Emily Bayless Project #16-20

I have a list of things I’d like to do in my life. One of them is to cook every single recipe in a cookbook. I chose to cook my way through Rick Bayless’ Everyday Mexican. This series is a record of that adventure. We went traveling yesterday so it's time to eat, non?

Arroz Blanco: Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf
Arroz Blanco: Gulf Coast-Style White Rice Pilaf

No 16-I am kind of a purist about rice. I like it to be either very plain or fried with garlic Filipino style so I wasn't overly excited about making this rice, but I soldiered on because that's the point of cooking a whole cookbook, to learn new techniques and break out of your usual preferences. This rice didn't photograph well, but it was yummy and it can be made in a rice cooker. You throw some onions, broth and oil into the pot with some rice and it comes out quite nicely. I would make it again, which is a compliment because for me, it's usually Dad-style rice or none at all.

Caldo de Mariscos: Red Chile Seafood Soup
Caldo de Mariscos: Red Chile Seafood Soup

No.17 - Here was another recipe I wasn't psyched to make because I have an aversion to mussels, and don't tell me it's because I haven't had them cooked right. I'm part Filipino. I've eaten things you can't even imagine so just trust me. I don't like them. The soup was good though and as you see it looks quite clas-sy!  I made it for my family (who looooooooove mussels) and they were all pleased. My Dad even asked for seconds and said it was 'Okay". When my Dad says something is "Okay" it's practically the same as getting a Michelin Star. The broth was flavorful and light and it looks very elegant although it is simple to make. I still don't like mussels though, I gave mine to my Dad.

Enchiladas Rojas de Pollo con Queso Derretido: Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese
Enchiladas Rojas de Pollo con Queso Derretido: Red Chile Enchiladas with Chicken and Melted Cheese

No. 18-These are the most popular kind of enchiladas people eat in the US, the kind gringos of all walks of life are serving up on tables across the nation. With good reason, it's good! Tomato. Good. Onion. Good. Cheese. Good! The sauce was delicious and Rick's version is lighter than the normal "fry the tortillas then apply brick of yellow cheese" kind.  Instead they were light, nutritious and satisfying with the cheese highlighting the richness of the tomatoes rather than drowning the dish in oily madness. Arnold and I ate these for three days in a row and each time we served them to ourselves we were happy as clams. :)

Tacos de Acelgas con Cebolla Caramelizada, Queso Fresco y Chile Rojo: Swiss Chard Tacos with Caramelized Onion, fresh Cheese and Red Chile

No. 19-Please forgive this picture, I really don't know how to photograph chard or Bufala hot sauce in a pleasing way. But please don't let my amateur skills deter you ! Chard tacos are so delicious and so healthy. They combine the dark bitterness of the chard, the sweetness of the caramelized onions, and the salty crispness of bacon with aplomb. When you throw in some chewy queso fresco and Bufala (the most delicious hot sauce out there) you have something wonderful. A veggie-based taco for daily consumption. Chard is in season now. Go eat some!

Tacos de Huevos Revueltos a la Mexicana; Mexican Scrambled Egg Tacos

No. 20 -I honestly could try out new taco recipes for the rest of my life. They are just so satisfying. I probably would even like mussels if they were served with cilantro in a warm corn tortilla. Arnold and Elian love eating eggs and I'm kind of over it, but these tacos reopened my eyes to the humble huevo. To make this you chop the bajeezus out of some tomatos, jalapeños and onions. Then you fry it in a pan. Lastly you add the eggs in, turning, turning, turning until they are just cooked enough but still soft and pleasing. Add avocado and cilantro and apply to face.  Arnold and I gobbled these up like greedy egg-monsters. Just looking at the picture makes me hungry.

I'm cooking my way through Rick Bayless' "Everyday Mexican" cookbook. You can see the rest of the recipes I've cooked here.

Posted on January 26, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.