Welcome to HowDoYouCook.com

By learning about basic ingredients and how to use them, you can create simple, quick and delicious meals your family will love!!

Showing posts with label Chorizo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chorizo. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

For day 14 of Soup Month 2014 we made a Shrimp and Chorizo Soup that combines spicy chorizo sausage with fire-roasted tomatoes and fresh shrimp in a white wine broth.  With just a hint of smoky paprika in the background, the broth really completes the soup beautifully.  A loaf of crusty French bread and a glass of white wine are all that's needed to make this a delicious, hearty meal.

This soup is very easy to prepare and features one of my favorite ingredients, chorizo.  (If you are not a fan of spicy chorizo, you could also substitute a mild kielbasa or Italian sausage.)  After a quick saute, the sausage is cooked along with garlic, onion, potatoes and tomatoes and gently simmered to blend all of the flavors.  The shrimp is added to the soup during the last 10 minutes and dinner is ready.  Enjoy!!

1 TB  Olive Oil
1 lb  Chorizo Sausage Links, sliced 3/4-inch thick
1 stalk  Celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup  Finely Chopped Onion
1 tsp  Minced Garlic
1/4 tsp  Smoked Paprika
5  Medium Red Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 14.5 oz can  Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
1/2 cup  White Wine
1 cup  Water
Fresh Chopped Parsley for Garnish

In a large soup pot, over medium-high heat, saute the chorizo in the oil for 4 minutes, until just beginning to brown.  Add the celery, onion, garlic and paprika to the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender.

Add the red potatoes, tomatoes, white wine and water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Remove the pot from the heat, add the shrimp, pushing them gently down into the broth.  Cover the pot and let sit for 10 minutes while the shrimp steam.  Remove the lid and check to make sure the shrimp are nice and pink, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chorizo Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Chorizo and chicken always work well together, with the spicy chorizo adding a generous layer of flavor to the mild white-meat chicken.  To make this combination even better, we added creamy Monterey Jack cheese and finely minced poblano peppers.

Many people think making chicken bundles like these is difficult, but once you learn the method, these are super easy to prepare.  Here are a few hints:  By slicing the chicken breasts horizontally, but not all of the way through, you can open the chicken up like a book, lay it flat, then pound the chicken until it is as thin as you'd like. Second, instead of using toothpicks to secure the bundles, I use metal turkey lacers.  You can buy 6 or 8 of these at the grocery for about $2 and they work great for meals like this one.  (Toothpicks always scare me.  I really don't want a piece of wood in someone's dinner! lol)  Last tip, Be sure to place the bundles seam side down and try to tuck the end pieces in under the bundle.  This will keep the cheese and other ingredients inside of the bundle as much as possible.

For the sauce we prepared a homemade enchilada sauce, but if you're in a hurry, you could also use a can of premade sauce.  The sauce was served on the side so the chicken can be dipped, or it can be spooned over the chicken before serving.  Serve with Green Chili Cornbread and Enjoy!!

4 large  Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 large  Poblano Chili, finely minced
1/4 lb  Bulk Chorizo Sausage, cooked and crumbled
4 oz  Monterey Jack Cheese, cut into 4 thick slices
1/2 cup  Bread Crumbs
1 tsp  Chili Powder
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp  Cumin
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
6 tb  Butter, melted
Chopped Green Onions for Garnish

Enchilada Sauce
8 oz  Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp  Cumin
1/4 tsp  Chili Powder
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Combine the bread crumbs, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, cumin and pepper in a shallow dish and set aside.

Using a sharp knife, slice each chicken breast horizontally about 3/4 through.  Open the chicken breast so you have a large fillet.  Place a piece of waxed paper over the chicken and pound the meat until it is about 1/4-inch thick.  Do this carefully so the meat does not pull apart.  Set aside and prepare the other pieces of chicken.

Spread each piece of chicken with equal amounts of chopped poblano and chorizo, then top with a slice of Monterey Jack cheese.  Roll up each bundle and secure with a toothpick or metal skewer.

Dip each bundle into the melted butter, then roll it in the bread crumb mixture, pressing firmly so the crumbs will adhere.  Place the bundles seam-side down on the baking sheet and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden and the chicken juices run clear.

