Random recipe: Chorizo Fundido

Some recipes hit the spot others do not. I am grateful that most of the time Chris and I are on the same page when we like or dislike something. We both started out liking this recipe, and then we did not. We used lime chips to dip and scoop the fundido. After a few minutes the cheese got really stringy and no longer was fun or possible to pick up with a chip. Maybe I am biased because we have had some amazing fundido dips at a few different restaurants here in Portland where the cheese stays soft and easy to dip with over the course of the meal. For this particular recipe I had to cut chunks and add to the chip in order to eat. Additionally, the chorizo left so much oil behind that it felt like quite a mess.

Two things to note. We cut the recipe in half and still had way too much food and did not want to keep what was left over. The second thing —  I am not giving up. I want to find a fundido recipe that keeps the cheese softer, more fun to eat, and not feel like I have a tire around my waist after finishing dinner. You might try this recipe (I mean look how easy it is) and decide if you like it. If you do, let me know.

Chorizo Fundido

As seen in Portland Monthly Magazine

2 lbs shredded Oaxaca cheese (Don Froyland brand)*
2 lbs fresh chorizo
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with the olive oil. Heat a large, deep-sided, nonstick skillet over medium-high for 1 minute. Add chorizo** and cook for 4 minutes, breaking any big chunks apart. Add Oaxaca cheese, and cook together for 3 minutes more. Remove cheese and chorizo mix to the baking dish. Turn broiler on high and cook for about 5 minutes, or until top of cheese is golden brown.

*Note: We did not use Don Froyland brand.

**Instead of chorizo, add 1/2 cup yellow onion and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add either 2 lbs fresh mushrooms (chanterelle or shiitake, sautéed), or 10 poblano peppers (broiled, then steamed in a paper bag, peeled, deseeded, and diced), and cook another 3 minutes before adding the Oaxaca cheese.

Critters you find in all the wrong places

My sister sent me a text message the other day about a mouse and mouse nest her husband found in the glove box of their car. Um yuck. I can understand why it might happen. They live in an urban area and park their car in a garage that can easily be rampant with mice, as theirs has easy access from outside. He told her he has had that happen before and that their mechanic indicated that the mouse is able to get into the glove compartment through the engine.

However they arrive my sister and I both share a similar exclamation that we NEVER want to be the ones to open the glove compartment and have a mouse stare back at you. Especially if you are driving down the road and reach over to grab something from the glove box (yes, safely…but admit it you have done it before). If I was driving, and open the glove box, and see little eyes staring at me, I might drive off the road. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

It reminded me of a memory from when I was a freshman in high school. My sister was away for her senior year at boarding school (and she might have been home on break, I do not remember). I do know I was a freshman based on the apartment we were living in – if you can call it that. At the time, my mom was recovering from months in the hospital, and then months in a nursing home. We were broke, and somehow she had found a way to go back to school. Due to her classes, we were eligible for a small apartment (600 square feet), that was government subsidized. While I have no reason to complain, it was drab, drab, drab. The walls were made of cinder blocks, and most of the windows were high up (since we were on the first level due to my mom’s wheelchair).

I digress. The real intent of this story is that one day when I was making dinner for my mom, I opened the broiler drawer at the bottom of the stove. (Now let me assure you, we rarely used the boiler aspect of the oven. As it was, it was not a full size stove/oven. As Chris can attest I have never been great at cooking so I can only imagine what I was making for my mom in the broiler.) Yikes. What I saw looking back at me was not at all what I expected. It was a hamster, wood shavings and all. I freaked out, shut the door, and to this day I cannot remember what we did. Did I call the management company? Did I call a neighbor that had more confidence with critters than I did at 15? I think I did call the neighbor that had a ferret (who also irked me).

My sister’s mouse reminded me of the hamster that had been living in our stove. We believe it might have been from a neighboring apartment and been living in the walls. It makes you think a bit more about those scratching sounds you might have heard in the walls the other night…