Showing posts with label Rick Bayless. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rick Bayless. Show all posts

Friday, October 13, 2017

Rick Bayless's Pickled Red Onions, Served On His Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic

Looking for recipes featuring garlic and onions and craving tacos, I turned to Rick Bayless for inspiration. I found a recipe for Pickled Red Onions on his website. I thought the tangy lime flavor of the pickled onions would work well as a condiment for tacos and decided to make his recipe for Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic. It's not the first time I''ve made this recipe (as you can see here I made them last year) but it was what I was craving and they make a great meat-free Friday dinner.


The pickled onions are simple and I liked that they used lime juice and salt instead of vinegar. I kept the taco recipe pretty much as written--just replacing the chicken stock with garlic broth and replacing the hard to find epazote with oregano and cilantro. My changes are in red below.


Pickled Red Onions
Recipe from From RickBayless.com
(Makes about 1 cup)

1 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cups fresh lime juice
salt


With a knife or food processor, thinly slice the onions. Scoop into a non-reactive bowl. 

Pour boiling water over them, count to 10, then immediately pour the onions into a strainer. Shake off all the water, pour the onions back into the bowl, pour on the lime juice and stir in the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The onions will last for a week or more in the refrigerator.


Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic
Slightly Adapted from RickBayless.com
(Makes 4 to 6 Tacos)

12 oz fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped into 1/2 -inch pieces (I sliced them)
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 or 2 fresh green chiles (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 cup chicken stock or water (I used garlic broth)
1/2 small lime, juiced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large ripe tomato, roasted or boiled, cored, peeled and roughly chopped  OR 3/4 of a 15-oz can tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp epazote, chopped (optional) (I used 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro & 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano)
salt to taste


Place the mushrooms, onion, chile, broth or water, lime juice and lard or other fat in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to fry in the fat.

While the mushrooms are cooking, puree the tomato with the garlic in a blender or food processor. 

When the mushrooms begin to fry, add the tomato mixture and optional epazote and cook until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and scrap into a serving bowl. Serve with tortillas on the side for making tacos.


Notes/Results: I like these tangy pickled onions with their strong lime flavor. They added a bright bite to the meaty mushroom tacos and I think they will be excellent with fish tacos this weekend, as well as with avocado toast or sandwiches. Between the boiling water, salt and lime juice, they don't have the usual red onion bite and they paired well with the sweet yellow onion I used in the tacos. Quick and easy--and I love their bright color too--I will happily make them again. 
  

As a bonus, some of my other favorite allium-centered recipes from IHCC chefs are:

Jacques Pépin's Garlic Soup:
 
 
Garlic Soup with Harissa by Yotam Ottolenghi:

 
Jacques Pépin's Onion-Crusted Mahi Mahi:

 
Diana Henry's Cabbage & Leek Colcannon:

  
Nigel Slater's Leek and Camembert Risotto


And back when I ate meat and poultry--Nigella Lawson's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic:

  
I could keep going with many more delicious allium dishes from IHCC chefs but the above were some of my very favorite.
 
This post is linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is October's Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Alliums! We are featuring recipes from any of our current or past IHCC featured chefs that use any member of the allium family such as onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.  
 

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "In the Blue Hour" by Elizabeth Hall, Served with a Recipe for Huevos Rancheros

On today's TLC Book Tour stop, I am reviewing the new novel In the Blue Hour by Elizabeth Hall and accompanying this mystery with Native American folklore, spirits, and magic is a breakfast of simple Huevos Rancheros that was inspired by my reading.


Publisher's Blurb:

Elise Brooks dreams of a car accident on an icy road. Weeks later, her beloved husband, Michael, is killed in just such a crash. Now, overcome with grief and uncertainty, Elise believes his spirit may be following her in the form of a raven, trying to tell her something from beyond the grave.

Desperate to understand the signs, Elise embraces both the Native American wisdom she grew up with and the world of psychics and seers. So when a tarot-card reader suggests she take a journey to the mysterious address found in Michael’s old jacket, she embarks on a cross-country trek to follow the clues.

Accompanied by Tom Dugan, an engineer and scientist who does not believe in psychics, mediums, or the hoodoo “conjure woman” they encounter on the road, Elise navigates the rituals and omens of the spirit world in an attempt to unravel the mystery of her husband’s message.

Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (November 1, 2016)


My Review:

"The night waited. She could hear the flakes of snow as they pillowed on the ground, heard the hoot of an owl, hidden in the brush of the pines. And somewhere, deep beneath the surface of that heavy silence, she could hear the beating of her own heart. "  
--The Blue Hour

When I opened The Blue Hour, I was immediately pulled into the prologue by the author's beautiful prose and it continued throughout the book. I love it when an author can transport me to a place with their vivid descriptions and Elizabeth Hall took me through New Mexico and on a road trip to Tennessee all within the pages of the book. The sights, sounds and smells she describes all set the mood of this mysterious story, steeped in Native American folklore and magic. Elise, the main character, further drew me in. She is deeply mourning the loss of her husband Michael and dealing with the guilt from misinterpreting her dream of a car accident before his death and her failure to warn him. When she keeps seeing the same raven (a raven carving was the last finished work in her husband's studio) and the spirits and Michael seem to be trying to tell her something, Elise does all she can to figure out the message, including taking the guidance of a psychic and tarot card reader along with others who have connections to the spirit world. 

I don't know a whole lot about Native American culture and the folklore, particularly around the spirit world and I found it fascinating to read about. I liked how it was such a big part of the story but was not overdone--it felt believable. The pairing of Elise (who grew up in the periphery of the culture with her friend Monica's family and accepted that the spirit world existed) with Tom Dugan (an engineer and firm non-believer in anything not proven by science) added to the story and kept the mystical parts grounded, while still allowing for a spooky edge that raised a few goosebumps.

In the Blue Hour is a unique and enjoyable read that I wanted to linger over--savoring the story, characters and descriptions--yet I also wanted to get to the end of the book and discover the mystery. I liked the flow of the story and felt that it pulled me along to a satisfying conclusion. I have Elizabeth Hall's first book Miramont's Ghost,on my Kindle and I have a feeling that it will move up towards the top of my TBR list based on this book.  

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Author Notes: Elizabeth Hall, author of Miramont’s Ghost, has worked as a teacher, communications consultant, and radio host. She spent many years in the mountains of Colorado and now resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she indulges in the fiber arts of knitting, beading, and weaving.


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Food Inspiration: 

There was an amazing amount of food inspiration in The Blue Hour, beginning with the piñon or pine nuts that Elise and her friend's family gather, toast and eat and the wild plums trees, thick with fruit. There were regional foods like tortillas, the scent of roasting green chiles, tomatoes, both red and green chili, enchiladas, tamales, pumpkin empanadas, chips and guacamole. There was also mention of trout--rainbow and brook, lemonade, chicken salad sandwiches, almond-crusted brie, mango chicken enchiladas, kale salad, fried chicken, pot roast with root vegetables, roasted Brussels sprouts, and coconut cream pie, turkey, pulled pork with coleslaw and baked beans, meatloaf with scalloped potatoes and green beans, roast beef with potatoes and carrots, gravy and biscuits, green beans with bacon and banana cream pie for dessert. Whew!


With so much to choose from, I was going to make something with pine nuts as my book-inspired dish, but then I decided to make huevos rancheros as it was mentioned as the breakfast special of David, who owned the house in Tennessee that was the destination of the road trip Elise took with Tom. I love huevos rancheros and I had some leftover bits and pieces of ingredients leftover from making fish tacos for my own house guests last week. I found a simple recipe from Rick Bayless that sounded good and quick--always a plus in my book.


Simple Huevos Rancheros 
Adapted from Rick Bayless via Frontera.com
(Serves 1)

2 fresh corn tortillas
2 large eggs, cooked sunny-side up
1/2 cup Frontera Roasted Tomato Salsa (or brand of choice), thoroughly heated
Sliced raw white onion, rinsed & dried (I cooked my onion before adding salsa) 

chopped fresh cilantro
crumbled Mexican queso fresco or anejo, or feta

Steam-heat or griddle heat the tortillas. Put warm tortillas on a hot dinner plate. Top with cooked sunny-side up eggs. Pour hot salsa over everything (leaving the 2 yolks exposed if you wish).
 

Sprinkle with sliced onion, chopped cilantro and crumbled cheese. Serve with refried black beans or fried potatoes if you wish.
 


Notes/Results: These are a quick and simple and quite tasty breakfast (or lunch or dinner...) that uses prepared salsa. It is a great way to use up leftovers from taco night. Rick Bayless's recipe uses his Frontera brand salsa (which is very good) but I didn't have it on hand this time, so I used a local refrigerated brand. The recipe also calls for garnishing it with raw onion slices, but I prefer my onion cooked so I sauteed the slices until they were soft and translucent, before adding the salsa. I also had feta on hand so I used it in place of the Mexican cheese and served my huevos rancheros with leftover black beans instead of the fried potatoes served with it in the book, adding extra fiber and protein. Making these reminded me I need to enjoy this dish more often--so I will happily make it again. ;-)


I'm linking this post up to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.

