Grilled Chorizo Suizas Flatbread/Revolution Brewing Juke Box Hero Black IPA/The SHRINE “Bless Off”
If Taco Bell served chorizo as a meat option, we could almost guarantee this item would exist on their menu. A cracker-thin lavash crust is slathered with red enchilada sauce then topped with crumbled and browned chorizo and freshly shredded jack cheese before it’s baked to a melty deliciousness. The hot flatbread is finished off with a scattering of a quick homemade pico de gallo and a little sour cream drizzle. All of the flavors of enchiladas suizas in a convenient pizza form. How do you like that? To drink, we went back to one of our local breweries with the excellent Revolution Brewing Company. We couldn’t wait to pop open their new Black IPA, Juke Box Hero. We were equally excited about the music, as we spun the new release from The SHRINE, “Bless off”.
Grilled Chorizo Enchilada Flatbread – This meal comes together really fast, just some browning of the chorizo, shredding of the cheese and chopping of the veggies for the pico is the only work that really needs to be done. It doesn’t really make a difference where we start, but let’s go with the pico so it can meld for a few minutes before it’s called into use. We need 1/2 can of Rotel, a small handful of fresh cilantro and 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper. Throw a fine dice on the cilantro and pepper then mix well with the Rotel to combine. Cover and refrigerate.
On to the all important meat and cheese components. We’re using jack cheese, a large chunk of it, that we freshly shred on the box grater. Refrigerate the shredded cheese until ready to use. Heat a saute pan to medium/low heat and add in 2 links of fresh chorizo sausage. Brown the sausage breaking it up with the back of a spoon until the sausage is in fine crumbles. Drain off the fat and set the chorizo aside.
With everything made now, it’s just a matter of making all of this into a delicious pizza. You’ve seen us use the middle-eastern lavash as a crust before, it’s one of our favorite tricks as it results in a perfectly cracker-type pizza crust when baked/grilled. Spread an even layer of red enchilada sauce over the lavash followed by the browned chorizo crumbles.
Next up comes the cheese, a liberal amount goes on top of the chorizo. Get a roaring fire going on one side of the grill and close the lid. Once the temp gets to above 500 degrees, carefully place the pizza on the cool side of the grill and close the lid. At this temp with this thin of a crust, this pie will be done in 3-4 minutes. Remove from the grill.
The finishing touches are a sprinkling of the pico de gallo over the entire flatbread and a drizzle of sour cream over the top. This is a Mexican pizza like no other, the flavors are all south of the border with a texture that is all pizza. It was phenomenal.
Revolution Brewing Juke Box Hero – Chicago’s own Revolution Brewing has already claimed one of our top spots for best IPAs with their Anti-Hero IPA, and now they can claim that same spot in the category of Black IPA with this amazing Juke Box Hero offering. Before we get to the wonderful stuff inside, let’s just take a moment to talk about this label. The 22 oz bomber is adorned not only by the cool Foreigner song title, but its mascot is a guitar-wielding man with a hop flower for a head. How could ANYONE pass up this bottle? We couldn’t. The beer, true to its name, pours as black as night with a medium sized tan head that casually floats on top. The aroma is pure nirvana in the form of sweet citrusy and tropical hops. If the aroma is nirvana, the flavor is nirvana squared. A delicious bitter hop bite is surrounded by a cane sugar and mango sweetness that made this addicting elixir go down way too fast. Black IPAs are quickly becoming our favorite style of IPA, especially when they taste like this. The pairing was great, but honestly we could have paired this beer with pretty much anything and been happy.
The SHRINE “Bless Off” – This new album from Californians The SHRINE was on our list of most anticipated releases for 2014 and obviously for good reason after just one listen to this incredible, high energy rock and roll gem. There are comparisons galore to be showered upon this trio from Kiss to Valient Thorr to the Atomic Bitchwax. The result is heavy but super catchy boogie-laden punk rock along the same lines as Bad Wizard. The party gets started on the opening note of the first track “Destroyers”. The song is a perfectly crafted, tight punk song that also features some great guitar work. “Worship” with its melodic but fast paced-riff, galloping bass line and sneer-like vocals make this track a dead ringer for early Maiden. There’s a psychobilly aspect to “Tripping Corpse” that makes it super catchy. One of the best tracks on the album is “The Duke”. It is unlike any other song on the album. Trading in the high-energy theatrics for an infectious slow and sludgy groove. Even the solo, which are normally an exercise in speed, is blues-tinged and trance-like. The whole track has a Clutch feel to it. A “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”-esque riff starts off “Nothing Forever” before the band kicks it into overdrive turning the song into a full throttle punk tune. “On the Grind” features another killer riff while “No Penalty” sounds like one of the angrier Ramones tunes. A candidate for the album’s catchiest tunes is “Napalm”. The track features the disc’s best vocals and they get paired up with a groove that is locked in from the first note of the song. The closing “Hellride” continues on with the formula that has worked all album long. It all starts with a great riff. The drums start to slam and the groove comes in and is fat as can be. The angry snarl vocals make their appearance and it’s off to the races. This band has continued to get better and this new album is their best one yet.