Posts filed under Mighty List

Emily Bayless Project #50-54-Salsa Fest!

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. Clockwise from Top Left:Smoky Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos, Toasted Guajillo Chile Salsa, Fresh Tomatillo Salsa, Chunky Fresh Tomato Salsa, Jalapenos en Escabeche. Middle:Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa

 A few months ago I felt like I needed to kick things up a notch recipe wise and so I called up Dahlia (aka the Deck-Building team CEO) and said "How about if we have a salsa-fest and make the rest of the book's salsa this weekend.

Unsurprisingly, she was amenable.

#50 Chunky Fresh Tomato Salsa:Salsa Mexicana-This one was good but a little bit tricky at the time we made it (late Spring). I bet in August it would be ah-mazing! Like homemade salad dressings this (and really) all of the salsa are alarmingly easy to make. I don't think I even chopped this too much, my friend Mr. Blender did all the work.

#51 Smoky Chipotle Salsa with Pan-Roasted Tomatillos: Salsa de Chipotle con Tomate Verde Asado-This was definitely a favorite despite the fact that I spaced out and bought the wrong kind of chipotle chiles. Oops. It still tasted great. Chipotles plus roasted-tomatillos=smoky bliss.

#52 Fresh Tomatillo Salsa: Salsa Cruda de Tomate Verde-This was so easy I couldn't even handle it. Step 1: Throw stuff in blender. Step 2: Press button. I have three tomatillo plants ready to produce in my garden. I will be eating this refreshing concoction all summer long.

#53 Toasty Guajillo Chile Salsa: Salsa Roja de Chile Guajillo Asado-This one was the second favorite of my tasting crew and also of my co-workers who got all the leftover salsa. I really can't say it enough, anything with guajillo chiles=delicious. I am just gonna put myself out there and declare them my favorite chile.Ooh.... bold! I am living on the edge, don't tell jalapeños, they are a very jealous breed.

#54 Roasted Fresh Chile: Salsa de Chile Fresco Asado-This one in the middle is really more of a hot sauce than a salsa. It's the stuff that the chile-heads pour all over their chips in their lunatic chile rages. My salsa tasters were not of the brave-chile types so this was not super popular. Weirdly it wasn't even that spicywhich brings me to an important chile-related lesson: the little buggers are unpredictable. One week you will use a  jalapeño and produce a soothing mild salsa, the next week you will use one equally sized jalapeño and it will burn your FACE OFF.

The takeaway? Chiles are not to be trusted, but they should still be loved. The end.

Posted on July 31, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Big Eat Day 8-Bay to Breakers

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here.

#24-Eggs in Jail at Outerlands

If there is ever an excuse to go hog-wild at brunch it's having just run a 12K. So when we rolled up to Outerlands for breakfast it was business time. There were 8 of us so we decided to go ahead and order everything on the menu. It was a short menu, but still, I can't tell you how much joy it gave me to say "We'll have one of everything on the menu."

Like a boss.

Everything was really good but we were there in particular in search of the Eggs in Jail which is an egg broken into a piece of toast. I think this is also called "Toad in the Hole". My Mom used to make it for us as a special breakfast, she called it "Eggs in a Nest".

Eggs in Jail at Outerlands

Who cares though, it was awesome? The bread was perfect and there was bacon.

The thing about Outerlands is that they serve solid-delicious food. No, overload of fat, no fancy tricks, just simple food with great ingredients in a cozy environment. The coffee was chemex-brewed, the almonds were being sliced preciesly into pefectly sized pieces right in front of us. The bread and jam were perfect. If I lived next door to this place I would want to eat there every single day.

Coffee at Outerlands

Verdict: If you live in the outer sunset please eat there every day. Do it for me.

Brunch at Outerlands

#25-Ube Ice Cream at Mitchell's

Have you guys heard of Ube Ice Cream?I have because I'm Filipino and I'm guessing the owners of Mitchell's are Filipino too because:

  1. It's named Mitchells' and Filipino's always seem to give there kids names like "Mitchell" or "Franklin". If it's an old man name, we love it.
  2. It's got an ice cream called Halo-Halo.

I rest my case.

