GOAT CHEESE AND CHORIZO ROLLS
You know how bacon is all the rage these days? Bacon dipped in chocolate, bacon topped donuts, bacon beurre blanc — for me, it’s all about chorizo. I’m constantly looking for ways to incorporate it into my cooking and seldom pass up an opportunity to eat a dish in which it is a key component (see Arroz Con Pollo). Such was the case when I came across this recipe for Goat Cheese and Chorizo Rolls in this month’s Food and Wine Magazine. Now chorizo is good by itself, but chorizo and tangy goat cheese together? That sounded like a combo that was too good to pass up.
With a few holiday parties just around the corner, I figured I’d give these guys a test drive before serving them to any guests. In this sense I consider myself a self-employed guinea pig — not a bad job at all. After eating a half batch for lunch, I can say with certainty that I have a new hors d’oeurve recipe in the arsenal. Tangy from the goat cheese and rich and smoky from the chorizo, these crispy little bundles are the type of finger food that demand a good cocktail to wash them down. While they take a bit of time and patience to roll, preparing the goat cheese filling takes minutes. Knock these out early in the morning and keep them in the fridge until your friends arrive.
After reading that the recipe was inspired by the street food of Argentina, I decided to serve them alongside another Argentine classic of chimichurri rojo. Like it’s verde cousin, this sauce has plenty of garlic and a nice vinegar bite to cut through the rich, creaminess of the goat cheese.
GOAT CHEESE AND CHORIZO ROLLS
From Nirmala Narine’s, Nirmala’s Edible Diary
I learned my lesson about working with phyllo dough the hard way when I attempted to unroll a partially defrosted package and it crumbled into a thousand brittle shards. Read the package carefully and make sure to let your phyllo defrost completely before trying to work with it. Also, I’ve found its best to cover the reserved sheets with a damp towel while you’re rolling the first batches in an effort to keep them from drying out. When it comes time to roll up the filling, be sure to gather in the sides as you go. Don’t be afraid to gather and pinch the sides a bit during this step as it will help seal in the filling and prevent the cheese from leaking out during baking. Finally, make sure to buy dry-cured Spanish-style chorizo and not the fresh, Mexican variety found at the butcher counter. This might be common knowledge for most, but I know this can be confusing for some who are not accustomed to cooking with this sausage.
- 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1 cup chopped dry chorizo
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced chives
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Nine 12-by-16-inch sheets of thawed phyllo dough
- Melted butter, for brushing
- Preheat oven to 400° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the goat cheese, chorizo and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Lay a sheet of phyllo on a clean, dry work surface and brush it with melted butter. Top with two more sheets, lightly buttering each as you go. Cut the layered phyllo into six long rectangles. Place one tablespoon of the goat cheese filling at the base of each rectangle and roll up the phyllo, folding in the sides as you go. Repeat twice more to make 18 rolls total.
- Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheets and brush the rolls with butter; bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot with chimichurri rojo for dipping.
Makes 18 Rolls
If you’d like this a bit thicker try adding a tablespoon or two of plain yogurt or sour cream. It also makes a fantastic marinade for meat and can be worked into a delicious salad dressing.
- 1/2 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons hot paprika
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf broken in half
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate.