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Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres


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I can't wait to try this dish; what an easy and delicious-sounding hot tapas. I also need to get the book as soon as possible...

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Are these made with fresh pork? Are the differences regional?

Yes, they are made with pork. There's a whole spectrum of different types of pork sausage from dry-cured, semi-cured, smoked, raw... If you go to any sausage store/stall, they will have several different varieties of chorizo fresco (raw). Also other uncured sausages: morcilla, butifarra, longaniza, salchichas.

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Are these made with fresh pork? Are the differences regional?

Yes, they are made with pork. There's a whole spectrum of different types of pork sausage from dry-cured, semi-cured, smoked, raw... If you go to any sausage store/stall, they will have several different varieties of chorizo fresco (raw). Also other uncured sausages: morcilla, butifarra, longaniza, salchichas.

So, are these considered varieties of Chorizo? If not, do the different varieties of Spanish chorizo each have different names or are the delineated in some other manner, for example: by process or region?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Are these made with fresh pork? Are the differences regional?

Yes, they are made with pork. There's a whole spectrum of different types of pork sausage from dry-cured, semi-cured, smoked, raw... If you go to any sausage store/stall, they will have several different varieties of chorizo fresco (raw). Also other uncured sausages: morcilla, butifarra, longaniza, salchichas.

I knew of the other Spanish raw sausages, but always thought that Spanish chorizo was cured. I also knew that they were made from pork. It was the "fresh" part that I am curious about. Why aren't different terms used for these very different styles of product or is "chorizo" simply a catch-all term like "sausage" in English?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I knew of the other Spanish raw sausages, but always thought that Spanish chorizo was cured. I also knew that they were made from pork. It was the "fresh" part that I am curious about. Why aren't different terms used for these very different styles of product or is "chorizo" simply a catch-all term like "sausage" in English?

The catch-all term is embutido.

I can't say for sure why the word chorizo encompasses chorizo fresco, chorizo curado, and chorizo ahumado... As a linguist, I'd be tempted to look a the etimology of the word, which evolved from the Latin salsicĭum (as did salchicha, salchichón, saucisson, sausage...). What I do know is that the word chorizo is used across regions for many different products.

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I see a lot of products labeled "Chorizo" in American markets. How do you identify which are Spanish-style and which are Mexican-style if the label doesn't say? (The D'artagnan chorizo is labeled as Spanish-style.) And how can you differentiate among the various Spanish styles (smoked/cured/fresh)?

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I see a lot of products labeled "Chorizo" in American markets. How do you identify which are Spanish-style and which are Mexican-style if the label doesn't say? (The D'artagnan chorizo is labeled as Spanish-style.) And how can you differentiate among the various Spanish styles (smoked/cured/fresh)?

The Grand Mart in Sterling (Rochelle knows where I mean) has several different varieties of chorizo with the nationality on the label. I don't recall if they had a Spanish version, but they did have several different Latin American countries in addition to the Mexican.

The Latin American do ones all seem to be fresh/uncooked.

Bill Russell

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Here are a few I made the first weekend I had the book.  Garlic Soup, Tomato Bread with Serrano Ham and Orange, Goat Cheese and Almond Salad.

All were very good, especially the soup. Chunks of bread gave it an interesting body.  I need to dive back into it again.

Those look delicious! Did you folow the recipes closely, or did you tweak or make any substiutions? Did you have wine with it?

Sorry I missed this, as I was on vacation last week. I did follow the recipes fairly closely if I remember correctly. The only difference I recall was that the goat cheese I ended up with was less like a chevre than I would have preferred.

No wine that night. My wife and I aren't typically big wine drinkers at home.

Bill Russell

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To be honest, there's no telling what you might get if it were labeled "spanish-style chorizo," since there is no one ubersausage here in Spain... I'm sure that it's good, regardless. If I were making chorizo a la sidra, I would go for one that was not dry-cured, however.

