Saturday, August 16, 2008

Whatever Became of the Palacios Chorizo Challenges?

My musings on ice cream may have lead you to wonder how I'm doing with my fridge full of sausage. Believe it or not, I am almost all the way through the Palacios chorizo. However, as I recently received another shipment of samples (of Hungarian origin this time), the fridge still remains practically full of cured meat.

How did I manage to use up my remaining chorizo friends? A variety of ways. I was not above slicing the chorizo into sandwiches of fresh baguette, tomato, basil and manchego cheese. I also served much of it as part of a cured meat tapa dish (alongside good Seville olives and slabs of tortilla--see the Tapas Episode). My favourite use, however, continued to be a chorizo based paella (see First Challenge), which I returned to again and again, particularly in times of ingredient scarcity.

Another impromptu invention, albeit one requiring more ingredient planning and therefore less frequently attempted and still requiring some perfecting, was the chorizo tart (pictured). While the tart does require a few things that you may not normally keep in your fridge (e.g. puff pastry), it is in fact ridiculously easy to make. Here is as far as I got with my experiments:

1 sheet of pre-prepared puff pastry
2 small chorizo sausages, quartered length wise
10 small rounds of young goat cheese (about 1 cm thick)
1 handfull of asparagus (trimmed) or 1 cup of red pepper (roasted in 200C oven for 1/2 hour), sliced
4 cups of whole milk (you can substitute 2 cups of creme fraiche for the same quantity of milk for more deliciousness)
2 large eggs
salt and pepper, to taste

Press the puff pastry into a greased 9 inch pie pan. Precook according to package directions. While the pastry is baking, beat together the eggs and milk; season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the pastry is out of the oven, place the rounds of goat cheese evenly across the bottom of the pastry. Top with milk and egg mixture. Lie the chorizo and the asparagus (or peppers) evenly across the top of the tart; they should be only partly submerged in the egg mixture. (To convert this into a vegetarian friendly delicacy, simply omit the chorizo.) Bake in a 180C oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the tart is set.

Accompany with a crisp white wine, perhaps an albariño.

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