July Charm City Cookbooking: Rick Bayless!

August 14, 2009 at 10:41 am | Posted in Cookbooks, Dessert, Dinner | 8 Comments

Last month I hosted cookbook club! I wanted to do a cuisine that I seriously need to know more information about, and Spanish/Mexican came immediately to mind! (duh b/c of abuelita!) I went to the library and found Everyday Mexican, and because Rick Bayless had impressed me so much on Top Chef I went for it!  With “everyday” in the title, I felt like this was a “cheat” kind of a cookbook, but boy was I wrong. This man knows how to take amazing interesting ingredients and whip up fantastic and authentic dishes! He rocks!

So this night occurred exactly two weeks ago, and boy have I been a blogging slackass!  Hopefully that will continue to change, so now onto the food! This was Joanne’s mushroom soup! It was so creamy and the fresh corn was the perfect texture contrast to the luxurious soup.

Here was Julie’s Jicama (Heeeeecama) salad, with a spicy pepper dressing. It was delightful because of the crunchy jicama and romaine and fancy bright dressing. I could eat jicama allll day and the mexican cheese (not in the recipe) helped with the spiciness of the dressing.

Here’s my bowl of tortilla (NOT TORTILLLLA, Ned… Tortiiiiiiya) dough balls, ready to be flattened out! See my mad tortilla making skills below. Two pieces of plastic on either side of the press really helps, and make sure not to flatten them out tooooo much, cause those babies won’t come off of the plastic whole and they won’t be authentic homemade ones either! So the easy recipe can be found on the back of the Masa Harina bag (you usually need more water to make soft balls than the package states). After making the dough, cook on a hot skillet for about 30 seconds on each side! Keep warm in a bowl covered and lined with a damp towel.

Here is my yellow mole with chicken, green beans, and chayote! This tasted so divine! I was utterly impressed by this recipe and my talents. Who knew my mexican cooking skills lie deep inside…  The mole sauce could have been a little thicker though, probably should have added a bit more masa in the beginning.  Also, I was lucky to find the chayote at the Mexican market abuelita gets stuff at sometimes. I went there looking for guajillo chiles and I also found the squash!


4 Chiles (dried guajillo)
7 1/2 Ounces Tomatoes (diced, canned)
1/2 Onion (white, small)
2 Cloves Garlic
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin (ground)
1/4 Teaspoon Allspice (ground)
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon (ground)
1 Teaspoon Oregano (dried)
4 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 Tablespoon Flour (masa harina)
1 Pound Chicken (thighs)
6 Ounces Green Beans
1 Pound Chayotes
2 Hoja Santa Leaves
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1) Remove stemmed from chiles and tear into pieces, quarter onion, peel and halve garlic, remove skin and bones from chicken, peel and pit chayotes and cut into 1 inch cubes, tear hoja santa leaves into 1 inch pieces.
2) Add chiles, tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, oregano and 1 cup broth to blender and puree.
3)  In medium heavy pot heat oil over medium heat.
4) Press the puree through a strainer and into the pot.
5)  Simmer and stir until reduced to a paste (5 minutes).
6) Whisk masa into 3 cups broth then pour into the paste.
7) Whisk and boil until sauce thickens to a cream.
8 ) Reduce heat to medium-low.
9) Add chicken, green beans, chayote, potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt
10) Simmer and stir periodically for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked and vegetables tender.
11) Add hoja santa (or cilantro).
12)  Season with salt to taste, pepper if desired, and serve!!! (with fresh tortillas!)

Lastly, was Renee’s dessert! She made a peach fruit crisp with fancy seeds and lots of butter and sugar! I ate this up and ate and ate… She paired with some ginormous blackberries and lime sorbet! And our crazy times and delicious imbibing was thanks to Alayne, who makes very strong and tasty margaritas!  I love these women, I love how crazy we get when we are together and I love how well we can cook!



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  1. What a great idea to host a cookbook club! I wish we lived closer! That said, Rick Bayless is a Mexican food god! Every recipe I’ve ever tried of his is outstanding! Your take on his recipes are also outstanding, and gorgeous plus mouth watering! You never cease to amaze me with your talent! Gimme some of those homemade tortillas with a heaping serving of yellow mole and chicken, please!

  2. This is one of my favorite cookbooks! Thanks so much for highlighting it.

  3. […] Charm City Cookbooking: Rick Bayless! « strawberries in paris Syndicated from July Charm City Cookbooking: Rick Bayless! « strawberries in paris.I went to the library and found Everyday Mexican, and because Rick Bayless had impressed me so much […]

  4. I love Top Chef Masters, and Rick Bayless is such an inspiration! I also think Anita Lo is pretty great and can’t wait to try Annisa in NYC!

  5. Hi Elizabeth!

    Thanks for your sweet note! I’m excited about the new blog (and camera) too! I don’t quite remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but it was through a link on another blog. I love discovering other foodies and novice cooks who love sharing their gastronomical adventures and misadventures. 🙂

  6. Hi Lizzy, glad you are back to blogging, I missed you! Your cookbook club sounds fun- there aren’t too many food bloggers in my area, but I wish we could do something like that up here. There are already a lot of dinner clubs, but they are kind of exclusionary… I am jealous of your group of fun food bloggers!

  7. […] all weekend.  So off to Wegman’s and the mahi mahi looked fresh! I had lots of leftover mole sauce and had picked up some fresh corn from the JFX market. So wam bam thank you mam, we had a […]

  8. […] to the flavor explosion in my mouth with the deep flavored mole! They use fresh tortillas made with masa and that really made me happy. That is my favorite variation of tortillas: freshly made with corn […]

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