Thursday, September 6, 2007

Cat got your tongue?

Don't worry, there's no cat involved here, unless you count my kitty Clara begging for chorizo until I let her smell it. The tongue does come into play here though. Most Americans are terrified of this part of animal. Perhaps because it relates to speech which is particularly humanizing. I say, if you're going to eat something, don't let anything go to waste. Pretty much every country except for The States utilizes the offal and innards of the creatures they consume. That's way it should be. There are some delicious cuts of meat that seem to go to waste because we aren't used to them. In my favorite little Mexican market down in Pike Place they sell the best chorizo de bolita (bolita means little pellets), little Mexican sausages made of pork, tongue, and lots of smoked paprika. I love the smokiness and richness the tongue brings to these little plump sausages. There is a big difference between Spanish or Cuban chorizo and Mexican chorizo. Mexican chorizo has a grainier texture and tends to fall apart when you split the casing where as Cuban chorizo has more of a solid sausage texture. When you make a Cuban chorizo sandwich it's called choripan. Since I am using Mexican ingredients I would call this sandwich a torta. Everybody loves a good sandwich no matter what you call it.

Torta con Chorizo de Bolita.

1 lb chorizo de bolita, any Mexican chorizo will work
4 large rolls
2 poblano chilies, seeded, and sliced
1 Spanish onion, halved and sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
2 tsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp butter
canola oil

Mix together the mayo, cilantro, and lime juice. Refrigerate until needed.

In a saute pan over medium high heat brown the chorizo links on all sides in a little canola oil until cooked through (about 4 minutes each side). Remove the chorizo to a plate, drain all but 1 Tbsp of oil from the pan, and add the onions and peppers and saute until translucent (5 minutes). Remove from the heat.

Split the rolls in half and lather both sides with the cilantro mayo. Slice the chorizos in half, long ways, and lay in a single layer on the rolls. Top each torta with 1/4 of the onion and pepper mixture. Top with the other side of the roll. Spread butter on the outside of both sides of the torta.

In a large saute over medium high heat, lightly brown both sides of the sandwich while carefully pressing down with the bottom of another flat pan to flatten the torta (about 3 minutes each side). Cut in half and serve. Makes 4 tortas.


Nora B. said...

Hi Stephen,
That's really interesting, the variety of chorizo/sausages.

Back in Singapore, we ate (almost) all the parts of the animal. I didn't know any better since I grew up being exposed to it. Now that I've moved overseas, I don't know if i would cook it myself since I never learnt to cook offal, innards, etc.

joey said...

I love chorizo -- all kinds! :) Your torta/sandwich sounds amazingly good...I'm hungry just thinking of it and I just had dinner!

I agree with you about using the other parts of the animals we eat...some of the tastiest morsels are hiding inside! And I've loved tongue since I was a kid :)