Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Hot Nights Call For Easy Chorizo Tacos

With long-term forecasts calling for temperatures in the 80s and 90s and with no rain for the next several weeks—climate change deniers notwithstanding—it's time to get some cool and groovy plans laid for dinner.

Lookin' toasty.

If only that would include eating out every night, right?

But since that's a situation that will have to wait until we chance upon that winning lottery ticket at our local stop-and-shop, I guess it's going to be me battling it out in front of the stove every night with my very own version of Top Chef.

"What's she going to tantalize us with tonight, folks?"

The spread.

Well, the other evening I happened to have some ground pork in the fridge, thinking it was time to make a meatloaf, but it was just too dang hot to crank up the oven. That's when the idea of tacos blipped across my brain's radar. Cool. Easy. Simple. Just involves a bit of chopping and mixing and they're done.

The pork would make a nice chorizo, I thought, and wondered how hard it would be to replicate the incredibly good Tolucan red chorizo made by Salud and Angela Gonzales of Don Felipe (available at the Beaverton Farmers' Market). A quick internet search yielded some basic guidelines, and with a bit of improvising I was able to fry up a pretty good facsimile. Now I have to go get some of theirs and try them side by side!

Tolucan-style Chorizo

4 dried red chiles (I used three New Mexico chiles and one ancho chile)
2 c. boiling water
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 lb. ground pork
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. tequila
3 large cloves garlic, minced

Remove stems and seeds from chiles and tear into 1” pieces. Place in medium bowl (I used my 1 qt. Pyrex measuring cup). Pour boiling water over the top, making sure that the water covers the chiles. Let stand 30 mins. Drain, reserving the chile soaking liquid for another use (chili, chile sauce, etc.). Put chiles, vinegar, oregano, salt, thyme, allspice, cloves and tequila in blender and purée.

In large bowl, thoroughly combine pork, chile mixture and garlic. Place in large skillet over medium heat and fry until the pork is cooked through, stirring to break it up and crumble it, approximately 15-20 min.

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