Monday, December 27, 2010

Chorizo Rice Dressing or Stuffing

Trying new recipes is kind of like that Kenny Rogers' song The Gambler.

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

Sometimes you instantly know that you won't be trying a certain dish again. Sometimes you know you've got a keeper. But it's the "in between" ones that can test you. If it didn't thrill you the first time, is it WORTH trying again with modifications? Or are you just wasting good ingredients & time after bad?

I wanted a different stuffing/dressing for Thanksgiving last year and found one called Arnold's Rice Stuffing With Chorizo and Hot Chilies. It was okay but my comment that I wrote down "Okay, but not really a stuffing. More like a baked rice dish."

I tried it again this year but this time I adapted it according to the notes I made last year, made substitutions/additions, and cooked it on the grill.

Chorizo Rice Dressing
Adapted from a lost source*

1 poblano chili
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lb Mexican chorizo (raw chorizo, not smoked like Spanish)
2 cups cooked rice
4 slices white bread, cubed
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh chopped
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup beef stock (or au jus if available)

Roast the pepper directly over flame. You can do this on a gas burner or a broiler, but I did mine over a 500f grill. Just put on and let go until each side blackens and blisters, about 2 minutes a side. The aroma that chilies release as they char is inspiring for me as a cook, it's as if they are opening up all kinds of culinary kick-assery. (NOTE: I am doing two here but the recipe just calls for one. I made an extra to have for eggs, tacos, etc.)

Anyway, when they are done, put them in a zip top back and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce the heat on your grill to medium (~350f). On the Big Green Egg I did this by cutting the bottom vent to only about 1/8th inch open. Remove the chilies and cut off the large end. Slice down the length of one side to open the pepper flat. Remove all the seeds. Flip and remove the charred skin. You can do this by hand but a paring knife makes quick work of it.

Next preheat a wok on the grill (translation: preheat a large skillet on your stove top for you kitchen dwellers, ha ha) and add 1 tablespoon of a high heat oil such as peanut oil. Saute the onions for 4 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook another minute. Next add the chorizo and cook until browned. This was probably about 10 minutes but I really wasn't counting.

Add the rice, bread, green onion, cilantro, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly for about 1 minute.

Transfer to a buttered 2 quart casserole dish. You can make ahead to this point and hold refrigerated for a day or two, which is what we did. (And the only reason I have pictures, because I had a "no picture/blog" rule for Christmas dinner this year.)

Set up your grill for indirect heat at 350f. Drizzle the dressing with beef stock, cover tightly with foil, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 10 minutes.

The dressing turned out much better this time and it is one that I will "hold" not "fold". It was the right choice to go with the rib roast we had but would be equally matched as a stuffing for a spiral sliced pork roast.

I don't have pics of that because of my self imposed Christmas photo/blog blackout. But if you happen to have any makes a fabulous breakfast topped with a fried egg!

*The source was lost. I found a link for it but when I searched for it today, I can't find it online. The only exact match came from a UK site that does people searches and it matched on "Andrew Rice" but oddly enough, the search thread gave the exact recipe title even though I didn't include the all of the words.