Recipe: Chorizo "Biscuit" and Gravy With Pico de Gallo

One of the interesting aspects of my upbringing that some of you may not know is that I was born in a tiny, and completely rural, town in the countryside of Texas. I was actually born just a few months after my parents had arrived there from Korea for my father's studies. I lived in Texas for the first few years of my life, which I have some vague memories and recollection of, but for my parents, it was their first real experience and interaction with American culture and society.

Long after we moved out from Texas, my mother occasionally made a random non-Korean dish she called "SOS meal" which, I realize looking back now, is a name that probably came from whoever in Texas it was that taught her this dish. The dish was a white, thick, and peppery gravy which was topped on bread or pasta. I never gave much thought into it on the occasion we had it but I realized later on this was what was more or less officially known as "biscuits and gravy" and something she learned during our time in the Lone Star state.

I had a hankering for this occasional childhood food one Saturday but I actually only had some chorizo sausages on hand so I searched online and adapted from some recipes to come up with this random brunch dish for my roommate and a friend who had crashed the night. Considering it was a first attempt, I was surprised at how easy it was and even more so when my friends all gave their thumbs up of approval. The addition of the pico de gallo and over-easy egg really takes this dish over the edge!

Chorizo "Biscuits" and Gravy with Pico de Gallo

You'll need:
- 4-5 Chorizo Sausage links, casings removed (you can substitute with other sausage links)
- 1/2 an Onion, diced
- 1 chili Pepper, diced (optional for those who like more kick)
- 1 tsp of minced Garlic
- 1/4 cup of Flour
- 2-4 cups of Milk
- Fresh ground Pepper
- Eggs

For the Pico de Gallo
- 1 large Tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/2 large Onion, diced
- 1-2 Chili Peppers, finely diced (Optional)
- 1 tsp of minced Garlic
- 1 Lime (unless you're in Korea then begrudgingly substitute with Lemon)
- 1 bunch of Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Heat a non-stick pan or heavy-bottom pan with some olive oil on medium-high heat and add your diced onion and cook just a few minutes that they begin to soften but doesn't brown. Add your diced pepper and cook together for another minute. While all of that is cooking in the pan, get your pico de gallo going by mixing its ingredients and then tasting and adjusting with salt, pepper, and lemon/lime to your preference before setting the salsa aside.

2. Add in your chorizo sausage crumbles along with the minced garlic to the pan with the onion and peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be sure to break down any large sausage crumble pieces and adjust the heat as needed. Afterwards, use a slotted spoon to remove everything from the pan and set the sausage and vegetable mixture aside.

3. You'll be left with a big pool of the sausage fat after removing the mixture. Turn the heat down to medium-low and then slowly add your flour and quickly mix and incorporate everything making sure to pick up the bits of sausage on the bottom of the pan. Continue whisking frequently and cooking for a few more minutes until most of the flour is mixed in. Then add in your milk, just a bit at a time and continue to stir. I like my "gravy" a little on the thicker side (even borderline "chunky") so I don't add a lot of milk- which is why I listed 2-4 cups of Milk in the ingredients list- but the consistency depends on your preference. Add in some fresh ground pepper at this point and taste and add salt as needed. Remember when seasoning your gravy though that you'll be adding some pico de gallo at the end on top which also has a bit of savory and tang to it.

4. When the gravy is smooth and to your consistency, stir back in the cooked sausage crumbles and mix everything together. The chorizo sausage will give the gravy a yellow-ish color. I find the gravy at this point more than enough salty for me but add salt and/or other spices to your preference at this point. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Fry up your eggs sunny side up. I recommend over-easy but whatever your preference, make sure there's a good amount of runny yolk.

5. Of course the true way is to make your own biscuit and serve it with this dish but it's a bit difficult to come by the dry ingredients, let alone time-saving Bisquick mixes, so I just compromised with some toasted and sliced whole wheat bread slices. However, you can use whatever bread you prefer. Place the bread on a plate, spoon the chorizo gravy on it, then place your fried egg on top. Then spoon a generous amount of your pico de gallo on top.

The fatty and savory sausage gravy and creamy egg yolks gets a boost of mild tang from the pico de gallo while your biscuit/bread will hold sturdy against the flavorful mix. It's a perfect dish to whip up for an easy but hearty brunch or supper at home. Pair with some soup/salad, maybe coffee or even a simple cocktail and you'll have no need to pay an arm and a leg at all those pricey brunch joints around town!