i must admit that i normally use chorizo macau to substitute chorizo bilbao. only because they are not readily available locally, not even the purefoods canned ones. but suggesting the two to be interchangeable is an appaling suggestion.
i’ve had chorizo de bilbao as a child when my grandma would cook old school, homestyle, filipinized spanish dishes – you know the kind that requires one to be in the kitchen the whole day with all the help ready on the side – washing, peeling, slicing, stirring etc.
i only got to appreciate it in college when our landlady, a 100% pure spanish mestiza woman, would serve us spanish dishes especially during sundays and chorizo bilbao is the favorite sahug , i think they used that as substitute to morcillas (blood sausages). You see chorizode bilbao is actually not from bilbao in espana, but it is just a brand name of a filipino foodmaker to compete and give his product an imported feel to compete with the real imported sausages into the country. he would add lots of pimenton/spanish paprika to his sausage, because he realized that most imported sausage are peppery and bright colored. which i guess is the reason why most tinderas in the mercado would add red coloring to their chorizo mix, compare that to the brown color of the vigan longanisa which is brown.
chorizo macau on the other hand is the one that gives chinese bola2x siopao it’s distinctive smell. it is also found in most authentic pancit bihon, and in machang.
chorizo de bilbao is peppery, a little pale, it has a tame scent and meaty. chorizo macau is gelatinous, very oily, red, it has a strong scent and it’s on the sweet side.
so substituting one with the other is really not a good thing!
anyway, i was delighted when i saw that dr. butch of sabin used chorizo de bilbao instead of macau in his paella. available at mario’s restaurant. it’s around PHP650 for the medium size that can easily feed four people. it is made of long grained rice and doc butch used real saffron here, with peas, generous chicken pieces, pimiento, jamon slices, pork slices, soft boiled eggs and lots of sliced chorizo de bilbao. it is a little filipinized, unlike the real paella wherein the rice is a little crunchy still, here from the stove they continue the cooking in the oven so it is cooked all the way through.
when you order it at the restaurant, they serve it to you in an authentic paellera. it also comes in mixed and valenciana variety. the first time we ordered it, we had the mixed paella with seafoods and the last time was just the plain all meat paella.
Here’s a recipe given by a friend, let me know if it’s good. I think I’ll cook this sa weekend.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 or 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely minced gingerroot
- 1 teaspoon ground annatto (achiote)/if saffron is available, then use saffron.
- 1 cup long-grain rice
- 3 ounces cured chorizo, diced
- 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups chicken or fish stock
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Several good grinds of black pepper
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
- Pimiento-stuffed olives
- sliced hard-boiled egg, for garnish (optional)
- Heat the oil in a medium, heavy saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic, and gingerroot over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion wilts and the mixture becomes aromatic.
- Stir in the annatto and mix well, then add the rice and the diced chorizo and cook, stirring, for a few minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, stock, fish sauce, and black pepper. Mix well, bring to a simmer; then cover and cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir in the shrimp and the peas, then cover and continue to cook over low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and the shrimp have turned pink, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Spoon the paella into a serving dish or platter and garnish with the olives and hard-boiled egg, if desired.