Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chorizo Pasta Bake

Do you ever watch Chopped? I do.  Well, I do when I visit home; because my roomies and I are cable-free (not because we are TV snobs, but because with a combination of Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN online we can see almost everything we want, albeit on a small screen sometimes.)  On Chopped there is always some poor chef who doesn’t devein his shrimp or something and the judges say things like “I can’t believe this.  This is shocking. How could you not devein your shrimp?” as though it is the worst thing a human could possibly overlook.  I guess if you are a professional chef it is a big deal that you didn’t devein your shrimp.  However, I have the luxury of being a semi-regular person, and I have failed to devein my shrimp before.  I mean, if I was serving shrimp at a fancy party or making shrimp creole on Christmas Eve (which is a tradition in my family) I would definitely devein them.  But for a low county boil? A meal which is often eaten OFF OF NEWSPAPER? No. I am not deveining shrimp for that.  Consider it my rebellious return to nature (I like camping, but I’ve never been “primitive” camping).  

I think the point I was trying to make, but in fact was aimlessly circling around in the above paragraph is that I am not a chef so if I went on Chopped I would probably lose. I perhaps know more than the average bear about food/cooking (I’m not actually comparing myself to a sentient bear.  That was a Yogi Bear reference and I got scared no one would get it.  He’s “smarter than the average bear,” remember?) because I double majored in “dietetics” (which to many people sounds like “not eating anything good ever” but does not mean that) and “consumer foods” (when I tell people this they say “consuming foods? I could do that!” and then we all laugh but that isn’t what that means either) in undergrad and am currently attempting to become a “MASTER OF SCIENCE!” in “foods and nutrition”.

Please accept my humble apologies for my excessive use of parentheses and quotation marks. The internet is a wild, unregulated place.

Back to chorizo.

Chorizo is pretty yummy.  According to my copy of The Prentice Hall Dictionary of Culinary Arts it is “a Mexican sausage made from fresh pork, seasoned with garlic and powdered chilies, usually cooked without the casing” or “a Spanish sausage made from smoked pork, seasoned with garlic and powdered chilies, usually cooked without the casing”

We will be operating with definition 1 for the duration of this post.

As I said before, it is a pretty tasty food, especially if you are a fan of pork (yes) and spicy things (also yes).  Like most sausages, it tends to be rather high in fat, which is why it’s nice to use it as more of a flavoring type ingredient instead of a star-of-show kind of thing sometimes.

Court’s Chorizo Pasta Bake
This is my new favorite casserole dish. The lid (to the right) is also a PIE PLATE!)
Servings: 6 
14.5 oz Whole Wheat Penne (aka a box of penne)
1 can Rotel tomatoes & chilies
2.5 oz chorizo (2 links out of a 6-link package, in my case)
2 cups red/green/yellow bell peppers
½ c onions, chopped
1 T garlic
2 cups jack/cheddar cheese, shredded
Cook pasta, drain, set aside.  Cook the chorizo and garlic in a nice big frying pan, then add the peppers, onions, and Rotel and let things simmer for a while, about 10 minutes.  Layer the pasta, vegetable/chorizo mixture, and cheese in a casserole dish in whatever order pleases you, but make sure you come out with a layer of cheese on top for added melted-cheese beauty.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Put some foil on top if your cheese gets too brown!   
The judges on Chopped would probably give me  negative points for "plating," I'm afraid.
Nutrition Facts! Thanks to

Side notes:

I’ve been looking at Regretsy a lot this week. As a crafter, I find these craft-misadventures sometimes hilarious and sometimes horrifying.
I just arranged for to send me the word of the day via text everyday! How awesome is that?  Also, you should play Word Dynamo on there! Love it.

1 comment:

  1. This made my stomach A) feel hungry and B) hurt from laughing, because the deveining shrimp topic made me think of that time you convinced me to eat boiled shrimp by telling me the legs were just "streamers." MISS YOU!