Here are some different kinds of chorizo that I saw at a stall in the market by my apartment today--this is just a a little meat counter and just those items explicitly called "chorizo", each with a few different varieties--there are many, many other kinds of sausages:

chorizo ahumado asturiano

chorizo ibérico criollo

chorizo ibérico fresco

chorizo de pueblo (?--never tried this one...)

chorizo fresco dulce

chorizo fresco picante

chorizo curado dulce

chorizo curado picante

chorizo fresco de pincho

chorizo criollo

chorizo pamplona (a.k.a. chistorra)

chorizo de jabalí

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I'm not really surprised that therre are so many different styles, although I am surprised that the styles are so widely divergent. In the US at least I think it is fair to say that "Spanish-style chorizo" means a cured chorizo, while "Mexican-style" means a fresh pork sausage. Of course, that is not to say that all "mexican chorizo" is all of the same style or flavoring either.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I think that part of the confusion in the US about Spanish chorizo is due to the fact that, as far as I know, only one brand of chorizo is allowed into the country from Spain. That's Palacios brand, which comes in regular and hot versions. There are, however, at least a couple of producers in the US that market Spanish-style sausage of a variety of types, and all I have had have been good, though I assume still different than the real article.

The Palacios brand may be more available in some parts of the US than others. Here in Dallas it is sold in most main stream grocery stores, as well as specialty markets. I always keep a couple of rings hanging in the kitchen.

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I think that part of the confusion in the US about Spanish chorizo is due to the fact that, as far as I know, only one brand of chorizo is allowed into the country from Spain. That's Palacios brand, which comes in regular and hot versions. There are, however, at least a couple of producers in the US that market Spanish-style sausage of a variety of types, and all I have had have been good, though I assume still different than the real article.

The Palacios brand may be more available in some parts of the US than others. Here in Dallas it is sold in most main stream grocery stores, as well as specialty markets. I always keep a couple of rings hanging in the kitchen.

This can spawn a whole new topic about items that are quite diverse in their home countries but are known only within a narrow range in others.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Isn't the common denominator for all chorizos (at least in Spain) that they contain pimenton? Then the differentiation seems to come from whether it's smoked, spicy or mild (dulce) pimenton, whether it's cured or raw, what kind of pig the pork comes from (Iberian or other breed or wild boar) and the size.

Is that what you were wondering, docsconz?

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Isn't the common denominator for all chorizos (at least in Spain) that they contain pimenton? Then the differentiation seems to come from whether it's smoked, spicy or mild (dulce) pimenton, whether it's cured or raw, what kind of pig the pork comes from (Iberian or other breed or wild boar) and the size.

Is that what you were wondering, docsconz?

I can't speak for docsconz, but I am curious after reading butterfly's post, if there is a 'standard of identity' for Spanish Chorizo or if the term is just used to generically describe any sausage. Is the inclusion of pimenton the determining factor? Are there others?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I can't speak for docsconz, but I am curious after reading butterfly's post, if there is a 'standard of identity' for Spanish Chorizo or if the term is just used to generically describe any sausage.  Is the inclusion of pimenton the determining factor?  Are there others?

Chorizo is not the term used to describe all different types of sausages--this would be embutido. There are many types of sausage that are not chorizo: fuet, salchichón, salchichas, morcilla, butifarra, sobrasada...

Most chorizo does has pimentón, but not all. Chorizo blanco doesn't have pimentón... Also, longaniza often does have pimentón (sometimes it is like a longer chorizo, other times it is completely different--like the longaniza in parts of Asturias).

In fact, the word chorizo long predates the presence of peppers in Spain, which I'm sure accounts for the fact that there is such variety. That, and the fact that Spain is a very geographically and culturally diverse country.

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I can't speak for docsconz, but I am curious after reading butterfly's post, if there is a 'standard of identity' for Spanish Chorizo or if the term is just used to generically describe any sausage.  Is the inclusion of pimenton the determining factor?  Are there others?

Chorizo is not the term used to describe all different types of sausages--this would be embutido. There are many types of sausage that are not chorizo: fuet, salchichón, salchichas, morcilla, butifarra, sobrasada...

Most chorizo does has pimentón, but not all. Chorizo blanco doesn't have pimentón... Also, longaniza often does have pimentón (sometimes it is like a longer chorizo, other times it is completely different--like the longaniza in parts of Asturias).

In fact, the word chorizo long predates the presence of peppers in Spain, which I'm sure accounts for the fact that there is such variety. That, and the fact that Spain is a very geographically and culturally diverse country.

This is why this is so confusing, albeit enlightening. I thought I had a pretty reasonable sense of Spanish food and foodstuffs from direct experience and reading, but I can see I am really only aware of the tip of the iceberg!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Last week I finally made my first recipe from the book, Tuna Omelet with a Twist on page 177 of the English edition. The recipe says that the traditional Spanish way is to use good quality canned tuna (in olive oil), but that fresh tuna is more readily available in the US. It actually gives full directions for using the fresh, but describes what to do with canned as well. We actually had Spanish ventresca tuna in our pantry that needed to be used.

