Gianaclis Caldwell, one of our region’s finest artisan cheesemakers, had a crazy good idea. She created just the right texture, added seasonings and ended up with a cheese sausage. Her original inspiration flavor, Fiesta is like fresh Mexican chorizo sausage. The spice blend includes smoked paprika, oregano and dried ancho and poblano peppers. Fiesta is delicious in any dish where you would use ground beef or chorizo. For example the Haul Restaurant in Grant’s Pass features Butternut Squash and Cheesorizo Tacos with Pickled Onion and Aioli. The recipe for this is available at cheesorizo.com/cooking/recipes. In fact if you visit this page, you’ll discover a number of well tested recipes for all three of Gianaclis’ sausage flavors.
The other two flavors are Italian and Maple Sage. As the name implies, Italian is made for pizza topping, pasta dishes and meat balls. The flavorings are classically Italian: oregano, basil, garlic onion and a touch of hot pepper flakes. Maple Sage Cheesorizo is more like a breakfast sausage and is most delicious made into patties with a splash of maple syrup poured on top just before serving.
The simplest way to prepare any of the sausage flavors is to heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add a teaspoon or so of oil. Gently crumble the Cheesorizo into the hot oil and stir to coat with the oil. Cook on medium to medium low heat stirring occasionally, until golden brown, usually about 8 minutes. The more gently you stir, the larger the crumbles will remain. Serve or add to any dish while hot or cool.
The Co-op carries all three flavors. They are located at the end of the cheese case near the meat case.