Cinco de Mayo Recipes From Chef Rick Bayless

Mexico and the US share a coastline along the Gulf of Mexico which has resulted in several cross over recipes.  The jambalaya so popular in Cajun Country is actually a Louisiana spin on the classic Spanish dish paella.  West Indies Salad popular in and around the Mobile area is a variation on ceviche.  There is even an entire cuisine that sprang up along the border between Texas and Mexico called Tex-Mex.

Rick Bayless is perhaps the best Mexican cuisine chef in the United States which isn’t bad for an Irish kid from Oklahoma.  Ah, America.  Mexican food is Third Coast Cuisine and Rick Bayless knows Mexican food.

Rick, and his wife Deann, dedicated more than 6 years to culinary research in Mexico, culminating in 1987 with the publication of their now-classic cookbook Authentic Mexican (Morrow). They also opened the colorful, vivacious Frontera Grill in Chicago, specializing in regional Mexican cooking, that same year to instant success.  I was in Chicago just last week and I made a point to try Frontera first hand and I can assure you Bayless does not disappoint.

To help celebrate the Battle of Puebla Rick has offered up a few recipes perfect for the party:

Frisee Salad with Pumpkinseeds and Queso Fresco

  • 1 head frisee lettuce or curly endive, bottom trimmed, torn into 2 inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkinseeds (pepitas)
  • 5 small radishes (about 4 ounces), trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into very thin half moons
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled Mexican queso fresco or salted farmers cheese
Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • About ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • A small pinch of sugar
  1. Rinse the frisee and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with clean towels.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the frisee, pumpkinseeds, radish slices and crumbled cheese.
  3. To make the dressing, simply whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Green Chile Shrimp Enchiladas

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 poblano, seeded and diced
  • 1 pound shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 pouches (8 ounces each) Frontera Green Enchilada Sauce
  1. Heat oven to 400º. For filling, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and poblano. Sauté until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp and salt. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp are just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp mixture to a large plate. Cool completely in the refrigerator.  Once cooled, stir in 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese.
  3. Wrap 4 tortillas in plastic wrap. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining 4 tortillas.
  4. Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, unwrap one stack of tortillas and roll a 1/8th portion of filling into each tortilla. Place seam-side down in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Repeat to use all tortillas and filling. Open sauce pouches at one corner and pour over tortillas so they are completely covered with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  5. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through and the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.

For more of Chef Rick Bayless’ Cinco de Mayo recipes visit his web site HERE.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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