She'd add a little of this.
A handful of that.
And just a pinch of this other thing para que le de sabor (to give it flavor).
Gramm cooked like most Mexican grandmothers. She never measured anything and she almost never followed a recipe.
I say "almost" because there was this one tiny, crumpled piece of paper that she'd pull out of an old briefcase on very special occasions. Gramm and my Tia Jessie, Gramm's sister-in-law, were the only ones allowed to look at whatever was written on that special piece of paper. I once caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye. The only words I was able to make out were: Comino (cumin), Chile en Polvo (chili powder) and Vinagre (vinager).
Seeing as it was just an old recipe and not a deep, dark family secret or a map to a hidden treasure, I never tried to sneak another peek at that piece of paper.
Oh, if I could turn back time.
Years later, I realized that what was written on that old, stained, crumpled piece of paper was Gramm's "secret" recipe for her mouth-watering chorizo.
Gramm's Chorizo was spicy, without being hot, and slightly tangy.
It's the one family recipe I've spent years wishing I had.
And now, thanks to The Homesick Texan Cookbook, I've finally found it.
Mexican Red Chorizo
(from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain)
- 2 dried guajillo chilies
- 2 dried ancho chilies
- 2 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 medium onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 pound ground pork (with at least 20% fat)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- !/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a small skillet over high heat, toast the dried chilies on each side for about 10 seconds. Fill the skillet with enough water (about 2 cups) to cover the chilies. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off heat. Let the chilies soak for about 20 minutes or until really soft.
Place the chilies in a blender with the onion and garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar and puree until smooth, adding more apple cider vinegar or water if needed. The chile puree should be the consistency of ketchup.
Add the chili puree to the ground pork, along with all of the spices and salt. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, so the flavors will meld. (If you're impatient like me, you can go ahead and cook it as soon as you've mixed it all together.)
To cook, fry in a greased skillet. Enjoy!!!
*This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*