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Old 12-02-2013, 06:17 PM   #1
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Chorizo dilemma

Here's the deal.
I've been a vegetarian for 20 + years.
Love cooking, and like to take ' normal' recipes and try to convert them to something similar ( not exact as I know there is little or no substitution for its meat counterpart).
I often watch the cooking shows, read cook books to get my ideas, and just change them around to fit my dietary needs .

I usually have no problems, since I did eat meat for about 18 years of my life, I have a pretty good memory of taste, consistency ....

So here's the problem I face now.
Im trying to tackle some Spanish recipes which use Chorizo sausage.
I have never eaten Chorizo, so I dont know how to duplicate or at least tray and duplicate the flavor.
Im not looking for a substitution, as I know most vegetarian meat substitutes taste nothing like its meat conterpart.
What Im looking for is maybe some kind of spice mixture I can add that would give it a hint of that chorizo flavor.

Any suggestions ?

( Ive actually tried vegetarian versions of chorizo in the past, and in my opinion, in the kindest of words, it tasted like crap. Therefore, Im assuming whoever was in charge of making this product was a vegetarian who has never tasted it before in their life).

Again, Im not looking for a substitution, but more of a spice blend I can add to give it a hint of whatever chorizo tastes like. Im sure there are many variations of chorizo depending on its origen. Im not worried about that.

And No, Im not going to take one for the team and break my vegetarian diet after 25 years just to see what it tastes like

Thanks in advance,

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Old 12-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #2
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You're still a vegetarian
I could've sworn I saw you talking about eating hot dogs and browning meatballs recently... something to do with eating meat.
I thought you had come back over the the Dark Side... or from the Dark Side
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Here's the deal.
I've been a vegetarian for 20 + years.
Love cooking, and like to take ' normal' recipes and try to convert them to something similar ( not exact as I know there is little or no substitution for its meat counterpart).
I often watch the cooking shows, read cook books to get my ideas, and just change them around to fit my dietary needs .

I usually have no problems, since I did eat meat for about 18 years of my life, I have a pretty good memory of taste, consistency ....

So here's the problem I face now.
Im trying to tackle some Spanish recipes which use Chorizo sausage.
I have never eaten Chorizo, so I dont know how to duplicate or at least tray and duplicate the flavor.
Im not looking for a substitution, as I know most vegetarian meat substitutes taste nothing like its meat conterpart.
What Im looking for is maybe some kind of spice mixture I can add that would give it a hint of that chorizo flavor.

Any suggestions ?

( Ive actually tried vegetarian versions of chorizo in the past, and in my opinion, in the kindest of words, it tasted like crap. Therefore, Im assuming whoever was in charge of making this product was a vegetarian who has never tasted it before in their life).

Again, Im not looking for a substitution, but more of a spice blend I can add to give it a hint of whatever chorizo tastes like. Im sure there are many variations of chorizo depending on its origen. Im not worried about that.

And No, Im not going to take one for the team and break my vegetarian diet after 25 years just to see what it tastes like

Thanks in advance,
I would look up a recipe for homemade chorizo and copy the spice mix used in the recipe for example this one
BBC - Food - Recipes : Homemade chorizo There are several recipes on Google that you could look at
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:52 PM   #4
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I have not made chorizo. Only eaten at restaurants if it was in a dish. There is a distinct spice/ flavor difference between Spanish and Mexican chorizo. I think the Mexican is more fatty too.

I think it can be done. Maybe use the spices to incorporate into a dish and skip calling it chorizo, maybe sauté some mushrooms, eggplant, zukes, or winter squash, all which readily accept spices. Such as make chorizo-spiced mushrooms then fold them into some scrambled eggs or an omelette. I might have to try this myself.

On another note, I quit buying ersatz fake veggie meat for burgers/ sausage/ pasta dishes. I have one homemade black bean mix I use , it doesn't attempt to mimic what it is not, and holds together on the grill. I'm still looking for something that will knock our veggie friends sox off. That's for another day.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
You're still a vegetarian
I could've sworn I saw you talking about eating hot dogs and browning meatballs recently... something to do with eating meat.
I thought you had come back over the the Dark Side... or from the Dark Side
Im glad you were paying attention to details

Yes still a vegetarian, but when I answer posts that aren't in the vegetarian section, I try to avoid 'coming out of the closet'. Because usually, the second I throw vegetarian hot dogs, or vegetarian meatballs .... into a response, the thread takes a 180 degree turn and not focussing on the original topic. So yes, with hot dogs, I am referring to " Worthington Leanies", which are the best veggie hot dog ive come across so far ( in both taste and consistency). And meatballs, Im referring to a meatball recipe that Ive personalized enough, that I can call it my own, which require browning prior to cooking them in the sauce.

