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.

Random recipe: Chicken Taco Chili (Crock Pot)

It has been a full week. Heck, it has been a full month + year. Yesterday when I came home from work and walked into the house it smelled wonderful. Chris had made a new recipe: Chicken Taco Chili. It was a struggle to actually get dressed and go for my run. I even dabbled a bit and had a few bites with some lime chips before my run — I just could not resist.

In terms of the additional toppings the recipe lists below. We added the cilantro, shredded cheese, and sour cream on top. It was delicious. Although as I ate a bowl after my run (scooping up bites with my favorite — lime chips) I thought this is basically nachos. I laughed because I recently read Jim Gaffigan’s book “Food: A Love Story” and he mentions how mexican food is all the same ingredients served in different ways. Quesadillas are tacos, grilled in a pan, which are the same as enchiladas and nachos. You get the point. In any case — enjoy!

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili (The Comfort of Cooking)

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

① 1 16 oz. can black beans, drained
② 1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained
③ 2 garlic cloves, minced
④ 1 medium onion, chopped
⑤ 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
⑥ 1 green bell pepper, chopped
⑦ 10 oz. package (1 1/4 cups) frozen corn kernels
⑧ 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
⑨ 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
⑩ 1 tbsp. cumin
⑪ 1 tbsp. chili powder
⑫ 1 tsp. dried oregano
⑬ 1 tsp. kosher salt
⑭ 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, uncooked
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Optional toppings:
Additional cilantro, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, red onion, sour cream, etc.

Directions:
Combine ingredients 1 through 14 in a slow cooker*. Stir until combined. Place uncooked chicken on top and cover. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Thirty minutes before serving, pull chicken breasts apart with two forks. Stir and continue cooking. Top with fresh cilantro or any other desired toppings.

* Tip: If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can also use an oven safe, 5 1/2 quart or larger pot. Simmer at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally, for 3 hours.

Double fisting the fries

If you ask Chris, he would tell you I double fist my french fries, and I eat them like the world is about to end. He is right. I am not talking about drive-through french fries, I am talking about the perfect thickness, not too thin that they are crunchy/hard, and not so thick that they are almost pulpy in the middle, with just a slight crunch, and golden in hue. Topped with just the right amount of salt, and I am in heaven. Oh, and he is right, I will double fist them and fight you for what is left in the bowl.

Recently I finished reading “I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow” by Jonathan Goldstein. The author writes a chapter for each week of the year leading up to his 40th birthday. It was not an amazing book, but interesting enough that I finished. He weaves humor throughout the book, and this particular quote, made me think about my two-handing my french fries:

“If manners are going out the window, then I’ll say this: Quit double-fisting the strawberries. I might want to have one myself.”

“How dare you!” he yells. “You’re the double-fister! Remember that time I ran into you on the street and you were eating from a bag of Cheerios with your left hand and a bag of Fritos with your right? Coming down the street you looked like you were wearing mittens.”

“I was wearing mittens.”

“Even worse! What grown man wears mittens?” page 35

Maybe it is all things salt. I am sometimes known to do the same with chips. Just the other day while stuck in our house due to all the snow, Chris and I had lime chips and guacamole. Before Chris had even one chip I had already made a dent in the bowl. He had gone into another room to get something and when he got back he said “hey, leave some for me.” Dig in quick buddy, you have got nothing on me. A little salt, some french fries or chips, and I am a goner.