Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Double Marsala Glazed Chorizo Platter

Portofino Fish Plate from Butlers
The sun is out, the temperatures are rising and summer fun is in full swing! Whether I'm having a little cocktail party and need some good nibbles, planning a dinner party that requires a starter course or just looking for a simple lunch or dinner to put together for my husband and myself, this little platter is becoming a staple in my house. It's easy, doesn't require too much in the way of cooking or preparation and it's really tasty! Now, I know that Marsala is Italian and Chorizo is Spanish, but this whole thing is a great big tasty mess of fusion and it all works beautifully together.

Buckets & Chalkboard Clips from Tiger

There are three elements to this dish or platter, if you will: cheese, crackers, chorizo and nuts. You could however add to this if you wanted to… Olives could work well here, some rustic bread would be very welcome and I certainly wouldn't say no to roasted garlic on the side, though I'd probably save that for doing in the winter so as to not heat up the kitchen with the oven in the summer. Feel free to get creative with the nut and cheese choices - choose what you like as my choices here are merely suggestions. If you're serving bread, a few flavored extra virgin olive oils would be nice. If this is a meal, a salad would go beautifully on the side. The actual cooking really only comes into play with the Double Glazed Chorizo - the rest is really up to you and your own preferences.


Ingredients

Nuts:
200g blanched almonds
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Cheese board:
200g Manchego, cubed
200g Cornish Yarg, cubed
* Other cheese suggestions that would work nicely are Emmentaler, Cheddar or Red Leicester.
A selection of crackers and/or crisp, miniature flat breads

Chorizo:
400g spicy cooking chorizo, sliced into coins
200ml dry Marsala

Puro Ramekin from Butlers
Method
1. Start with the nuts by toasting them in a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat, tossing and stirring regularly so they don't burn. They are toasted when they are hot or warm and you start to smell a nutty aroma coming from them.

2. Before removing from the heat, sprinkle in the smoked paprika and salt. Toss around with a wooden spoon or your hands if they're not too hot until the nuts are coated in the red paprika. Remove from the heat and put into a warm bowl or ramekins for serving.

3. Now cook the chorizo in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat, stirring fairly regularly with a wooden spoon until the chorizo starts to give off it's orange oil and begins to bronze on the outside.

4. Pour in 100ml of the Marsala and let it bubble up. Continue to cook and stir until it's reduced almost to nothing. Watch carefully as you don't want this to get too dry and burn. When it's reduced enough, pour in the other 100ml of Marsala (this is the double glazing bit) and repeat. This time it will bubble up the same, but as it reduces, it will create a thick, syrupy glaze over the chorizo.


5. When the glaze has reduced enough, remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon to a serving dish. There will still be some glaze left in the pan - it shouldn't reduce all the way to nothing.

6. To serve, put together a spread with the cheese cubes, nuts, chorizo and crackers along with anything else you decide to add. If you wish, provide little toothpicks or cocktail sticks to make this a true finger food option.

This spread goes great with wine, but I particularly love it with a cold, Mexican beer like Corona or Modelo if I'm not having a Margarita. Enjoy!

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