Breakfast Sausage/Chorizo Biscuits Sandwiches. After a few attempts at preparing a homemade breakfast sausage, I finally found the right combination of flavors for my liking. First thing I will advise you to do, is to prepare the sausage a few weeks in advance before you cook it. It will be hard to wait that long, but so worth it. The flavors are amazing once it has time to marinate for a while in the freezer. Only problem with typing up this blog this morning? I have no reserved sausage in the freezer and I am so hungry! Looks like a trip to the market soon. I will be using this sausage recipe for my Thanksgiving dressing/stuffing recipe this year. It has all those flavors I love. I can’t wait!
Biscuits (This recipe is directly out of the vintage Betty Crocker Cookbook) 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 cup shortening 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup melted butter
Chorizo con Huevo 1/2 cup mexican chorizo 1/3 cup onion, diced 1 serrano, minced 1 small roma, seeded and diced 4 large eggs 1/8 cup milk, optional salt and pepper, to taste
1. Combine all of the ingredients for the sausage in a bowl. Mix well to combine. Take a spoonful and cook until done to taste test for salt. If seasoning is good, cover sausage mixer and chill until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients for the biscuits. Cut in the shortening with a fork or your fingers. Gradually add in the milk until dough forms and knead, adding flour if needed, for 8 minutes. Roll out onto floured surface and cut out 10 biscuits and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter while still warm.
3. Cook the chorizo at medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, using a wooden spoon to crumble as it cooks. Add in the onions, chile and tomato and cook for another minute. Whisk the eggs and milk together and add to chorizo mixture. Reduce heat, add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine and cook the eggs. Cover and remove from heat.
4. Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Form 10 sausage patty’s and transfer them to hot skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Once I flip them and before removing them from pan, I like to add a little bit of water to the pan, cover and reduce the heat so the sausage steams for a few minutes before serving. Yields 10 breakfast biscuit sandwiches.
I am sure you knew that eventually there would be a blog post about one of my favorite subjects. Piña, Pineapple! I grew up enjoying fresh pineapple. I loved it as a kid and I love it even more as an adult. It is always on my weekly grocery list of must haves. Pineapples are a great source of vitamin C and filled with antioxidants to boost your immune system. Besides the health benefits, fresh pineapples can be used to prepare both sweet and savory recipes. Included in this blog post are a few of my favorite recipes with fresh pineapple as the main ingredient. Check out the promotion from Del Monte Gold for Gold Treasure Hunt at the end of this post for a chance to win a whole pound of 24K gold. To participate and enter at the links provided below, at the end of this blog post.
Empanadas de Piña (Pineapple Handpies)
These perfect little empanadas filled with homemade pineapple filling is a family recipe that was shared with me by my Tía Minerva. On my last trip to Mexico, in 2011, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a whole month with her. We cooked together and she told me stories of my grandparents and their life together that I had never known. These family recipes hold a very special place in my heart.
Yields 24 small empanadas
3½ cups flour 1¼ cups shortening ½cup water
½ teaspoon anise seeds
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder ½cup sugar, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon for dusting
For Pineapple Filling 2 cups finely chopped, fresh pineapple ¾ cup or to taste, dark brown sugar or piloncillo, if available
2 tablespoons lemon juice ¼ cup cold water
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1. Combine the anise seeds, cinnamon stick, and ½ cup of water. Heat (cook) in the microwave for 1½ minutes, strain and set aside. Melt the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl, add the tea and stir gently stir. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, until the dough forms and is no longer sticky. You may need to add a little more flour. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest.
2. While the dough is resting, make your pineapple filling. In a large nonstick skillet, add the fresh pineapple and heat to medium heat. Add the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, stir well to combine. Lower the heat and continue cooking for 20 to 25 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. In a small bowl, make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water. Mix together, making sure there are no lumps. Add the slurry to the cooking pineapple, stir well and stir often so it does not burn. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Let filling cool. 3. When filling is cool and dough has rested, form 20 to 24 (1½-inch) dough balls and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Take one dough ball at a time and press in tortilla press lined with wax paper, fill with 1½ to 2 tablespoons of filling. Fold over, and using a fork, or your fingers, press edges together to seal empanada.
4. Transfer empanadas to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl combine 1 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. While still slightly warm, roll in a cinnamon/sugar mixture. Yields 24 small empanadas.
Tips~ I like to place the empanadas under the broiler just longenough to brown the tops of the empanadas before removing from oven.