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The rest of the mise en place consisted of:

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Eggs. The recipe called for 6 large eggs. Since these were not so large I added an extra.

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Chives. The recipe called for two tablespoons chopped and 1/2 teaspoon of chive flowers.

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4 Tablespoons olive oil from a can of tuna or anchovies. Since I was using the canned tuna and not fresh that needed to be cooked I managed with slightly less.

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1/4 large Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced.

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Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling. The recipe called for Spanish, but since I was all out of that, I used Italian. :shock:

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The onions were fried over medium heat until translucent then added to the egg and chive mixture along with a little salt.

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I added the mixture to the pan and cooked over low heat until the tops were still a little runny.

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The omelet was transferred open faced to a plate with the tuna, chive flowers and additional olive oil added at that time. I made five individual servings for my famiy.

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We served toasted baguette rubbed with olive oil and tomato to accompany the omelets.

This was a very simple recipe to prepare and quite tasty!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thanks. Next time I try it I might do so with fresh tuna. I suspect that the result may be slightly different, but also delicious.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Speaking of omelets, I couldn't resist trying the Route 11 Potato Chip Tortilla Espanola along with my recent chorizo and asparagus meal. I've made tortillas many times before, and am confident enough with them to teach them in cooking classes, but I'd never tried this sort of shortcut with the traditional Spanish potato omelet before. I figured, if Jose says it's okay then it must work. Also, Route 11 Potato Chips are a local product, which made me doubly interested in the recipe.

Here's the ingredients:

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Eggs, two small bags of Route 11 chips, more Goya Spanish EVOO, and some salt.

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Beat a few eggs.

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Add the chips, and maybe a dash of salt. I didn't add any salt, figuring that the potato chips were probably salty enough, but the Route 11 chips are labeled "lightly salted" and it turns out they weren't lying...these were not quite salty enough for the whole dish. Let this mixture soak for a few minutes; it doesn't take long, maybe 10 minutes or so. Periodically stir and break up the potatoes with a fork as they soak.

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Oil an omelet pan or a small skillet generously. You don't want your eggs to stick! Heat over medium heat.

Beat an additional egg into the mixture and then tip it into the hot pan and lower the heat. Cook, shaking the pan to prevent sticking, until the bottom and sides are set. You can stir during the initial cooking, but not once the eggs start setting or you'll break up your tortilla.

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Slide the tortilla out onto a platter, uncooked side up. Invert the pan over the platter and, holding the platter against the pan surface, flip so the uncooked egg comes in contact with the pan surface. Return to the heat for another minute or so and then lide out onto a clean platter and serve immediately.

Some people (at least in the US) eat their tortillas cold, but I like my eggs hot so that's how we ate them. It was a terrific meal!

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How does it compare to a more traditional preparation in terms of taste and texture? It must certainly be quicker than the traditional recipe since one avoids the necessity of slicing and cooking the potatoes.

This dish was a staple of my childhood growing up in an Italian-American home. This is not likely a coincidence as my heritage is Sicilian and Neapolitan, both areas at one time ruled by Spain.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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How does it compare to a more traditional preparation in terms of taste and texture? It must certainly be quicker than the traditional recipe since one avoids the necessity of slicing and cooking the potatoes.

It is quicker, and the texture is a little different--the potato chips are more uniform and a little less succulent than handcut fresh potatoes. It's still pretty darn good though, and allows me to make a tortilla in 10 minutes rather than the 30 or so it takes to do it the old-fashioned way. Sometimes you just need a tortilla posthaste, you know. :wink:

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Guys You almost make me cry!

Well this book was a way for me to make ANYONE in America cook for a day something Spanish..........As you know the book is selling very well so I'm happy......I'm in my way of writing the second...!

But the one I'm working is the MINIBAR book.......

Again Thanks for cooking from it.......! And remember: cooking belongs to us all!

Jose Andres

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Guys You almost make me cry!

Well this book was a way for me to make ANYONE in America cook for a day something Spanish..........As you know the book is selling very well so I'm happy......I'm in my way of writing the second...!

But the one I'm working is the MINIBAR book.......

Again Thanks for cooking from it.......! And remember: cooking belongs to us all!

Jose Andres

I am very much looking forward to both!

Edited by docsconz (log)

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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