By David Harbilas
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and I think this is perhaps more true in cooking than it is in most walks of life.
Terrines and pates were created to use leftover parts of beef, veal, pork, or chicken, and many restaurants list a soup du jour as a way of utilizing leftover vegetables, proteins or cheap carbos like pasta.
Just last week I made a terrible mistake that forced me to come up with a solution.
Every Saturday and Sunday we serve brunch, and one of our featured items is a Basque omelette made with sarladaise potatoes cooked in duck fat, chorizo sausage, and parsley.
The entire thing is a snap to make, but like most things it is easy to ruin. The method is to bake the potatoes with diced chorizo, chopped parsley and beaten eggs into a sort of “torte” inside a sautÃ© pan. We then unmold the omelette, cut it into wedges and serve it.
My mistake was to overcook the omelette and then serve it. I admit, I was lazy and didn’t much care how it came out. Brunch is perhaps the most hated of all shifts for a chef. It is one of the least memorable but most talked about meals, and most people who go out for brunch are looking for a lot of food for very little money.
It’s easy to understand, then, why chefs will take shortcuts with food for brunch. My boss was not amused by the complaints that came back, and so I was forced to come up with a sauce that could off-set a dry omelette. Here is the result, with the addition of tomato.
Yields 4 cups
- 2 links of chorizo sausage
- 1 Â½ cups chicken stock
- 2 tomatoes
- Â¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Cut out the core of the tomatoes and place into a small roasting pan with the olive oil Season with salt and pepper and cover with foil. Roast the tomatoes for 4 hours and remove from the oven. Meanwhile, dice the chorizo and place in a saucepan with the chicken stock. Make sure the stock covers the sausage, otherwise add enough water to cover the sausage.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 1 Â½ hours. Remove from the heat and cool. Place the mixture in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Press the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Blend the tomato in the blender and press through a fine mesh strainer into the chorizo sauce. Stir to combine.