The closer an ingredient is to its field or branch, the richer its flavor and the deeper its meaning. In Farm Fork Food (Kyle Books, 2014), author Eric Skokan shares his seasonal recipes that always have a sense of discovery and delight. The book will guide you through your local market with confidence or turn your garden into a season-long celebration of cooking. This Pork Chorizo Recipe with Avocado and Cilantro is from the chapter, “Charcuterie.”
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Chorizo made from scratch is not only rewarding but substantially better than the store-bought version. Very versatile, it is used for everything in our kitchen. Here I’ve paired it with refreshing avocado and cilantro. Any leftovers are wonderful scrambled with eggs in the morning.
• 1 pound pork shoulder, cubed
• 4 ounces fatback or pork belly, cubed
• 1/4 cup diced onion
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons ground chiles de árbol
• 1 tablespoon ground black Oaxaca chiles
• 2 tablespoons ground coriander
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• sea salt
• 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
• 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
• 2 tablespoons julienned red onion
• juice of 1 lime
• 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
1.Pre-chill the grinder attachment, auger and cutting dies in the freezer overnight.
2. Pass the shoulder, fatback, onion and garlic through the grinder set with a medium cutting die. Change to a small die and pass the pork mixture through a second time.
3. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the spices and lemon juice and season with salt. Beat on low speed until tacky, about 3 minutes.
4. In a small sauté pan over high heat, cook 1 teaspoon of the pork mixture to check for seasoning. Taste and adjust if necessary.
5. Form the chorizo into 2-inch diameter patties. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the patties over and cook for about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a platter to rest.
6. In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, avocado, red onion, lime juice and oil. Season with salt and toss lightly.
7. Divide the avocado salad among four small plates. Top with the chorizo patties and serve immediately.
Of the hundreds of types of chiles and chile powders I prefer the ones that are light on heat but long on flavor. Tops in my book is the black chile of Oaxaca and the tobacco-scented Ancho chile. A trip to the local Latino market is the trick for sourcing the best dried chiles. Sometimes you’ll find tortillas still warm off the tortilla press there, too! Substituting regular chile powder is a possibility, just insist that it is very fresh and fragrant.
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This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from Farm Fork Food, by Eric Skokan and published by Kyle Books, 2014.