I wish I could take credit for this recipe – the best new thing I’ve tasted all year – but the credit actually lies with two of my favorite chefs in Seattle: Philippe Thomelin of Olivar, and Joseba Jiménez de Jiménez, formerly of Harvest Vine and now playing around at Txori. On the night I first tasted chorizo caramel confit, I had just finished an excellent meal prepared by both chefs on a special evening at Olivar. I happened to be sitting with Jay of Gastrolust.com, and Joseba came over to say hello. Of course we praised the meal, and I jokingly asked, “But where was the chorizo?” Joseba disappeared into the kitchen and emerged a minute later with a plate of sticky-sweet chorizo atop crostini. They were unbelievable, and I’ve dreamt about them ever since. Apparently, Philippe and Joseba had hand-made the chorizo earlier that day and had been cooking slowly in caramel. Philippe generously shared his simple recipe, which I’ve recreated here using store-bought chorizo.
Makes: 24 pieces
Total kitchen time: 1 hour (15 minutes active time)
- 1 lb. dry-cured chorizo, sliced into 1/4” pieces
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 stick butter
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced (optional)
- Pour the sugar and water into a medium skillet with high sides (taller than the chorizo is thick). A non-stick skillet makes for easier cleanup. Do not stir the sugar and water together, just make sure all the sugar is wet.
- Over medium heat, bring the sugar water mixture to a soft boil.
- Stir in the butter until melted. Reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Add the chorizo and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, up to 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the more flavorful the caramel will be.
- (Optional, for serving) Butter one side of thin baguette slices and toast in the oven or on a skillet. Place each piece of chorizo on a piece of toasted bread and drizzle with the caramel sauce in the pan.
Or, dump the whole pot into a mason jar and serve with bamboo skewers.
This is my new favorite dessert, and a dish that I’ll serve often at cocktail parties. If you’re interested in hearing more about the wonderful dinner at Olivar, Jay has a great writeup on his blog. And, many thanks to Frantic Foodie Keren Brown for organizing the dinner!