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Cooking from "Fiesta at Rick's" by Rick Bayless

Mexican

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#211 Chris Hennes

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:41 PM

Crispy Shrimp Tacos (pp.192–193)

Basically your prototypical "taquito" (at least, that's what they call them in those boxes in the frozen foods aisle): some kind of saucy filling wrapped in a thin tortilla and deep-fried until crisp. In this case the filling is shrimp in a tomato sauce. Honestly, these tasted a bit "white bread" to me: good, but not interesting. I also made the savory tomato broth on the following page as a dipping sauce, which was OK, though I left it too thick, I think: it was a bit heavy. I really think these would have been MUCH better served exactly the way he mentions in the description, plated with the broth poured over them and topped with pickled vegetables. I'd very strongly recommend going that route if you decide to make them.

Crispy Shrimp Tacos.jpg

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#212 Pierogi

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 11:18 PM

So at this point what are the stellar taco fillings for a crowd? I'm doing the sous vide carnitas in a couple of weeks and would like to grab another protein or two.

Soft fish tacos in fresh corn tortillas are always a hit with me, although I prefer them with battered, fried fish which is problematic for a crowd. However, I *have* had perfectly acceptable ones made with grilled, firm white fish like snapper or halibut. Make a cabbage/cilantro slaw with a lime juice/oil dressing, some red or sweet onions, extra cilantro, some thinly sliced radishes and a drizzle of crema, all of which go on top, and it's pretty much taco nirvana. Put some appropriate herbs/chile powder on the fish before you grill and so much the better.
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#213 Chris Hennes

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 10:02 AM

Cocadas Horneadas (Golden Fresh Coconut Candies) (pp. 326–327)

Ah, fresh coconut: nature's most annoyingly inaccessible ingredient. I mean, I love any excuse to use a hammer and a drill in the kitchen, but damn if I don't make a mess doing it. The recipe says you can use dried coconut flakes, but where's the fun in that?! The ingredients list is pretty short here: these are basically just sweetened coconut mounds held together with the smallest amount of binder possible. They are flavored with just a touch of cinnamon, and were not overly sweet, which I definitely appreciated. I'm not terribly fond of the texture of coconut on its own, but "it is what it is."

Coconut Candies.jpg

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#214 DanM

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:39 PM

I just finished filling 40 roasted garlic, ricotta, and swiss chard tamales. As Chris mentioned, I ran out of swiss chard before anything else. I probably have a quarter of the masa dough left over and about a third of the ricotta. I have more than enough for the party on Tuesday, so I am going to store the remaining masa dough. How long can this stuff sit in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

Dan

Edited by DanM, 26 September 2010 - 04:39 PM.

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#215 Chris Amirault

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 05:17 PM

Short answer: not really. Longer answer here. That was for tortilla masa, but my guess is that the issues that the frozen masa presented -- mediocre texture both before and after cooking in particular -- would apply here as well.
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#216 DanM

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:19 PM

Thanks Chris.

I am also going to make the Chocoflan, aka Impossible Cake tonight. I am a bit worried given the comments here about it not baking all the way though. Should we start a separate thread on this in the Pastry section of the site?

Dan
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#217 kalypso

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 04:58 PM

Thanks Chris.

I am also going to make the Chocoflan, aka Impossible Cake tonight. I am a bit worried given the comments here about it not baking all the way though. Should we start a separate thread on this in the Pastry section of the site?

Dan


Dan, I think you can just make the cake. The recipe is fairly forgiving, so even if you need to bake it longer you probably won't end up with a cake that's too dry.

All ovens are different and yours might be exactly right for this cake, but you won't know til you try :smile:

#218 DanM

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:00 AM


Thanks Chris.

I am also going to make the Chocoflan, aka Impossible Cake tonight. I am a bit worried given the comments here about it not baking all the way though. Should we start a separate thread on this in the Pastry section of the site?

Dan


Dan, I think you can just make the cake. The recipe is fairly forgiving, so even if you need to bake it longer you probably won't end up with a cake that's too dry.

All ovens are different and yours might be exactly right for this cake, but you won't know til you try :smile:

Do or do not... there is no try.


I baked it for a little over an hour and the tooth[ick came out clean. It sat in the fridge overnight only to found that the center caved in... I unmolded it and found the flan a half cooked soupy mess and it looks like the cake absorbed some of the flan mix . I coaxed it back in the pan and it is back in the oven for another 30 minutes. At this point, the cake is probably a loss so anything is worth trying.

Dan
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#219 kalypso

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 08:27 AM

And try you did...A for effort?

