I love living in Dayton, but since being here, I have been seriously craving some authentic Mexican food. I used to think people were full of crap when they complained that you can’t get good Mexican in the mid west, but now I can kind of see their point. It isn’t that Mexican restaurants in Ohio don’t have some delicious offerings in their own right, but they are often unarguably Americanized menus. Think a lot of cheese on almost everything. So when I saw an episode of Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel featuring kitchens across the country doing twists on Mexican and Latin food, I was inspired. And it led me to creating a chorizo and caramelized sweet potato hash that probably isn’t “authentic” Mexican either, but it was pretty darn good, and I did learn how to make my own red chili sauce, so that is something.
This dish is basically a bunch of different components combined together. In all I made an avocado cream sauce, a chili sauce, caramelized sweet potatoes, a poached egg, and sauteed chorizo, bell peppers, and onions.
Here is a shopping list of everything needed:
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 lime
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 fresh chilies of preferred heat level
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 red onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- .75 pounds chorizo
- 1 sweet potato
- Chicken or vegetable stock
- White wine
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Smoked paprika
- Chili powder
- 1 egg
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- White wine vinegar
It turns out that making red chili sauce isn’t all that complicated. I suggest starting on the sauce first before you do anything else. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and toss a few unpeeled cloves of garlic, 2 chili peppers of your choice and 2 cored tomatoes with a little olive oil.
I can’t actually tell you what kind of chili peppers I used. When I was at the farmer’s market there was a whole assortment, and I asked the farmer for advice on the heat level of each one. I chose a spicy chili and a milder chili so that I would end up with a medium level sauce. Roast everything in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the skin starts to blister on the tomatoes and chilies. Turn off the oven when done, and let everything cool.
In the meantime, peel a large sweet potato and chop it into a large dice. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a sauce pan and add the sweet potato. Add half a cup of white wine and a cup of broth (vegetable or chicken) to the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes. Once most of the liquid is absorbed, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to the sweet potatoes and stir well so that the potatoes are coated on all sides. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook for another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the sugar from burning. Season with a few good shakes of adobo chili powder and smoked paprika.
While that is going, chop a red onion and a red bell pepper into a large dice. Saute on medium heat in a large skillet (I used a 12 inch cast iron skillet) for 5-8 minutes until soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove from the pan, set aside and add about 3 links (or about .75 pounds) or chorizo. Brown until done, then add the onions, peppers and sweet potatoes to the pan. Mix together and keep warm.
Now it is time to prepare your sauces! Don’t skip these sauces…the combination of sauces make the meal! First make an avocado sauce. Peel and core a ripe avocado and throw it in the blender with a cup of plain yogurt and a few squeezes of lime juice. Blend until creamy and set aside.
Clean out your blender and get ready to make your chili sauce. Once your tomatoes and peppers are cool, peel and seed them the best you can and throw them in the blender along with your peeled, roasted garlic and a few tablespoons of water. Don’t worry about getting every seed or if a little bit of skin get’s into the blender. Blend it all up until smooth, and then strain through a sieve. This will catch any stray skin or seeds.
Toss your hash with as much or as little chili sauce as you want. I probably used half a cup total. Plate your hash and top with your avocado cream sauce.
Before you dive in, I highly recommend poaching an egg and throwing it on top. If you aren’t the type of person who thinks a runny egg makes everything better, I guess you can skip that step….but come on. Runny eggs make everything better.
Through the years, I have struggled to make nice looking poached eggs. This method by Alton Brown worked like a charm, though I would probably poach my egg for a little less time to get it more runny in the middle.
And dig in! A spicy, sweet, saucy masterpiece!