Ube ice cream is a creamy dense ice cream made with a yam-like root. Also it's purple which some people find alarming. I of course find this to be awesome.

Ube Ice Cream at Mitchell's

Verdict: Like ice cream I'll keep this short and sweet. Ice Cream=Good. Parking in back=Great. Reasonable Prices=Better. Supporting your peeps=Notoriously Awesome.

Go forth and eat purple ice cream my children.

 

Posted on July 27, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #49-Ensalada de Pollo a la Parilla con Guacamole Rústico

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.

Ensalad de Pollo a la Parilla con Guacamole Rulstico, Lechuga Orejona y Queso Anejo: Grilled Chicken Salad with Rustic Guacamole, Romaine and Queso Anejo

I like this salad because it is a study of contrasts in flavor delivery. I know that sounds very weird, but stay with me. You start this salad by making a dressing of roasted garlic, jalapeños, lime juice, cilantro and oil. This produces a bright green sauce. I like bright green and consider this a good thing. You use one third of the sauce to marinate the grilled chicken, one third to dress the romaine lettuce and one third is mixed with avocados and grilled onions to make a sort of rockstar guacamole.

It's so good! As Rachel Zoe would say "I die".

Okay, back to my pretentious "flavory delivery" theory. This salad is genius because it basically delivers the same flavor on three different "canvases"(snob alert). The romaine is crispy, the guacamole is both creamy and onion-sweet and the chicken is smoky. The same flavor three ways! It's a revolution people.

Add a little dusting queso fresco on top to bring it all together and enjoy my friends. En-joy.

 

 

 

 

Posted on July 11, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

NKOTBSB Part 1-La la la la la la la tonight!

As you guys know I've been diligently working on my bucket list, not because I'm planning on dying anytime soon but because I am too uptight to have any fun without a checklist. It's pathetic, but you know like Popeye, I am what I am. Live it and love it. I've had some serious fun eating, dancing and trying scary things but recently I checked off something so monumentally impossible that I never even bothered to put it on my list: I got up close and personal, with my first love and childhood dream Mr. Jordan Knight.

Jordan Knight ButtonWomen of a certain age know exactly how exciting this was and I would imagine young girls who are currently kissing pictures of Justin Bieber might have an inkling as well. Back in 1989 I was obsessed, OBSESSED with the New Kids on the Block and Jordan was my favorite, because, well, duh? Why wouldn't he be? In my imagination he is perfect! It never really occurred to me that I could actually ever arrive within 10 feet of him though because, well uh, at the time I was 10 years old. I couldn't even get myself to the mall without whining at my Mom for a minimum of 2-3 days.

I'm not 10 anymore though and after Renee's triumphant run-in with Joey McIntyre at the Concord Pavilion a few years ago I was emboldened. At the concert last week I started in on some seriously deranged magical thinking when I realized how close our seats were to the stage. "Today he'll come see me" I thought calmly (as all  31 going on 13 year olds do.) Then I turned to Renee and spit out the following, totally rational reasonable plan "If he walks by just throw me over the ledge and I'll just wrap myself around him Koala style"

Here's a picture of what I was imagining for your visual reference.

Note: Like the Koala it's important to close your eyes to enjoy the moment before security pries you away. In this scenario I would be the big koala smothering Jordan with my psychotic sized fandom.

In response to this madness Renee nodded very seriously and sincerely said "You got it girl".

This is exactly why I love her.

Halfway through the concert we noticed them setting up a table about 5 feet away from our seats. For those who don't obsessively attend New Kids concerts: Table=New Kid will come out in the crowd and be standing right next to you. Lisa turned to me and said "OH MY GOD, WHAT IF WE GET JORDAN?"

I am all about managing expectations so I played it all cool "You know whatever, whichever one will be cool" while inside I thought "MY MOMENT HAS COME. I HAVE WILLED IT TO BE!!!"

Apparently I don't just have magical thinking, I have magical powers because as they started the first chorus of "Tonight" Jordan walked off the stage directly toward us and settled in approximately 10 feet away from us. It was at that moment that Lisa, my most controlled, introverted, not-lunatic friend totally started losing it, "EMILY HE'S RIGHT THERE" she shrieked while shaking me excitedly "HE IS SOOOOO PRETTY!"

