Growing up, chorizo was a staple on our table. Part of my family hails from Mexico, so we tended to eat it in the morning with eggs and a bit of cilantro. And as an adult, I’ve discovered a myriad of methods for cooking chorizo. Breakfast, lunch and dinner? It’s a dream come true if you ask me.
But if you’ve never heard of chorizo, don’t fear! Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about this sensational sausage.
What Is Chorizo?
Spanish and Portuguese chorizos are made from cured pork that is heavily seasoned with paprika. It can be smoked or unsmoked, spicy or sweet. Look for picante and dulce on the label, respectively. Because it’s cured, you can eat it straight out of the package or saute it and pop it into your go-to skillet dish. It’s like salami with a Spanish twist.
Depending on where you live in the U.S., you may also be familiar with Mexican chorizo. The major departure between Old World chorizo and Mexican chorizo is the fact that Mexican chorizo is fresh rather than cured. Think of it as a sort of Mexican sausage. Like its Iberian cousins, Mexican chorizo is usually made with pork, although you’ll come across beef chorizo as well. It’s seasoned with plenty of traditional spices like dried chili, paprika and cumin.
Usually, folks cook it up and serve it with eggs but there are any number of ways you can enjoy it. The most obvious use is for classic Mexican fare; however, chorizo makes a exquisite addition to stews, seafood dishes and pasta. Don’t hold back—get creative!
How to Cook With Chorizo
There are a number of fabulous ways you can use chorizo in your cooking, whether you opt for Mexican, Spanish or Portuguese flavors. Iberian chorizo is easy. Just lightly saute it then add it to your recipe. It’s also delicious as part of a charcuterie plate.
If you’re cooking with Mexican chorizo, you’ll want to remove the casing. To get you started, here’s an easy (and delicious!) recipe for our take on huevos rancheros.
- 2 flour tortillas (Here’s how to make ’em at home.)
- Cooking spray
- 3/4 cup refried beans
- 4 ounces fresh chorizo
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup mild salsa
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Step 1: Tortilla Time
Preheat your oven to 425°. Lightly spray both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray. Press the tortillas onto the bottom and up the sides of two 1-1/2-quart ovenproof bowls to shape them. Bake about 8-10 minutes or until the edges have just browned. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, then remove the tortillas from the bowls.
Step 2: Get Cooking
Remove the chorizo from its casing. Cook the chorizo for about 5-6 minutes in a large skillet over medium-high heat—you won’t need any oil here. While the chorizo is cooking, heat the beans in a microwave. Once they’re heated through, place them in the tortilla bowl. Drain the chorizo and place on top of the beans. This is what to do with your leftover cooking oil.
Step 3: Eggs-cellent!
Cover the salsa and microwave it until it’s heated through. Wipe out the skillet then add in your eggs. Scramble them until cooked, then spoon eggs over the chorizo. Finish your tortilla bowls by garnishing with a spoonful of salsa and a generous helping of cheese.