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Mexican (I think) Chorizo sausage purchased-what happens next

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As you can tell, I am a novice with this meat. We were at a farmers market and spotted something labled simply chorizo sausage (the kind you cook) in links. As I am more at home with bangers and mash than I am with all things Mexican I am not sure where to go with this prize. To be honest, I am only guessing that it is Mex-style as opposed to Spanish chorizo because it clearly requires cooking.

I was thinking of pan-frying it stove-top, then slicing and tossing with black beans and peppers and serving on rice...but am really seeking more inspiration as we are two people and I have 8 rather large sausages.

BTW, grilling is out: I am in Nova Scotia (Canada) and the BBQ is buried under 3 feet of snow.

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  1. Hey - this week I'm using some of my Chorizo - I'm going to remove the casings and dice (my chorizo is already cooked - but if it wasn't - I'd just crumble it and brown it in a skillet) - and put on some nachos with some refried beans and lots of cheese - bake until the cheese melts. Mmm... Its a take on Emeril's Chorizo and Bean nachos. Good luck! Sounds like you are on your way to a good recipe already!

    1. Take it out of the casing and brown it using wooden spoon to break it up. Then add some eggs and scramble. Delish!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Rheta

        My preferred technique for making chorizo and eggs comes from observing the guys at some of my local places work the griddle over the years: I find it best to have your egg scrambled and ready in a bowl while the chorizo is cooking, then scoop it into the egg, mix it and pour the works back onto the griddle. Some other guys will just pour the egg directly onto the chorizo and cook it from there, but the two ingredients become much more incorporated with one another the other way.

        The toppings for a torta would be a schmear of bean paste on one side of a roll, and mayo on the other. Then you add sliced avocado, sliced onion, pickled jalapenos, and sliced tomato. Place the chorizo and egg in the center and grill the sandwich on each side. Pure heaven. The same sort of filling would also work well in a breakfast burrito of sorts.

      2. Mmmm, love that stuff! I made this soup and it is so good - a one-pot-meal that is filling, spicy, easy and warming (our snow has melted in the NE US, but it's too damn cold to grill, thankyouverymuch!). My chorizo was pre-cooked, so you should cook yours up, then slice and add back to the soup pot. http://www.semisweetonline.com/2010/0...


        1. If you have what I think you have, those casings are probably plastic. Don't cook them in the casings, squeeze them out and cook it loose like ground beef. Fry up what you think you need and freeze the rest.

          10 Replies
          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

            Rheta above has it right about scrambled eggs. Also use to make tacos or quesadillas.

            1. re: mrbigshotno.1

              Why on earth would you think the casings are plastic? First, I've never heard of plastic casings but I suppose they could exist somewhere. But I buy fresh chorizo in fresh casings all the time. And I never "squeeze" the meat out. I slit the casing end to end, peel it away and get almost every bit of the meat out. Plastic casings????

              1. re: c oliver

                When we get fresh chorizo in West Texas the casings are always plastic.

                1. re: funniduck

                  Really. And is that stuff edible? I'm just amazed. Why on earth? But I guess that would be a subject for another thread. Guess I spend too much time in NoCal :)

                  1. re: funniduck

                    Wait a minute. Are you talking about casings for links of sausage or are you talking about packaging, like Jimmy Dean (yuck)? Or Braunschweiger (?sp)?

                    1. re: c oliver

                      The casings around each link is plastic. You're suppose to take it out. It caught me off guard too the first time I had it. My in laws are from there and when they visit me in NYC they always bring some up. (Their chorizo is 5 times better than ours!) I can ask what brand it is. Although if I remember correctly most of the words were in Spanish.
                      BTW, I just finished dinner and now I'm hungry again for scramble eggs and chorizo!

                      1. re: funniduck

                        I have a little Mexican market nearby that makes their own - NOT in plastic casing :) Actually it's one LONG casing and you just buy as much as you want. I try to keep 4oz. pieces frozen. And it's still hours til dinner here and I've got the drools :) huckfinn's chorizo fundido did ME in.

                  2. re: c oliver

                    c oliver, I do believe that the fresh chorizo I've bought here in SWFL also has plastic casings, I kid you NOT--I rarely buy it, but when I do buy fresh chorizo, I also squeeze it out into the pan ...hubba hubba, it IS awesome in scrambled eggs, Lord Have Mercy!
                    Even the cured chorizo, I always peel off the casings...anyone else? I mean, when you eat pepperoni, do you eat the casing? I don't. <shrugging>

                    1. re: c oliver

                      Regarding the plastic casings, there are two types of Mexican chorizo. One is made mostly from finely ground pig salivary glands and fat, is sold in supermarkets, often comes in plastic casings, and is really greasy and to me, quite disgusting. Even if it comes in natural casings it's best to break it up, cook it like ground meat, trying to render as much of the huge amount of fat to make it palatable.