I can testify that indeed he was. No airbrushing on that one, he looked exactly the same as in my childhood dreams, never mind that it's been 20 years. Renee grabbed my back excitedly and hugged me dramatically in a "Your time has come" gesture of solidarity. In response I threw my camera at her and commanded severely "You will record this moment."

I must have to say for the record that I cannot imagine what it is like to be a pop star. Even in my increasingly frenzied state I realized this situation was truely bizarre. I can only think it must be scary to face a sea of 30-something lunatics. If I were to stare into a crowd of 12,000 screaming maniacs my instinct would not be to get close to the teeming masses but Jordan was a pro, despite being knocked to the ground getting off the stage by some overzealous fans he was all up in our faces, working the crowd and shaking hands which is exactly how this happens.

It's not against the rules to put things on the list after they happen, right?

"Hold hand of childhood love. Check!"

Posted on July 10, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless #48-Puerco en Salsa Verde con Jalapeños Encurtidos

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 en Salsa Verde con Jalapenos EncurtidosPuerco en Salsa Verde con Jalapeños Encurtidos: Tomatillo Pork with Pickled Chiles

I am a fan of both pork and dishes that can be made in a slow-cooker which means this dish wins on two counts. In fact it is so easy to make that I threw it together in 20 minutes before I left the house for an entire day of chocolate tasting. Win-win.

Pork and cannellini beans are both creamy and a bit heavy in and of themselves so they pair really well with the tang of tomatillos and the spice of chiles in escabeche. I will warn you though that this dish is a bit spicy. Arnold in particular was not pleased. When I came home "exhausted" after a long day of eating chocolate and tacos in San Francisco he pointed at the dish and said accusingly "I thought my mouth would burn off."

I pulled out one of my Dad's many pearls of wisdom. "Oh well, that's more for me."

Posted on July 6, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

A Treat for Tuesday

Did you have a good weekend everybody? I hung with my parents, celebrated my little one's THIRD birthday and got up close in-person with my childhood love. I have a lot to say about all of those things but today I have not the energy that those stories demand. I do however have energy for ice cream. In particular Nutella Ice Cream that Tia Dahlia made for Elian's third birthday. This ice cream is friggin good, when we tasted it we produced some indecent sounds. If you don't have an ice cream maker, do what I did a few months ago and send it to a friend with an ice cream maker and cross your fingers that they will produce some and bring it to your house. Find the recipe here.

PS-I checked off another box on my list. No. 63-Make a custom header. Check!

Posted on July 4, 2011 and filed under Bossy Pants Recommends, Mighty List.

Emily Bayless #47-Tikin Xik (Pescado Asado al Achiote con Ejotes y Salsa de Molcajete)

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.  This series is the record of those adventures.

Tikin Xic(Pescado Asado al Achiote con Ejotes y Salsa de Molcajete): Grilled Fish with Tangy Yucatecan Achiote with Green Beans and Roasted Tomato SalsaTikin Xic(Pescado Asado al Achiote con Ejotes y Salsa de Molcajete): Grilled Fish with Tangy Yucatecan Achiote with Green Beans and Roasted Tomato Salsa

How fun is it to say Tikin Xic? Oh you know, I'm just serving a little Tikin Xik for dinner people, whatevs.

It's kind of hipster-foodie-pretentious which is always a fun way to be. ;) Or is it annoying? Oops. Sorry guests.

Pretention aside you should cook this cause it's easy and crowd-pleasing. I mean look at that bright red-color? If that doesn't say fancy, I don't know what does.

To make this you need a whole box of achiote paste/powder. I do not know exactly what it is, but it is bright red and when Arnold saw me adding it to the dish he was instantly alarmed "Is it spicy?" he said. "I have no idea." I replied.

Our conversations are riveting.

For the record it was not spicy but rather tangy and it paired really well with the smokiness from the grill and the sweetness of the green beans. I am taco obessed so I served these with tortillas and the suggested roasted tomato salsa. I am like the taco version of that "Put a bird on it." Portlandia video. Do you have green beans and Tikin Xic?

"Put'em in a tortilla!"

