Anytime anybody mentions “chorizo,” you can hear the hearts swoon, and tales of incredible breakfasts soon follow. In my conversations, this is often followed by the notion that soy chorizo is actually preferred among my friends over the meaty version. Whatever the case, it’s safe to say that chorizo is a loved part of our breakfast rituals. But, why does it always seem to be a breakfast staple? Maybe it’s not in your circle, but it is in mine, and I set out to break away from that norm, and create a dinner that rivals the best of breakfasts.
This creamy, spicy, and beer-infused risotto is the perfect dish to pamper your loved ones! First of all, it contains Cacique Soy Chorizo, which alone piques interest. Soy Chorizo in a dinner? Why not! Beer and Cacique’s nutty, hearty, melty Manchego cheese takes this creamy rice dish to an unparalleled decadence.
Risotto always takes a little time and focus, but it will all be worth it in the end. The key to a great risotto is patience. Make sure you have all of your vegetables chopped, liquids measured, and cheese shredded before you get started, and it will be easy as pie! You must pay great attention to the risotto as it cooks, as it needs continual stirring. Your vegetable stock should be hot as you add it incrementally to the rice mixture, so the temperature doesn’t fluctuate so much as it cooks. Don’t take your eye off it, or it may burn, and trust me, you don’t want that! You will be rewarded with a creamy, spicy, meaty, decadent vegetarian dish that is simply heavenly. Taking the time to create the avocado rose to top it all off will give it the perfect finishing touch.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup white onion, diced
- 1½ cups Portobello mushrooms, chopped & pulsed in a food processor
- 1 tablespoon garlic, finely diced
- ½ cup Cacique Soy Chorizo
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup Mexican style lager beer (I used Ironfire's Stetsons & Sombreros, but any light beer will do)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- 1½ cups Cacique Manchego Cheese (½ of a wheel or 5 ounces, shredded)
- ½ an avocado
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Gently simmer 4 cups of vegetable stock in a medium sauce pot, having a ladle handy.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the diced onion. Sauté until translucent, about 5 – 7 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté until the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes more. Add in Cacique Soy Chorizo and Arborio rice, and continually stir until the rice is toasty, about 3 minutes, and de-glaze the pan with the beer, using the edge of your spoon to get up the bits that have stuck to the pan.
- Once the rice has absorbed the beer, add in the stock, a half cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. Each absorption takes about 2-3 minutes. Depending on the age of the rice, you may need more or less vegetable stock. Be sure to test the rice for done-ness after you've added a total of three cups of stock. If the rice is still hard, keep adding stock, a half cup at a time. If it's tender, you don't have to add any more stock, and the rice is done. When the rice is done, turn off the heat, and add in the cilantro and Cacique Manchego cheese. Mix until the cheese is melted and well combined. Reserve in the pan while you make the avocado roses.
- For the avocado rose: Carefully peel one half of an avocado with a sharp paring knife. Place the avocado cut side down on a cutting board, and slice width-wise into 1/16” slices, while keeping the avocado in its original form. Create two halves by moving roughly half of the slices to the side, so you can easily work with one half at a time. Using the smallest end, carefully push the avocado against itself so the slices are staggered, and turn it into itself. This will be the middle of the rose. Continue to stagger the slices by pushing it against itself, and rotating it around until you have an avocado rose! Repeat with the other half of the slices, resulting in two avocado roses. To transport them to the top of the risotto, slide a flat spatula or knife underneath, and using your fingers, stabilize it to carefully transfer to the top of the risotto.
- To Plate: Fill two shallow bowls with 1 – 1½ cups of the risotto, and top with the avocado rose. Top the rose with one last cilantro leaf, and serve.