                      The other chorizo is made from shoulder or other pork cuts, is rarely found in supermarkets, always comes in natural or edible collagen casings, and is simply a very spicy fresh sausage with a texture similar to italian sausage. Any fresh made chorizo you find in a carniceria or mexican market will almost certainly be the latter type. Hope this clears up some of the confusion.

                      1. re: Zeldog

                        You bet it did. Thanks. I've never liked the looks of the stuff in supermarkets so that's probably why I wasn't familiar with. And what I get in my little Mexican market isn't especially greasy. Certainly not enough that I need to remove any of it.

                  3. i usually fry it up and eat with some polenta and a poached egg.

                    1. Sounds like Mexican chorizo; there are tons of ways to use it. Try sauteeing it up then drain; butterfly a chicken breast or pork chop & stuff it with the chorizo & some queso fresco..bake in oven...serve with some rice & fresh tortilla chips..yum!

                      Other ways would be to scramble in eggs or make cakes out of it to top a benedict, cook with potatoes & onions, top a baker with cooked chorizo & cheese, add to mexican inspired pizza with a tomatillo sauce & top with chorizo, onions, garlic & cheese or add to a vegetable soup.

                      The thing is that Mexican chorizo is greasy so you have to drain it well when you cook it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        Choizo and eggs more specifics...
                        Love how the did it at a particular resturant so when back ordered again and when back in the kichen to see how they made it. Best in cast iron pan brown and chop till almost burnt might actually mighty need to some oil to get choizo to start to brown. Should be chopped very fine drain on paper towels and wipe out pan.Wipe pan some oil beat eggs just eggs add to pan keep chopping and stiring eggs almost franticly until close to cooked(this give eggs wonderful almost rice texture). Add back choizo and finish cooking plate. Serve with spanish/mexican rice and cold tomato iceburg sour cream salsa (optional grated cheese) on warm tortillas. Heven esp for breakfast after a big night.


                      2. Queso fundido with chorizo is an option. Cut away casing, fry chorizo until nuggets are almost crispy. Different brands and qualities of chorizo will yield different amounts of red fat. Save the fat to mix in with black beans or frijoles charros. Add chorizo to melted quesadilla cheese or any queso fundido recipe. Serve like a fondue on warm flour tortillas.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: huckfinn

                          That's one of my all-time faves. With some grilled peppers, onions, etc. on the side, some quickly deep-fried jalapenos, some avocado, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo. And, yes, of course, flour tortillas. I'm salivating thinking about it. And I sometimes have tortilla chips as well as tortillas.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Chorizo with onions and peppers can substitute on a chili dog, and is easy to make in small quantities.

                            1. re: huckfinn

                              Oh, sheesh, I can't think of the last time I had hot dogs in the house but I'll be picking some up today.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                As it is said, a hot dog tastes best anywhere but home, but a chorizo dog - now that's a horse of a different color. Although with that metaphor I may have one too many animals in play.

                        2. Chorizo con papas y huevos is my favorite breakfast of all time especially if served with a Mexican Pepsi! Although my Mr. will state it should be with cheese and a Mexican Coke. Anywho, for 2 - I squish 1 link out of the casing into a frying pan and break up over medium heat. Meanwhile I scrub and dice small a large not huge russet potato and nuke for 3 min stirring halfway. By this time the chorizo should be browning and have given off a good bit of fat. I then scrape the chorizo over to one side and dump the potatoes in the cleared side. If the chorizo looks like its going to brown too much or if there is too much fat I'll remove it to the bowl that had the potatoes in it. Let cook on med/hi till potatoes are crispy. In the meantime wisk 1-2 eggs per person (I usually do 3 for the 2 of us), and begin to warm two burrito sized flour tortillas or 4-6 corn tortillas. When potatoes look crisp add eggs, add back chorizo if removed and scramble all. Wrap up as burrito (my fav) or tacos add avocado, sour cream or hot sauce or cheese if thats your thing. I like it as is with the aforementioned Mexican Pepsi, nirvana in a tortilla!

