Chorizo or Chouriço
Classic spicy sausage adds bountiful flavor
Ever since I got into the business, I have been using chorizo. There are several types of chorizo that are domestic and imported. You can use both cured or bulk, and I use both depending on the pizza.
Chorizo is a type of pork sausage, the most common being Spanish, Portuguese (Chouriço) and Mexican. The Spanish and Portuguese are typically smoky with paprika — and Mexican chorizo has native chilies and spices in it. Most people know I’m Italian, but they don’t know that I’m also Spanish and Portuguese. When I was growing up, my mom cooked with chorizo every week. It was a staple in our household.
When one applies it to a pizza depends on the type and firmness of a cured chorizo. Anytime your chorizo is on the firmer side like an imported cured petite stick from Spain, I apply it sliced towards the end of the bake. A softer, larger in diameter chorizo that is domestic, one would apply to the pizza before the bake. Remember chorizo that has been cured is ok to put on towards the end or as a finishing ingredient as long as it’s thinly sliced.
My favorite is bulk chorizo and I pinch it on fresh in dime-sized pieces onto my pizza before I bake it. I really want the flavor to come out onto my pizza, so I never par-cook for that reason. The grease that’s released when cooked is a good thing and it’s full of flavor. Years ago, when I was traveling in Louisiana, I came across a combination of banana peppers and bulk chorizo on a pizza. This quickly became a combo on my menu with the addition to my favorite hot sauce, Serrano peppers, linguiça, pepperoni and ricotta. It’s called the Picante and you will see this pizza featured at Pizza Rock on an upcoming show on the Food Channel. Below is a recipe using bulk chorizo:
- 1 8½- to 13-ounce dough ball
- 3 to 4 ounces tomato sauce
- 7 ounces whole milk mozzarella
- 2 ounces pepperoni
- 2 ounces sliced linguiça
- 1½ ounces bulk Mexican chorizo (pinched dime or nickel size)
- After bake/finishing ingredients:
- 1 ounce slice Serrano peppers
- 1 ounce sliced banana peppers
- ½ ounce sliced green onion
- 4 ounes ricotta (small dollops using a pastry bag, if possible)
- Drizzle garlic oil
- Drizzle hot sauce
- Open/stretch your pizza into a 12- to 14-inch round.
- Add your tomato sauce and mozzarella leaving a ¼ to ½-inch border.
- Evenly place and space your pepperoni, linguiça and chorizo on your pizza.
- Place your pizza into your oven.
- Take your pizza out of the oven when finished and cut into desired slices.
- Evenly top your pizza with your finishing ingredients.