Holidays are rich in tradition — decorating the Christmas tree, lighting the menorah, carving the turkey, hunting for pastel eggs. Central to these traditions are family, friends, and food. Not necessarily in that order.
Food is a hot topic during the holidays. Whether it be the seven fishes, potato latkas, or mashed potatoes and gravy, someone has to make it and others have to eat it. Certain items have earned an annual position at the table and are non-negotiable; particularly recipes that are passed down from generation to generation. In my family, Christmas and Easter bring lasagna, prepared a day in advance by my mother and aunt, heated the day of the holiday while the reunited family snacks on shrimp and crudité.
Every once in a while, a new kid on the culinary block shows up on the table for consideration. Sometimes the dish reappears the following year, sometimes it doesn’t. As a follow-up to my Pumpkin Pie admission this past Thanksgiving, my Easter entry is a Chorizo and Cheese Crostini, using local ingredients primarily from my CSA share. When I arrived at my parents with ingredients in hand, my mom asked, “Where is the recipe from?” No recipe, I responded, just some raw inspiration and a rudimentary philosophy that you can’t go wrong by pairing meat and cheese. On bread. Did I mention I live in Philadelphia?
As my culinary roots grow, I’m sure I will continue to experiment with various creations to invent my own edible traditions. For this recipe, I used a combination of cheeses, finishing off the Muenster cheese and pairing it with the Daisy cheese from Calkins Creamery, described as “clean, bright” with a “salty tang” in the Greensgrow CSA Newsletter. I’m sure any mild cheese would substitute well in this recipe, and even a sharp cheese if you’re a fan.
The spiciness of the chorizo tempered by the cheese and cabbage earned positive reviews from J and my family, but the jury is still out on whether this dish will reappear next Easter. Since the randomness of the CSA provisions inspired this recipe (see below for my most recent pick-up), what I find next year could be very different.
Perhaps the tradition is as simple as creating a dish with all local ingredients?
Chorizo and Cheese Crostini
Ingredients are approximate. I sliced enough bread to fill a cookie tray and piled on a tablespoon (or two) of the chorizo, cheese, and cabbage mixture on each piece. The recipe was enough for 8 adults and a couple kids — however, it faced strong competition from the traditional players of shrimp, chicken wings, cheese and crackers, and crudités.
- ¼ head cabbage, grated Organic Green Cabbage– Tuscarora Organics, Hustontown, PA
- About ½ cup mixture of grated Muenster and Daisy cheese
- 1 pound cooked chorizo, casings removed
- 1/2 loaf of Italian baguette
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Add the chorizo, break it into chunks with a wooden spoon and cook over moderate heat, turning, until cooked through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat to allow to cool. (This step can be done and advance and refrigerated overnight.)
- Grate cheeses and cabbage.
- Slice baguette into 1/4″ slices on a slight diagonal angle. Place on a cooking sheet. (Consider lining with foil for easy clean-up since you will spoon the mixture on to each slice.)
- Combine the cheese and cabbage with the cooked chorizo. Using a spoon, top each baguette slice with one or two spoonfuls.
- Heat in the oven for 10 minutes to allow for cheese to melt and bread to get crispy.
Whoops! Forgot to post my CSA goodies from a previous pick-up… hard to believe I’m still participating in the “Winter CSA” after this warm weather we’ve been having…
Greensgrow CSA Share Pick-up from 3/27/10
- Butterhead Lettuce – Arc Greenhouses, Shiloh, NJ
- Mushrooms – Bo-Ka Specialties, Kennett Square, PA
- Golden Delicious Apples – Kauffman’s Fruit Farm, Bird In Hand, PA
- Choice of 2 Cookies – The Greenwood Kitchen, Lansdowne, PA
- Yukon Gold Potatoes– – Rineer Family Farms, Lancaster County, PA
- Corn Relish – Greensgrow Farms, Philly PA
- Cheese – Daisy, Calkins Creamery, Honesdale, PA
- 2 Pequea Valley Yogurts – Pequea Valley Farm, Ronks, PA
- Dozen Eggs – Sandy Ridge Farm, Elizabethtown, PA
- Chorizo – County Time Farm, Hamburg, PA