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!
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.
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.
- 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
- Combine black pepper, alspice, oregano and 1 tsp salt. Sprinkle half the mixture over the chicken.
- 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.
- 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).
- Taste the broth and season with salt if appropriate. Buen provecho!!!