9th October 2008

Pollo Pulquero

Our first post after our almost three weeks in Italy (w00t honeymoon!) is this chicken dish from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday. The original recipe calls to prepare it in a slow-cooker, but, not owning one, we went with the oven-bake method instead. This was a perfect recipe match to our CSA box, which this week included tomatillos and red-skinned potatoes.

Chris says:

Yum, I love this!

Lisa says:

Me too — I was taking bites while you were taking pictures.

Chris says:

This is like your dream dinner — there’s no oil, and there’s salt between each layer.

Lisa says:

That doesn’t mean I can’t add even more salt, though…

Chris says:

I bet the flavors would be even more intense if this was done in a slow-cooker. And I really like the little crispy edges of cilantro and tomatillo from the lid-free finish.

Lisa says:

Too bad I have lunch plans tomorrow, this would make a great lunch.

Chris says:

Guess what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night, then?

Lisa says:

Wahoo!

Pollo Pulquero
1 medium white onion, sliced into 1/4″ thick rings
salt
1 lb red-skin potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
8 skinless chicken thighs
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 1/4 lbs tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and sliced 1/4″ thick
1/4 cup roasted hatch chilis, chopped

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 6-qt Dutch Oven, spread the onion in a layer, and sprinkle with salt. Continue with the potato slices, chicken, cilantro, and tomatillos, sprinkling with salt over each layer. Scatter the roasted chilis over the top. Set the lid in place and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake 15-20 minutes longer to reduce the juices. Spoon directly onto plates, and top with additional cilantro.

4 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 3 Comments

20th May 2008

Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana

Puerco Delicioso

This easy, delicious recipe comes from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. Pork tenderloin is cooked in a sauce of roasted poblano peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic. The entire house smelled amazing with it on the stove.

Lisa says:

YUM! It smells so good in here.

Chris says:

Just wait until you eat it!

Lisa says:

This sauce rules — I heart those roasted poblanos.

Chris says:

…and the pork is cooked just the way I like it… with just a bit-o-pink in the middle.

Lisa says:

Yeah that tenderloin is so… tender!

Chris says:

In the spirit of “you are what you eat”, I freely admit to being a pig!

Pork Tenderloin a la Mexicana

2 large fresh poblanos
1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 garlic cloves, crushed
28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup beef broth
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Roast the poblanos either over an open flame or under a broiler, turning regularly until the skin is blistered and blackened all over. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool.
While the peppers are cooling, pat the meat dry and salt well. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the pork in a single layer and brown on all sides, turning regularly, for about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, keeping as much of the oil in the pan as possible. Set the skillet aside.
Remove the skin from the peppers, then remove the stems and seeds. Rinse, then cut into 1/4-inch strips and set aside.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add the garlic and peppers and stir for a minute or so. Pour in the stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil, and let cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the pork and cilantro to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the pork is just cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve with white rice.

4 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 0 Comments

17th April 2008

Baked Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes

A really easy-to-make meal tonight based on a recipe from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday. Halibut sits on a bed of sliced potatoes and carrots and is baked in a quick tomato-jalapeƱo salsa. I love recipes like this; they’re so adaptable to whatever fish or vegetables you’re in the mood for, are very healthy, and are on the table in under an hour.

Lisa says:

Spicy!

Chris says:

Wow, it’s been a while since a dinner earned that declaration…

Lisa says:

Well it is pretty spicy… and by the way, this is the best halibut ever.

Chris says:

Oooh, yeah, I think I timed it perfectly — it’s just starting to flake and is incredibly moist.

Lisa says:

This is filling!

Chris says:

Well, we’re getting twice the veggies since all I did was use less fish than called for in 4-serving original recipe.

Lisa says:

I wasn’t complaining, that’s for sure… šŸ™‚

Chris says:

I like that we’re once again proving that we [heart] cilantro.

Baked Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes
————————————————
4 medium (1 lb) Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 thin carrots, cut in lengths
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt
1 15-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 large garlic cloves, quartered
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup sliced canned pickled jalapeƱos
1 tbsp jalapeƱo pickling juice
2 6-oz skinless halibut fillets

Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Place the potoatoes and carrots into an 8″ square glass baking dish and drizzle over the oil and 1/2 tsp of salt. Toss to coat, then spread the potatoes in an even layer, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 4 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
Meanwhile, in a blender combine the tomatoes in their juices, garlic, cilantro, jalapeƱos, and pickling juice and puree, leaving just a little texture.
Lay the fish in a single layer over the potatoes and pour the tomato mixture evenly over the fish and potatoes.
Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the fish flakes when pressed firmly.
Garnish with cilantro and serve.

