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Opah Chorizo

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Traditional chorizo is a soft pork sausage, flavored with chiles, annatto and garlic. This version replaces pork with fish. Specifically, opah “flank” – which is derived from the abductor or adductor muscle of the fish and looks and cooks like beef – is cooked down with rendered bacon fat. The result is a taste and texture that’s surprisingly close to real chorizo and overall, a much healthier choice!

Recipe courtesy Rooted Development, a Chef Celebration collaboration.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Opah Abductor, cleaned of silver skin and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp Ancho chile powder
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup rendered bacon fat, liquid but not hot

How to Prepare:

  1. Mix all dried spices with olive oil, then use to marinade opah abductor for at least 1 hour but no more than 3.
  2. Place marinated abductor into a food processor and pulse it to break down into smaller pieces.
  3. Next, turn on the processor and pour in the bacon fat as it works, processing until the opah abductor and fat are emulsified and there are no large chunks. This is the chorizo.
  4. Cook opah chorizo in a pan with hot oil (canola mix is best) breaking off small pieces (like browning ground beef). Let the pieces sear for 30 seconds on one side, then carefully move them around the pan for about 20 more seconds, avoiding too much caramelization (which makes the abductor chewy).
  5. Alternatively, make bigger patties for sliders! Either way, remove the chorizo from the pan when done to drain on a towel, then add back into whatever dish you’re making when the dish is almost complete to avoid overcooking the chorizo. Serve in egg scrambles, paellas, burritos, frittatas, etc.!

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Opah Abductor

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