Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mexican Fiesta: Homemade Fresh Chorizo Tacos

I'm just loving all these authentic Mexican recipes from my football-themed fiesta, aren't you? The next recipe is for one of the two taco fillings I made for the party. This homemade fresh chorizo is spicy, smoky, and garlicky. The mixture only requires a few ingredients and comes together very easily. It's not much more effort than making a generic ground beef filling, so why not kick it up a notch and try this instead?

I loved topping my fresh chorizo tacos with some pickled onions and sour cream to balance out the spiciness. You could top it with anything you like, of course. Some queso fresco would be nice, as would pico de gallo or guacamole. The fun of hosting a party like this is that it gives your guests the ability to customize their food to their liking, and who doesn't like that? What are your favorite fillings for authentic Mexican tacos?

Homemade Fresh Chorizo Tacos
Makes about 16 to 20 tacos
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

6 dried ancho chiles
8 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground pork
Corn tortillas, for serving

Using kitchen scissors and working over a medium bowl, cut chiles into 1" rings, reserving seeds and discarding stems (if you want it a bit less spicy, discard some of the seeds). Cover with 1/2 cup hot water; let soak, stirring occasionally, until chiles are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.

Transfer chiles with seeds and soaking liquid to a blender. Add garlic, paprika, salt and pepper; pulse until a paste forms. Add more water as needed to allow the mixture to blend properly.

Combine pork and chile paste in a large bowl. Gently mix until just blended (do not overwork the meat).
Heat a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook chorizo until cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. (Be sure to let meat brown before turning and breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula.) Season with salt. Serve with corn tortillas.

Chorizo can be made 1 day ahead, covered and chilled. Rewarm before serving.


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