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Chris Hennes

Cooking with Rick Bayless's "More Mexican Everyday"

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I was excited to see Bayless publishing a new cookbook this month, More Mexican Everyday. He's one of my favorite chefs both for his cooking and his cookbooks, and I love Mexican food. Plus, living in Oklahoma I have access to pretty much all of the necessary ingredients. Has anyone else ordered this? I'm headed to the local mercado this afternoon to stock up on ingredients. The cookbook arrives tomorrow, but I won't have time to shop later in the week so I'm going to guess at the necessities based on the Table of Contents. I figure masa, crema, and poblanos are a safe bet! Plus some tomatoes and jalapenos. What am I missing?

 

MoreMexicanEverydayCover.jpg

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Huitlacoche?  It's the current darling.

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Certainly at the high end, but I'd guess that in a cookbook dedicated to "everyday" Mexican it doesn't make much of an appearance. My bet is that the target audience of this book has exactly zero access to the stuff.

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Last time I checked it was for sale on Amazon.

 

How's your supply of Mexican oregano?  Gotta have plenty of that.  

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Certainly at the high end, but I'd guess that in a cookbook dedicated to "everyday" Mexican it doesn't make much of an appearance. My bet is that the target audience of this book has exactly zero access to the stuff.

 

I dunno.  These things have a way of filtering down.  Be interesting to see. 

 

I mean, isn't that how it usually goes?  First it's something nobody has ever heard of except six boatmen at Pagsanjan Falls.  Then a wandering chef in search of adventure stumbles upon it.  Then it's the new trend at the very top of the food world.

 

And then it's on sale, two for one, at your local Piggly Wiggly.


Edited by Jaymes (log)
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Do you need tortillas as a quick step, or will you be making your own with the masa? How's your stock of cumin and cilantro? Think you might need beans? Lard?

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Huitlacoche

 

Ive only had canned.  it was OK, interesting even

 

but I wouldn't walk a mile for it.

 

I think fresh, in Mexico might be a different story 

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I make my own tortillas, that's what the masa is for. Cumin stock is good, and cilantro is growing like a weed (literally, I often pick mine out of the lawn). I should check my bean stock, but I'm good on lard. I wonder what sorts of dried chiles I will need.

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my sister, who lives in TX  north of Austin, in the past has sent me dried chiles she gets at the H.E.B.

 

my favorites are 'Chiipotle's      as you know these are smoked.

 

the H.E.B. that Ive visited in that area is a bit nonchalant  on how they label the dried chiles.

 

probably as every one knows  'down there' what they are buying 

 

the usual chipolte that ive gotten, which might be the real thing  is an unappetizing mid brown shriveled  up sort of thing

 

not something that looks like you would want it

 

there is another dried chile  that was also labeled chipotle, but it has a brighter red color and is not shrived up

 

it is also smoked.  

 

i know that its not that helpful  but i enjoy them both.

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my sister, who lives in TX north of Austin, in the past has sent me dried chiles she gets at the H.E.B.

my favorites are 'Chiipotle's as you know these are smoked.

the H.E.B. that Ive visited in that area is a bit nonchalant on how they label the dried chiles.

probably as every one knows 'down there' what they are buying

the usual chipolte that ive gotten, which might be the real thing is an unappetizing mid brown shriveled up sort of thing

not something that looks like you would want it

there is another dried chile that was also labeled chipotle, but it has a brighter red color and is not shrived up

it is also smoked.

i know that its not that helpful but i enjoy them both.

Are they the larger tan tipico or the little red morita?

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OK, here's today's haul...

 

DSC_8257.jpg

 

DSC_8258.jpg

 

DSC_8260.jpg

 

Ancho chiles
Chorizo
Cotija
Crema
Guajillo chiles

Huitlacoche (hey, you never know!)
Jalapenos
Masa
Pasilla chiles
Pinto beans
Poblanos
Posole
Tomatillos
Tomatoes

 

Bring it.

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avocado

green onions

white onions

flour tortillas

skirt steak

eggs

 

Ah yes. Will all these recipes likely be meatless? What about pork or as Thanks for the Crepes mentioned, skirt steak?

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I am also a fan of Rick Bayless. I'm pretty sure that I own all of his cookbooks. The odd thing is that I don't really follow very many of his recipes per se, but adopt a lot of his techniques and ideas. I find, however, that each book has a keeper recipe. His first Mexican Every Day, for example, has a recipe for Gulf Coast garlicky rice that the family loves. At every party, I make variations of a peanut snack from another recipe in a different book that guests can't stop eating. Chile Colorado. Cochinita Pibil. Etc.

Thank you for the heads up on the new book. His show lately has emphasized fresh, seasonal, and local vegetables, and my reading of the description of the book suggests to me that this book will do the same. I've enjoyed many restaurants that emphasize seasonality, and my hope is that this book will give a Mexican twist to this theme. You've done your shopping, but I would personally load up on the the freshest seasonal vegetables and adapt the ideas in the book to them.

From his show, for instance, I always buy knob onions when I can find them, and pair with marinated flank/hangar/skirt steak and make a salsa to cover the onions. Heaven.