2 Generous portions

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 2 Comments

21st January 2008

Arroz Rojo con Pollo y Frijoles Negros


Yep, that’s Chicken and Rice with black beans… this recipe is based on one in Rick Bayless’s Mexican Everyday cookbook and was a nice smoky twist on the usual. What really elevated the dish was a quick homemade chipotle-tomatillo salsa that we spooned on; as our dishes emptied we proceeded to just consume the salsa straight out of the bowl. šŸ˜‰

Lisa says:

Spic- hey, this isn’t spicy!

Chris says:

See? It’s your dream come true, a dish that I don’t make too spicy for you, so that you can actually add salsa.

Lisa says:

Hey, I like a little spice…

Chris says:

That’s what I’m saying… add as much as you want. This salsa rules.

Lisa says:

Yeah it does! I like the smoky taste of this dish.

Chris says:

It’s mighty tasty. We could make this into a party dish, maybe for the — hey, where are you going?

Lisa says:

I’m getting more bites!

Chicken and Rice with Black Beans
———————————
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt
2 1/2 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup rice
5 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped green onions
cilantro to garnish
smoky chipotle salsa (see below)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken breasts, then sprinkle both sides with 1 tablespoon of the ancho chile powder. Lay them in the hot oil to brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pot and set aside. Leave the oil in the pan. Add the rice and onion, and stir for 4-5 minutes or until the rice starts to look dry and opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining chile powder and stir for another minute. Add the broth and up to a teaspoon of salt, and stir well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook for 10 minutes.
Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes, uncover the pot, and add the chicken and beans. Re-cover the pot and cook for an additional 12 minutes.
Uncover, stir in the green onions, then remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro, and serve with smoky chipotle salsa.

Smoky Chipotle Salsa
——————–
4 garlic cloves
4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and cut in half
2 canned chipotle peppers
salt

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the garlic and tomatillos, cut-side down. When the tomatillos are browned, after 3-4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side.
Add the garlic, tomatillos, chipotle peppers, and 1/4 cup water to a blender and puree. Add salt to taste.

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Mexican Everyday | 11 Comments

11th October 2007

Delicious Seared Tuna Salad with Chayote Slaw

Tonight we tried out a main dish salad from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. A bed of romaine is topped with a chayote slaw tossed in a guajillo chile dressing and seared tuna. A lot of different textures and flavors going on with this salad!

Chris says:

I really love this guajillo chile dressing — it’s the same one we used on the heirloom tomato salad, but I used champagne vinegar this time.

Lisa says:

It’s great, I love it. The flavors go really well together. Although when I first saw it I thought I’d be starving later.

Chris says:

Yeah, sorry, it doesn’t conform to our usual volume of food. So are you starving?

Lisa says:

Not STARVING… but I’m just a little hungry.

Chris says:

Dessert time!

Seared Rare Tuna Salad with Chayote Slaw and Guajillo Chile Dressing
——————————————————————–
3/4 cup olive oil, vegetable oil, or a mix
2 medium dried guajillo or New Mexico chiles
2 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
salt
4 tuna steaks, not less than 3/4 inch thick
2 chayotes
4 cups thickly sliced romaine
chopped cilantro

Pour the oil into a large skillet and set to medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the chiles and the garlic. Turn and stir continually until the insides of the chiles have lightened in color and they are toasty smelling — 30 seconds or so. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the chiles to a blender (leave the oil and garlic in the pan), add the vinegar and a teaspoon of salt. Blend for 30 seconds. When the oil and garlic are cool, add to the blender (set the skillet aside without washing) and puree until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if desired. Pour into a jar and secure the lid.
Return the skillet to medium-high to high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt. When the oil-filmed skillet is really hot, lay the tuna in the pan. When brown, no more than 1 minute, flip and sear the other side. Remove the skillet from the heat. Thoroughly shake the dressing, then carefully drizzle on about 3 tablespoons dressing. Turn the tuna in the dressing from time to time as it cools.
Cut the chayotes in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Shred the chayotes through the coarse side of a grater. Scoop into a bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons dressing. Taste and season with salt.
Divide the greens among four plates, forming them into wide nests. Top each with a portion of the chayote slaw. Slice each piece of tuna in half crosswise on a bias and place in the center of the salad. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serves 4


Considering this is the first time we’ve used chayote, and the recipe includes our favorite herb (cilantro), I’m going to submit this as our entry for the Weekend Herb Blogging Two Year Anniversary!

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican Everyday | 5 Comments