Tag Archives: Chorizo

Integrale Milanese “Mexicana”

25 May Integrale Milanese "Mexicana"

For those of you who read my blog, you know that one of my all-time favorite ingredients is saffron. This delicious, but expensive, spice has a unique one-two culinary punch. It has a wonderful hay-like, flowery-honey flavor when used correctly, and it brings a very unique yellow color to whatever it’s cooked with.  I use it whenever I get the chance to use it in rice, chicken, or seafood dishes. Shortly after I won the 4thAnnual Marx Foods Morel Blogger Recipe Challenge, I jumped at the chance to enter another Marx Foods challenge, the Marx Foods Integrale Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a 3 round challenge with the star being Integrale Rice!

Integrale Milanese "Mexicana"

Integrale Milanese “Mexicana”

Integrale rice is an Italian brown rice that is  really not a separate variety of risotto rice, but rather a way of processing the grain so that the rice maintains its raw fiber shell, vitamin B1, B5, B6, proteins and minerals. It is incredibly healthy and only grown and harvested by organic means.

Integrale Rice

Integrale Rice

It has a slightly nutty taste and a firmer texture that enhances the “bite” of your risotto! Since this is a contest sponsored by Marx Foods, they kindly sent out 1 kilo of this amazing Integrale rice to use in my recipe!

When I approached the planning of  my dish for the contest, I knew that I wanted to use saffron, I really thought that it would complement the nutty flavor of the brown rice, but I wanted to add my own twist, using the Mexican flavors that I love as well.  In my mind, I had visions of two different dishes, Risotto Milanese and Paella. Risotto Milanese being a classically rich risotto, made with bone marrow, Parmesan cheese, and of course saffron; and Paella Valencia, the mother of all rice dishes in Spain, made with Spanish Chorizo, seafood, chicken, roasted red peppers, paprika, and finally, of course, the saffron. So, doing a bit of simulation in my head (as all engineers do from time to time), I  would use the basic concept of Risotto Milanese and add tequila in place of the white wine, and mix in a bit of the essence of Paella Valencia, somewhat deconstructed, using fresh Mexican chorizo instead of the Spanish chorizo. So what place does Tequila have in a risotto you may ask? I believe that alcohol  opens up the rice and prepares it to absorb the liquids introduced into the risotto. So why not use Tequila, and using Añejo Tequila would give the risotto another unique dimension of sweet,  “oak-y-ness” flavor once the harsh alcohol cooks off.  I would finish off the risotto with a mantecatura of butter and Manchego cheese. Manchego differs from Parmigiano-Reggiano in that it is made from sheep’s milk rather than cow’s milk. The cheese has a well developed, creamy flavor, with a distinctive, but not t0o overwhelming tangy aftertaste that is characteristic of sheep’s milk. It is the mother of all Spanish cheeses, it just sings “Marry me” to the saffron!

So I set about making the chorizo fresh on Monday night. I have a standard recipe that I learned some time ago in Mexico. I also prepared my chicken stock on Monday as well.  Having given some time for the chorizo to “cure” a few days to enhance its flavors, it was time to get dirty and get to the challenge! Risotto, once the technique is mastered, is a wonderful way to start a meal, or a stunning side to accompany any protein. Just a sidebar on Integrale rice. It is a slightly different beast, because of the raw grain shell. It takes a bit more stock and a bit more time to cook. I had to use about a cup more stock and I added about 10 minutes of cooking time to get it perfectly al dente. With some constant attention, a bit of pampering, and a shot or two of Don Julio, in about 30 minutes you have a deliciously rich risotto that will be sure to bless any table! Now I call on everyone to support us and go out and vote for this dish on May 30th!

Integrale Milanese "Mexicana"

Integrale Milanese “Mexicana”



Integrale Milanese “Mexicana”

  • 1 ½ cups of Integrale Rice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2  medium yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup Tequila Añejo
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra vigin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon saffon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ lb. Mexican Chorizo
  • ¼ cup Manchego Cheese
  • 5 cups Chicken Broth
  1. Place the 5 cups of broth  in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the saffron to the broth and keep very warm.
  3. Meanwhile, take the chorizo and heat over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  4. Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Once it is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, but not browning!
  6. Add the rice and stir with your Girariso to combine.
  7. Add the Tequila and cook until it is completely absorbed.
  8. Start adding the stock about 1 cup at a time and stirring constantly until each cup of stock is completely absorbed before adding the next. After 4 cups of stock have been added, start tasting the rice (or about 20 minutes)
  9. When the rice is al dente, remove from heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the cheese and stir vigorously.
  10. Plate the risotto and sprinkle with the chorizo. Garnish with fresh parsley or fresh oregano.
Integrale Milanese "Mexicana"

Integrale Milanese “Mexicana”

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Chorizo Ragu

28 Dec

In keeping with my mission statement of combining Italian and Mexican cuisine on one plate, this week I bring you Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Chorizo Ragu!  We all know gnocchi as a thick, delicious, potato based Italian dumpling. Like most Italian dishes, there is a great amount of variation in recipes across all of the regions of Italy.  My family has always made the potato and flour version.  Normally in Italy, gnocchi are a first course dish. This dish is made entirely hecho a mano (handmade) so plan to spend some time in the kitchen! The result is well worth it; a rich, fulfilling dish of Italian gnocchi with a slightly spicy, tender Mexican chorizo ragu. I recommend this first course to accompany a main of Grilled Salmon!

