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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Iannelli-Rubin

Michy's Creamy Goat Cheese & Chorizo Crostini

One of my all-time favorite things to do in warm weather is make a bunch of appetizers, pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy some finger food fun outside! This creamy goat cheese & chorizo crostini hits the spot every time.


What is Chorizo? Chorizo is a delicious, spicy sausage that is typically made from a mixture of chopped pork meat, pork fat, salt, whole pepper grains, cinnamon, achiote, and other spices which produce its characteristic deep red color.


Pictured here is an all-time favorite in our house, a Creamy Goat Cheese & Chorizo Crostini.


Used in Spanish and Mexican cuisine, chorizo is a pork sausage with lots of seasonings. Have I peaked your interest? There are significant differences in the Spanish and Mexican chorizo. Spanish chorizo is a cured sausage (meaning a hard, sliceable sausage) similar to salami that is made from chopped pork and can be spicy or mild. Mexican chorizo can be cooked on its own or with other ingredients like peppers, onions, and rice and is typically made from pork, although you will find some versions made with ground beef or even soy. Chorizo is typically cooked and cured, unlike sausage that is raw and spiced with fennel or anise, resulting in a less spicy flavor.


Popular in the Iberian peninsula (Spain & Portugal), the origins of chorizo date back to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire. By then (1519-1525), chorizo was already a very popular dish in Spain. As soon as they could, Hernan Cortes (Spanish conquistador best known for his conquering the Aztecs and claiming Mexico on behalf of Spain) and his soldiers began raising pigs in order to produce chorizo in Mexico. Toluca, in central Mexico, was one of the first places to register chorizo production in Mexico. To this day, Mexicans consider chorizo from Toluca among the best in the country.




Preserving meat for the harsh winter months by means of air drying or smoking has been used as a method throughout history. Spain’s famous Serrano and Iberico hams evolved from that tradition, and sausage production went hand in hand with that of the hams. The legs of the pigs would be made into hams to be cured for several months, then the loin, belly and other cuts would be made into sausages, preserved with salt and spices and cured in the dry mountain air, the smaller ones ready to eat within a few weeks, providing essential protein to keep families nourished through the cold season. Smoking foods allowed for longer preservation, which lead to many Europeans smoking sausages that they could eat over the course of several days.


 

Michy's Creamy Goat Cheese & Chorizo Crostini

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 baguette (or 12 baguette slices)

  • olive oil

  • 1/2 cup softened goat cheese

  • 2 tablespoons of honey

  • chopped fresh basil

  • 1/4 pound Spanish style cured Chorizo, sliced

  • a bunch of freshly chopped scallions

  • salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using a serrated knife (best for slicing bread), I suggest slicing your bread reasonably thin, about 1/2-inch thick or just under—any thinner, and your bread might fall apart.

  2. Align baguette slices on a sheet pan and brush olive oil.

  3. Place sheet pan in oven and bake: 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit), 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees, 6 to 9 minutes at 450 degrees. No need to flip your toasts while baking. Mine always turn out nicely golden on both sides regardless. The crostini are done when they’re golden on top and sound sort of hollow when you give them a little tap.

  4. While crostini is baking, whip goat cheese, freshly chopped basil and honey in a small bowl.

  5. To assemble the crostini, spread softened goat cheese on baguette slice, top with chorizo, sliced scallions. Sprinkle with salt. Serve.




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