Prepare the sauce while the chicken is cooking.

Combine the tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a small skillet and heat to a low boil, then reduce heat to warm until ready to serve.

Remove chicken from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.  Slice each piece of chicken, place on a plate and spoon the sauce over the chicken or serve it on the side.  Sprinkle with green onions for a garnish.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Smoky Pork and Chorizo Tacos

If you're tired of boring ground beef tacos, this is a great way to upgrade taco night.  These Pork and Chorizo Tacos get their great smoky flavor from canned chipotle peppers with adobo sauce.  If you're not familiar with these little peppers, this is a really simple recipe to experiment with chipotles. 

Chipotles are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried, then packed in a smoky, spicy red sauce.  One word of caution, different brands of chipotles can vary tremendously in flavor and heat.  For some recipes one pepper will add just enough spice, but with other brands you might need two or three peppers for the same dish.  The important thing here is to taste test.  Start with the single pepper and a little adobo sauce, taste the sauce, and if it is too mild you can always add more peppers or sauce.

If you have leftover peppers when you are finished with this recipe, there are many ways to use up the extras.  Store the remaining peppers, with the adobo sauce, in a small glass jar covered with plastic wrap.  These can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks without spoiling.  For a quick sandwich spread, you can puree the peppers and sauce with a few tablespoons of cream cheese.  Or they can be chopped and added to omelets, soups, chili, or polenta.  You can even freeze the leftovers in a small Ziploc bag.  The next time you are making chili, just break off a piece and add it to the chili pot. The added smoky flavor will transform any dish into something amazing.  You can find canned chipoltes in the Mexican foods section of your local grocer for about $1.00 per can.  Such a bargain!

This recipe uses pork sirloin, which is a juicy, full of flavor cut of pork.  When combined with spicy chorizo, onion, garlic and a few spices, you get a smoky taco that just needs a few toppings to be the perfect masterpiece.  We added sliced avocados, crumbled queso fresco cheese and, for the more daring, heat-loving diners, a little hot salsa for even more heat.  Enjoy!!

2 lbs  Pork Sirloin, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/4 tsp  Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 TB  Olive Oil
1/2 lb  Fresh Chorizo, casing removed
1 small  Onion, chopped
1 TB Minced Garlic
3/4 cup  Crushed Tomatoes
2 or 3  Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, plus 2 tsp sauce
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Sugar
Soft Tortillas
Garnishes: Avocado slices, sliced onion, chopped tomato, salsa

Place the pork in a large pot, cover with water and add the thyme and bay leaves, then simmer the pork over medium heat for 30 minutes or until tender and cooked through.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pork to a plate to cool.  Reserve 1 cup of the broth and discard the remainder.

When the pork is cool enough to work with, use two forks to shred the meat into small pieces and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chorizo and cook 10 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spoon.  Add the pork, onion and garlic, stir and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the reserved broth, tomatoes, peppers, adobo sauce, salt, pepper and sugar, stir and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat.  Adjust the sauce as needed by adding a bit more salt, pepper or adobo sauce.

Spoon the pork mixture into soft taco shells and serve with an assortment of toppings including avocado slices, queso fresco cheese, salsa, chopped onion or tomato.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mixed Seafood Paella

Tonight was my first attempt at making Paella, which is a Spanish dish of saffron rice, combined with a variety of meats and shellfish such as shrimp, lobster, clams, chicken, ham or chorizo.  Other ingredients might include garlic, onions, peas, peppers, or tomatoes, and the combination can easily change to use the foods available or to suit your own preference.

The inspiration for this dish came from a bag of mixed seafood I found at Trader Joe's.  I wanted to do something special with this seafood, not just a simple stir fry, and since I've always wanted to try paella, this was my chance. 