                          1. Chorizo con papas: remove from casings, fry up until cooked (I like it kind of crispy-ish, ymmv). Add sliced onion and garlic, saute for a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add cubed potatoes - I leave the peel on. Salt, cumin. Cook till done. Top with Jack cheese and let it melt a few minutes. Serve with eggs. Or not! Eat. Smile. Eat more.

                            I do a burrito filling that my kids love: same beginning method as above, but after onion and garlic goes ground turkey. Cook till no longer pink (seasoning to taste), then add cubed potatoes, cook until potatoes are soft. We eat it with homemade salsa roja.

                            Chilaquiles with chorizo is another favorite - although I don't know how traditional my recipe is. Brown the chorizo. For this preparation, I like it really crispy. Add tomato puree (I make mine with roasted/peeled/seeded tomatoes, a lot of cilantro, a bit of onion, garlic and serrano chiles (which I usually roast right along with the tomatoes) all pureed in the blender), stir to blend. It's better if you toss the tomato sauce into the pan while it's fairly hot - it will sputter, but I feel that this 'frying' is an important step for good flavor. Check for salt. Cumin's a good addition, too. Add fried tortillas. I like to mix in a bit of cotija cheese. I also like to throw it in a casserole, top with a little jack cheese and bake for a bit. Not everyone does this step. Some people like it with sour cream or crema. YMMV.

                            1. You've got some good stuff there.

                              Just last week I took 8 oz of my home made stuff, fried it up in a pan until it was good and crispy. I added a can of drained black beans and enough chicken broth (Campbells) to cover. I simmered lid on for an hour and then removed the lid to reduce.

                              I used that along with Mexican rice and cheese as a burrito stuffing. I also long simmered some tomato sauce with dried chilies, oregano, garlic and brown sugar to make a sauce. Puree and strain it before you use it. Thin it out with some broth.
                              Ladle over the burritos and garnish with things like sour cream, black olives, cilantro, scallions. That kinda stuff.

                              It's great as a taco filling.

                              I also make Huevos Rancheros and use crumbled chorizo as a garnish.


                              BTW, Rick Bayless calls Chorizo the "Bacon of Mexico." So jus think of it that way.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Davwud

                                Bacon in Mexico used to be great stuff - thick, smoky, crispy, very tasty. I can remember back to when I would order a side of tocino with huevos rancheros, and sometimes there would be no extra charge. Today Mexico is plagued with this faux deli- style processed crap everywhere one goes, that shouldn't even be called bacon. Times have changed.

                                1. re: huckfinn

                                  Hmmm...bacon + chorizo would put you on the road to Alambres!!!:
                                  It's a great place to be.

                                  1. re: TongoRad

                                    Wow! Beef, bacon, chorizo, cheese. Small wonder you didn't want to eat until the next day. And you were perhaps lucky to wake up the next day ;)

                              2. Lots of good ideas here.

                                As others have mentioned, chorizo can expel a lot of intensely flavored grease while cooking. Don't waste that grease. I try to take advantage of it and allow the grease to flavor other parts of the meal. Chorizo tends to cook very well alongside of chicken, pork, shellfish, rice, beans, and potatoes. I like to think of it as a meat and a spice at the same time.

                                1. I've bought something similar in DC. You can take it out of the casing, crumble and fry it up in dutch oven/pot, then drain almost all of the fat. Add a chopped onion and diced bell pepper and saute. From here, I stirred in a yellow rice mix from the Latin market (and the water it called for), but you could just as easily make your own seasoned rice. Stir it all up, cover, and let steam. When the rice is almost done (barely any water left), gently place a layer of raw shrimp on top and recover for about 5 minutes. When the shrimp are cooked through, stir up the rice, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and serve with lime wedges and hot sauce. Delicious.

                                  It's a similar method to this: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

                                  1. Crumble and fry. Drain. Once those two steps are completed you can make quesadillas, top with lettuce, beans, tomatoes, cheese and chipotles on a sesame seed bun, add to rice and beans or even just simply wrapp in a corn tortilla with salsa for a taco.

                                    1. Thanks to all your suggestions! I am off to a good start. and planning chorizo with scambled eggs and some hearty home-made spicey cheese bread with apple-cole slaw as our dinner and then taking from some of the ideas above...my casings, BTW, are not plastic, but 'natural' (it was a farmer's market that is pretty much all natural, organic produce and meat)...but I do get that some are and will watch for that, not a problem as long as you know!

                                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                                          It's not over til it's over. Remember?