanish cousin to shine through.
Of course, I could pretend I just made this dish some other day of the week and find a decent photo of a past Mexican Monday, but then I’d be out of a personal back story to the dish!
I was not about to have a repeat of last week where we ate out way too much, so I “forced” Stuart to help me create our weekly “Everson Menu”.
“What do you want for Mexican Monday?”
“That’s not Mexican….”
Stuart’s favorite Food Network star is Bobby Flay and we record Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. There was an episode last year in which Bobby had a grill the size of a breakfast table and a paella pan to cover it up. He made the largest (and most expensive) paella I’d ever seen. So for a year Stuart’s been wanting to try Paella.
Most traditional Spanish Paellas involve Mussels or other shellfish, which I am allergic to. I don’t know why it took me a year to realize that I can put whatever I want into the recipe, it’s my kitchen! So I finally gave in to his craving. I read a few recipes and articles about paella and created my own rendition.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find authentic Spanish paella rice, but the cooking method reminded me of risotto, so I compromised and used risotto rice. (Sorry!) I also couldn’t find authentic Spanish chorizo, so I kept the casing on Mexican chorizo, sliced it into rings and cooked it. I also opted to use salmon as my seafood choice.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 C Arborio rice
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/4 C white wine (optional)
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 – 1 1/2 qt chicken stock
- 2 links chorizo, sliced into rings
- 6 oz salmon, cubed
- In a large pot bring stock to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer.
- In a large, non-stick skillet, saute onion and pepper in olive oil. Season with salt. When the onion is translucent add the garlic, rice, and seasonings. Stir with a wooden spoon. When rice is slightly toasted and everything is yellow add in the chopped tomato.
- Deglaze the pan with white wine, if using, or a ladle of stock.
- While waiting for the wine to evaporate, start cooking the chorizo in a separate skillet. Remove from pan and cook the salmon in the same skillet.
- Add 1-2 ladle-fulls of stock at a time to the rice, stirring constantly. When the liquid is absorbed, repeat the process until the rice is cooked through. This will take approximately 15 minutes.
*This recipe was inspired by http://foudefoodmtl.com/eatsathome/shrimp-and-chorizo-paella and http://mongoliankitchen.com/salmon-paella/*
I didn’t plan my weekly menu over the weekend so therefore didn’t have a grocery list to go shopping either. My freezer was devoid of protein (one chicken breast and a pound of bacon) so we made a quick pit stop at the local Winn-Dixie with the intention of only buying some meat – whatever was BOGO that week. Even though chorizo was not on sale, Stuart wanted it (if you want to save money, leave your husband at home).
Because I didn’t want to rush back to the grocery store, I had to find a chorizo recipe where I had all of the ingredients on hand. I stumbled upon this Chorizo Carbonara.
This recipe might be the simplest Mexican Monday dinner yet! It only takes 4 ingredients and 10 minutes. It’s a pasta dish, so you know I’m one happy girl!
- 1/2 lb fettuccini pasta
- 3 links Mexican chorizo, casing removed
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
- Brown chorizo in a small, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Drain any excess fat.
- Whisk together egg yolks and heavy cream.
- Drain pasta. Using two forks, toss with cream mixture – make sure to do this quickly so as not to scramble the yolk and coat the pasta. Add in the chorizo.
*This recipe is adapted from Caroline at http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/04/chorizo-carbonara-recipe.html*
Once upon a time, in our first year of marriage, Stuart was craving a Southern classic: White Sausage Gravy and Biscuits. But I didn’t have any traditional sausage. I did the best I could with what I had – chorizo. It wasn’t technically a white gravy anymore, but it was pretty awesome!
Last week’s Mexican Monday (tomorrow’s post) involved chorizo so I had some leftover and decided to remake this gravy.
The seasonings in the chorizo give the gravy a light orange color and adds tons of extra flavor. Most sausage gravies have a lot of pepper in them, but I don’t add any additional seasonings – the pork takes care of that for me.
- 3 links Mexican chorizo, casings removed
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 C 2% milk
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, brown chorizo, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Once cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo and put on a paper towel lined plate.
- Using the fat in the pot, make a rue with 2 tbsp flour. Whisk.
- Whisk in milk. Continue to stir over medium-low heat until milk thickens into a gravy – about 5 minutes.
- Stir in cooked chorizo and serve atop biscuits.