Monday, June 01, 2009

Homemade Chorizo and My New Favorite Hummus

Have you ever given any thought to making your own chorizo? No, no, no—I haven’t got my charcuterie on yet! But one night, I wanted some nachos with a meaty topping, and I discovered, to my chagrin, that I was out of ground beef. While rooting around in the freezer, I discovered a one-pound roll of regular old breakfast sausage, and I figured that maybe I could make it work. I browned the mild pork sausage and added the following:

1 tablespoon dark chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika (I like to use half sweet and half smoked here)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on how salty the sausage is)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

I know, I know. It’s just adding seasoning to ordinary meat, but WOW! This homemade (uncured) chorizo is not only my new favorite topping for nachos, it’s the most delicious filling for tacos, tostadas or burritos, and it makes a wickedly good taco salad, especially with corn, Cuban black beans, red onion, and avocado! I don’t know why I always turn first to ground beef for these applications when ground pork is so amazingly flavorful! You’ve gotta try this easy swap-out on the next taco night at your house!

And if it’s one of those nights where even browning up some meat and chopping up some veggies is too much work, and you find yourself turning to prepared foods, I have a product recommendation for you. I usually make my own hummus (it’s so easy and inexpensive to do at home in the food processor!) because I like to add lots of extra garlic and freshly-squeezed lemon juice. But when I just want to grab some hummus and go, perhaps for a quickie lunch on the run, I have long been a fan of Cedar’s hummus. But I have only recently discovered my new favorite flavor: artichoke and spinach! YUM! Their roasted red pepper variety is really good, too, but I just love the lemony taste of the artichokes blended in, and the spinach makes the hummus very attractive, flecked with bits of dark green. It’s not hard to find Cedar’s hummus, but usually, the stores I shop carry just their original hummus and maybe garlic lover’s. But it’s worth seeking out some of these more unusual varieties at a gourmet deli or specialty food shop. In fact, there are several flavors listed on their website that I have never seen for sale that I’d love to try, including zesty lemon, roasted red chili pepper, pesto, sundried tomato and basil, even jalapeno and water chestnut. Hmm…maybe this calls for a special online order! If you live close to Massachusetts as I do, you don’t even have to pay for overnight shipping. It might just be worth it to try some of these other yummy-sounding flavors!


Cliff Girl said...

I have not seen that Hummus here! I'll keep my eyes open :)

My mom says hi!

<3 Adrienne

Joy Bugaloo said...

Adie, when you next see your mom, grab her unexpectedly and squeeze the stuffing out of her until she wonders what's gotten into you. Then say, "THAT was from Gina GIna Lou! She says THANKS for being her second mom back in the day!" :-)