Posts filed under Emily Bayless Project 2011

The Emily Bayless Project: The Superstars

Rick Bayless Everyday Mexican Over the course of 2011 I cooked every single recipe in Rick Bayless' amazingly delicious cookbook "Everyday Mexican", I re-counted the story of each recipe on my blog here. As a self-proclaimed expert on this cookbook I cannot recommend it enough for home cooks. The recipes are: simple, healthy and extremely rewarding.

My motivations for starting this project were vague (bragging rights?, compulsive checklist disorder?) but the outcomes were definitive and many. Thanks to the project I have a much better grasp on general kitchen technique as well as simple Mexican flavors. I can whip out a delicious meal in the time it takes you to translate Cien años de soledad. Improved kitchen prowess aside the best part were the memories I made in the process. The project gave me an excuse to spend lots of time with people I love. At least half of the recipes in the book were shared with our friends and family. Albondigas are not just meatballs, they are the memories of New Years Eve 2010, Puerco a la Mexicana reminds me of Elian's annointing. I could go on and on. the cookbook is now not just an instruction manual, it's the record of a year well spent with people I love.

I am now officially addicted to cookbook projects and have something new in mind for 2012 but before we leave the Bayless behind, I'd like to take a look back at the highlights!

Most likely to Make on the Regular-Tacos de Acelgas and Enjitomadas con Crema y Queso Anejo

Special Ocassion Treat-Albondigas These are so good that when Arnold warmed up the leftovers I asked him what he cooked that smelled so delicious!

Major Fail-The tuna. Screwing up that beautiful sashimi-grade tuna broke my sushi-loving heart.

Best for a group-Tortas or Tinga Tacos. The tortas are fun to put together as a group and the Tinga is a set it and forget it taco treat.

Favorite Recipe-Pollo en Escabeche de Cebollas Caramelizadas, Zanahorias y Jalapeños. This recipe was so good. I want to eat some right now. Do you want to eat some right now? Well you can because here is the recipe!

This recipe serves four. I like it with rice or tortillas on the side. Rick says it's also good with fried black beans and potatos.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp dried organo
  • 4 (2 bls total chicken breast halves, bones and skin intact-this is important, don't get skinless/boneless)
  • 1 white onion, cut into 1/4 slices
  • 2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 in thick on a diagonal
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 to 4 canned pickled jalapeños
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  1. Combine black pepper, alspice, oregano and 1 tsp salt. Sprinkle half the mixture over the chicken.
  2. Health oil in a large skilled over medium. Cook the chicken skin skide down, turning once until richly browned. Remove to a plate, leaving behind the oil.
  3. Add the sliced onion and carrots to the skillet and stir until the onion is browned. Add the garlic for  1 minute, then add the remaining spices, vinegar jalapeños and broth. Nestle the chicken pieces skin side up in the mixture, cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is cooked through (15 minutes).
  4. Taste the broth and season with salt if appropriate. Buen provecho!!!
Posted on January 8, 2012 and filed under Emily Bayless Project 2011, Project EAT.

Emily Bayless Project #78-Tortillas de Maiz aka THE END!

I have a list of things I want to do. One of them is to cook every recipe in a cookbook so I’m working my way through Rick Bayless’ Everyday Mexican. I've eaten a lot of good stuff. This series is the record of those adventures. I'm working on a re-cap of the whole project, but until then enjoy pictorial tortilla tutorial! 

Thanks to my friend Rachel for taking all the pics for the post.

Posted on January 4, 2012 and filed under Emily Bayless Project 2011, Project EAT.

Emily Bayless Project #77-Puerco a la Mexicana

I have a list of things I want to do. One of them is to cook every recipe in a cookbook so I’m working my way through Rick Bayless’ Everyday Mexican. I’ve eaten a lot of good stuff. This series is the record of those adventures. Puerco a la Mexicana: Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana

This dish will always bring me great memories. It was homey and comforting on a late fall night: full of fire-roasted tomatos, roasted poblano chiles, savory pork and sweet onions. As usual though the dish wasn't overly important, it's just a tool to set the stage for special times with the people you love.

