easy chorizo french breads with manchego, fig spread, & harissa, & covered in big fat drizzles of homemade spicy paprika honey. an easy & elegant appetizer or snack, perfect for holiday entertaining!
should we talk about appetizers today?
like…easy, spicy, sweet, cheesy, chorizo-y appetizers?
topped with homemade freakin’ spicy paprika honey??
also known as the most addictive bites of perfectly spicy-sweet heaven???
…i think yes.
a little while ago i told you that my newest obsession is the chorizo sandwich from france 44, our neighborhood beer & wine mecca in south minneapolis. over the summer they expanded their small cheese shop into a full service butcher shop & they serve up seriously the best sandwiches EVER.
like…the kind of sandwiches that makes the fact that they’re a very short walking distance from our house (& pup-friendly!) very, very dangerous.
my absolute favorite is the chorizo sandwich. it’s super spicy (from harissa) but the heat is balanced with sweet honey & big, salty shards of shaved manchego.
oh, & um…it’s also STUFFED with chorizo. so there’s that.
other than the fact that it’s probably a completely embarrassing number, i can’t tell you how many times i ate this damn sandwich over the summer.
as i started to brainstorm appetizer ideas for fall & holiday entertaining, i could not stop thinking about recreating these sandwiches in a party-friendly bite.
& that’s exactly where these chorizo french breads come into the picture.
fall gatherings – whether you’re doing a pumpkin carving party, or friendsgiving, or a holiday cocktail party – call for a little bit of indulgence & elegance.
& chorizo french breads totally fit the bill.
crusty french bread sliced in half lengthwise, slathered with fig spread & a little bit of harissa, topped with arugula & cured chorizo, & covered in manchego & big fat drizzles of homemade spicy paprika honey.
sweet (figs! honey!). spicy (harissa!). fresh (peppery arugula!). salty (chorizo!). cheesy…gang’s all here!
seriously, what more could you want??
oh! & can we puhleeze talk about that spicy paprika honey for a second? because it’s honestly magic. you only need 3 staple ingredients: honey, paprika (smoked is great, if you have it!), & cayenne pepper (or chili flake, if you’re a food blogger & you open your pantry to make spicy paprika honey only to find you forgot to pick up cayenne, smh…?). the paprika cuts into the cloying sweetness of the honey & its warm flavor totally shines through.
i swear to you, you’re gonna want to put this ish on everything. pure magic. magic drizzles everywhere.
the best part about these chorizo french breads? aside from the spicy paprika honey (which honestly takes 2 minutes to whip together), all of the ingredients for these chorizo french breads are things you can buy ready-made at the store. all you have to do is assemble, slice, & serve.
…& be ready for all of the “omg WUT is this?!?!” exclamations that your friends will make once they bite into a piece of chorizo french breads.
a few things to keep in mind about these chorizo french breads:
- chorizo is the star of the show – but you can use other cured meats, too. you will want to find a really nice quality thinly sliced chorizo, because it’s kind of the main attraction of these chorizo french breads. chances are, if you have a trusted full-service butcher or fancy pants cheese shop in your town that serves up cured meats, you’ll be able to buy chorizo from them. i can also typically find sliced cured chorizo at aldi this time of year – they have a great assortment of packaged meats, especially for the holiday season. if you really can’t find chorizo, look for a nice spanish-style cured meat (they’re typically orangey in color, from paprika!), or use a good spicy sopressata.
- fig spread is readily available at most grocery stores! if you can’t find it by the other jams/jellies, look near the cheese counter. it’s usually set out & merchandised as accouterments for cheese boards!
- harissa! aka a middle eastern chili paste. you will be able to find it in most grocery stores jarred in the ethnic aisle, or with other condiments. i buy harissa from trader joe’s – they sell a nice one. no matter which harissa you end up using, be sure to taste a leeeettle bite before you assemble your chorizo french breads. it can be spicy AF, so use with caution – a very thin layer or a few dollops here & there may be all you need!
& once you’ve got your chorizo french breads, i’m pretty sure the only thing missing is a big, fat glass of wine & some big, fat laughs with your closest friends this fall & holiday season.
if you like these chorizo french breads, you’ll also love these perfect-for-holiday-entertaining apps & snacks:
- roasted butternut squash hummus
- ham & gruyere puff pastry twists
- spicy candied bacon nuts
- all pwwb apps & snacks
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crusty french bread slathered with fig spread & a little bit of harissa, topped with arugula & cured chorizo, & covered in manchego & big fat drizzles of homemade spicy paprika honey. an easy & elegant appetizer or snack, perfect for holiday entertaining!
- 1 baguette, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup fig spread
- 1/4 cup harissa
- 1/2 cup baby arugula
- 1/4-lb very thinly sliced cured chorizo
- 4 ounces manchego cheese
- spicy paprika honey (ingredients below)
for the spicy paprika honey
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch of salt, to taste
- optional: 1 pinch cayenne pepper or crushed red chili flake
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the halved baguettes on a baking sheet & toast in the oven for about 5 minutes. The baguette should be warm & just barely toasted on the outside while still being very soft on the inside. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly while you make the spicy paprika honey.
- To make the spicy paprika honey, combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together & taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed (more salt? more spice? tweak it so it tastes perfect to you!)
- Assemble the French breads. Generously cover the french breads with the fig spread & top with the harissa. You’ll want a pretty thick layer of the fig spread, with a significantly thinner layer of the harissa since it packs a pretty mean punch of heat. Top with the arugula, pressing down on it gently to help it adhere to the French breads. Top with the cured chorizo. Rather than laying the slices down flat, I like to kind of bunch them up so there’s a little more texture & they look prettier! Generously grate the manchego cheese over top, & finish with a heavy drizzle of the spicy paprika honey.
- Cut the French breads into individual pieces & serve. Enjoy!
- Fig spread is readily available in most grocery stores. If your store has an extensive cheese section, it may be in that surrounding area. Other stores may have it near jams & preserves. If you have trouble finding it, just ask for help!
- Serving Size: 8
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