My oven has both conventional and convection settings. When baking - which I do frequently - I usually use the conventional setting. So that is what I used the first time I made the Chocoflan recipe. I had to bake it 20 mintues more than the recipe indicated in order to get it done. The second time I made it I used the convection setting on the oven and it only took 10 extra minutes.

I did get a little sagging of the center, but I was using a 10" springform pan and thought it might be because of the breadth across the pan. It makes a cake that is pretty wide, and I kind of wondered if there was enough support (i.e. internal structure) for the 10" cake.

#220 LindaK

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:28 PM

A useful tip: the creamy tomatilla sauce from the roasted vegetable enchillada recipe freezes really well.

I had leftover sauce from my effort a month or so ago, and popped it in the freezer. A couple of nights ago I pulled it out to make some last-minute enchilladas and was really surprised at how fresh and vibrant the flavor still was. If I can find some end of season tomatillas at the market, I plan to make a big batch and freeze in small portions. It will be a great antecdote to dark, cold winter nights.


 


#221 DanM

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:39 PM

And try you did...A for effort?

My oven has both conventional and convection settings. When baking - which I do frequently - I usually use the conventional setting. So that is what I used the first time I made the Chocoflan recipe. I had to bake it 20 mintues more than the recipe indicated in order to get it done. The second time I made it I used the convection setting on the oven and it only took 10 extra minutes.

I did get a little sagging of the center, but I was using a 10" springform pan and thought it might be because of the breadth across the pan. It makes a cake that is pretty wide, and I kind of wondered if there was enough support (i.e. internal structure) for the 10" cake.


In the end it turned out pretty good, but could be better. I'm not sure if it was the double baking, but the chocolate cake portion was very dense, almost brownie like. Is this what it is supposed to be like?

The biggest hit was the Soft Drink recipe in the book. I really don't know how to describe it, except very refreshing and delicious! I really recommend it.

Dan

Edited by DanM, 28 September 2010 - 06:40 PM.

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#222 DanM

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 01:07 PM

Chris. You haven't posted any updates in the past month. Have you stopped cooking from this book for a while? I hope you will revisit it. The information here is very useful.

I am thinking of making the chipotle chicken and butternut squash tamales out of thanksgiving leftovers. I saw your comments about the watery nature of the tamales due to the moisture in the squash. I was thinking about making them a little different by cooking and pureeing the butternut squash with some chipotle. I could then mix it with the chicken or pipe it onto the tamale batter. What do you think?

Thanks!

Dan
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#223 kalypso

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 08:49 AM

This is just an update on the cooking times for the Flan Imposible (ChocoFlan).

I made 6 of these yesterday at work for a function we're having today. We've got Montague double convection ovens at work and these things really rock, they are some of the best commercial ovens on the market. They also oeprate at a pretty high BTU rating.

The first 2 flanes went in the oven at 350* with the convection feature on. They cooked in about 40 - 45 mintues, which is less than the time in the recipe.

The next 2 went in the other oven at 350* with the convection feature off. These took 50 mintues, which was the time in the recipe.

The last 2 went back into the first oven with the convection feature off. Unfortunately, my employees were at the end of their shift and kept turning the oven off without looking inside as they thought all the baking was done for the day :shock: Once we got the oven turned back on these took about 45 mintues +/-.

My guess is that this recipe was probably originally developed using a commercial oven, whether in a test or restaurant kitchen. On the positive side, this recipe is pretty sturdy/flexible and can stand up to the variables of home kitchen ovens. The recipe works regardless of the oven used, tho' cooking times may vary considerably

I've now made this recipe about 15 times, for home use my recommendation is to use an oven thermometer to verify the temperature and then monitor the cake for doneness beginning at about the 45 - 50 mintue mark and adjust the cooking time to your oven. If your oven has the ability to do convection cooking, use it. This does speed the cooking time and it does not affect the appearance or quality fo the finished product.

DanM...think about actually mixing your puree of butternut squash and chipotles into the masa para tamales and then just filling with your leftover turkey

#224 Chris Amirault

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 09:33 AM

DanM...think about actually mixing your puree of butternut squash and chipotles into the masa para tamales and then just filling with your leftover turkey


Now that's a fascinating idea....
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#225 DanM

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 06:17 AM

I made the tamales last Friday to great success. I roasted the butternut squash and then mixed 1/3 in with the masa and the remainder with the chipotle and shredded turkey leftovers. There were no problems at all with moisture.

Dan
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#226 Chris Hennes

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:25 PM

Roasted Garlic Tamales with Ricotta and Swiss Chard (pp. 222–223)

I've posted about these before, but was reminded again tonight how good they are, and how versatile. I tossed together a quick salsa of fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, and chili powder (plus some vinegar: apple cider, I think). Still great.

tamales.jpg

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