16 March 2013

Homemade Chorizo Sausage

I can't get decent chorizo sausage here in Doha, to be honest I can't get any chorizo sausage here, so I decided to make my own. I used pork mince, as I had some in the freezer but for all my Halal friends, you can make it with chicken mince instead.

Traditionally it's made with oregano and cumin, but you can use whatever herbs and spices you like, I had some smoked paprika so chucked that in as well. The recipe below makes a fairly mild chorizo, if you like it spicier, up the chillies or leave the seeds in, if you like it very mild, reduce them.

I made free form chorizo, basically the meat mixture without casings, so it's not a traditional sausage, but rather a mixture that can be used on a pizza, in a Mexican chili, wrapped in pastry or in this case, on a tortilla with the typical Mexican fixings like sour cream, salsa, and a dollop of habanero sauce. 

Mexican Chorizo Sausage Meat (in tortillas)

  • 500 grams minced pork (or chicken)
  • 10 large dried chillies, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar, warmed in a pot
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • to cook, olive oil and 1 teaspoon sugar, plus tortillas, salsa, sour cream, lettuce, red pepper and chili sauce


1.   Place the chillies in a glass bowl, and put the onions and garlic on top. Pour on the warm vinegar and cover with plastic wrap, let sit until the vinegar cools to room temperature.

2.   Pop the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.

3.   Put the pork mince, oregano, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper into a bowl and pour on the pureed chili mixture, Mix thoroughly with your hands until well combined. This is the basic chorizo mixture and can be frozen as it is ready to use in recipes (unless you started with frozen mince, then you should cook it before freezing).

4.   To cook the chorizo, heat some olive oil in a pan over medium to high heat and fry the meat mixture until cooked, taste and adjust seasoning - I added some ground black pepper, some sugar (to offset the vinegar), and some chili flakes. 

5.  Served spooned onto tortillas and add toppings to taste.

14 March 2013

Lobster Risotto

The King of the crustaceans, lobster, is delicate and decadent, and when paired with very simple ingredients it transforms an ordinary meal into something glorious.

I was lucky enough to have a friend bring me some lobsters yesterday, and I knew instantly where a couple of them would end up. Lobster risotto is one of those divine dishes I rarely cook, and when I do, I tell myself I should cook it more often. The sweet, succulent lobster complements the slight chewiness and delicate flavours of the risotto rice so well, and flavoured with a hint of lemon and parsley, this risotto is just divine.

About here is where I usually tell you what other ingredients you can use (it's not like we all have a lobster or two hanging out in the freezer or fridge), but this time I'm not going to, if you can, please try and make this with lobster, it really is the king of the crustaceans.

Lobster Risotto

  • 2 lobsters, about 400 grams each - I used frozen
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock, heated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


1.   Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and pop the lobster in, cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the meat is white but still tender. Remove, cool under cold running water to stop the cooking.

2.   Remove the tail and cut in half with scissors, and carefully take out the meat. Chop roughly, keeping fairly large chunks, set aside.

3.   Put the stock into a pot on the stove and heat, keep on the stove while cooking the risotto, the stock needs to be hot as you add it to the rice.

4.   Heat the olive oil and butter over a medium to high heat and add the garlic and onion. Cook for a few minutes until the onion has softened, but not browned

5.   Add in the arborio rice and stir to coat then add in the white wine and stir until absorbed. Now stir in a ladle of hot stock and stir until it is absorbed. Keep adding the stock and stirring in between until the rice is cooked, it should be chewy and gooey, not to dry. Add in the lobster and stir through carefully, heat for 1 minute, to heat the lobster.

6.   Remove from heat, squeeze in the lemon and sprinkle on the parmesan and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and stir gently to combine. Serve.