I believe making great ingredients is a noble calling. I love the idea of going to a fantastic shop every week for some wonderful ingredient to make meals around.
When you’re a good cook and you can take these ingredients home as a splurge item, it’s a real quality-of-life experience. Why should you have to pay double to eat that well in a restaurant, when you can do it at home and wear no pants?
Case in point was my choice of indulgent ingredients for this weekend: The housemade “Gallego” chorizo sausage from the relatively new-to-the-scene Chorizo & Co., a Spanish deli/cafe found on Fort off Blanshard. They love their ingredients, so definitely ask for tips at the counter if you’re not sure what to do with their selection of meats or cheese.
Eating my first chorizo sandwich in the shop was an epiphany, but I’ll tell you about that another day. Suffice to say if you’re looking for a value-priced glass of Spanish wine and a good afternoon meal, this place should top your list of downtown Victoria options.
Today, we’re talking about taking their housemade chorizo home and cooking with it. Although pricey at $3.99/100 grams, it’s the kind of sausage that sausage-lovers die for. It’s perfectly balanced with heat and flavour, it oozes paprika-spiked oil when cooked, and it’s really the kind of ingredient you don’t want to fuck around with.
When cooking with it, I want couple complimentary ingredients like potatoes or tomatoes, some nice fresh flavours, a whack of salt, and that’s really about it.
My splurge was for two sausages, one for my dinner with gnocchi last night, a recipe I’ll share on another day, and one for breakfast this morning. I also grabbed some Manchego cheese. You know that whack of salt I mentioned? Yeah. That, or nice salty cheese. Yum. For the sausages and the cheese, I paid $13.
Here’s how that breakfast played out. This is a great breakfast for two or a lovely treat for one person who’s looking for leftovers.
Breakfast of Champions
Served with some great buttered toast and a small side salad of mixed spring greens dressed with lemon and olive oil, it’s a beautiful weekend breakfast that keeps you going for hours.
If I don’t have leftover roasted potatoes, I’ll just parboil them until soft, toss in olive oil with a lot of salt and a bit of paprika, and roast until crispy. For this recipe that’s exactly what I did, using 2 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes.
A Spanish-Style Frittata for Two
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chorizo sausage, cut into little half-moons
1 cup of roasted potatoes (leftovers or made to order)
6 stalks young asparagus, cut into 1” pieces (or choose another veggie you like)
2-4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ to ½ cup Manchego cheese
salt and pepper
parsley for garnish, optional
sour cream, optional
1. Saute the chorizo with the asparagus until both are just getting some colour, about 5-8 minutes over medium heat. Keep the oil in the frittata! You paid $4 for one sausage, dammit. That oil’s gold for flavour.
2. In a 6-inch round nonstick frying pan or olive oiled/buttered Corning Ware sort of dish like I used, which is at least 1-2” deep, scatter the already-cooked potatoes. Then evenly distribute your chorizo and asparagus. Sprinkle evenly with the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Generously salt it now. Crack some pepper over it. Pour your eggs over top. Sprinkle with your cheese.
3. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until the eggs are no longer runny in the centre. It should puff up and the cheese should be golden. This will be 15ish minutes. Just keep an eye on it. Depends how warm your ingredients are when you add the eggs, et cetera, so just judge it.
4. When baked, let it rest for a couple minutes, then cut and serve. Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley (it’s one of the herbs used in making chorizo). Works great with a light salad. (A dollop of sour cream can be nice but it’s unnecessary if you’re watching your intake, like I am.)
(Leftovers will keep for a couple days if you want to double up on it and make it in a 10-inch nonstick skillet.)