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Homemade turkey chorizo

 

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Pretty sure by now, you know my proclivity towards breakfast, as evidenced by these recent posts. Mornings are so alluring to me– a clean slate, fresh starts, unknown challenges.

A BIG, HOT, CUP OF COFFEE.

Once again, I fall under the spell of the savory side. Warm, spicy, comforting. Chorizo is all this and more. For me, it’s very much a familial thing because my dad would always make homemade chorizo when I was still living at the house out West. He made his more traditionally, of course, utilizing pork instead of turkey, but conceptually they are the same with a few spice similarities.

Two key ingredients in any chorizo: chili and vinegar. You have free reign to experiment with different kinds and combinations here. In this particular recipe, I use New Mexico chile powder and red wine vinegar– two ingredients commonly found in Peruvian cooking.

I tell you what: there is something extraordinary that happens when you mix chili with garlic and acid. Together they create a menage trois of aromas so enticing that it makes it incredibly difficult having to wait until the next day to taste. And yes, you have to wait. At least 24 hours so the meat and spices can flavorize each other and get drunk happy.

But that next morning when you open your fridge, you will be greeted so delightfully by the heady, pungent smell of spicy, garlicky chorizo beckoning to be fried up and scrambled with eggs, that you will forget the hardship you suffered overnight waiting.

 

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// homemade turkey chorizo

 

Makes breakfast for 1, all workweek long

 

2 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat

3 fat cloves garlic, pushed through garlic press

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons New Mexico chile powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

 

olive oil, for frying

Eggs, optional

 

// Mix all ingredients into a large bowl with your hands. Separate into two portions, and dump each one onto sheets of plastic wrap to form into logs. Secure tight and stash in fridge to marinate at least 24 hours.

Grab a frying pan and drizzle in a touch of olive oil. When it shimmers, dump in one portion of turkey chorizo and crumble with wooden spoon. Fry until cooked through and golden. If you’re adding eggs, crack them in now directly into the pan and scramble with chorizo until pale yellow and just barely cooked through. Overcooked eggs is a tragedy and a crime– don’t commit it. Eat as is, or, as my dad always served it– in between two slices of white bread.

 

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Garlic and paprika-spiced roasted russet potatoes

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Dem taters.

God that’s sexy, isn’t it? I mean even just saying it out loud gets me excited, not to mention the taste, the smell, the way it looks so tempting tumbled on that plate. The perfect breakfast for me isn’t waffles, isn’t pancakes, hell, not even a doughnut(!), and if you know me well enough you know how heavily I adore and worship the glorious doughnut– nope, my best motivation to roll out of bed in the morning is the promise of fried eggs and potatoes. Simple, old school, effing delicious. And even more dangerous with a generous splattering of Cholula, the liquid gold of store-bought hot sauce in my opinion. But you don’t need to have these potatoes just for breakfast– eat them for lunch as a salad, enjoy them as dinner under a blanket of pulled pork, put them in your back pocket to snack on all day long and if you sit on them, you my dear have made smashed roasted potatoes in the time it took you to write that expense report. You. Are. Awesome.

 

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I’ve made a ton of roasted potatoes in my lifetime and can tell you the type of potato you use will yield slightly different results, mostly texturally. The russet potatoes used in this recipe will make for crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside roasted potatoes. Think of a baked potato. Now think much tinier, like the size a hamster might eat. It’s like that.

 

 

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Also, let’s talk garlic press. I know many of you probably don’t own one. Own one. It is the easiest way to infuse maximum garlic flavor into anything you cook. I promise you won’t regret it but make sure to rinse press immediately after using, otherwise she can be a little b to clean with sticky garlic cling.

 

 

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Sticky garlic cling. That’s a thing.

 

 

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But more importantly of a thing: these potatoes. Do the thing.