Posted on June 27, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless #46-Guacamole

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 yummy stuff. This series is the record of those adventures. Rick gives you three options for how to make guacamole, simple, herby and luxurious. I like to fancy myself as being like Gwen Stefani so obviously I choose luxurious.

I'll make my review of this guacamole short.

I like avocados. Avocados are good.

Find the whole recipe with variations here!

Posted on June 22, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Big Eat Day 7-"Carb" Loading

I’m eating 100 Items off of 7 X 7?s SF Big Eat List. You can see the rest of entries to this series here. The day before Bay to Breakers we needed to go pick up our race packets. It was really an ideal confluence of events for Big Eating. A Big Eat Perfect Storm of a large group in the city and a cross-city race looming as penance for our face-stuffing sins.

Before we dive into the food porn I'd like to talk a little about strategy. City-dwellers can leisurely munch their way through the list but Sacramentans must be smart. You must choose where to eat ahead of time, check that the places will be open and serving the item you need on that particular day and most importantly figure out a parking scenario. For this particular day I chose a wondrous corner of the Mission that had at least 10 Big Eat site within walking distance and we stocked up on quarters. My friend Betty in particular was a great addition to this particular Big Eat strike team. Well-versed as a group leader from her weekend job leading hikes through California she was organized and efficient as in "You pay the bill, I will run to feed the meters".

This is what you need to Big Eat well, consider yourself warned.

#21-Cheese Slice at Arinell's Pizza

Arinell's is this dingy little pizza place. Well, truth be told, large sections of the Mission are not so shiny and clean but I personally like a little grit to my neighborhoods. The pizza at Arinell's is sold by the slice and they are gigantic but as you can see in the picture, each slice is also quite thin. A good pizza is judged by it's crust and I really liked Arinell's, it was crispy but not hard and was almost like a cracker? I know that isn't an appealing way to describe the crust, but it was like kind of crispy yet soft at the same time without tasting doughy.

Verdict: A solid start to our day.

#22-Buckwheat Crepe and French Cider at Ti Couz

First off a moment of silence for Ti Couz. When we arrived at it's bright blue exterior we discovered a large sign saying that it was closing the NEXT DAY. Kismet, non? Our meal ended up being a literal once-in-a-lifetime experience. I enjoyed the drama of being there on the second to last day but honestly I feel a little sad for you because you'll never get to experience it's greatness. :(

At Ti Couz we were charged with having a french cider and a buckwheat crepe. The cider was confusing. It tasted vaguely alcoholic and was served cold. I've always had cider served warm so I wasn't prepared for the experience. It wasn't bad, I guess I just don't deal well with unmet expectations. My favorite part about the cider was the color, it was the most beautiful translucent red you can imagine.

If I was underwhelmed by my cider experience I was overcome by the crepes. It's hard to explain how delicious they were. The crepes themselves were slightly crispy on the outside in a toasty sort of way but the texture was almost spongy, like Ethiopian injera bed. In short: they were amazing. The light and rich mushroom sauce was just the icing on the cake/crepe. After we finished our first crepe Emily sighed and said "I'm afraid the next one won't be as good."

She was wrong: the next one, a caramel crepe, was so delicious I had to sit on my hands so that I wouldn't eat more than my share. True story.

Verdict: Rest in Peace Ti Couz. I already miss you.
Chicharrones at Balompie Cafe

?#23-Balompie Cafe

The world Balompie is a play on the words balón y pie (ball and foot) and so sets the theme for this soccer-centric corner restaurant. For me Balompie screams "Latino restaurant" in the authentic sense of the word, there were multiple TV's blasting soccer games, pennants looped around the ceiling and a jukebox that was blasting Rhianna's Umbrella. When we arrived the place was full of families who had just finished celebrating first communion at the church across the street.

At Balompie there were not murals of people wearing sombreros or dried chili peppers hanging from the ceilings. Please take note designers of "Latino" restaurants.

Also I should mention that Balompie Cafe is a Salvadoran restaurant. In Mexico-adjacent California people tend to forget that there is Latin-America beyond Mexico. The most well known food of El Salvador are pupusas. Have you had a pupusa? I have had many and you should TOO! Pupusas are a griddled corn cake that is stuffed with rubbery, melty cheese and topped with a slaw of pickled, spicy cabbage. The slaw is really important, without it a pupusa is delicious but a little too bland. The slaw cuts these soothing cheese bombs with aplomb.