 
Note: A review copy of "In the Blue Hour" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.

 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "Follow the River Home" by Corran Harrington, Served with Salmon and Asparagus with Green Tomatillo Sauce

Is it Friday yet?! It's been a crazy week needing a little bit of calm, like reading a beautifully written book and enjoying a lovely meal that takes no time to put together. Today's TLC Book stop takes us to New Mexico and the banks of the Rio Grande with Follow the River Home by Corran Harrington. Accompanying my review is a Rick Bayless recipe for Grilled Salmon and Asparagus with Green Tomatillo Sauce, inspired by the book.


Publisher's Blurb:

Daniel Arroyo has suffered a lifetime of guilt over the sudden death of his infant sister, who died when he was eight years old. He now lives his middle years between that guilt and worsening episodes of PTSD from a Vietnam he left thirty years ago. When a violent encounter on a dusty highway forces Daniel to face what haunts him, he finds himself pulled back to the neighborhood of his youth, where old houses hold tired secrets. What really happened on that steamy August afternoon? The answer comes spilling from the old neighborhood, and Daniel begins to find his way home. 

Corran Harrington takes the reader along the Rio Grande, from its headwaters to the sea.

Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Arbor Farm Press (April 14, 2016)


My Review:

It is difficult to describe Follow the River Home well and do its beauty justice. It's a short 200-ish pages, but there is so much going on with shifting time frames and multiple perspectives from Daniel, as well as the people, and sometimes even objects that he comes into contact with--or that are in a degree of separation or two from him. Does that sound slightly strange and confusing? Yes, occasionally there are times that the book becomes a bit like a section of choppy rapids that spin you around and make you a little dizzy, looking to reorient yourself, but then things calm down and it meanders along with a smoother flow--much like the river of its setting might. It is vivid, lyrical even, and although there is much guilt, sorrow and loneliness found in the pages, there is also hope, beauty and grace mixed in. The author's descriptions of the river and its banks make the area come to life, I could almost smell the wild asparagus growing, feel the winds, and hear the sounds of the Rio Grande, giving me a clear picture of a place I have never been. This book and Daniel's story in particular touched me. Follow the River Home pulls you in from the striking, softly-painted cover to the gorgeous words within and is a novella to curl up and savor in quiet moments. Lovely.

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Author Notes: Corran Harrington is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Santa Fe Writers Project finalist, a Hidden River Arts Eludia Award finalist, a Bosque Fiction Contest finalist, and a New Millennium Writings Award semi-finalist whose short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals. A former lawyer, Harrington also has a background in cultural and linguistic anthropology. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Connect with Corran on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

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I would definitely not call Follow the River Home a foodie book, but there is food mentioned. Throughout the book there is mention of the sight and sweet scent of the wild asparagus that grew on the banks of the irrigation ditch in Daniel's neighborhood. In addition to being somewhat of a place of refuge for Daniel, the ditch and its banks are where several key and life-altering moments happen for him.

"The ditch. That magic place he discovered as soon as he was old enough to walk around the corner. It ran only during irrigation season, March through October. It was lined  with old cottonwoods, just like the one in his front yard, an you could sit on its banks and dangle your bare feet in the water that went muddy every time a bullfrog broke its surface. Box turtles slept on old wood, while blue dragonflies darted among the cattails. And the wild asparagus that grew there--Daniel's mother could always tell he had been at the ditch by the sweet smell of the wild asparagus on his jeans.


There are also mentions of enchiladas, bizcochitos, fresh baked bread and chocolate cookies, Doritos, French fries, fresh fish barbecue, warm tea and a can of soup, black bean soup, scrambled eggs, fish and chips, corn, peppers and squash, bologna sandwiches, Boston brown bread and sliced apples, butternut squash soup and warm rolls, dry roasted peanuts, tamales at Christmas, and cherry pie. 

Ultimately I knew my book inspired-dish needed to include asparagus because of the numerous mentions throughout the book--mostly the wild asparagus of the ditch bank of course, but there was mention of Daniel's daughter rearranging the asparagus "into an accusatory arrow on her plate" and a dinner of baked halibut and steamed asparagus. I have no wild asparagus near me, but there is still plenty of local asparagus to be had. I wanted to include salmon. mainly because of a wonderful thing that Daniel does for Emily, his best friend's younger sister, who is now homeless and has mental issues. Her only remaining relative at that point in the story is her sister, who tries to give Emily money and get her to stay with her--especially in the winter months. Daniel brings Emily home with him, offering to cook her dinner, and she asks for salmon. This grace and kindness and the resulting dinners and warm place to stay at night that he provided Emily until he could build trust and get her to go stay with her sister, are just some of what made Daniel such a great character. So salmon and asparagus were my starting points. 


