Emily Bayless Project #11-15

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. I've been plugging away at my cookbook project diligently because I am so absolutely devoted to you guys... and eating... and checking things off my list... and... well, let's just say you guys, okay?

Lest you think it's easy to start a cooking project I'd have to interject and say that I started this months ago! I average about 2 -3 recipes a week so it takes about a month to do 10 and that's if I'm really plugging away.

Pobrecita! It's a hard life I live. I hate eating beautiful, healthy Mexican food on a daily basis. Won't somebody help us?

Crema de Elote con Pollo y Poblano: Creamy Corn Soup with Chicken and Poblano Chile

No. 11 - It's been rainy up here in Northern California so it was time to bust out the soup section. I haven't always been a fan of soups in general but over the last few years I've been converting. This soup was a good evangelist. It was just so luscious and decadent, perfect for a freezing, rainy day. It's the color of creamy sunshine and yet cream free! At the bottom rest roasted poblano chiles to cut the smoothness and nestled on top are crunchy bits of bacon and refreshing crab. Of course there is a sprinkling of cilantro foor good measure. I don't remember this being a lot of work, but I do remember that Arnold declared his love for me and this soup upon his first spoonful.

Sopa de Tortilla: Tortilla Soup

No. 12 - I've always loved Tortilla Soup. I mean, what's not to love? The fragrant broth, the suprising crunch, the melty yet chewy queso fresco you find at the bottom. It's the soup that just keeps on giving. When you think it can't get better you discover a piece of perfectly luscious two-toned avocado and you fall in love all over again. It's the giving tree of soups. This soup was fun to make too, it's based off a concentration of onions, chiles, tomatos etc. that you cook down into a concentrated paste. Then you add the chicken broth and it turns into a soup that is light in texture and rich in flavor all at the same time.

Ensalada de Hongos Asados con Espinacas y Tocino: Roasted Mushroom Salad with Spinach and Bacon

No. 13 - Rick describes this as a warm spinach salad gone far south. I'd say it's everything I love about spinach salad without the stuff I hate, chiefly the nasty dry ingredients people are always throwing on top like grated yellow cheese. Blech. But I digress, this blog is about love, not hate!

I'm going to making this salad again and again for multiple reasons.

  1. Bacon
  2. Mushrooms=Love
  3. Spinach: We eat it like Popeye and always have it in the house
  4. Easy-Peasy It was ridiculously fast.   Step 1: Cut up all the non-spinach ingredients and stick in the oven. Step 2: Roast for 20 minutes. Step 3: Pour on top of spinach. Step 4: Eat greedily.

If it were up to me we'd eat this everyday until the end of time, pausing only to intersperse the guajillo sweet potato salad and the chipotle tacos to break things up.

Ensalada de Lentejas y Arroz con Jamon, Pepino, Cebolla Morada y Hierbas: Lentil-Rice Salad with Ham, Cucumber, Red Onion and Herb

No. 14-I made this salad as pennance for the culinary sins committed during Thanksgiving week. I figured after all that ridiculousness we need some respite, something healthy and simple. Something with fiber. This is supposed to be a great side dish for a picnic without the ham. It tastes kind of like an Italian salad, it had roasted red peppers which I don't really care for. Arnold liked it a lot, I was kind of 'eh. After you've spent a week eating pumpkin cheesecake it's difficult to know right from wrong. If you like those pickled antipasto plates you'd probably love this salad.

Ensalada de Aguacate y Mango con Queso Fresco, Tocino y Pepitas Tostadas: Avocado-Mango Salad with FResh Cheese, BAcon and Toasted Pumpkin SEeds

No 15-The best way to describe this salad is luxurious. It's just absolutely filled with rich ingredients. I mean bacon and avocado! To be fair, this is a "main-dish" salad. It's meant to be the meal, not a pre-cursor to a main dish. The flavors and textures of this salad are perfect: salty bacon, sweet fresh mango, creamy avocado, chewy queso fresco and crunchy pepitas. Pardon my drama but: This salad really is everything. It's also made with a dressing that's creamy and dairy free! The dressing has toasted pumpkin seed which when ground emulsify into the most satisfying texture. This is a special ocassion salad that I'll be busting out on day's when I want to serve something that's both special and unusual.

Of course if the stars align and somehow I had all these ingredients in my house at the same time I'd make it then too.

Posted on January 5, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.