Edited by Ttogull (log)
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I bought a chicken today, so I've got a couple breasts (the rest went to making stock). I've got a few bits of other proteins in the freezer.

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I'm with Deryn.  You don't mention pork which to me at least is the main meat for anything Mexican which I make.  But then I discovered slow cooked pork late in life and am still infatuated with the taste.

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Achiote seeds was in a Mexican recipe I recently made and had to take a trip to the Mexican grocery down the street to find. They had it in a paste form.  I had a Rick Bayless cookbook but gave it away because at the time I lived in a rather small Kansas town and could never find at least one ingredient in just about every recipe. I got rid of a Mario Batali cookbook for the same reason. I kind of wish I had them now. I am a fan of Diana Kennedy cookbooks though.

 

PS We like Queso Quesadilla cheese in place of any Mexican style recipe that uses Mozzarella.   My DIL has a Mexican father.  


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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Hi Norm,

 

No expert here, but an aficionado.  You probably know that the 'seeds' are annatto and the paste made from them is the achiote.  Just in case you do run across the seeds somewhere.  At last we are beginning to have such things available in our nearby small Ontario city.

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I make many Mexican dishes that call for squash of some sort. And rice.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Hi Norm,

 

No expert here, but an aficionado.  You probably know that the 'seeds' are annatto and the paste made from them is the achiote.  Just in case you do run across the seeds somewhere.  At last we are beginning to have such things available in our nearby small Ontario city.

The package said achiote on one side and annatto on the other side.  I figured they were both the same thing.  Thanks for the explanation. I didn't know that.  The recipe I used was from a video demo and he used seeds but called them achiote. 


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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I got home from work at 9pm today to find this sitting on my doorstep: clearly, a midnight snack was in order...

 

 

Roasted Tomato Salsa (p. 57)

 

DSC_8305.jpg

 

 

Huevos Rancheros (p.60)

 

DSC_8311.jpg

 

 

Right... not breaking any new culinary ground here just yet, but still a great "snack." Clearly if you've got one of Bayless's other books (Salsas that Cook, to name an obvious one) you've seen both of these recipes before. And indeed, the first chapter revisits a few of the classic sauces used throughout the rest of the book and presents some basic meal options. The chapter is titled "Go-To Meals to Know by Heart", and that's exactly what it presents. Most of the dishes will look familiar to those who own his other books, though there are a couple riffs that are new to me.

 

The real meat of the book comes in the following chapters. In this book Bayless no longer shies away from some of the more esoteric Mexican ingredients. Nopales, chayote, epazote, even hoja santa appears as an optional embellishment (but no huitlacoche, I'm afraid!). Even though he is now engaging with a broader range of traditional ingredients, he doesn't hew too closely to the traditional Mexican dishes like you might expect from a Diana Kennedy book. Bayless is clearly playing the role of the high-end chef here, with interesting, modern dishes that use Mexican flavors in sometimes unexpected ways. Yes, there is some traditional fare in here, but honestly if that's what you're after I'd send you to Kennedy's many books first.

 

The production values in the book are very high, as you'd expect from a celebrity chef cookbook. There are tons of pictures, and not just of the lovely finished dishes. He includes plenty of in-process shots showing what things should look like along the way, which I think would be very helpful for someone new to Mexican cooking, or even to cooking in general.  The overall tone of the book is very personal. Many of the recipes are actually presented in the first person: "I then scoop the avocado into a bowl and...", etc.

 

I make no secret of the fact that I'm a big fan of Bayless and own many of his previous cookbooks. In my opinion, this may be his best yet. I think we're now at a point where many of us have libraries full of books covering traditional Mexican cuisine, and those books are fantastic. This book is not one of those. Instead, I think it is great for its unexpected twists. It takes flavors, techniques, and ideas from Mexican cuisine and applies them in ways that are new (to me, anyway). It reminds me very much of the menu at Topolobampo: clearly Mexican, but also clearly Rick Bayless.

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""  little red morita ""

 

they might have been these.   the HEB seems to pack them then paste on their own label  with name / wt. / etc

 

so there might be some variability or local lingo involved

 

nice chiles

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"" little red morita ""

they might have been these. the HEB seems to pack them then paste on their own label with name / wt. / etc

so there might be some variability or local lingo involved

nice chiles

Less smokey but sweeter in my opinion

9070b9d92309cbb2572215729a66b85f.jpg

I make my own jarred chipotle with carrots and onions with them

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Herb Green Chicken and Rice (p. 258)

Arroz Verde con Pollo

 

IMG_0002.jpg

 

Finally, a day this week I am actually home for dinner! I made something quick and easy from the Rice Cooker chapter (a section devoted to recipes developed for the rice cooker) in a part of the book called "Daily inspirations for busy cooks." Tonight, that's definitely me. This is a simple dish of rice cooked in a cilantro/poblano/chicken stock sauce and served with shredded chicken and peas. Assuming you like cilantro, it is delicious. I made it on the stovetop since I don't have a rice cooker and it worked fine, though of course requires more attention to getting the rice cooked properly.

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I like the idea of a section devoted to a Rice Cooker chapter, even though I don't have a rice cooker. It sounds like some thought went into the organization of this book.

Nice photo, and the rice sounds wonderful.

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