The seafood mix included shrimp, calamari rings and baby scallops, and there were enough in the package for about four servings.  To bring this up to serve six people, we added some fresh seafood, a dozen each of clams, mussels and large Atlantic shrimp.  The results were amazing, and although I might have to try this recipe a few more times to get that "authentic" dish, I was pretty impressed with the final outcome.  The broth was very similar to cioppino and the flavor of the chorizo enhanced all of the other ingredients. In the traditional recipe, all of the liquid is fully absorbed into the rice, but I really liked having the broth with the rice. (I don't think I would change a thing there because the broth was heavenly.)

Instead of the traditional paella pan I used my faithful stock pot and it worked out great, no special pan needed.  In place of arborio rice and saffron threads, I used a saffron rice mixture, and it was a perfectly seasoned shortcut. I was very surprised at how easy this dish was to prepare, so I'm sure we will be making it again, and I can't wait to try it on the outdoor grill.

This is a really fun dish to make and enjoy with guests.  There is something for everyone and one thing is for sure, there won't be any leftovers!  Enjoy!!

2 TB  Olive Oil
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 medium  Onion, chopped
1 small Red Pepper, chopped
1 small Yellow Pepper, chopped
5 oz pkg  Riojano Sliced Chorizo
1 cup  Yellow Rice with Saffron
2 1/4 cups  Chicken Broth
1/2 tsp  Smoked Paprika
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 cup  Frozen Baby Peas
12  Fresh Clams, scrubbed
12  Fresh Mussels, scrubbed
12  Fresh Shrimp, shelled and deveined, leaving tail attached
1 pkg  Trader Joe's Frozen Seafood Mix (shrimp, scallops and calamari), defrosted

Heat oil in a large stock pot or paella pan over medium-high heat.  When oil begins to shimmer add the garlic, onion, peppers and chorizo.  Cook until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the rice, broth, paprika, salt and pepper and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until about half of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

Add the peas to the pot and stir gently.  Add the clams, mussels and shrimp to the pot, pressing the shellfish down into the rice and broth, then add the package of Seafood Mix, again lightly pushing the seafood into the rice and broth.  Cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until the shells are opened and the shrimp are pink and cooked through.  (Discard any mussels or clams that did not open.)

Serve the Paella with lemon wedges on the side and a glass of light red Rioja or Chianti wine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Crock Pot Spicy Black Bean, Ham and Chorizo Soup

Be warned, spicy is an understatement with this soup!  If you like hot and spicy soups, this could be just the recipe you've been waiting for.

This recipe is a twist on the classic Portuguese Bean Soup, but with a lot of extra flavor.  In place of the usual kidney beans and chicken stock used in the traditional recipe, we decided to try black beans and beef stock, with a can of diced jalapenos for added spice.  Yum!  Another layer of flavor in this soup comes from the sliced chorizo sausage.  This is a new product that I found at our local market, but any type of cooked chorizo would work fine.  If you can't find chorizo slices, even a good quality pepperoni would be a good substitute.

This is a super easy crock pot recipe that takes all of 15 minutes to prepare, then 5 hours of low and slow cooking time for all of the flavors to combine.  Enjoy!!

2 cups  Diced Cooked Ham, leftover ham works great
2 oz  Sliced Chorizo, sliced into quarters
2 tsp  Minced Garlic
1 carton  Beef Broth
1  15 oz can  Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium  Onion, diced
1 medium  Green Pepper, diced
1 4 oz can  Diced Jalapenos
2 small  Carrots, peeled and shredded
1  Bay Leaf
1/4 tsp  Cumin
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Black Pepper
1/2 cup  Ditalini Pasta, or any small pasta

In a small skillet, saute the ham, chorizo slices and garlic for 5 minutes, or just until the ham is slightly browned on the edges.  Pour the mixture into the crock pot.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the pasta, and stir.  Cover the pot and cook on LOW for 4 hours.

After the 4 hours, remove the bay leaf, add the pasta and continue to cook on LOW for 1 hour longer.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chicken and Chorizo Stew over Saffron Rice

For day 19 of Soup Month 2012, we have a spicy Chicken and Chorizo Stew served over Saffron Rice.  This is a delicious stew that's a bit of a modern twist on the classic slow-roasted French Cassoulet.  This is truly peasant food at its best! The best part is, this recipe is a lot less work than making a real Cassoulet.  Been there, done that and it takes forever! Try this instead.

