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How to use the different chorizo varieties

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fresh chorizo can be refrigerated for up to seven days. It is best to place unopened packages in freezer-safe plastic food storage bags. Defrost frozen chorizo in the refrigerator a day before you are going to use it.

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Seasonings and ingredients used to make various chorizos tend to dictate how they can best be used. Here are tips from chef and cooking teacher Patricia Jinich:

-- Argentine. Traditionally garlicky yet mild, with considerable depth of flavor. But some Argentine-style chorizos are made with more heat and spice. Great for outdoor parties where you want to complement grilled rich-tasting sausages with other cuts of meat.

-- Colombian. Not especially complex or bold in flavor. Good for adding a meaty quality to dishes and for grilling.

-- Mexican. Intensely flavored, richly colored, hot and spicy. This chorizo crumbles easily and is good for sprinkling on top of or adding to cooked dishes.

-- Salvadoran. Also crumbly, with a complex layering of flavors including the pungency of achiote and the intensity of non-spicy chili peppers. But spicier versions are more increasingly available.

-- Guatemalan. Similar to Salvadoran but slightly spicier than Honduran. It has no heat and is therefore good for adding to dishes intended for crowds and younger palates.

-- Honduran. Even milder than the Guatemalan, with very little spice. Another crumbly kind, it's good for incorporating into dishes.


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