Jan 29 2011

chipotle chilaquiles

chilaquiles

We concluded our week of Rick Bayless recipes with the recipe that first introduced us to the genius of Rick Bayless: chipotle chilaquiles.  I didn’t even know what chilaquiles were until we went to dinner with our friends, Christina and Adam, about a year ago.  They made served us this spectacular green stuff unlike anything that I had ever had before that I just loved: chilaquiles.  I begged for the recipe and Christina replied that it was ridiculously easy.  You basically take a jar of salsa (they had used salsa verde) and cook it with some tortilla chips.  It couldn’t be any easier and it was so tasty!

chipotle peppers, tomatos, garlic, onions

I googled chilaquiles when we got home and we decided that we could try making the sauce ourselves.  We were already aware of and really liked Rick Bayless from Top Chef Masters and when I saw his recipe on foodandwine.com, I figured, hey why not?  Little did I know the impact it would have.  We loved it so much that we began to make it nearly weekly.  Then we bought his cookbook, Everyday Mexican, and began cooking our way through it.

tortilla chips

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Jan 24 2011

creamy corn soup with ham and roasted poblanos

creamy corn soup with ham and roasted poblanos

The next recipe in the lineup from our week-long celebration of Rick Bayless is a wonderful, creamy corn soup.  In the recipe, Bayless says that you can use either chicken or ham and ham just seemed like an obvious choice to me.  Of course chicken would work wonderfully, but I really liked the idea of some yummy, well-seasoned ham with the mellower corn flavor.

fire roasted poblano

My favorite part of this soup, however, is not the ham, it’s the poblano chile.  It gives the soup a lovely mild spice that hits at the back of your tongue.  You roast the chile first, giving it a smoky kick. Spice-phobes need not be afraid – it has a very mild kick.

cubed ham

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Jan 21 2011

smoky chipotle salsa with pan-roasted tomatillos

chipotle salsa

I LOVE this salsa.  It’s amazing how 4 little ingredients make something so good.  The chipotle chiles give it a smokiness, the tomatillo lends it some tang, and then the roasted garlic…well, it’s roasted garlic!!  Fantastic.  I poured it all over my red chile chicken and rice with black beans, it would be great over eggs, with chips, in a burrito, really, with just about anything.

tomatillos

sliced tomatillo

Not only is it delicious, but it’s really easy to make.  Just husk the tomatillos, cut them in half and throw them in a skillet with the garlic to brown on both sides.  You don’t even need to mince the garlic!  Then you just throw it all in a blender with a couple chipotle peppers, whirl it around, toss in some salt, pour it in a bowl and you’re good to go! Continue reading

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Jan 21 2011

red chile chicken and rice with black beans

For as long as I can remember, black beans and rice has been one of my favorite dishes.  I went to this awesome bilingual daycare in DC when I was really little and every Friday we got black beans and rice.  I lived for those black beans and rice….

When I was 19, I spent a couple months living with a host family in Honduras while volunteering with Amigos de las Americas and we often got beans and rice for dinner, but they were never mixed together.  My host mom watched in amazement as I excitedly stirred them together on my plate.  After a few weeks I no longer had black beans on my plate.  When I asked, I was told there were none left, they were out of season. I didn’t know that could happen! I was devastated.  But then a couple of days before I left, my host mom served me lunch with a huge grin on her face.  She had gotten some black beans and had already mixed them in with the rice for me. I ate those rice and beans with every meal until I headed back to the States a couple days later.

sautéing rice onion and spices

Once I was cooking on my own for the first time, black beans and rice became a staple for me.  When I was in college, I would cook up a huge pot of black beans and rice and eat it all week long, adding in another veggie or two every couple of days to make it a little different.  It was cheap, it was healthy, it was easy, and I loved it.

ancho powder

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