Main Dishes

Chorizo Timbale





Several years ago a friend was working on a chorizo recipe and she let me try it.  Years have past, I misplaced the recipe, but the delicious taste lives on in my memory.  I wanted to recreate the taste, so came up with this recipe.  Chorizo combined with some traditional vegetables and spices, surrounded with a flavorful polenta.  Slice some and top with sour cream and a bit of salsa.
My favorite chorizo, bought regionally, is a dry Basque  sausage with a fantastic flavor.

1 quart chicken broth
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tsp. Cumin
2 Tbs. butter
½ cup chopped cilantro

In a large pan, bring chicken broth to a simmer.  While the broth simmers, slowly pour in the cornmeal, whisking constantly so lumps don’t form.  Stir steadily for 5 minutes until it is stiff.  Add the cumin and butter, stirring with until well blended.  Remove 1/3 of the polenta and place in a bowl and place plastic wrap against it.  To the remaining polenta add the Cilantro and mix thoroughly.  Cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap against the polenta, so it doesn’t form a crust and put both batches of polenta in the refrigerator for half an hour to cool.

Chorizo filling:
1 Lb. Basque chorizo (I prefer chorizos from Gem Pack in Boise, ID –
½ cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped red pepper (slice off 3 thin slices and reserve before chopping.)
1/3 cup chopped green pepper (slice off 3 thin slices and reserve before chopping.)
1 cup corn, drained
2 small cans sliced black olives, drained
1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 Tbs. tomato paste
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup chopped cilantro
3 eggs
½ tsp. Cumin
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, grated (separate 2 ounces of the cheese after grating)

Chop and assemble all your ingredients.  Remove casings from the chorizo by slicing down the length of the sausage and pealing off the casing, then grind in a meat grinder or cut in chunks and pulse in a food processor in small batches until it is the texture of ground meat.  Mix in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients, except cheese, until well blended.  Mix in the 6 ounces of cheese.

Heat oven to 350°.

Spray an 8 inch spring form pan with cooking spray, dampen hands with cold water and take a small amount of the polenta that has cilantro and pat out, put it in the pan, starting on the sides of the pan (up to about 1 inch from the top rim) and continue with the process, patting out until the sides and bottom is covered and all the polenta with the cilantro is used.  Make sure you dampen your hands often; it makes the polenta easier to work with.

Gently pat the chorizo mixture into the polenta, filling the pan until it is level to the top of the polenta.  Sprinkle the 2 oz reserved cheese over it and gently press it in.  Press the polenta down around the edges so it is even with the filling.  Wet hands and work with small amounts of the rest of the polenta (the reserved polenta that doesn’t have the cilantro in it), patting it out and placing it on top of the meat filling.  Smooth it out so there are no holes.  Place the reserved slices of peppers in a decorative design, pressing lightly so it is imbedded in the polenta.  Cover the pan with foil and place it on a baking sheet in the oven.

Bake 1 hour 15 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking 30 minutes or until the top is a light golden brown.  Let cool to room temperature and run a knife around the edge and remove the side of the spring form pan.  Remove the side of the pan.  Run a knife under the Timbale and slide onto a serving dish.  If you wish, you may refrigerate it, but bring it up to room temperature and even warm slightly in a microwave if serving the next day.  Slice in pie shape and serve with sour cream and salsa.  Sprinkle with a bit of cilantro.

If you have some filling left over.  You can form it into a small loaf and bake until done, about 30 minutes or so.

This takes an hour or so to prepare before baking, so make sure you have enough time to make it.

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Thursday, June 9th, 2011 Chorizo Timbale, Main Dishes No Comments

Broiled Honey-Coriander Chicken

The sweet honey and ground coriander marinade flavors the chicken and makes it tender and delicious either broiled or barbecued.  Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours, 8 is better.

4 lbs. cut up chicken

6 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh ginger root, finely grated
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients, except chicken.  Put cut-up chicken in a gallon zip-lock bag or glass bowl.  Pour the marinade over the chicken, marinate 2 to 8 hours, mixing occasionally.

Preheat broiler to high, putting the oven rack to the second to the top level of the oven.  Remove the chicken from the marinade and put on a grilling pan and put under the broiler, or put it on the bar-b-que.  Cook 12 to 15 minutes on each side, until cooked through to meat temperature of 180 degrees F.  Place on a plate and cover for 5 minutes before serving.

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Monday, November 23rd, 2009 Broiled Honey-Coriander Chicken No Comments

Mushroom Quiche Tarts

A couple Sunday’s ago my daughter, Marla, and I went to a restaurant in Eagle, Id.  We decided to try their mushroom quiche, sit in their outside dining area and enjoyed it and a glass of Chai bubble tea.  The sun was shining and it was a beautiful fall day.  The tea was great and the quiche was wonderful.  We decided to get the ingredients and make some the next weekend.  I checked out several recipes online and put together a recipe to try.  One recipe I saw used hash-browns for the shell which I thought interesting and I decided a bit of garlic and shallot would be a great taste to go in it but I didn’t want those flavors to over-ride the mushrooms.  Making them as individual tarts, so we could grab one and have it for breakfast or lunch at work, was another idea I liked.  I have made the regular size quiche with this recipe, but the size of the hash-brown shell is a little difficult to handle.

mushroom tart

Mushroom Quiche Tarts
(with hash-brown potato shell)

3 medium potatoes, grated
1 Tbs. finely chopped scallion
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
butter for frying

5 eggs
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup milk
pinch of ground nutmeg
pepper to taste

1 cup broccoli, finely chopped (or frozen spinach, thawed and chopped)

2 Tbs. butter
3 cups mushrooms, sliced and chopped
2 tsp. scallion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

½ cup Swiss cheese, shredded

¼ cup cheese, finely grated cheese (I used a pre-grated mixture that was a four-cheese Mexican blend)

Preheat oven to 375.

Potato shell:
Grate potatoes; mix in scallion, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat skillet to medium heat, melt a tsp. of butter and spread out ¼ of the potato mixture in a thin round layer (squeeze the grated potato before frying it to get out excess moisture).  Cook until nicely browned.  Spray an individual pie tin with cooking spray and turn the potato upside down in the tin so the cooked side is up.  Repeat until all 4 shells are done.


hash-brown shell


Put the chopped broccoli in a pan of boiling salted water.  Boil until tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes (or thaw and chop spinach).  Drain and rinse with cold water, drain thoroughly and set aside.
Grate the Swiss cheese.
Melt the butter in a skillet, put the mushrooms in and sprinkle them with salt and pepper, sauté until they start to brown and there is no liquid in the pan.  Add the scallion and garlic, cook, stirring frequently until the onion is translucent.  This only takes a minute or so.  Remove the pan from the heat.
Put the eggs in a bowl, whisk until smooth.  Add the half and half, milk, pepper, and nutmeg, mix until blended.

brocolli layer


cheese layer


ready for oven

finished tarts


Divide the broccoli (or spinach) into four equal parts, squeeze out the excess moisture and put in the potato shells.  Scatter it in loosely, don’t make a solid layer.  Divide the Swiss cheese into four equal parts and scatter it over the broccoli/spinach layer.  Divide the mushrooms into four equal parts and add that layer to the tarts.
Pour the egg mixture over the layers and put into the oven.  Bake 30 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean, pull out and sprinkle with the grated cheese.  Place the tarts on the bottom of the oven and continue baking for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 tarts

Note:  There is salt in all of the ingredients so I don’t add any to the egg mixture.  Baking the last 10 minutes on the bottom of the oven browns the bottom.

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Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 Mushroom Quiche No Comments