We cooked this dish for Elian's godparents the night of his baptism's rehearsal/anointing. The anointing is a special service for the parents and godparents in which the child is blessed with holy oil. Elian is not known for his sedate, retiring personality but on the night of his anointing he suddenly turned into a small adult, wise beyond his years. He sat next to me politely singing along and when it was his turn to be blessed he smiled seriously at Sister Peggy who rubbed oil on his chest and forehead. After he had been anointed he turned to me, touched his chest and made the sign of the cross on my forehead. Satisfied with his work he hopped off his chair and I watched his little hands repeat the process with his godparents and father.

Like so many good memories, the night began with a shared meal, but when ever I eat this dish I'll think of the time spent with friends who generously offered to stand with us at the altar and commit to love our child as Jesus did. I'll think of how we all attended his blessing together and remember how our son impulsively blessed us back. I'll think of his tiny fingers, fragrant with blessed oil crossing their heads with far more authority than any toddler should posses. It's a lot of memories for one little dish to bear, but this dish is a classic, rich and comforting, just like being with the ones you love.

Posted on December 21, 2011 and filed under Emily Bayless Project 2011, Project EAT.

Emily Bayless Project #76-Puerco Adobado a la Parilla y Parilla con Camote

I have a list of things I want to do. One of them is to cook every recipe in a cookbook so I’m working my way through Rick Bayless’ Everyday Mexican. I’ve eaten a lot of good stuff. This series is the record of those adventures. Puerco Adobado a la Parilla con Camote: Grilled Pork Adobado with Smoky Roasted Sweet Potatoes

On Tuesday nights we host a bible study at our house. I love the people in the study not just because they provide an amazing environment to ask questions and wrestle with ideas of faith  but also because they bring food to my house. If there was an advertisement for our group it would read something like "Come one, come all. Bring your thoughts, a bible and your A-Game when it comes to snacks."

Occasionally the food erupts into full-blown impromptu dinner parties. On this particular Tuesday in November I sent out an e-mail saying something like "Come to house there will be Bayless pork." Then somehow pork and mashed potatoes and salad, and macarons and etc etc appeared with people at my door. Ah, the power of internet!

The pork that birthed this dinner was satisfying. A pork tenderloin can be a bit bland but the rub included a healthy amount of ancho chile powder which gave a lovely warmth to the meat. Also that little itty-bit of pork somehow fed seven satisfied people for dinner. A true loaves and fishes moment.

Posted on December 14, 2011 and filed under Emily Bayless Project 2011, Project EAT.

Emily Bayless Project #75-Pollo a las Brasas con Cebollitas

I have a list of things I want to do. One of them is to cook every recipe in a cookbook so I’m working my way through Rick Bayless’ Everyday Mexican. I’ve eaten a lot of good stuff. This series is the record of those adventures. Pollo a las Brasas: Grilled Roadside Whole Chicken with Knob Onions

I'd like to call this series "Foods I cooked in November at night in poor lighting conditions  and then incompetently color-corrected into fluorescents wonders." How is that? Too self-pitying?

Feeling sorry for myself is really a big fat waste of time because this chicken was good! It was also, uh? Well, it was a whole chicken and there was quite the process to prepping it. The process involved cutting out the backbone and then smashing it into submission until it was sort-of butterflied not to mention pulling out innards.

There are two people who make up my marriage. One spent a childhood killing chickens and one spent the last decade conquering a fear of touching raw meat. Guess which one I am?

So yeah, Arnold was in charge of de-spining/smashing the chicken. He was only too happy to do so though because he is really into chicken. While I cringed in horror reading the directions he happily ripped and banged, gleefully setting aside the organs for later. I made the marinade with orange juice and garlic and ancho chile powder. It was a moment to go down in the "marriage is great!" books. I am good at following directions, Arnold is good at smashing things. Win-win.

Posted on December 12, 2011 and filed under Emily Bayless Project 2011, Project EAT.