Potato and Chorizo Frittata

This Potato and Chorizo Frittata is a combination of Italian techniques with Spanish ingredients. Potatoes and chorizo are always a winning combination. The topping of quick pickled shallots and parsley add a fresh finish. This is good for a lazy weekend breakfast or a light meal with a bit of salad.
The rice vinegar is optional, but it prevents the potatoes from overcooking. You want about one tablespoon of vinegar per quart of water.

Here is the video for this recipe.

1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
sprig of thyme
1/2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
4 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
splash of rice or white vinegar
olive oil
250 g/ 8 oz chorizo, sliced
6 large eggs, beaten
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 Tbsp parsley, chopped

To quick pickle the shallots, combine shallot with red wine vinegar, thyme, black peppercorns, a couple of pinches of salt, and 1/2 cup boiling hot water. Set aside to cool. Drain after 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, put potatoes in salted boiling water with a splash of rice vinegar. Boil until just cooked.
Preheat broiler.
Over high heat add a generous splash of olive oil to a large ovenproof frying pan. Add potatoes and chorizo. Cook, stirring often, until chorizo has released its juices and potatoes are golden. Remove from pan, leaving oil.
Beat eggs with a pinch of salt and grind of black pepper. Add to pan. Then return potatoes and chorizo to pan, spreading out evenly. Cook without stirring until bottom is just turning golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
Place pan under broiler until golden on tops of potatoes and at edges. Keep an eye on it as this will happen quickly.
Remove from pan. Top with parsley and shallot.

Quick Sauerkraut, White Beans, and Chouriço

A combination of sour cabbage, creamy beans, and spicy chorizo makes a yummy dish.

1 whole cabbage, thinly sliced

340g/ 12 oz cooked white beans

180g/ 6oz chouriço (about 1 link)

6 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon mustard

5 grinds white pepper

sprinkle of cayenne pepper (optional)

In a large pot add enough water to cover the bottom.  Add cabbage, vinegar, salt, mustard, pepper, and cayenne (optional).

Cover pot. Cook cabbage over low heat until it has softened, but is still crunchy (about 30 to 40 minutes).

In the meantime remove skin from the chouriço, if necessary. Slice into 2.5 cm/ 1 in pieces. Fry in oil until outside is crispy.

Add chouriço and white beans to cabbage and warm throughly. Serve.

Shrimp and Chouriça Soup

This Shrimp and Chouriça Soup is spicy and smoky from the chouriça and full of umami from the shrimp, including homemade shrimp stock.

I made this with chouriça, as opposed to chouriço. The stuffing of chouriça can be similar to chouriço, but chouriça is made specifically from the Bísaro pig. The Bísaro pig is indigenous to Portugal and feed with a mixture of farm crops and chestnuts. I picked up chouriça transmontana, which is from the district of Guarda in the northeast of Portugal at the Spanish border.

This recipe starts with an easy shrimp stock. A good stock is a big starting point to a great soup. Making your own stock is cheaper, and it tastes better. If you want to shorten the time on this recipe, you can buy peeled shrimp and premade seafood stock.

I added piri piri chilis from Uganda; they are pretty hot. With the five piri piri I used, it came out with a mild spiciness. Thai chilis are a good substitute. Adjust peppers as desired.

I used a total of 1 teaspoon of salt to the soup, but I have a high salt tolerance so I suggest you taste it for yourself.

Smoked paprika adds a nice dimension to the dish, but regular paprika will do in a pinch.

Vinho verde is a great wine to use in this recipe, along with serving with it. It’s light and fresh with a high acidity.

Makes 2 servings


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Portuguese Fried Rice

In this recipe for Portuguese Fried Rice, chouriço is fried until crispy. Then vegetables and rice are tossed in the oil extracted from the chouriço. It is finished with the green of a spring onion and parsley.

There are a lot of ways reasons why this is not fried rice: there is no soy sauce, there is no wok, and I’ve added chouriço, but throughout history, people and cuisines have flowed together, influencing each other, using new techniques and different ingredients. Where would Italian food today be without the new world tomato? This recipe has rice that is fried with an egg added so I’m calling it fried rice. It’s a hodgepodge making its own thing.

I have not been able to find green onions in Portugal so far (maybe because it’s been cold) so I used a spring onion, slicing the white for the fry and the green bits to toss in at the end. You could do the same with green onions.

I am currently tasting all the chouriço of Portugal I can manage, but as there are so many, I don’t think I’ll get through them anytime soon. For this recipe I used mouro choriço, which is made with fats and pig guts, and bloody meat trimmings, giving it a darker color, along with salt, dried garlic, paprika, cumin, and white wine; it’s cured by smoking. Mouro choriço is from the Portalegre district in the Alentjano region, which is in the southeast corner of Portugal at the Spanish border.

As you will see in the photos, I did not have a large enough pan to cook all the rice at once so I did it in two batches. The amounts given in the ingredients are for two servings.

Another note, this is salty the way I like my rice, so adjust to your own tastes.

I always like to add something hot to serve with my fried rice. Right now I am adding piri piri, hot pepper sauce, to everything.

Makes 2 servings


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White Bean and Chouriço Soup with Garlic Bread

White Bean and Chouriço Soup with Bread is a delicious easy soup that is more than the sum of its parts. Smoky spicy chouriço is added to white beans with tomatoes and roasted sweet red bell peppers. The bread soaks up the delicious broth.

Homemade beans make a big difference in this simple recipe, plus you have the juices to add to the soup broth. I usually cook a whole bag of beans at once and freeze whatever is left to save time so I have some already cooked whenever I need them. Of course you could make a big pot of beans especially for this recipe. It is that good. I like my beans soft and almost falling apart to impart creaminess, but cook your beans according to your own tastes.

For the sausage I used Alentejana chouriço (chorizo in Spanish) which is made from Alentjana pork.  Also known as black pork, it is a specialty found only in the Alentejo region in southern Portugal. The pig is fattened on acorns, giving it a nutty flavor. Also the fat from the acorns is monounsaturated, like olive oil, so it is healthier than other pork. Chouriço is smoky and flavored with wine and garlic. The one I used was not heavy on the paprika and not very fatty; it reminded me most of andouille sausage, which could be used as a substitute in this recipe. Although it can be eaten raw, I cook it in the soup to add flavor.

Also finding another use for old bread is always handy. Adding bread to soup to give it more heft and texture has been done since ancient times. In this recipe the bread is rubbed with garlic, dried in the oven, put in the bottom of bowls, and soup is ladled on top, like reverse croutons. The bread absorbs the juices, but it does not dissolve in the soup making bites of broth soaked bread. If you want a thicker soup you could sprinkle in breadcrumbs, or if you want it really thick you can toss in chunks of crustless bread with the broth and allow it to cook until the bread dissolves.


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