Mexican Chorizo

  • 2 – 2 ½ lbs. of ground pork (use the pork shoulder)
  • 8 Chile Guajillo
  • 6 Chile Ancho
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled.
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • ¾ tablespoons oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dry marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 6 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  1. Chop the pork into cubes and put into the freezer for about 20 – 30 minutes to make it easier to work with.
  2. Put the salt, paprika, bay leaves, black pepper, cumin, oregano, marjoram, coriander, thyme, cloves, allspice into a spice grinder and grind them into a nice fine powder.
  3. Rinse the guajillo and ancho chiles with some water and toast on a comal. Then place into very hot water and cover. Let them soak for 30 minutes.

    Toast the Chiles

    Toasting the Chiles

  4. Remove the pork and season with the spice powder, make sure it is coated well using all the spice powder. (I like to grind the pork seasoned as it ensures a nice mix)
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the seeds, stems, and veins from the chiles and place in a blender with the garlic and the white vinegar. Blend into a smooth puree.
  6. Take you grinder and use the coarse grind plate and grind the pork into a large mixing bowl.

    Grind Pork

    Fresh Ground Pork Shoulder

  7. Add the chile mixture to the pork and mix well. Cover and place into the refrigerator for 24 hours.


    Fresh Chorizo before "curing"

  8. After 24 hours take a bit, form into a patty and fry to check seasonings. Adjust seasonings if necessary (I have never adjusted them).
  9. At this point you can use as is or stuff into casings.


Chorizo Ragu

  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 lbs. fresh pork chorizo
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 – 28 oz. cans of San Maranzano tomatoes (whole, peeled, drained)
  1. Take the chopped onion, garlic, carrots, and celery and put in a food processor and pulse until it’s a nice dice (this is your mirepoix!).
  2. Take the drained tomatoes and break them up with your hands or a potato masher. Set aside.
  3. Take a large saucepan and medium-high heat and add the olive oil, once it is hot add the mirepoix (your onion, carrot, celery, garlic). Sautee for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chorizo and stir to break it up, add the salt and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the wine and cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the milk and cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomato and bring to a slow boil, then turn heat down and simmer over low heat for about 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chorizo Rag

Chorizo Ragu

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  1. Quarter potatoes and steam in a large stockpot by placing a colander in pot with about six inches of water. Steam for about 35-40 minutes or until very tender.
  2. Once cool enough to touch but still warm, remove skins and mash well with a fork or use a potato ricer, add salt and pepper to season.
  3. Take 1 cup of the flour and place on a floured work surface, make a well in center and spoon in the mashed potato mixture. Continue to work into a dough, adding just enough flour to hold the dough together.  The dough should take about 2 ½ cups of flour total (give or take a ¼ cup).
  4. Once dough is well formed, roll out into a rectangle and divide into 6 equal pieces.
  5. Roll each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky.
  6. Cut each rope into about 20 pieces.
  7. Roll each piece over tines of the back of a fork to indent.  Transfer to floured baking sheet.
  8. Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi for about 5-6 minutes (once they float to the surface, cook for another 2 minutes).

    Sweet Potato Gnocchi with a Chorizo Ragu

Time to make the Sausage

2 Sep

With all the news today about foodborne illness, artisan cookery has made a comeback in America. Artisan breadmaking, sausagemaking, cheesemaking, all of these skills have entire online communities where amateurs exchange recipes, ideas, and tips to making their own fresh foods.

This weekend, I will take the plunge. Armed with my new KitchenAid mixer, my grinder attachment, and my hog casings, I will make my first attempt at making my own sausages, Mexican Chorizo to be precise. After spending several years trying to find a local source for this delicious taco filling, I have given up and decided there is nothing more fresh and local than my own kitchen.

Chorizo is nothing more than a chile and garlic flavored sausage that was first brought to the Americas by Spanish Conquistadors. It has evolved into a distinctively Mexican sausage of the last several hundred years.

After this adventure, I will post both the ingredients and the process that I used in production of my own Mexican Chorizo. I can just taste those tacos now!