Chorizo, Main Dishes, Pasta, Recipes

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac

I’ve been making this Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac for well over a year now since Joanne posted it, and have no idea why I haven’t blogged about it yet. It is AMAZING! It’s no secret that I like baked pasta, cheese, and Southwestern/Mexican food, and this dish fits the bill for all three of those categories. Saaaweeeet!

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac | thepajamachef.com

Or more accurately, sweet ‘n spicy. This version of chile mac features a hearty sweet potato sauce, some spicy chorizo sausage, and just enough cheese to be yummy but not too indulgent/unhealthy. I mean, I love a super cheesy dish as much as the next girl, but there are other flavors I like too… and this dish brings it! If you have all the ingredients at your disposal and are currently snowed/iced/frozen in, then I highly suggest you make this today! If not, then by the end of the week, stat!

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac | thepajamachef.com

I’ve been trying to figure out what my favorite part of the dish is, and the sad answer is… I don’t know! The spicy meat pairs so well with the smooth sweet potato sauce that neither is overwhelming. Ben isn’t a huge sweet potato guy but this is one dish he really can get into. For the most part, I followed Joanne’s original recipe, but of course I had to add my own little twist, my own little departure from regular ‘ole chili mac… and that is to toss everything in the oven for just a bit, to create some crunchy noodles and a nice layer of melted cheese. By jove, I’ve got it! The crunchy noodles are my favorite part. Crunchy, cheesy, spicy, sweet potato covered noodles, that is! Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Chicken Tinga Tacos
two years ago: Crock Pot Cran-Apple Sauce
three years ago: Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Sweet Potato Chorizo Chile Mac

  • Servings: 8
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from Joanne via Marcus Samuelsson

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes [approximately 2 pounds]
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 ounces shredded cheese [sharp Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack], divided
  • 8 ounces small whole wheat pasta [shells or macaroni]
  • 8 ounces chorizo
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • sour cream, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Scrub sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork. Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.

While sweet potatoes cook, prepare pasta according to package directions.

When cooked sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel and place in a large bowl. Add milk, chipotle chiles, and a generous amount of pepper. Mash and stir in half of the cheese, then add pasta to sweet potato mixture.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat, then add chorizo and cook 4-5 minutes until brown, stirring to crumble. Add to bowl with sweet potatoes and pasta. Stir together along with half of the green onions and cilantro, then transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Top with green onions and cilantro and serve with sour cream [if desired].

Notes: preparation time can be reduced for this dish if you bake the sweet potatoes ahead of time.

 

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Chorizo, Main Dishes, Recipes

Chorizo and Potato Tacos

So, I used to have this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad fear of chorizo. I would drool over yummy, flavorful looking Mexican dishes online or in cookbooks, only to read the recipe list and see that fateful word: “chorizo.” I would sigh and move on, sure that chorizo wasn’t for me. I mean, for one, it was spicy and for two, a sausage taco? Umm, no thanks. So I just bypassed all chorizo recipes and moved on with my life. But one day things changed.

I honestly don’t know what came over me–but in an instant at the grocery store I thought, well, maybe I should just try this chorizo thing. Then I can truthfully say I don’t like it and really move on with life.

When I came home from campus the very next day, I pulled out my trusty Rick Bayless cookbook, Mexican Everyday, found an innocent looking recipe, and got to work. With the exception of yelling for help when it came time to cut the casing off of the chorizo, preparation of these Chorizo and Potato Tacos was a cinch! Twenty minutes later, plate on the table and fork in hand, I closed my eyes, said a prayer, and dug in, expecting the worst.

Well, the worst never came. Instead I had a mouthful of flavorful meat with just a little bit of kick, sauteed fresh vegetables, and creamy potatoes. This isn’t so bad, I thought to myself, looking over at Ben chowing down happily. The spiciness that I had so feared was dulled by some cilantro stirred in at the end and was refreshingly contrasted by the cool, crumbly, mild Queso Fresco that topped the warm filling. In a flash, our plates were cleared and leftovers were nonexistent. Whoa. Talk about a surprise.

I have no idea what my fuss over choirzo was about, but it’s in the past now. Seriously, it’s not scary at all. I certainly will be on a quest to find more ways to enjoy chorizo in the future, and I’ve love your help on that.

If you enjoy chorizo, what’s your favorite way to serve it? If you don’t enjoy it or haven’t had it before, tell me why!

Chorizo and Potato Tacos

  • Servings: 2-3
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from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless

Ingredients:

  • 7 1/2 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tablespoon oil, if necessary
  • 3/4 cup sliced yellow onion
  • ~1/2 cup chopped green Carmen [or Bell] peppers
  • 3 cups new potatoes, grated through your grater’s largest holes
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • sliced tomatoes, for serving
  • Queso Fresco, for serving
  • your choice of tortillas, flour or corn, for serving

Directions:

Place chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat and cook for about four minutes. Stir frequently and break up into clumps, until some of the fat starts to render and sausage is half-cooked. Increase heat to medium-high and add oil if sausage isn’t rendering any.

Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring constantly until softened, about three minutes.

Place potatoes in the pan over mixture and cook covered until soft, approximately five minutes. Stir every so often and reduce heat if mixture starts to brown long before potatoes are soft.

Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and gently fold in cilantro. Serve with warmed tortillas, tomatoes, and Queso Fresco.