Balompie was our last stop for the day so we went all out, ordering patacones, maduros, chicharrones, pupusas and yuca frita. The combination knocked out our group of intrepid eaters. You can't tell in this pic but my little dinosaur is falling asleep on the table.

Verdict: Go to Balompie. Order at least two pupusas each. Pile them high with the cabbage and apply to your face with enthusiasm and vigor. Then fall deep asleep in a pupusa coma on your way home.

Posted on June 19, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #45-Salsa de Molcajete

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. This series is the record of those adventures.

 

 

 

 

Salsa de Molcajete: Rustic Roasted Tomato SalsaSalsa de Molcajete: Rustic Roasted Tomato Salsa

Mark eyed me suspiciously as we shoveled this salsa down our throats. "You said this is from a can?" he asked skeptically? "Si, Señor" I said with the confidence of someone who hold an M.A. in Spanish and is halfway through an epic Mexican cookbook project.

Would you also like to befuddle your friends by making fresh, delicious salsa using canned tomatoes? Look, no further. Today I will solve your, and perhaps the world's roasted salsa problems with a not-so-secret ingredient.

This might be a shocking revelation for you, but...Tomatoes are not available year-round, even in sunny California! I hate with a passion using crappy tomatoes and I'm so thankful that this brand has extended my ability to use tomatoes year-round. So now, you know the secret world. Buy good-quality fire-roasted canned tomatoes, mix them with garlic and jalapeños that you have pan-roasted. Throw in some white onion that you diced up small and rinsed to remove the harsh edge and cilantro because it makes everything better.

And since I am in a sharing mood, I have one more secret to share: mint. I know it sounds weird, but they throw mint into their salsa at Tacolicious and if you have ever eaten at Tacolicious you know that you should obey their advice without question or delays.

Posted on June 15, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #44-Plátanos Machos Asados con Cajeta y Nueces

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. This series is the record of those adventures.

Plátanos Machos Asados con Cajeta y Nueces: Roasted Plantains with Mexican Goat Milk Caramel and Nuts

 

Today I'd like to introduce you to the easiest desert ever. Don't thank me, thank Rick as you are swanning about serving your deceptively delicious and well-plated dessert.

  1. Put black-ripe plantains in toaster oven. Turn on oven.
  2. Take them out, let them cool and cut them up.
  3. Drizzle dulce de leche on top. I used some Ginger Elizabeth salted caramel that I had in the fridge.
  4. Sprinkle with nuts of your choosing.
  5. Dollop ice cream on the side for panache and plating purposes.
  6. Apply to face.
  7. Repeat as necessary.

 

Posted on June 13, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #43-Pollo en Escabeche de Cebollas Caramelizadas, Zanahorias y Jalapeños:

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.

 

Okay everybody, I have been WAITING anxiously to share this recipe with you! I really wish I could magically transport everybody to my house and then use my magic money and imaginary time-producing machine and robotic Emily clones to cook this for each and every one of you because it was that good.

Pollo en Escabeche de Cebollas Caramelizadas, Zanahorias y Jalapeños: Chicken in Tangy Escabeche of Caramelized Onions, Carrots and Jalapeños

 

Also it's yet another lesson about open-mindedness. I did not want to make this recipe. I do not like pickled stuff or all-spice, both of which are featured prominently in this recipe. I do however like my friend Dahlia who is currently giving up multiple weekends to the deck project and when she marked this recipe as one to eat, I said "Your wish is my command." Plus, I had to do it anyways because that's the point of a cookbook project, duh. So I cooked it and oh holy mole. <----See what I did there with the mole/moly!

This was so good! I honestly don't remember anything about making it except that I caramelized onions. I always remember the onions because I love them and also it is the title of the recipe. And since I am also detailing all sorts of unnecessary stuff I should also tell you that when I cook anything our extractor fan drags the smell out of the kitchen, underneath the house and then spits it out in the backyard where the new deck will be. So while I cook, the smell is actually blown directly into the faces of my deck builders. Strangely this fills them with jealous rage until they figure out that the food they smell is destined for their bellies. This happens every week: I guess deck building affects one's short term memory.

