Posts tagged ‘Chorizo’

P.E.I. Mussels w/ Chorizo & Crispy Oven Baked Fries w/ Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

This recipe was supposed to be my very first post…but there were no good mussels to be found anywhere so I had to make some pasta. But now I got me some…and they are amazing. The mussels from Prince Edward Island in Canada are exceptional…big, meaty, plump and tender and somehow have the least amount of grit in them, which makes for a more pleasant eating experience. Best of all, P.E.I mussels, a top quality ingredient is $3-4 a pound. I buy 1 pound per person so a meal for two costs me $6 in mussels! That’s as inexpensive as it gets so take advantage of it. Make sure you try and get a piece of chorizo with every bite…its ridiculously delicious!

Oven Fries Ingredients:

I think I prefer these fries to deep fried fries. If done well, they are every bit as delicious and possibly even better.

2 Russet Potatoes (good rule of thumb, buy 1 potato per person)

Olive Oil


Salt & Pepper

Sweet & Spicy Sauce:

Heaping Spoonful of Mayo

Heaping Spoonful of Ketchup

1 Teaspoon of Siracha Sauce (Asian chili sauce)

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Honey


The fries will take 40 minutes to cook so start them first. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub your potatoes under water to get some of the dirt off them and dry them off. Slice the potato in half and then cut into wedges. Put the wedges in a bowl and run under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps to wash away a lot of the starch in the potatoes and it helps them crisp up when they cook. The longer you keep them in water, the better but you can use them right away.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the fries out. Add oil, salt, pepper and paprika and toss to cover. Space them out on the baking sheet so most of the surface of the potatoes are making contact with the foil so they get nice and crispy. Throw them in the oven and bake for 40 minutes turning them half way through cooking. After about 40 minutes or when they look browned and crisp, take them out of the oven and plate with the dipping sauce.

Sorry for not having any pictures for the sweet and spicy dipping sauce, didn’t know if it would come out good so I didn’t shoot it. It turned out to be so good so I kept it. To make it, add a heaping spoonful of mayo and a heaping spoonful of ketchup, about a teaspoon of Siracha sauce and about a teaspoon of honey in a bowl and mix to combine. Taste it and adjust…if its too spicy add more honey, if its too sweet add some spice…you want a nice balanced sweet and spicy sauce.


Mussels Ingredients:

2 Lbs of Fresh Prince Edward Island Mussels, Rinsed and De-bearded (or about 1 lb/person)

1  – 1 1/2 Cups of Good Quality Chorizo, Sliced into Half Moons

1 Spanish Onion

5 Garlic Cloves, Halved and Thinly Sliced

1 Cup of Good White Wine (One you’d like to drink)

2 Tablespoons of Cream

Handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley

A Knob of Butter

Salt & Pepper

Olive Oil


First you’ve got to clean and de-beard your mussels. The beard is basically the mussels umbilical cord that attaches to things when they are growing. Its not yummy to eat so find it along the side of the mussel and just kinda yank it off. Also look for mussels that aren’t tightly shut…if they don’t close when you grab them then they are dead and need to be tossed. Then just go through the rest and scrub them under cold water with your thumbs. Toss them in a bowl of cold water and refrigerate it until your ready to use them.

Halve and slice the chorizo and garlic.

Chop the top off the onion, slice it in half, make vertical cuts across the onion then dice.

So your fries should be in the oven now and your mussels are prepped and ready to go. Your gonna want to start the mussels about 20 minutes before the fries are done so everything comes together at the same time.

Get out a heavy bottomed pot or a dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat. When its hot, add some olive oil and toss in the chorizo to brown. Once browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer to some paper towel then add the onions and garlic to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the onions and garlic are soft, add the wine and cream and cook for about a minute.

Add the mussels, give it a quick stir and then put the lid on and let the mussels steam for 8-10 minutes or until they are fully opened. Once cooked, add 3/4 of the chorizo and  3/4 of the parsley (reserving some to sprinkle on top when plated) and butter.

Plate the mussels in a bowl along with some of the yummy broth and sprinkle on the remaining chorizo and parsley.

All that’s is left to do is eat and enjoy…let me know what you think!


Spinach Fettuccine with Lemon, Chorizo, Ricotta and Crushed Peas

Just want to reiterate, please disregard the little pink flower next to this post, I may have to keep repeating this disclaimer with every post until I figure out how to get rid of it.

