Chorizo is one of those things that I kept reading about and coveting, like truffles, harissa, mangosteens and pink Hawaiian rock salt. There wasn’t any here, or if there was, I didn’t know where to find it. There were recipes I couldn’t make without substituting something ridiculous like spicy Italian sausage, and my chorizo-lessness compounded my sense of having my culinary imagination limited in some pedestrian, Midwestern way. With no chorizo (truffles, harissa, mangosteens or pink Hawaiian rock salt) I was just a “flyover” cook.
One day, I found chorizo among the sausages at the grocery store. We tried it, we kind of liked it, but it was very mushy and greasy, and not as complex as I had expected. I bought it and used it in the odd chorizo and egg burrito, but mostly (unlike harissa, which I got for Christmas and adored) it was kind of a disappointment.
So yesterday my friend Alice was talking about this fabulous chorizo produced at a local grocery store (Goodrich’s, in case you’re local) by a real, live butcher who goes by “Dr. Beef” (about which, no comment). She said that she had just invented a great dish using Dr. Beef’s chorizo, and that I had to try it. Today, around lunch time, she showed up with a bowl of the stuff with a beautiful piece of bread tucked in to soak up the sauce. It was magnificent; Alice and Dr. Beef (which would, in my opinion, be a great name for a band) both acquitted themselves fabulously well. The chorizo was spicy and complex, the green beans were crisp, the onions were caramelized to sweetness, and the oil/sauce in the bottom of the bowl was to die for. There is no picture because Mr. Annie and I shared the bowl full and fought over the last piece of bread to sop up the stuff in the bottom.
This is, besides being delicious, a great way to use what is fresh and best from the Farmer’s Market, although according to Alice the tomato she used was nothing to write home about (they aren’t really ready yet, around here) and it still turned out well.
Chorizo & Veggie Sautee a l’Alice
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (not Extra Virgin)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 chorizo sausage
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tomato cut into chunks about 1/2 inch square
- 1 large handful fresh green beans trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves
Heat olive oil in large skillet or sautee pan over medium heat. Remove sausage from casing and add to oil in pan along with the onion, breaking up chrizo with a spoon as it browns.
When the onions are carmelized and the sausage is browned, turn the heat to medium-high and add the tomato, green beans and Extra Virgin olive oil. Cook about 3 more minutes, until the tomatoes look a little browned, but not so long that the beans lose their crunch.
Turn off heat and stir in a large handful of fresh basil leaves.
Writes Alice: “Make sure you have bread to sop up the red oil….ogogogogogo
And eat it with fresh fruit! I’m having it with fresh black
raspberries and peaches. It cools off your mouth and balances the
spice so beautifully. (I think there’s cloves in them thar chorizo.)”