Back to the food though, right? Okay, so there are sweet onions and perfectly tender chicken seared with a spicy crust. Add to that a warmth from the jalapeños, tang from the pickling juice, sweetness from the carrots and so-fresh-and-so-clean cilantro and you will begin to understand this dish's greatness.

In addition to the combination of flavors the secret is how the chicken is cooked. First you sear it and then you put a lid on the pot and it steams. That way you get the crispy and the tender. Genius, yes?  I served this to seven people including my Mom and Grandma and we actually ate it so fast that I didn't realize till we were almost done that I hadn't shot a picture for the blog.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I screamed, not at all melodramatically. I was about to start banging my head on the kitchen table when Dahlia level-headedly pointed out there was still one serving left. "It won't wooooooork Dahl, this dish is weird looking, there is NO WAY to make it look appetizing." At which point Dahl kind of gave up on the pep-talk and instead got to work plating the dish.

She did a good job plating because as I was shooting the picture I was suddenly seized with the idea that I needed to eat more and just as I was thinking that, Emily(not me the other one) said "I think I'm going to eat some more." To which I replied "Of course you do, all smart Emily's would."

Posted on June 8, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #42-Polvorones Mexicanos

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. 

One of the funnest parts about the deck project has turned out to be the cooking sprees. Faced with the necessity of feeding our heroic husbands Dahlia and I had fun tearing our way through Rick recipes. Even better? When you are feeding four rather than two it almost seems compulsary that you make dessert every weekend and at some point you've made so much dessert that making shortbread cookies seems almost like making a snack rather than "dessert".

In a way they were more snacky than desserty: these adorable little cookies are made with whole wheat flour, topped with a pumpkin seed and are teeny tiny. I felt almost virtous while popping an unspecificed-for-my-protection amount of these little cookies in my greedy mouth. Served with some chocolate mexicana, they are perfect.

Posted on June 6, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #41-Tacos de Chorizo con Papas y Hongos

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.

 

 

Inspired by Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential advice I tried to take this photo shoot to the next level by using the 90s food trick of putting the crema in a squeeze bottles.  I think it makes my taco look kind of like a pop-tart, but hey, maybe that's just my remedial plating skills.

When I was in college one of my roommates used to make the best, bad for you breakfast tacos. Those little calorie bombs contained the trifecta of chorizo, eggs, and hash browns and were of the delicious yet deadly food classification. This recipe is a healthier, more sophisticated version of those tacos I ate in my halcyon days of rapid-fire metabolism.

To begin you fry up some chorizo, or if you are me you fry soyrizo. I don't recommend using soyrizo unless you are a vegetarian, the recipe really needs the fat that chorizo renders to cook properly.  After the chorizo has rendered ridiculousness all over your pan, you throw in shredded potatoes and mushrooms. If you are doing things right your potatoes will get slightly crispy. I didn't do anything right and everything turned soyrizo colored.

Despite my soyrizo misstep the tacos still tasted great, the mushrooms in particular are a tiny little umami gift that springs up from time to time on your palate. They were warm and comforting and I heard no complaints from my dining companions/deck builders. I do believe though that achieving the correct texture would've made them sublime. I think they would've been spicy and rich from the chorizo, with potatoes that were both soft and crisp.  Sadly I won't know until I try to make them again, whilst FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS.

Posted on June 1, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #40-Enchiladas Enjitomatadas con Crema y Queso Añejo

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.

Enchiladas Enjitomatadas con Crema y Queso Añejo: Tomato-and-Jalapeño-Sauced Enchiladas with Sour Cream and Aged Cheese

I'd like to start by congratulating myself on the improvement of my food-styling for a few reasons. One, I totally believe in being your own cheerleader. And two, because it makes me sad when these delicious recipes are not presented in their best light. When I feel that they look even half as delicious as they taste, it's time for a huzzah!

And these enchiladas, they are so huzzah worthy! Rick taught me that the origins of enchiladas are as a humble street snack of fresh tortillas doused with a bright red sauce. These are basically a homage to that and they are so good! First you make the sauce which is full of tomatoes and some chile and I don't remember what anymore but it tastes exactly like it looks in these pictures if that makes any sense at all.

