I go back and forth on whether or not I want to post my recipe failures. Usually I decide to go ahead and post them, mainly because it's nice to have a record of what didn't work. I also feel like things get a little redundant when you love every dish that you make. Let's face it. Real life just isn't that way. We make mistakes. We have failures. Sometimes we cook food that we just don't like.
Nearly every recipe on this site is something that my family and I really enjoyed, but then there are an occasional few that we did not. It's bound to happen. This spinach salad with warm chorizo dressing falls under the failure category.
Theoretically, this spinach salad looks like a win. It's pretty. It's colorful. It looks inviting. The problem was with the warm chorizo dressing. It was just too vinegary. In the end, I suppose it comes down to personal taste because this dressing might be wonderful to someone else. I do enjoy vinegar, but there was just something off about the vinegar when it was mixed with the chorizo. You know how you smell something and you can tell that you're not gonna like it? That's how I felt about this dressing. I could smell an overwhelming aroma of vinegar. In his book, Bayless says you can replace the vinegar with the juice from a jar of pickled jalapenos and I actually wish that I'd done that. I think using that makes way more sense and would actually taste great. If only.
In an odd way, I'm a fan of a recipe fail. My kitchen failures have taught me way more than my successes. I take away important lessons from each failure. Lessons that I tend to remember. In this instance, I'm not likely to go mixing meat with vinegar anytime soon (unless of course it's a vinegary bbq sauce).
Spinach Salad with Warm Chorizo Dressing
Adapted from Mexican Everyday
by Rick Bayless
1 (9 ounce) bag of spinach
4 hard boiled eggs, halved and quartered
1 (10.5 ounce) container cherub or 1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 half red onion, diced or sliced thinly (however you like your onion)
One recipe Warm Chorizo Dressing, recipe follows **
2 ounces (a packed 1/4 cup) fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
2/3 cup vegetable oil, olive oil or a mixture of the two
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar**
1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano, preferably Mexican
*Note: If you like spicy, replace part of the vinegar with the juice from a can of pickled jalapenos.
To make Chorizo Dressing: Place the chorizo in a small skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring and breaking up clumps, until the sausage is browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a minute, then remove from heat.
Scrape the chorizo and garlic into a jar. Add the oil, vinegar, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use. Shake well immediately before dressing a salad.
If you want to use this as a warm dressing (as is common for spinach salad), microwave uncovered for 15 to 20 seconds, secure the lid and shake again.
To Make the Salad: Arrange spinach leaves on a plate. Top with halved cherub or cherry tomatoes, quartered hard boiled egg, and sliced/diced red onion. Pour desired amount of dressing on top and enjoy!
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