Whether you’re cooking for one or ten, a dinner party is nerve-wracking. You want to serve something your guests will enjoy and not be bored. But, you also don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen either. Luckily, there are lots of tricks you can use to impress your guests with one simple ingredient.
If you’re throwing a dinner party, it’s likely that you’ll be serving many different types of cuisine. And if you want to impress your guests, then you’ll want to serve them something more than just an ordinary meal.
Everyone is familiar with Spain's chorizo, but Portugal has its own slightly spicy sausage called chouriço, which some might consider to be just as good (or even better!) than its Iberian neighbour. This sausage, ranging from bright red to deep red in color is one of the most common and versatile sausages in Portugal: not only is it used as a sandwich filler, it's also used to give dishes flavour. Chouriço is used in everything from soups and fried croquettes, to stews and meat loaves.
And whilst Portuguese people have dozens of different ways of cooking chouriço, by far the most fun way is to use a chouriço grill, known as an assador in Portuguese. The assadores you see on Iberica’s website come from Cerâmica Edgar Picas, which was specifically chosen for its superior quality chouriço grills. This small, family-run pottery in northern Portugal takes pride in its handmade and hand-painted products. They believe – and Iberica shares this belief – that there is a wonderful charm in the uniqueness of each handmade item. No two assadores will be completely identical because of the human element. But how do you use an assador exactly, and why would you want to?
By far one of the simplest and most effective ways to make a great impression at a party is to cook chouriço in an assador in front of your guests. It’s easy: first, take the chouriço, and remove the packaging. You can simply pour some isopropyl alcohol to the bottom of the assador. Ideally, however, you should add some whisky or other spirit with high alcohol content to the isopropyl alcohol to add a touch of flavor to the meat. Make small incisions and lay it flat on the assador. Light the liquid at the bottom with a match and remove your hand quickly because the flames that come up are big and beautiful! We recommend dimming the lights for the show – your guests will be mesmerized by the dancing flames and crackling of the meat. You can turn the chouriço over once or twice, until it’s cooked to your liking (some charring on the outside is recommended). Cut into pieces, serve as a starter with some sliced bread, and watch it disappear.
A chouriço grill is, in essence, a miniature portable indoor barbecue especially designed for cooking sausages. The flavor you get from an assador is unlike anything you would achieve by cooking it on the hob or oven. Best of all, though it was designed for grilling chouriço, it is widely used for other types of Portuguese sausages such as linguiças, farinheiras and alheiras.