No, it doesn't?

Sorry, sometimes you get what you pay for with me.

Anyways, next you heat up the tortillas, dip them quickly in the sauce to make them more pliable/delicious and then fold them up on the plate. Rick said if one wanted he wouldn't be opposed to adding goat cheese inside. I love goat cheese so we weren't opposed either. Next you plate them with thinly sliced white onions for bite, cilantro for freshness and a bit of Mexican cream cause your flossy!

Shower the plate with sauce and devour. Devour this three days in the road because it's so refreshing and light. Devour it like you are going to devote your life to enchiladas. The end.

PS-So You Think You Can Dance is premiering tonight. They'll be airing the Bay Area Auditions so look for me in the audience!

Posted on May 25, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #39-Tacos de Pollo al Chile Poblano

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.

Tacos de Pollo al Chile Poblano: Green Chile Chicken Soft Tacos

I feel like there is a secondary scientific experiment in this project: is it possible to measure Emily's capacity for taco eating? So far, the results are inconclusive but I'll keep you posted.

This is the second to last "official" taco in the book. I say official taco because I am too lazy to cook rice so most of the recipes end up inside tortillas regardless of the original intention. That just how I roll, or fold, or[insert how you use tortillas here].

Arnold really loved this recipe. Me not so much. I still liked it, and would never say no to eating it, but apparently I just haven't found the way to get past "liking" poblano chiles. In dating parlance "We lack chemistry". You however might like them and in this dish there is a lot to like. It's super healthy, flavorful and like all the recipes-crazy easy. I topped it with some tomatillo salsa I had laying around from another recipe I made earlier.

Just one more way the project has changed me: we were not previously the kind of household that had fresh tomatillo salsa just waiting to be eaten.

Thank you Rick.

Posted on May 18, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #38-Frijoles con Chorizo y Espinacas

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.

March was one of those months where it seemed like there was always a reason for some cake, or some cookies or some (insert your choice here) and while I aspire to be gluttonous in theory, in reality I need moderation. I need green vegetables and vitamins. Thanks goodness for the project and it's healthful recipes. I mean look at this recipe! Black beans -fiber bomb! Wilted greens-hullo vitamin pack! Chile to burn off your winter cold and a little bit of queso fresco so that you don't hate yourself for being too healthy. This particular dish used chipotle chile so it felt so warm and smoky, the chile helps this dish to not collapse in heaviness and bring together the ingredients in world-peace harmony.

Eat this on a cold day when your body is crying out for some culinary healing. It'll do you good.

Posted on May 9, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #37-Cazuela de Frutas Empolvoronadas

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.

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Remember how I picked this cookbook specifically because it lacked desserts? Well, yeah that's because I love dessert and I have no self-control. This rule of thumb applied and then some with this dish. I have to be honest and confess that I barely remember how I made it. I do recall that there was apple, butter and sliced almonds involved. It was another one of those lovely skillet based desserts that come out of the oven all bubbly and appealing and taste better for breakfast the next day.... I assume, because there was none left over. We ate it like greedy little apple monkeys at the first serving. Oops.

Posted on May 4, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.

Emily Bayless Project #36-Puntas en Chile Colorado con Frijoles

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.

We don't eat a lot of meat at our house and for the most part have no health-repercussions or undue cravings as a result. There does come a day though when all of the sudden you NEED meat, and I don't mean protein. I mean RED MEAT. Your body says, dose me hard with iron, please! On a day like that you should make this dish. It's so good and warm, and protein filled. First you saute onions (onions, I love THEM!) and then you start throwing in some ancho chile powder, tomatoes and what not. Then you sear off the meat. Yum. If you are like me and love red meat, yet hardly ever eat it, you will die while searing it, it smells so good. Then you remove the meat and throw in some broth and make it soupy and you cook it all together for awhile until it turns out all beans and meat and tomatoes as seen above. It's almost like some kind of deconstructed Mexican chili.

I have to tell you as I was eating it, I swear I felt my body saying Thank you. And of course, I said, your welcome body, anything for you.

Posted on April 27, 2011 and filed under Mighty List.