Spicy, Spicy Chorizo!
Marty Martindale

There are two very different types of chorizo sausage, though both are dark-red, spicy, garlicky, and made with pork. One is Mexican and uncooked and fresh, like Italian sausage, and the other, Spanish chorizo, is preserved and dry, like salami or pepperoni. Always check your recipe so you use the correct type.

Chorizo sausage is a heavily spiced pork sausage which originated in the Iberian Peninsula region of Spain, spreading over the years to other Latin cuisines. True Spanish chorizo is distinctively smoky and deep red in color. Frequently it is fermented and cured as well, making it ready for slicing and eating. Traditionally, chorizo is encased in natural casings made from intestines a method used since the early Romans.

Spanish chorizo gets its smoky flavor from semi-cured, smoked pork, wine and the addition of a good amount of Spanish smoked paprika. Some is made sweeter than others.

Mexican chorizo is not a smoked sausage, usually fresh and uncooked, it is frequently cooked along with other foods. Its flavor is dominantly garlic and chilis. Mexican chorizo is made with fresh ground pork and seasoned predominantly with chiles. It is sold in the fresh meat section of stores.

To make your own Mexican-style chorizo sausage, think of it as making a pork meatloaf without extenders or eggs. Typical Mexican chorizo ingredients are ground pork, dried chilis, apple cider vinegar instead of wine, onion, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, non-smoked paprika, oregano, cayenne and salt. Other spicing options:  Cloves, coriander, black pepper, sherry or brandy and grated ginger. You can put it into casings or leave it as bulk, which is easier, for recipes.

An excellent website for sausage recipes is Clay’s Panix. Here is Clay’s Chorizo. This site has probably the most, or nearly the most, sausage recipes ever assembled on one site.

Use fresh chorizo as you would any uncooked sausage. Its unique spicing lends well to the following thype dishes:

  • Chorizo Salad
  • Chorizo and egg scrambles
  • Pasta dishes
  • Bean dishes
  • Kabobs, patties
  • Vegetable bakes
  • Stuffings
  • Casseroles
  • Tacos, enchiladas
  • Chorizo stews
  • Chorizo quesadillas
  • Chorizo dip
  • Chorizo pancakes
  • Seafood and chorizo gumbo
  • Chorizo stroganoff
  • Chorizo corn pudding
  • Egg and chorizo burritos
Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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