 

 

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// Garlic and paprika-spiced roasted russet potatoes

 

serves 4 hefty breakfast portions, preferably with eggs and greens

 

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, washed, scrubbed, cut into half moons

4 fat cloves garlic, pushed through garlic press

1 heaping teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 heaping teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

 

// Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and tumble the potatoes in. Add the garlic, paprika, thyme, cayenne, salt, and olive oil. Toss together with your hands, massaging the spice and olive oil throughout the flesh of the potatoes. Spread them out evenly and deliver to middle rack of the oven. Roast for 15 minutes; toss with spatula. Roast another 15 minutes; toss. Roast 20, toss, test with knife– if it slides in easy and the potato skins are crispy to your desire, they’re done, if not, roast longer. And then: cool on baking sheet until you can’t stand it any longer. Devour.

With eggs, with bacon, with wilted greens, with ranch dressing. But always, always, with Cholula.

 

 

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date meyer lemon butter + homemade cream cheese

Homemade cream cheese

 

I am so very, very excited to share this recipe with you guys today. Dates! They are delicious! I think I’ve always known that but hardly ever cooked with them. That’s going to change for sure in the coming months. Man, this date butter is insane. While this baby simmered on the stove I swear it smelled like bacon. Bacon! Now I sorta get why the two are constantly being paired together.

 

dates

 

To add to this crazy good butter, I decided to include meyer lemons for the acid component because: hey I just met you and this is crazy but here’s my number call me maybe? I bought a bag of meyer lemons for the first time a couple weeks ago and fell in love with them hard. Stalkingly obsessed hard. Pretty sure I’m never using regular lemons ever again.

 

meyer lemon

 

The combination of both of these new-found crushes together in one tasty butter has been rocking my world since day one. I want to eat it all by itself in a dark corner of the room. I’m gonna need serious privacy.

Despite the name, this butter doesn’t actually have butter. Kinda funny isn’t it? Maybe it was coined a butter because of how easy it is to spread. Fruit butters are different than jams and jellies in terms of how long you cook them for. I let mine simmer for roughly 45 minutes but you can let it go for even longer. To be honest, I couldn’t wait any longer it smelled so good. I may have torched the roof of my mouth tasting it off the stove.

My obsession for making a fruit butter was born from my previous obsession with Trader Joe’s fig butter. That stuff, my friends, is bomb. I think I finished the entire contents of that jar within a week of opening. I ate it slathered on a bagel with cream cheese. And it was so good. I woke up in the morning excited to eat it. That’s saying something!

Naturally, I had to eat this lovely date meyer lemon butter with cream cheese and bagels too. All in the name of comparative research, course.

 

date meyer lemon butter

 

// date meyer lemon butter 

recipe adapted from bon appétit

makes about 1 cup

 

1 1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped

2 tablespoons meyer lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup water + 1 cup water, divided in half to add during cooking

 

// In a small sauce pot, combine the dates, meyer lemon juice, honey, and 1/2 cup water. Set to boil and then lower to gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup water once the liquid in the pot evaporates, about 15 minutes into the cooking process. Repeat again in another 15 minutes, adding the remaining 1/2 cup water to the pot. After the water evaporates again, let the dates caramelize slightly in the pot for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently. I let this butter cook for about 45 minutes but you can choose to cook for longer if you want an even more intense flavor. You might have to add more water though.

After this finished cooking, I pressed it through a fine sieve to separate the butter from any extra liquid. You can leave it as is, it’s delicious either way, but I wanted to try it as a thick butter and as a thin sauce. The butter was excellent slathered on anything and the sauce was outrageous drizzled on anything (but made for a more luxurious experience, i think). Both variations are phenomenal. The butter keeps fabulously in a glass container in the fridge for about a week but I seriously doubt it will last that long!