Tarta de Piña (Rustic Pineapple and Chocolate Tart)
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1¼ cups shortening
6 ounces of light beer, cold
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons of water 1 cup dulce de leche “La Lechera” brand 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1½ cups fresh pineapple, diced ¾ cup apricot preserves 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar (turbinado)
1. In a glass bowl, melt the shortening in the microwave, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the cold beer and salt, stir gently. Gradually add in the flour until the dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
2. After an hour, preheat oven to 395ºF. On a flat surface dusted with flour, roll out the dough, about 14 inches round. Transfer the dough onto a large baking sheet.
3. Spread the dulce de leche, leaving a 1-inch rim around; add the chocolate chips, pineapple and gently spread the apricot preserves to cover. Fold up the rim towards the inside of tart. Brush the exposed dough with egg wash and sprinkle the cane sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing and serving. Can be cut into 6 to 8 slices.
Tacos Con Sabor Al Pastor
For The Pork
4 to 4½ pounds pork butt, fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (boneless pork) 1 cup fresh pineapple, finely diced 1 tablespoon chile ancho powder 1 tablespoon granulated garlic ½ tablespoon oregano, crushed ½ tablespoon cumin 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper
For Chile sauce:
2 oz annatto paste
4 chile ancho, stems and seeds removed
2 chipotles in adobo
1 medium white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
2 teaspoons oregano, crushed
1 tablespoon Knorr chicken bouillon (powder)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
1. Combine all the dry spices and season the pork evenly. In a large pan, heat the oil to medium/high heat, add the seasoned pork to the hot oil, and cook until all sides of the meat are seared well.
2. Transfer the ancho peppers to a glass bowl, cover with water and cook in the microwave 6 to 7 minutes. Let cool slightly, set aside. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce into the blender. Drain the chile anchos and add them as well. Blend on high until smooth, taste for salt.
3. Add the fresh pineapple and sauce from the blender to the pork, stir well to combine. Once it come to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook, stirring often, for a good 2½ hours or until pork is tender. Taste for salt and add a little water if it gets too dry. Serve as-is, with rice and beans, and warm tortillas. Garnish with guacamole, salsa, diced onions and cilantro. Yields up to 8 servings.
Note: This does make a lot of pork if you are just making tacos, so you could cut the recipe in half if it is for a smaller family, or you can freeze the leftovers, once completely cooled. The pork will cook down slightly.
Blackened Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa
Note: This recipe can be prepared in your kitchen with a large griddle for the stove top. If the weather is suitable, you can do it on an outdoor grill as well.
For the Shrimp:
1 pound uncooked shrimp, cleaned with tails on 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought dry rub Olive oil Lemon wedges
For the Pineapple Salsa: 2 cups fresh pineapple, finely diced 1 Habanero pepper, minced 1 red cherry pepper, minced, optional 1/3 cup diced white onion 7 tablespoons rice wine vinegar Juice of 1/2 a lemon 2 tablespoons honey Salt and pepper Olive oil
Directions:1. Start by prepping the shrimp. Take a couple of paper towels and press down lightly onto shrimp to release excess moisture. Season lightly with salt, then add your dry rub, making sure all shrimp is covered. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.2. For pineapple salsa, in a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring so it does not burn. Add the peppers and cook for 1 more minute. Add the remaining ingredients, 1 teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper. Lower the heat and let it cook down for a few minutes. Taste for salt. Transfer to a dish and let it cool at room temperature. If not using right away, chill in the refrigerator.
3. To cook the shrimp, I like using a large griddle that covers both the front and back burner on the stove top. But, you could also skewer and grill the shrimp, just make sure you brush it with oil before you grill it. If cooking on the stove top, preheat the griddle to medium heat for a few minutes. Drizzle olive oil to cover evenly. Lay the shrimp, but do not overcrowd or it will steam and not blacken. Cook for just 2 minutes per side or when shrimp turns pink. Transfer to bowl and cover to keep warm.
4. Serve as-is with lemon/lime wedges as an appetizer or with warm corn tortillas for tacos. I served it with some shredded cabbage, radishes, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, that was lightly seasoned in a little rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
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Embracing my Mexican heritage and sharing all the wonderful flavors, colors and foods I grew up with. Join me on this journey as I also learn new foods and cooking techniques. Dedicated to my parents Ramiro and Blanca.