Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mexican Every Day!

This year for Nick's birthday, I bought him Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday and a whole bunch of stuff from Rick's food line, Frontera (he also has a restaurant in Chicago named Frontera Grill, which we intend to visit when we go back in August). We had seen Rick on Top Chef Masters, which he won, and then kinda fell in love with his PBS show Mexico - One Plate at a Time, even though we've only seen it a few times. The episode we saw involved him kayaking off the shores of a Mexican island, catching his fish, and then cooking dinner on the beach. It was insanely relaxing, which makes more sense to me now after learning that he regularly practices yoga. The show was kinda like watching a yoga DVD but without the yoga.

Ever since going to Distrito a couple of years ago (if you are ever in the tri-state area, you MUST go there), Nick and I have been borderline obsessed with Mexican food. Not Tex Mex—I'm talking real Mexican food with fresh ingredients and not smothered in cheese, although a touch of queso fresco really does the trick sometimes. Essentially, buying Mexican Everyday as a present for Nick was really a present for me as well. And it has been a present many times over in the short 16 days that it has graced our house.

Last Friday, we had my parents and my sister and her husband over for dinner. We made pico de gallo/chunky tomato salsa and tomatillo salsa served with Frontera chips; jicama salad with watercress, romaine, and lime-cilantro dressing; and grilled chicken with red pepper sesame marinade, mexican beans with greens, and Gulf Coast-style white rice pilaf. Then we had some friends over on Sunday and made chicken a la Veracruzana in the slow cooker and what I ended up calling churro cookies (Mexican shortbread cookies topped with cinnamon sugar). Last night we went to a barbecue and brought with us some smokey chipotle salsa with pan-roasted tomatillos. And today we made red chile chicken and rice with black beans (topped with some of last night's leftover smokey chipotle salsa) and another batch of chunky tomato salsa and jicama salad with lime-cilantro dressing. If you're counting, that is 11 different recipes in 16 days, with two made twice!

Mexican feast
Mexican feast!
Pico de gallo
Pico de gallo/chunky tomato salsa
Smokey chipotle salsa with roasted tomatillos
Smokey chipotle salsa with pan-roasted tomatillos
Red chile chicken with rice and black beans topped with smokey chipotle salsa
Red chile chicken and rice with black beans, topped with smokey chipotle salsa with pan-roasted tomatillos
Jicama salad with lime-cilantro dressing and pico de gallo
Jicama salad with lime-cilantro dressing, topped with pico de gallo/chunky tomato salsa

I was preparing like a mad woman during all of the meals except for today, so I don't have pictures of everything to share. But believe me when I say that all of the recipes were delicious and we would make them all again, especially since they are all so easy. They all feature fresh ingredients and are all pretty healthy as long as you stick to the serving size. Rick's introduction is also really inspiring. It chronicles his journey to balance eating delicious and flavorful food with being healthy, and after reading it I couldn't help but want to mirror his lifestyle.

We are planning on making one of the bigger meals for our Saturday or Sunday dinner and having the rest as leftovers on one night during the week. The best part is that I literally want to make every single recipe in this book. How often does that happen with a cookbook? 


  1. Oh, now I'm so hungry! These all look and sound so delicious! I loved living in California for many reasons, but I have to say that the delicious Mexican food is what I miss most of all! It's so flavorful and fresh, but light and healthy!

    1. Our friend lives in California and is constantly telling us about the delicious Mexican food. I'm just glad we have access to make most of it ourselves!


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