Saturday, 20 March 2010

Like Water For Chocolate - Mexican Chorizo

When I first read Laura Esquivel's magic realist novel Like Water For Chocolate, many years ago now, I absolutely loved it. I was delighted to have the opportunity to re-read it for this round of the Cook the Books Club.

Sadly, I didn't love it this time around. Pedro is such a waste of space, that it makes Tita's love for him completely inexplicable. I still liked the food bits, but my irritation at Tita and Pedro got in the way of real enjoyment. I also found the writing style a bit jejune - simplistic, immature and dull. I had no insight into any of the characters and I didn't much care what happened to them. Such a shame - I would have been better off sticking to my memory of loving it!

It didn't take me long, though, to decide what I was going to make, inspired by the book. The description of Tita's painstaking preparation of the chorizo drew me in, and I was very keen to make some - although in a much smaller quantity and without nearly as much chilli!

I did a bit of a search and came upon this collection of different recipes for Mexican-style chorizo. I decided that the most do-able one, with the nicest-sounding seasoning, was the last one on the page. It contains ancho and pasilla chillies, coriander, cumin, paprika, cloves, oregano and garlic. How wonderfully fragrant and delicious!

Once I sourced my chillies (from the Cool Chile Co) I was able to get under way.

Of course, once I had my batch of chorizo, I had to decide what to do with it. I made a Sunday breakfast of chorizo con huevos - eggs scrambled with chorizo. I served it on a warm tortilla, topped with grated cheese, quartered cherry tomatoes and chopped coriander.

To my surprise, the chorizo was actually a bit lacking in flavour, although the smoky chilli flavours were quite good. So I turned the rest of the loose chorizo back into a mixing bowl and added 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cayenne pepper and another tsp of salt. Much improved! I think Mexican chorizo is going to become a much-favoured ingredient around our house!

24 comments:

MrOrph said...

wow! homemade chorizo. gotta love the fact that you get to control the seasonings.

Taste of Beirut said...

I felt this way about the movie although I did not read the book; I know a lot of people loved both but I thought the movie was insipid.
That recipe for chorizo on the other hand is anything but!

Foodycat said...

Donald - it's great, isn't it?

ToB - it's a very good recipe.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I felt quite the same way, that I didn't get really drawn in or care that much about the characters.
I am glad I read it, but won't read it again.
Great idea for a dish! Looks like the perfect Sunday brunch.

tamarindandthyme said...

This looks so delicious! I had been thinking of making breakfast sausage patties (so much easier when one doesn't have to think about the casings) but this looks even better!

Debinhawaii said...

Bummer you didn't love the book the second time around. I look at it as a light read, a foodie fairytale so it still holds most of its charm for me.

How fun to make your own chorizo--it looks delicious especially scrambled in with the eggs.

Simona said...

I had a very similar experience. I hope to make the deadline, so I will explain it in my post. But it is nice that the novel still inspired you to make something that you liked.

Foodycat said...

Natashya - it really was the perfect Sunday Brunch! We had coffee with it, but something with a bit more kick would have been great.

Su-Lin - I don't mind stuffing sausage casings, but it's a 2 man job and Paul is away, so my second pair of hands is missing.

Deb - I can really recommend the recipe.

Simona - the food in the novel is still wonderful!

Joanne said...

I thought the book was amusing but couldn't quite connect with the characters either. I felt very distant the whole time.

This chorizo looks amazing! I think it's so cool that you made your own. Great dish!

I'm posting my entry this week...maybe tomorrow, depends on whether I feel like cooking it tonight!

Heather said...

Nice! I bet the leftover chorizo would be great in a burrito. Ain't no shame in just eating it in a tortilla with cheese and beans.

Chef Aimee said...

Wow! I am impressed at the homemade chorizo! Fantastic! As for the book, I am with you. I loved it when I first read it as a teenager and found myself also loathing Pedro.

Laurie said...

Did you really make chorizo? You are so creative! (You've also redefined a reuben.)

I love "Like Water for Chocolate" when I read it years ago. I suspect I would feel the same as you in a second reading, but I really like Deb's take on it.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Wow, homemade chorizo sounds pretty hardcore.

I've heard a lot about this book, I'm dallying about whether to read it now - perhaps the food scenes could make up for the annoying characters :)

Foodycat said...

Joanne - I can't wait to see what you've come up with!

Heather - I think it will! I'm also doing some with baked eggs.

Aimee - isn't he awful? There's a reason why most of us don't marry our first loves.

Laurie - the Mexican chorizo is pretty straight-forward, it's eaten fresh.

Laura - really couldn't be simpler. You can start with minced pork and streamline proceedings.

kat said...

We plan on making more of our own sausage soon so I know chorizo will be on the list.

jodimop said...

I actually liked the book, as I am going through an easy reading phase at the moment 9with baby and all). I agree with you on Pedro though. But then again how many time haven't you wondered about a friend's choice: what does she find in him???

Foodycat said...

Kat - I think I left mine curing too long, the last bit I had was a bit too vinegary.

Jo - true! Smart women making foolish choices etc.

Claudia said...

I guess sometimes there's just no rational accounting for "love".

Now I want to try my hand at chorizo. Especially as it's hard to find a healthy version of it here.

Ben said...

Amazing, you made your own chorizo! You are now my new role model, hehe. And I love how you used it. Huevos con chorizo is one of my favorite breakfast ever!

Foodycat said...

Claudia - true! But Tita's was more inexplicable than most.

Ben - it was so easy!

grace said...

good for you, foodycat--chorizo is, i daresay, my favorite type of sausage...IF it's spicy enough. i like that you tweaked until it was just right, and your chorizo con huevos look deeeelicious!

cantbelieveweate said...

Congrats!! We love chorizo, so...your recipe is on my "to try" list! Way to go on your 3rd win!

cantbelieveweate said...

Congrats!! We love chorizo, so your recipe is definitely going on my "to try" list! Bravo on your 3rd win! There's got to be a reason! *Ü*

Foodycat said...

Grace - I agree, chorizo without spice is pointless!

Can't believe we ate - thankyou!

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