The zesty chorizo sausage is a great backdrop to the chicken, vegetables and navy beans, and the fire roasted tomatoes add a layer of flavor that makes this dish taste like it's cooked for hours. 

This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover baked chicken.  TIP: If possible, I always buy a larger chicken than I think I will need for one meal.  For the 5 of us, I try to buy at least a 5 pound chicken and 6 pounds if I can find one.   By doing this I know I will have cooked chicken left over to make dinner for at least one more meal later in the week.  This is a major time saver!

Prep time for this delicious meal is less than 10 minutes, with total cooking time around 45 minutes.  The saffron rice is actually a short cut version from Par Excellence, available through local retailers.  It's a quality product that has great flavor and saves a lot of time while cooking.

1 medium  Yellow Onion, chopped
1 medium  Green Pepper, chopped
2 tsp  Minced Garlic
1/2 lb  Fresh Bulk Chorizo (if using links remove casings)
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp  Paprika (reduce to 1/4 tsp for less spice)
1/2 tsp  Cayenne Pepper (reduce to 1/4 tsp for less spice)
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 14-1/2 oz can  Hunt's Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
1 8 oz can  Hunt's Tomato Sauce with Garlic
3/4 cup  Dry White Wine
2 cups  Cooked Chicken, white and dark meat (leftover chicken works great!)
1 TB  Cornmeal (optional)

Using a large soup pot over medium-high heat, add onion, green pepper, garlic and chorizo.  Use a spoon to break the chorizo into small pieces and stir to combine with the vegetables.  Cook for 5 - 7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the chorizo is browned.

Add the oregano, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper to the pot and stir.  Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and white wine to the pot, stir and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the cooked chicken to the pot, stir to combine and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

If needed, add the 1 tablespoon of cornmeal to the stew to thicken the sauce, stir and cook over low heat for 10 minutes longer.  If you prefer a thinner sauce, feel free to skip the cornmeal.  Serve the stew over a scoop of Saffron Rice. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Penne Pasta with Sauteed Chicken and Chorizo

This recipe is the result of the classic dilemma of all Moms, "What am I going to cook for dinner?"  Sometimes the answer comes to you quickly and other times you look in the freezer, fridge and pantry and not one idea comes to mind!  Another trip to the store? Really?  Not this time. Today I would improvise!

Upon freezer inspection I found a package of boneless and skinless chicken breast. That was a good start.  But what else?  Next I found a half pound of chorizo sausage. Hmm.  Chicken...chorizo and...pasta!  Right under the chorizo was a bag of frozen spinach, and there it was... dinner!

Mystery dinners are so much fun to make. It's kind of like a real life version of the show Chopped.  Pull all of these ingredients together and make something awesome out of them.  Surprisingly, this meal came together so easily I will surely make it again soon. I even got the "thumbs up" from the picky eater in the family, and she even asked for seconds!  THAT is the true sign of dinner success!

1 TB  Olive Oil
1-1/4 lb  Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1/2 lb  Portuguese Chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (you could also substitute a Mexican or Spanish variety)
1/2 cup  White Wine
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
1 cup  Half and Half
1 1/2 cups  Milk
1 cup  Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 cups  Cooked Chopped Spinach
13.25 oz box  Regular or Whole Wheat Penne Rigate

Boil the pasta according to package directions, cooking until al dente.  This can be done while the other ingredients are cooking, that way the pasta does not sit too long.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken pieces and the onion and brown 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the chopped chorizo to the pan with the chicken, reduce heat to medium and cook about 5 minutes longer, until the chicken is cooked thru.

Add the wine and thyme to the skillet and stir well.  When the wine has reduced down, add the spinach, half and half and milk to the pan, stirring to combine.  Next add the Parmesan cheese and stir.  If the sauce is a little thin, add another 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and stir.

When the sauce is warm and the cheese has melted, drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the chicken mixture.  Stir to combine and evenly coat all of the pasta.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and a glass of chardonnay.  Makes about 6 - 8 servings.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ultimate Chicken Fajitas

This recipe was inspired by a Food and Wine recipe for Chicken Alambre, which actually seems to be misnamed.  Since alambre in Spanish means "wire", I'm still not sure where the name came from but we added a few twists to the ingredient proportions and the results were surprisingly good.

