Tag Archives: Mexican Recipe

Tangy Tomatillo Salsa

Since I’ve taken a gander at the posts I have looming ahead over the next couple of weeks and have somewhat measured their sugar content, I decided to keep my commitment of posting a few of the Rick Bayless recipes I’ve been enjoying.  And since I’m a huge fan salsa fan, that seems to be a good place to start.

This Tangy Tomatillo Salsa is a breeze — especially if you’re someone who enjoys great salsa.  Well, now that I’ve said it, I have to qualify it.  Great salsa actually has the flavor of the ingredients and not so much salt and heat that you can’t taste anything else.

I’m not opposed to heat, but at some point, what’s the point?  Is there a point?

To be a great salsa, a few qualifications need to be in order:  1) It’s perfect with tortilla chips whose only purpose is to scoop large quantities of it into one’s mouth; 2) It has lots of texture; 3) It tastes great with eggs, chicken, pork, fish, or beef; and 4) When nobody’s looking, you can eat it with a large spoon.  No sharing.

Not very scientific, but that just about covers it, don’t you think?

The nice thing about this particular recipe is that you can alter it however you like.  And I probably have, but may not be able to tell you exactly how.  I don’t do this on purpose to torture anyone.  If anything, it’s simply to promote the idea that you don’t have to make anything exactly like it was written.  Well, unless you’re baking.  That’s a whole different solar system.

Bayless uses this salsa with many of the dishes featured in Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen.

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Mexican Bread Pudding with Berries: Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen

Mexican Bread Pudding with Berries

I’ve given Rick Bayless a thorough work over and after much consideration can say that he’s good.  Well, his recipes are good. Very.  But everybody probably already knew this.

I always seem to be the last one to arrive at many of my conclusions because I’m not one to hop on the newest cookbook or latest dish, or cuisine du jour.  I am not saying Rick Bayless is new to Mexican cuisine, nor anyone’s latest celebrity chef.  In fact I know he’s been at this for quite some time, and is highly regarded for his work.  But I’m a cooking magazine slacker, so hop from one to the other trying this, and sampling that, smiling all the while, often ignoring my cookbooks, and definitely avoiding purchasing more since I barely have shelf space for the ones I own.

But I made an interesting decision recently.

I purchased Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen a couple of months ago, and since that time have delved into and thoroughly enjoyed at least 15 recipes, some of which have been made twice.  I’ve never focused on one type of cuisine for this length of time before,and it has definitely been an interesting experiment I can’t wait to repeat.  So why do this?

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Carne Asada with Anaheim Chili Sauce


We love Mexican food.  But I’m the one that loves the heat the most.  Not so much that I can’t taste the food, but enough to get my guys to say, “It’s spicy,” after they’ve taken only one bite.  I generally tell them to suck it up and keep eating, that it’s an acquired taste and if they keep an open mind, they’ll get to the point that they can keep up with me.

So when I happened onto a conversation about grilling and “Barbeque” at Great Cooks Community in the Barbecue College group, it was easy to join in the debate about whether using propane constitutes real grilling.  Jerry of Cooking by the Seat of My Pants said, “No problem,” when I said, “Saddle up, dude, and we’ll find out.”  I’m always good for a debate even if it’s about apples and oranges which I think this is.  No, not grilling apples and oranges — debating whether using propane vs charcoal vs wood is best.  They’re all different methods of the same thing, allowing the cook to explore different options.

So with my new Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen cookbook in hand that I finally splurged for a few weeks ago, and a propane BBQ out on the patio, I was ready to roll…erm…grill.  Sans my husband, of course.  He was still buried at work, and I figured I could somewhat live without my sous chef on this one.  After all, how difficult is it to turn a knob on our grill?

Evidently, more difficult than I thought.  The plan was to delve into Bayless’ recipes (and a few others  as well…)throughout the entire week, with one recipe leading to the next, whether focusing on a dry rub, or type of salsa, or a slow grilled roast. It would be quite the tasty experiment.

Sounds great, right?

Well, I only got as far as the carne asada the first night, freezing left overs for later use.  The next day, slow grilled boneless “country style” ribs were planned right up to the part where the barbeque wouldn’t light.  Apparently, we were out of propane.  And because I didn’t feel like dragging out the small Weber we keep around for outings, I ended up cooking inside that night.  Not one to throw in the towel where food is concerned, I also thawed a gorgeous six pound rib eye roast I had delicious plans for.  So I took the time to go to Home Depot to get a new canister of propane.

I brought it home, we hooked it up, and guess what?

It was empty.  I paid for an empty canister of propane.  I know.  I should have been paying attention.

So there was no roast at that point.  I decided to put it back in the fridge until the next day, then put it in the oven with some salt and pepper late one night, long after a ridiculously busy day at work.  At least it would be cooked, and then I could refrigerate it to be used for a couple of dinners later in the week.

Can you hear the violins accompanying my sad story?  Jeez.  We still haven’t gotten around to returning the canister to The Home Depot to inquire about why they sell empties to trusting foodies.

In the meantime, I do actually have a recipe for you, and over the next few days, I’ll do my best to put them up just to prove I actually had a plan.  Maybe in the meantime, I’ll drag out that little Weber and throw some Hickory in it.  It all depends on whether I can light the wood.
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