Im not a health freak vegetarian, I love to cook and even more, I LOVE to eat. I dont eat meat because of the animal thing / and that my cholesterol and triglyceride #'s were off the chart. But, I still love the tastes of certain things ( sausages, meatballs, taco's, chili, hamburgers, hot dogs) which actually forces me to become a better cook, as I am trying to come closer and closer what I remember as being delicious

So yeah, still a vegetarian, but thriving to capture some of the flavors i miss from the past, or flavors I've never had the chance to get to know
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:20 PM   #6
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Well, I'm not going to take your thread on a 180 degree turn.Paprika or smoked paprika is the dominant spice in both Spanish and Mexican versions of Chorizo I've had. I like the smoked paprika myself, and I think it would more closely approximate the flavor of the sausage.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:21 PM   #7
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Well Spanish and Mexican are probably the most popular types of chorizo, but there are many countries in SA that have their versions. Some are like the Spanish (smoked and dried) or fresh like the Mexican. I love both and make dishes suited to each.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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So far, a spice profile Ive come up with include Smoked paprika, garlic, cumin, oregano.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Ahh... thanks for the clarification, Larry.
I seriously thought you had converted back.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
So far, a spice profile Ive come up with include Smoked paprika, garlic, cumin, oregano.
If you would like a Mexican fresh chorizo taste, those you listed with a bit of vinegar would do it! Yum! Philippine adobo sauce is close to a chorizo flavor, too!
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:01 AM   #11
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I don't believe you can get the flavor of the susage by just adding spices. The pork and pork fat is what you will be missing. Thats where the flavor is.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:15 AM   #12
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I don't believe you can get the flavor of the susage by just adding spices. The pork and pork fat is what you will be missing. Thats where the flavor is.
I agree. Do you eat butter? That, along with the typical spices, would add lots of flavor
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #13
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Dried chorizo's taste different than fresh chorizo's. Dried chorizo's packed in lard again taste different. What type of chorizo does the recipe call for?

I for one love chorizo. Not the fresh kind, the dry kind.
Anyone ever have a pot roast (eye of round) stuffed with whole chorizo's? Amazing.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:21 PM   #14
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Anyone ever have a pot roast (eye of round) stuffed with whole chorizo's? Amazing.
No, but I wouldn't make a paella without Spanish chorizo. I like fresh chorizo just as much. I also love bulk andouille which hasn't been smoked. Mixed 50/50 with ground beef, you're in for a mighty tasty burger, made extra special with some fresh remoulade.
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Old 12-11-2013, 02:29 PM   #15
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Well, of course Larry isn't going to get all the flavors of meat sausage without meat, but that's not the goal here. I think the ideas here cover the flavor profile of chorizo pretty well.
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Old 12-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
include Smoked paprika, garlic, cumin, oregano.
and there is also the varieties called 'spicy' or 'mild' that you would have to consider. Plus I also agree with 'Salt & Pepper', it is the 'fat' that you will be missing that c/would be a key ingredient.
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Old 12-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #17
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Mexican Chorizo is a very loose sausage and is made to be squeezed out of the casing. As such, you can substitue granulated gluten as a substitute for the ground up animal parts. Add some diced onion, and the herbs and spices you've listed and you will be close.

You could also use TVP to get the texture. But the flavor of TVP is one I'm not overly crazy about. I have to mix it in the ratio of 1 part TVP to 2 parts meat. I've used it in chili, and various Tex-Mex recipes, such as burritos, enchiladas, and such.

You might be able to crumble up a veggie burger, add a little cooking oil, and a bunch of the paprika, garlic, cumin, coriander, and peppers. The cooking oil would give you the missing fat.

Hope this helps.

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Old 12-12-2013, 11:05 AM   #18
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I don't know what types of smoked paprika you can buy in the U.S.A. But I have Agrodulce, Dulce and Piquante smoked pimenton in my larder.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Smoked-Papri...Smoked+paprika. It is used in so many Spanish recipes. Hope you get the flavour you want.

It is so different in taste from the Hungarian paprikas used for things like Goulash.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salt and pepper View Post
I don't believe you can get the flavor of the susage by just adding spices. The pork and pork fat is what you will be missing. Thats where the flavor is.
I disagree. I make my own Mexican chorizo with ground turkey instead of pork and the only thing I am missing is the big puddle of grease with a few chunks of meat floating in it that I used to get from cooking commercially available chorizo, which is why I started making my own in the first place. I am sure a soy based ground meat substitute will work just fine in the following recipe:


Mexican Chorizo
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 4 cloves mashed garlic
  • 6 Tbs chili powder
  • 2 Tbs oregano
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 1˝ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ˝ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Instructions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, divide into quarters, roll each quarter into a log, and tightly wrap each log with plastic wrap, twisting the ends to secure.

You can add ˝ cup of finely chopped onions to the mix, but I don't because onions and I have a mutual non-aggression pact. I don't eat them, and they don't make me sleep sitting up.
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Old 12-14-2013, 12:47 PM   #20
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Hi larry_stewart, I hadn't realised that Mexican chorizo was so different from the Spanish. Here's a link that explains the differences. Chorizo - Spanish Pork Sausage - Spanish Chorizo

You can evidently buy Pimenton in the U.S.A and if you want to replicate the true flavour of the spices in Spanish chorizo it is the smoked paprika you need.
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