If we were playing summer food word association, ‘grilling’ clearly would top the list. Along with fresh, simple food, casual dining and a host of seasonal ingredients that define the season’s flavor palette. My personal food choices in the hotter months focus much more on the vibrant flavors and less on the laborious preparation that seems to suit when there is a chill in the air.
I was recently contacted by Boulder Sausage Company to see if I’d be interested in taking part in a summer recipe Blogger Challenge using their sausage. My task would be to create a recipe that speaks to summer food using one of their sausage types. In exchange Boulder Sausage Company would reimburse my ingredients costs, post my recipe on their website and again on their Facebook page for Facebookers to vote determining the recipe to win a $500 gift certificate to Home Depot.
I love a good thought-provoking challenge and use Boulder Sausage regularly so it was an easy decision for me. For those outside of our area, Boulder Sausage company is a local company making high quality pork sausages without fillers, additives and most are gluten free. It was an early and exciting find when I began my locavore quest a few years ago.
I love the chance to think outside the ‘recipe box’ if you will. I knew I wanted to do something simple, yet innovative. Grilling was a must but I wanted to do more than put a sausage on the ‘barbie’. I decided to make Smoked Chorizo Soft Tacos with Grilled Salsa feeling it highlights the preferred summer cooking method, signature summer flavors and the ease we enjoy about summer dining. Though I own a smoker I smoked the sausage in a manner anyone with a grill, gas or charcoal, could repeat themselves. It’s definitely a method that could be used with many other foods.
SMOKED CHORIZO SOFT TACOS with GRILLED PEACH and CORN SALSA
These tacos are simple and casual but far from ordinary. The smoked heat of the chorizo coupled with the cool, sweet salsa makes for a flavorful summer celebration! Queso Fresco cheese is a light, mild Mexican cheese that blends perfectly with the flavors. It does not melt in the same way as traditional cheese but softens with the heat of the grill-smoked chorizo.
Yield: approximately 8 tacos
· 1 package of Boulder Sausage Fresh Chorizo (14 ounce), loose form*
· Apple wood (can be purchased wherever barbeque supplies are sold), about 2 cups (unsoaked)
· 1 package of 6 inch soft corn tortillas (usually 12 in a package)
· Queso Fresco cheese (a mild Mexican white cheese), sliced
· One recipe of Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa (click here for recipe – make prior to smoking chorizo)
· Smoking box or heavy foil
*should you not have access to Boulder Sausage chorizo you can substitute with any loose chorizo.
1. Preheat half of the grill to high heat. Leave other side of grill turned off. Keep hood lowered.
2. In an oven proof skillet (I used cast iron), lightly brown the chorizo on the stove top or on a grill burner if your grill has one. Drain any grease (mine did not have any).
3. Prepare the smoking packet. I used a cast iron grill smoking box I purchased for about $10 on Amazon.com. You can also make a smoking packet by placing the apple wood in a large square of heavy foil. Close packet by folding over edges. Pierce the top of the foil in several spots.
4. Place the smoking packet on the heated side of the grill. Close grill lid and allow to heat up and begin to smoke (about 10-15 minutes). Leaving smoking packet on the grill, add the chorizo in the oven proof skillet on the side of the grill that was not heated. Close grill hood and allow to smoke for 15 minutes.
5. Remove chorizo and allow to cool slightly. Drain any fat or use a slotted spoon to dish chorizo into tacos. Remove smoking packet and allow to cool fully before discarding (or discarding the wood if using a smoking box).
6. To warm tortillas: Place tortillas in heavy foil and seal. Place packet on the grill to warm for a few minutes after removing chorizo and smoking packet.
7. To assemble tacos: In a warm tortilla, add two spoonfuls (soup spoon size) of chorizo, a slice of queso fresco and a large spoonful of the Grilled Peach and Corn Salsa. Enjoy!
VOTE FOR ME!! Ok dear readers I’d really appreciate your support in voting for my recipe on Facebook! The only thing I love more than the aroma of this smoking chorizo is the smell of freshly cut wood at Home Depot. As a DIY girl, this challenge offers my dream prize! Boulder Sausage company will be posting recipes during the last week of August on their Facebook page: http://ow.ly/dg0Qa. Thank you for your support!
Disclaimer: I wrote this post voluntarily and it represents my personal views. Boulder Sausage company provided compensation for my recipe ingredients only.