Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mexico One Plate at a Time - Rick Bayless

If Mario Batali is our go-to source for Italian cooking, Rick Bayless plays that role when we turn to Mexican. Mexico One Plate at a Time is the book of his that we have used the most - it is a great overview of authentic regional Mexican cooking. Each recipe has a lengthy, yet interesting discussion of the dish and its numerous potential variations.

Favorite Recipes:

Cochinita PibilCochinita Pibil
(Slow-Roasted Achiote Pork in Banana Leaves)

The Mexican province of Yucatan embodied in a dish - sour orange and achiote marinated pork slow-cooked wrapped in banana leaves. It makes great pibil tacos.
Salsa VerdeSalsa Verde
(Green Tomatillo Salsa)

We use this salsa in all sorts of things, including our Huevos Verdes. The 'Roasted Version' is especially good.
SopesSopes (Masa Boats)

Thicker than a tortilla and cooked until crisp on the bottom, but softly chewy inside, these have a addicting toasty corn taste. We've filled them with anything from the traditional (spicy Salsa Roja topped with sharp queso anejo) to the rather nontraditional (pulled pork).

Pollo Adobado con Papas (Red Chile-Marinated Chicken Roasted with Potatoes). The marinade for this chicken is a bit of a pain to make, and definitely somewhat messy (you should see the red splotches spattered over the recipe page), but the result is well worth it. The deep, spicy - not hot - flavor of the toasted chiles permeates the chicken and gives a terrific burnished color to the potatoes roasted alongside.

Sopa de Tortilla con Chile Pasilla, Queso Fresco y Aguacate (Tortilla Soup). We've been making this version of tortilla soup for years, however I always thought the idea of avocado in a hot soup was odd and so omitted it - without giving it a try, strangely enough. During our travels in Mexico this past year we were often served soups dotted with cubes of avocado. I learned that it's delicious! I guess there's usually a good reason for the ingredients in a recipe...

Arroz Blanco (Classic Mexican White Rice). We call this 'Lime Rice'. The rice is loose and fairly soft with a lovely savory base of chicken broth, onions and garlic, and an unexpected fresh lime scent and light tang.


  1. Those recipes sound delicious! I love watching Rick Bayless on PBS every Saturday morning--and it sounds like his book may be worth purchasing!

  2. Hi Miss Contrary - if you are at all interested in Mexican cooking, you should definitely pick up this book. His other cookbooks are good, too.


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