Ingredient of the day – Chroizo

Chorizo is one of the best things you can add to a dish. The smoky, salty flavor is full of umame and really gives everything else in the dish a punch of savoriness. I’ve been craving fish all week and was at Piedmont Grocery.  For those of you who aren’t in Oakland, Piedmont Grocery is right on Piedmont Ave (duh!), Oakland’s version of Old Town Alexandria without the historic buildings or crazy parking.  It’s a somewhat pricey neighborhood grocery store is a great meat and cheese department.

Anyway, I saw there was Spanish chorizo for $5.99/lb and I wouldn’t need more than one or two links so it was fairly cheap ($3).  To go with the strong chorizo, I decided to get a firm but mild white fish.  At $6.99/lb a nice snapper fillet was perfect, got two and it came out to a bit over $5.  The rest of the ingredients came from the pantry or the garden.  This is improvisational cooking at its best.

Snapper fillets with zuchinni/chorizo hash and tomato fettunta (makes 2 servings)

1 fillets of firm white fish (red snapper or halibut work best)

1 onion coarsely chopped (can use red onion or even a green onion)
1 cloves of garlic coarsely chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 cups of peppers seeded and chopped (can be any combination of bell, jalepeno, ancho, banana or poblano but NOT tiny chilies)

4 slices of a good country bread like a ciabatta or sourdough (one tip because I always have a loaf in my freezer, slice the bread BEFORE you put it in your freezer.  Then you can take slices out as you need them as opposed to defrosting the whole loaf)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of tomatoes cut into 1-inch chunks

Salt and pepper the fish fillets.  To make the fettunta, brush the slices of bread with olive oil and grill on a hot grill pan for about five minutes n each side.

In a big pan, saute the chorizo until the fat renders.  Add the rest of the ingredients and saute until the onions are translucent.  By the way, this hash is infinitely adaptable and you can use any starchy vegetable including potatoes, parsnips, turnips, or butternut squash.  You will have to adjust your cooking time though,  Take out the chorizo and cook the onions and potatoes/parnsips etc for about 10 to 15 minutes before you add the peppers and the cooked chorizo.

Once that’s all cooked, in a frying pan, add a little oil and pan fry the snapper fillets for about three minutes on each side until done.    To assemble, put the snapper fillets on the plate, top with the hash and then put the grilled bread on the plate and top with the tomatoes.

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