I recently fell in love with Spanish Chorizo. A few weeks back, I made up this Mussel dish using Chorizo and it was amazing. I wanted to make that yesterday but apparently there were none to be had. I was looking for Prince Edward Island Mussels because they’re pretty much the best. I went to two credible sources for fresh fish on the Upper East Side, first to Agata & Valentina’s followed by Eli Zabar’s Market. Both were sold out it and I got really pissed off. I walked around Eli’s for about twenty minutes looking like an idiot that had no clue what he was doing shopping for food. I called my girlfriend to vent my frustration. (The pictures below are her work, good job Alex) We talked about what else we could make with Chorizo. We decided on a pasta recipe we had made a few months ago that called for hot Italian sausage. We figured Chorizo would work just fine and forget about it…we’re about to make Spanish pasta…kind of!

As a side note, I just wanted to disclose that behind the scene, while sharpening my Knife, I nicked my thumb like a dummy. Since my knives are slammin’ (Wusthof 8″ Chefs Knife) it started to bleed, a lot, so I had to wrap it up real quick. I would have liked to document that for you but I wasn’t able to get a picture of it, too bad. it brings up an important lesson though, when you sharpen your knives, don’t try to do it like an Iron Chef, just be easy and careful, unlike me. Ignore the bandaid on my thumb in the following pictures.

Serves 4

1 lb fresh or dried spinach fettuccine (I use fresh in this recipe cause I like it, dried work great too)

1 lb Chorizo with casing removed & chopped (I had it on hand, works nice, I’d recommend hot Italian sausage casing removed)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 -3 cups frozen or fresh peas (I used frozen even though fresh peas are in season, I had frozen in the freezer)

1 cup whole milk ricotta (If you’re like me, you’ll want the good stuff. If not, I suppose you can use Poly O if you must)

1 bunch of fresh basil, thinly sliced

½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

½ lemon

Olive oil, on standby

Salt and pepper (use kosher salt and whole peppercorns in a peppermill)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

While you’re waiting for the water to bowl, get your stuff in place or as my brother and his fancy chef friends would call it Mise en Place, a French phrase that basically translates to, “everything in place.” That would consist of measuring, weighing, cleaning, cutting and dividing all of your ingredients and preheating your oven, if needed. Restaurants do this as a way of preparing everything before the lunch and dinner rush so that they can quickly and easily assemble dishes. So it would only make sense that if you, as a  home cook, could implement the same technique, just on a smaller scale…you too could assemble a dish just as easily and just as fast. So make a habit of it, its important if you want to be a better cook.

Smash and chop the garlic.

Score the Chorizo and peel off the casing. Slice each link length wise into strips. Dice the strips into tiny pieces. If you use sausage, you can omit this, just break it up with the back of a spoon when you add it to the pan, Chorizo is denser and harder to break up.

To chiffonade (another fancy word for rolling up and thinly sliced) the basil, stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll it tightly. This is a good chance to practice your knife skills by trying to slice the rolled up basil as thin as possible. Keep those fingertips curled in. If you make sure your fingertips stay curled and in safe distance from the knife, I promise you will never cut yourself. (Trust me, I’ve cut myself like an idiot many times before I made this a habit…haven’t cut myself in 2 ½ years, forget my thumb, I wasn’t chopping anything, sharpening is a whole different animal).

Get everything you just chopped together along with all the other ingredients and you’ve got all your stuff in place. Your ready to bang it up, no problem.

Heat a two-count of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chorizo and garlic to the hot oil (if your using sausage, use the back of a wooden spoon to break it apart). Cook till browned.

Move chorizo garlic mixture to one side of the pan. Add peas to other side of pan and crush lightly with the back of spoon.

Drop the pasta in the boiling water; if using fresh pasta, cook 1-2 minutes, if using dried pasta, follow box instructions (if the box calls for 10 minutes of cooking, cook the pasta for 7-8 minutes it will finish cooking in the chorizo and pea mixture).

Add the ricotta to the pea and Chorizo mix.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss.

Save a cup of pasta water and add a little bit at a time till the sauce thickens in the pan.

Add a little more ricotta, the chopped basil, Parmesan or Pecorino Romano,  lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste).

Take some tongs and grab a nice portion of the pasta and kind of twist it into a bowl to plate.

Top with a dollop of ricotta, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil to garnish (I always try to practice my plating skills, remember, I’m a food freak).

If you make this dish, I for sure want to know how it went, what you thought of it and what you might do different…email me at and we’ll talk about it.