FRESH MEXICAN CHORIZO
17.6 oz (500 grams) of ground pork shoulder, ideally 30% fat
1 ½ tsp Mexican chili powder
1 ½ tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika or cayenne
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp tequila
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cumin
8 large shrimp or prawns (2 per burger), peeled and deveined
3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp yellow mustard
Juice of 1 lime
1 handful flour, optional
Neutral oil (for frying patties)
Unsalted butter (for frying patties)
4 medium potato buns
¾ c shredded Manchego or Jack cheese
A few thin slices of tomatoes
1. To prepare the chorizo patties: Mix all the chorizo ingredients together until evenly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour. (You can also make this the day before and keep in the fridge.)
2. To prepare the garlic shrimp: After peeling, deveining, and rinsing the shrimp, dry them really well on a clean towel. Mix evenly with the rest of the shrimp ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. To prepare the paprika mayonnaise: Mix all of the ingredients together until even, then set aside.
4. To make the burger: Divide the chorizo mixture into 4 equal portions, then shape into patties. It is very important to make sure the diameter of the patties is slightly larger than the diameter of the buns, as the patties will shrink during cooking. Dust a thin layer of flour on both sides of the patties so that they pan-fry into nice crusts (you can omit this step if you're looking for a gluten-free version- but of course you'll need a different bun).
5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it's really hot, then add a small nub of unsalted butter and the chorizo patties. Don't overcrowd the pan-- I usually cook 2 patties at a time. Leave the patties to pan-fry without moving, until a nicely browned crust has formed on the bottom and they easily release from the pan. Turn the patties over, then add the shredded Manchego cheese on top (2 to 3 tablespoons per burger). Cover the skillet completely with a lid and keep cooking on medium-high heat for another 1 to 2 minutes (the steam will melt the cheese and cook the patties), just until the center of the patties is cooked through. Transfer the patties, keeping any yummy crispy cheese bits that formed on the sides attached, onto a plate and let them rest while you prepare the shrimp.
6. Keep the chorizo drippings in the skillet and cook the shrimp on high heat, about 1 minute on each side until just cooked through. Set aside.
7. Toast the buns if you like, or leave them soft. Spread mayonnaise on both sides of bun, place two thin tomato slices and a chorizo patty on each bun. Slice the shrimp lengthwise and place them over the patty (2 per burger), and cover with the top bun.
My favorite home I've had in Chicago was near the Rockwell Brown Line stop. It was right across the "el" train tracks from a restaurant called Rockwell's. If you've visited me in Chicago, we've probably gone there- I was on a first-name basis with the servers there. They had seriously good burgers-- so much so that Shadow broke her vegetarianism to have one and said it was the best she's ever had. My favorite burger special they did was a decadent surf-and-turf chorizo and shrimp burger. This is a messy, juicy, and oh-so-tasty homage to Rockwell's.