This dish reminds me so much of a restaurant in Phoenix that served southern Mexico cuisine, which is actually quite different than the food served in the northern regions of Mexico.  Many of the meals served in northern Mexico use grilled meat, and primarily beef as the main protein, while in the southern regions chicken, seafood and vegetable dishes are more common. The northern dishes also seem to favor heavier sauces, while the southern style concentrates on bold clean flavors from the foods themselves like in this dish.

Many Mexican dishes have also been "Americanized" by adding heavy cheeses to foods such as tacos or tostados, while in most regions of Mexico cheese, especially cheddar, is rarely used.  Adding a light queso fresco to this fajita allowed all of the flavors to pop and a squeeze of lime juice over the top brings all of these flavors together.

This is a delicious twist on the traditional fajita and we will surely make these again soon.  Included in the mix are sauteed red onion and red peppers, a little bacon and chorizo for extra flavor, and a topping of avocado and Mexican queso fresco cheese. 

8 oz  Thick Cut Bacon, diced into small pieces
8 oz  Fresh Chorizo, casings removed and meat crumbled
2 lbs  Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into narrow strips
2 tsp  Salt
1 tsp  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1  Large Red Bell Peppers, cut into strips
1  Large Red Onion, sliced

For Toppings
Queso Fresco or Shredded Mexican Cheese
Avocado, sliced
Fresh Lime Wedges

In a large skillet, fry the bacon until slightly softened, then add the crumbled chorizo.  Continue to cook about 5 minutes until the bacon and chorizo are nearly cooked thru and the bacon is a little browned.  Drain the excess grease.

Add the chicken strips to the pan, stirring to combine and season with salt and pepper.  Cook 5 minutes until the chicken is almost fully cooked.  Add the peppers and onions to the pan, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.

Spoon the mixture into soft flour tortillas, add a few avocado slices, some crumbled queso fresco and a generous squeeze of lime and serve. Enjoy!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chorizo-Poblano Tacos with Pepper Cheese Sauce

These taco were amazing!  The spicy flavor of chorizo and the zing of pepperjack cheese added a nice twist to the standard taco.  Add a squeeze of lime for an extra layer of flavor.

Cheese sauce can be a little tricky to make.  Be sure to keep whisking the butter and flour at the start to create a smooth base texture. Then when adding the cheese, continue to stir until the sauce is smooth again, then you can turn to a low heat.

5 TB Butter
1/3 cup Flour
1 cup Milk
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Parsley Flakes
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 - 8 oz block Pepper Jack Cheese, grated or cubed

Meat Filling
1/2 lb Chorizo
1 lb Ground Beef
1/4 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 small Yellow Onion, minced
1/3 - 1/2 of 1 Poblano Chile, minced
3 cups  Romaine Lettuce, shredded
12 Soft Taco Shells

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly until golden, about 2 minutes.
Add milk and whisk until smooth and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

In a large skillet, brown the chorizo and ground beef, breaking up the meat into consistent small pieces.  ** For a little healthier recipe, we drained off the grease at this point, but draining is optional.

Add the next 6 ingredients thru the pepper cheese to the sauce and stir until the cheese is melted and smooth. Turn heat to low and keep warm.

To finish the meat filling, move the meat to the outer edges of the skillet and add the oregano, pepper, onion, garlic and chile to the center of the skillet.  Continue to stir until the onions, garlic and chile are softened, then combine with the browned meat.

Fill each soft taco shell with the meat mixture followed by a spoonful of cheese sauce and a handful of romaine on top.  A squeeze of lime added a nice zing to the finished taco. Enjoy!   Serves 4 - 6

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya

This dish was inspired by a new product I came across that I had to try. It's a white wine and herb broth from College Inn, and it has an amazing flavor and fragrance.  I've been trying to think of a good experiment for this broth and this turned out delicious.

