My sister and I have a fundamental difference in opinion when it comes to potatoes in Mexican food.
I’m in the “absolutely” camp, and she’s in the “never, ever” camp. I discovered this philosophical divergence one day when I recommended a local restaurant’s chorizo and potato fried tacos to her, and we were both shocked by the other’s preference.
But since she is absolutely wrong, I decided to make a homemade version of chorizo and potato tacos without the fried shell this week, and they were awesome.
If you’re not familiar, chorizo is a sausage that is full of lots of great spices. For this recipe, you’ll want to get the Mexican kind that is raw rather than the Spanish kind, which generally comes already cooked. It’s also a beautiful color, and I always enjoy cooking with it, since it creates this gorgeous red hue in the pan.
And if you’re not well-versed in Spanish, “con papas” just means “with potatoes” in this recipe’s title.
The recipe I used comes from the blog “In Mama Maggie’s Kitchen” by Maggie Unzueta. You can find the original post at https://inmamamaggieskitchen.com/chorizo-con-papas-or-mexican-chorizo-with-potatoes/. I added more spices and some peppers to my version. I also eliminated the oil in the recipe, since chorizo generally has plenty of grease on its own, but if you have trouble with it sticking, you might add that back in. Finally, I just cooked the potatoes in the pan rather than boiling them first to eliminate dishes.
Chorizo con Papas
- 1 pound Mexican pork chorizo remove casings, if applicable
- 1 small onion diced (I used yellow)
- 1 jalapeno diced (remove ribs and seeds to decrease spiciness)
- 1 Anaheim pepper diced
- 1 pound potatoes diced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 packet of Sazon Goya seasoning
- garlic salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet with a lid, brown the chorizo, breaking it apart. Once it is cooked through, transfer the chorizo to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
- Leave only about one tablespoon of grease in the pan and add the onion, peppers, potatoes and spices.
- Stir to coat the ingredients in oil and cover the pan. Every few minutes, remove the lid and stir, scraping the bottom to remove any bits.
- If the pan becomes too dry, either add a little oil or add a little water (which is what I did) to help steam the vegetables.
- Once the potatoes are fork tender, add the chorizo back into the pan and stir. Let the chorizo heat back up and then serve in your favorite taco vessel. (We used flour tortillas.)
We served our tacos with shredded cheese, fresh spinach and some avocado. The recipe author suggests fresh cilantro, too. Really, anything that you like on other kinds of tacos will probably be good on these, although I saw no need for any salsa or tabasco sauce on these, since they had a great amount of flavor on their own.
We also had a lot of leftovers from making this recipe, and the tacos reheated really well in the microwave, which made for some good lunches for us to take to work.
The only regret I have is my sister will never realize just how delicious a batch of chorizo con papas can be, but you can’t win them all, and I can’t help it if she doesn’t know what’s good.
Maybe someday she’ll come around.
This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 8, 2019.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.