Squash cubes are lightly browned in butter, chopped chorizo and sliced onion are added then everything cooks together in the butter and rendered fat of the chorizo until the bits of meat are browned, the onion slices are caramelized and the squash cubes are cooked through. It’s the perfect brunch dish — it cooks in less than 15 minutes and it is so packed with flavors that it will quickly wake up your senses that may still be bleary with sleep. It’s similar to the Mexican potatoes with chorizo and chili which I enjoyed with cafe con leche. The cooking procedure is quite different though because potatoes take longer to cook and squash contains more water. The good news is that the cooking procedure for squash and chorizo is simpler.
Why brown the squash cubes at all? First and most important reason is that browning forms a crust around them which helps them retain their shape. Without the crusted surface, the squash cubes will fall apart with all the stirring that the dish needs. The second reason is related to the first. The crust that forms on the surface of the squash cubes is caramelized sugar. What sugar? The natural sugar of the squash. The caramelization gives the squash better flavor overall.
What kind of chorizo is best for this dish? There is no “best” because everyone has his own preference. However, it is ideal to use a highly spiced dried chorizo. The reddish ones, flavored with paprika (not made red with food color, please), are best. The chorizo must also contain enough fat to render. That is what makes this dish so good.
Squash with chorizo
- Heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Swirl to coat the entire bottom.
- Spread the squash cubes on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat for about a minute until the sides that touch the bottom of the pan are lightly browned. Using kitchen tongs, flip each cube over and brown the other side.
- Add the sliced onion and chopped chorizo. Stir. Cook over medium heat with occasional stirring until the squash cubes are cooked through. By this time, the pieces of chorizo will be nicely browned and the onion slices will be soft and caramelized.
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the parsley.
- Transfer the cooked squash and chorizo to a serving bowl or plate. Sprinkle with sliced scallions. Serve with bread or rice.