The chicken and chorizo in this dish are a match made in culinary heaven!  You might notice the lack of tomato in this jambalaya, which is due to having one child with a tomato allergy, but with the combination of flavors you won't even miss the tomato.  Another twist to this recipe would be to add a dozen or so peeled and deveined raw shrimp in place of the ham.  The shrimp steams nicely on top of the chicken and will add a more Cajun/creole factor. Directions for this alternate version are included.

My favorite part of this meal? It's all cooked in a single pot and start to finish it takes less than 1 hour. Enjoy!

1 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Dry Mustard
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
1 1/2 tsp  Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Ground Cayenne Pepper
3 TB  Olive Oil
6 pieces Bone-In  or  Boneless Chicken (I used 3 leg quarters and 3 boneless breasts)
1/2 lb  Chorizo Sausage
1 cup  Diced Ham  (or substitute 1 lb Raw Shrimp, peeled & deveined)
1 small Onion, diced
1  Rib of Celery, diced
1  Red Pepper diced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups  Jasmati Rice (or other long grain rice)
2 cups  College Inn White Wine & Herb Broth

Combine the 7 dry herbs in a small bowl.  Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry, then sprinkle with the dry rub mixture and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the pot and cook about 5 - 7 minutes, turn and cook 5 minutes longer. (*Note: Cooking time for chicken may be a bit less if you are using boneless chicken. Just adjust your cooking time down a few minutes.)

When chicken is nicely browned on all sides (it does not need to be fully cooked yet), add the chorizo to the pan and crumble, cooking for about 2 minutes. Next add the ham and cook 2 additional minutes.

Add the onion, celery, pepper and garlic to the pot, stirring gently to combine around the chicken and let the veggies saute for 2 minutes.

Using a pair of tongs, move 3 of the chicken pieces atop the other 3 pieces, add the rice to the pot, then add the broth.  Gently blend the veggie/rice and broth mixture, then reposition the chicken pieces so that all 6 are nestled into the broth.  (** See Note below for adding optional shrimp at this point.)

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until nearly all of broth has been absorbed by the rice.  Do not stir while it is simmering.

Remove the pot from the heat and let stand about 5 minutes to allow the broth to fully absorb.  Serve with crusty french bread and a bottle of Old Vine Zinfandel.

** Note:  If you choose to substitute the shrimp in place of the ham, just after you add the rice and broth, reposition the chicken then add the shrimp to the pot, pushing them down into the mixture.  We made this same recipe using 6 chicken drumsticks plus 1 lb of shrimp in exchange for the ham, and left the rest of the recipe the same.  The results were outstanding!!  The rice was tender and full of flavor from the chorizo and spices and the shrimp and chicken were perfectly cooked.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Smoky Shrimp and Chorizo Soup

The best thing about making homemade soup is getting to experiment with new flavors.  For day #7 of Soup Month, we've combined shrimp with fire-roasted tomatoes, white wine and spicy dry chorizo and the end result is delicious.

This recipe was adapted from a 2009 Food &Wine recipe I came across.  I had never used dry chorizo so I was curious to try it as we do like fresh chorizo.  The dry variety does need to be used in this recipe as the fresh would result in a mushy texture.  The smoky paprika, combined with the chorizo and shrimp is an amazing flavor, without being overly spicy.  We did add a package of frozen cheese tortellini just to make the soup a bit more hearty and a little more kid-friendly.

2 lbs Medium Shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
1 - 49 oz can Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
12 oz  Dry White Wine
8 oz Dry Chorizo, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Small Sweet Onion, finely diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
1 - 28-oz can Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 TB Flour mixed with 2 TB of Water
1 pkg  Frozen Cheese Filled Tortellini
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Avocado slices, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, simmer the shrimp shells in the chicken broth and wine, covered, for 10 minutes. Strain the broth and discard the shells.

In a large soup pot, cook the chorizo over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a plate. Add the onion, garlic and paprika to the pot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Return the chorizo to the pot, add the shrimp broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat for 25 minutes. Stir the flour mixture, whisk it into the soup and boil for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tortellini and bring soup back to a low boil.  Add the shrimp to the soup and cook just until pink and curled, about 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with avocado slices.