Totchos | Pinky's PantryThis recipe is a play on traditional Nachos, except instead of tortilla chips, you use tater tots. It makes a hearty and delicious appetizer, or can be served for a yummy brunch dish. Try to have whatever toppings you’ve chosen all ready to go so that as soon as the cheese is melted over the tater tots, you can pile on your toppings and serve right away. The longer the tater tots sit with the toppings on them, the less crunchy they become. Not that that’s a bad thing. My family just prefers them crunchy.
Totchos | Pinky's Pantry


  • 1 bag (2 lbs.) frozen tater tots
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream, thinned with a little water or milk till pourable
  • fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped


  • chorizo, removed from casing, crumbled and cooked
  • refried beans or black beans
  • diced red onion
  • sliced black olives
  • whole kernel corn
  • sliced pickled jalapeños
  • pico de gallo, or your favorite salsa
  • guacamole
  1. Line a jellyroll pan with foil.
  2. Arrange tater tots in single layer on baking pan and bake according to package directions until brown and crispy.
  3. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over tater tots.
  4. If necessary, return to oven and bake just until cheese is all melted.
  5. Remove from oven and top with any combination of the toppings listed above. You can use as much or as little as you like of the toppings.
  6. Drizzle sour cream over everything.
  7. Sprinkle with cilantro for garnish.
  8. Serve immediately.

Healthy Chorizo con Papas (Mexican Chorizo with Potatoes)

Chorizo con Papas | Pinky's Pantry
The 2012 issue of Saveur 100 magazine has a recipe for chorizo con papas featuring fresh homemade chorizo. I wanted to fix a big breakfast for the family this morning and thought Chorizo con Papas would fit the bill perfectly, but I needed it to be a little healthier and a whole lot quicker to prepare. This is my healthy, quick-and-easy version. I use vegetarian soy chorizo in place of regular pork chorizo. Also, I par-boil the potatoes which removes some of the starch from them. I do fry them in a little oil, but we all need a bit of fat in our diets and if you choose a heart-healthy fat like olive oil, it’ll be just fine.

My friend, Pooh, introduced me to soy chorizo. It’s a great substitute for pork chorizo when you’re trying to cut down on your fat intake. Reynaldo’s brand has a good spicy flavor without being overly hot which leaves it open for you to adjust the heat of the dish to your liking. Trader Joe’s makes a good soy chorizo, too. With zero cholesterol, soy chorizo is a heart-healthy and delicious substitute for the real thing. As an added bonus, it’s readily available at most local grocery stores and is quite reasonably priced.

If you want, you could add tabasco sauce or some other hot sauce to this dish to make it spicier. When I serve this for breakfast, I top each serving with a fried egg and add a couple of slices of Buttered Seasoned Toast. A little sour cream on the side and you’re ready to dig in!


  • 1 pkg. (12 ozs.) vegetarian soy chorizo
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 pasilla pepper, cut into large dice
  • olive oil for frying
  1. Boil cubed potatoes till partially cooked, about 7 minutes.
  2. Drain very well.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large skillet and fry potatoes until golden brown and crispy on all sides.
  4. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  5. In same skillet, heat a little more oil and sauté onion and pasilla pepper until onion begins to turn translucent. Transfer to plate with potatoes.
  6. Remove soy chorizo from casing and add to skillet.
  7. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes, breaking up any large chunks with the back of a spoon.
  8. Add potatoes, onions, and peppers back into skillet with chorizo and stir until well combined.
  9. Top each serving with a fried egg and place buttered seasoned toast on the side.

NOTE:   For those of you who might want to try making your own fresh chorizo for this dish, I’m posting Saveur’s fresh chorizo recipe here.

Saveur’s Fresh Chorizo Recipe:

12 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
8 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1½ tbsp. dried orégano, preferably Mexican
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 lb. ground pork
8 oz. pork fatback, chilled and minced

Heat both chiles in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; cook, turning, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer chiles to a bowl and cover with 4 cups boiling water; let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving ¾ cup soaking liquid, and transfer to a blender along with reserved soaking liquid, cilantro, vinegar, paprika, salt, oregano, pepper, cumin, coriander, and garlic; purée until smooth. Transfer purée to a bowl and add pork and fatback; mix until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Spanish Chorizo Hobo Packs

Spanish Chorizo Hobo Packs | Pinky's PantryGrilled Hobo Packs are an old campfire classic. If you were a boy or girl scout, you probably tried this delicious potato dish. They were simple to prepare. Just slice a potato, put it on a piece of tin foil, season with salt and pepper, add a little chopped onion and some oil or butter, wrap the whole thing up and throw it on the coals to cook. Sometimes you opened your pack to find a perfectly cooked side dish. Sometimes you opened it to find a charred mess. Always you had a ton of fun doing it.

Hobo Packs have since evolved with the times to become full, quick-and-easy meals. You always start with potatoes or some other starchy vegetable like yams. To this you can add any other vegetable you like, then include some chicken, meat or fish, different aromatic herbs and spices, a little seasoning, and some oil or butter. I’ve seen them made with cubes of steak, little chunks of ground beef, sliced up chicken breast, and of course, fish like salmon or halibut. You don’t even have to grill them anymore. If the weather is bad or you just don’t feel like cooking outdoors, you could always bake your hobo packs in the oven. You could even fill your hobo packs a day or two ahead of time, then just keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.

I usually make my hobo packs with sausage. Both My Old Goat and No.1 love sausages of any kind – kielbasa, bratwurst, knockwurst, chorizo, longaniza, spicy sausage, chicken sausage….. you name it, they’ll eat it! In the hobo packs pictured, I used Chorizo de Bilbao which is a Spanish dry-cured chorizo, but you can use anything you like. Be adventurous! What will you put in your hobo packs?Spanish Chorizo Hobo Packs | Pinky's Pantry


Each hobo pack gets:

  • 1 pc. dry-cured Spanish chorizo, sliced
  • 1 small potato, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper, cut into squares
  • 1/8 of an onion, cut into squares
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  1. Microwave the potatoes until they’re just cooked; then cut them into wedges.
  2. Cut a rectangular piece of tin foil for each hobo pack you are making.
  3. Lay the foil sheets out on your work table.
  4. On each sheet of foil, place chorizo, potato wedges, bell pepper, onion, garlic and parsley; then drizzle with the olive oil.Spanish Chorizo Hobo Packs | Pinky's Pantry
  5. Fold each piece of foil in half over the filling ingredients.
  6. Seal the three open sides by folding the edges of the foil up and pressing them tightly closed.Spanish Chorizo Hobo Packs | Pinky's Pantry
  7. Place your hobo packs on a cookie sheet.Spanish Chorizo Hobo Packs | Pinky's Pantry
  8. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
  9. To serve, open hobo pack and pour contents over cooked rice or quinoa. You could also just eat it right out of the foil pack.Spanish Chorizo Hobo Packs | Pinky's Pantry

NOTE:  When working with your hobo packs, be careful not to punch a hole in the foil. If you’re worried about leaking, you could use two sheets of foil per hobo pack. I also always use heavy-duty foil.