This recipe takes bulk sausage and overwhelms it with rich, exotic flavors, transforming an ordinary breakfast item into an elegant dinner entree.
Served with a buttery scallion pasta and asparagus spears flavored with garlic and sherry vinegar, it’s an easy way to stun your guests with your mad culinary skills!
Ingredients and Their Preparation:
For the Chorizos:
1 pound bulk pork sausage
6 small or 4 large dried figs, finely diced
1 tsp finely minced orange peel
1 1/2 Tbsp mild ajvar
2 Tbsp lightly toasted pine nuts
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp brandy
Mix all ingredients well. Form into 8 equal cylinders. Pan fry over medium heat, covered, 8-10 minutes, turning once.
For the Pasta:
1 lb pasta, cooked (I use angel hair, but shapes like penne or bowties would be fine also)
Green parts of 2 medium or 3 small scallions, sliced very thin on the bias
1/2 tsp dried dill
3-4 Tbsp salted butter
a few grinds of white pepper
Toss the hot pasta with the butter, dill, pepper, and most of the scallions, reserving about a tablespoon of the scallions for garnish. Adjust for salt.
For the Asparagus:
1/2 lb thin asparagus spears
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sherry vinegar
Saute the garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat for a few minutes, pressing to infuse the garlic flavor into the oil. Discard garlic and raise heat to medium-high. Saute asparagus until just lightly wilted. Add sherry vinegar to pan and toss to coat. Cook one minute more. Add salt & pepper to taste.
To Serve: trim the ends off the sausages and cut each in half on a sharp bias. Stand 4 halves back to back to form an approximately pyramidal shape on one part of the plate, lay the pasta on the other side of the plate and artfully drape one-fourth of the asparagus over the sausage. Decorate the plates with drops of the flavorful red chorizo oil from the pan and the reserved scallion. Serves 4.
- Begin with an excellent quality bulk sausage, such as Bob Evans, Jimmy Dean, or Johnsonville. Regular or Hot is up to your tastes, but avoid the flavored varieties, such as Maple or Sage. It won’t be necessary to add salt to your chorizo mix, as bulk sausage usually has plenty!
- Ajvar, a wonderfully versatile red pepper / eggplant / garlic puree popular in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, can be found in many supermarkets and specialty foods stores.
- Smoked paprika, with its unique and delightful flavor, is the secret ingredient of classic Spanish cuisine and is well worth seeking out. It can be found at many gourmet shops, specialty food stores, or online. Though there is no direct substitute, an equivalent amount of good quality regular paprika with 2-3 drops of mesquite smoke flavoring added can be used with good results.
- Sherry vinegar is another delicious, versatile ingredient common to Spanish cuisine. If you don’t have any on hand, substitute a little wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar.
- An easy way to cut dried figs (and other dried fruit) is by using wet scissors. Just re-dip them between every few cuts.
Please join us tomorrow to read our new and delicious recipe for a Creamy Cottage Cheese and Muenster Omelet.
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