 

date meyer lemon butter

 

I couldn’t stop at just making a homemade fruit butter. I felt compelled to make a homemade cream cheese too. I never quite realized how easy and straight-forward it was to make cheese at home. You pretty much just mix heavy cream or half and half together with a mesophilic culture starter, or in my case, buttermilk (because that was the quickest, most convenient route, and if you know me, that’s pretty much my middle name(s)) and let it sit on the counter for hours. I have to admit that I was doubtful after about 8 hours. The recipe said it would eventually take the form of a yogurt but mine was nowhere near that state. At hour 10 I was almost ready to dump the entire thing and try the mesophilic culture starter route but when I checked it again at hour 12 I was astounded to find that it really did change into the consistency of a yogurt! Science is amazing!

At that point, you transfer the “yogurt” into cheesecloth, wrap it, and let it hang somewhere to drip whey. After another 12 hours my cream cheese was ready! All I had to do was add a smidge of salt and it was ready to go. This cream cheese tasted like none other that I’ve tried. Super creamy and rich and delicious. As simple as this was to make, I am gonna be all about experimenting with crazy flavor combinations. I adore cream cheese.

 

homemade cream cheese

 

// homemade cream cheese, via The Prairie Homestead

Makes 1 1/2 cups

 

1 quart half and half

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Fine cheesecloth

 

// Pour half and half and buttermilk into a glass container and stir together. Cover slightly with a towel and leave on the counter to culture anywhere from 8-12 hours. Mine was ready at exactly 12 hours. It’s ready once it looks like yogurt.

Dump the yogurt onto cheesecloth, wrap it, and tie it. Secure it onto a wooden spoon over a tall pitcher for the whey to drip. I let this drip for about 12 hours but it depends on how thin or thick you want your cream cheese to be. The longer it drips, the tangier the cream cheese will taste. Mine was pretty tangy. Once you’re satisfied with the consistency, scoop the cream cheese into a bowl and season with salt. Pour cream cheese into a glass container and store in the fridge.

 

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Gabrielle - This looks so unique and delicious. My mouth actual watered as I read through the post!

Lu @ Super Nummy Yo! - This is SO COOL. I love making my own fresh ricotta. Now I’ll have to try homemade cream cheese! Also, gorgeous gorgeous photos.

Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie - Wow I have been wanting to make my own yogurt but it never occurred to me to try my hand at cream cheese! It’s gotta be amazing fresh.

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Alex - Wow! These look amazing. Can’t wait to try the butter.

Stephanie - Kate, thanks so much! It seriously is so good. I’ve already made a huge dent in the date butter and cream cheese– so very sad!!

Stephanie - Lil, I think you’d LOVE dates! I can imagine you’d create all sorts of delicious crazy goods using them. I want to make cookies and bars and ice cream with them. The possibilities are endless!

Stephanie - Denise, oh my gosh it would be amazing in a tart! I’m definitely planning on buying dates in bulk so I can swap them in for sugar in most of my baking goods. I think they could be interchangeable with bananas in most cases!

thelittleloaf - Wow, that looks and sounds utterly delicious. And homemade cream cheese? Perfection.

Lil @ sweets by sillianah - girlfriend, this is too much goodness in one post! You know what’s crazy, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten dates…but you’ve changed my mind – especially if they smell like bacon! lol… but seriously, I’ve bookmarked quite a few recipes using medjool dates but have yet gotten around to any of them. I need to get on it!

And seriously, homemade cream cheese? I must try this one day!

Denise - Oh, this sounds insanely good. I am with you on using dates beyond a bowl of oatmeal. I have been using them in nut based tart shells as a binding and they are super good. Cannot wait to try out some this yummy butter!

Stephanie - Sara, oh my gosh so you can totally feel me on my fig butter obsession! I want to make so many different kinds now. So much love!

Sara @ Cake Over Steak - Whoa girl. This is awesome. I never even thought about making homemade cream cheese ….and I’m with you on the cream cheese + jam/fruit butter combo on a bagel. AND, that Trader Joe’s fig butter?!??!?! YES. I have some in my fridge that I bought in Philly one time recently … I actually went to TJ’s that time for the main purpose of buying that fig spread after a friend let me have the last of her jar. I will have to try this!