It tasted a lot better than it looked. :) The idea was hatched after thinking about a paella in the context of our lechon menu. So off to the kitchen to experiment… In a small cast iron pan, I fried up some homemade chorizo with a touch of pure lard. Once it was cooked through and slightly caramelized, I removed the chorizo and left the lard and bits in the cast iron pan. In a separate pan, I heated up some lechon dinuguan (all lechon meat, no innards), added a touch of coconut cream, two chopped siling labuyo (bird’s eye chilies) and brought this to a simmer. I added several cups of steaming white rice, and salt to taste (it needs quite a bit of salt, as the rice deadens the seasoning) and mix until everthing is a uniform color. Add the excess chorizo fat from the cast iron pot, a bit of chili oil if you like it, and stir to combine.
Put the cast iron pan back on a medium high flame to heat it up, transfer the dinuguan rice to the cast iron pan and listen to it sizzle a bit to create a bit of a burned crust or tutong. Turn off the heat, sprinkle generous amounts of cut up chorizo on top, and sprinkle with good coconut vinegar. Serve immediately. Believe me when I say this could have been a terrible flop. But the first spoonful, followed by another, a slight adjustment in vinegar and salt, and it brought a smile to my face. Ten other folks tasted it and nearly all said they would order it. We have to tweak it just a bit to intensify the taste and maybe a bit of color in the garnish. Or maybe we try it with some shrimp instead of of chorizo, or both chorizo and shrimp. I know, we shouldn’t even think to call it a paella, so maybe a Dinuguan Rice might suffice. Hmmm… so what do you think? Something you would try or does it gross you out? :) Lee, if you are out there, I KNOW you would LOVE this. :)