I wanted something with a southwest, Mexican feel, so I went to Rick Bayless, online where I found a couple of asparagus recipes that would work. I will not lie, it has been a crazy week which is why his recipe for Golden Halibut and Asparagus with Spring Green Tomatillo Sauce grabbed me. It looked amazingly quick and uses his Frontera brand Tomatillo Salsa, which I happened to have in my pantry as they sell it at Safeway. The dish does have a spring feel but the grilling, frozen sweet peas and still readily available local asparagus made it an easy pick, just subbing in wild King salmon (from my freezer) for the halibut. The salmon is integral to the book as it is what Emily asked for. (If you are worried about my local fish consumption, check out my last couple of fish posts featuring monchong and ahi!) ;-)


The dinner Daniel cooks for her is simple grilled salmon and a salad of arugula and mixed greens which Emily left mostly untouched. So I made a salad but didn't put much time or thought into it--simply dressing local baby arugula with a touch of olive oil, lemon and sea salt and topping it with toasted pumpkin seeds, a variation also on the grilled salmon and arugula salad that Emily thinks about, served at a local cafe, with slivered almonds atop. 

Salmon and Asparagus with Green Tomatillo Sauce
Adapted from Rick Bayless via FronteraFiesta.com  
(Serves 2 to 3)

2 or 3 fresh fish fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each (I used salmon)
salt, freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch medium-size asparagus, ends trimmed

extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shelled fresh or frozen green peas
1 cup Frontera Tomatillo Salsa (or salsa verde of choice)

1/2 firm-ripe avocado, diced
1 tsp thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

fresh mint or parsley sprigs for garnish
Toasted pumpkin seeds, optional for garnish

Pat fish dry; season with salt and pepper.
 

Heat a well-seasoned grill pan or nonstick skillet until hot. Add asparagus, a little oil and sprinkling of salt. Cook, turning often, until asparagus are golden and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes, or more or less time depending on asparagus thickness. Set aside.
 

Drop peas into a small pot of boiling salted water; cook 1 minute. Drain well. Return peas to pot and add salsa; heat just until warm. Remove from heat, stir in avocado and sliced mint. Season with salt.
 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Once oil is hot, add fish flesh side down, in a single uncrowded layer. Cook, without turning, until nicely browned, about 7 minutes--depending on preference and thickness of fillet. Carefully flip over fish and cook just long enough to crisp up the skin, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes.
 

Arrange asparagus on warm serving plates. Top with fish. Gently ladle sauce over fish. Serve right away garnished with mint sprigs and pumpkin seeds if desired.  


Notes/Results: Really easy, really delicious. the tangy salsa sauce with it's sweet peas, cool mint and creamy avocado works so well with the rich salmon and tender but firm asparagus. It goes together in a snap--toast the pumpkin seeds, grill the asparagus, heat the peas and salsa and stir in the avocado and mint, and grill the salmon. You can get it ready in about 20 minutes. If you can't find Frontera salsa, any salsa verde will work. (Shh... don't tell Rick!) I liked the richness of the salmon here but halibut or a local fish like opah or monchong would work equally well. Quick, simple, tasty and healthy, you can't beat that! I will happily make it again. 


I am linking this post up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week. The time to make any recipe from our current featured chef or any of the previous IHCC chefs (like Rick Bayless). You can see what everyone made by following the picture links on the post. 


I'm also linking up this review and recipe to the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post

 
Note: A review copy of "Follow the River Home" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.


 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic from Rick Bayless and Some Favorite Rick Bayless Recipes

What I like most about Rick Bayless is his diversity of (mostly) Mexican food recipes. If you want something quick and simple from the pantry, he has it, or if you are looking to "geek out" with a more authentic and detailed recipe, he has that too. His cookbooks always teach me something about the ingredients, the food and the culture. 

This week we are featuring Chef Bayless at our Monthly Featured Chef Event at I Heart Cooking Clubs. It's our chance to go back in time and as a group, cook the recipes of one of our previously featured chefs.


I needed a quick and easy recipe for this week and found it in Rick Bayless's Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic from his website. 


I made a few small changes to make them vegan and to add some flavor as the optional epazote, with it's strong herbal taste, is not easy to find here. My changes are in red below.  


Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic (Hongos Guisados)
Slightly Adapted from RickBayless.com
(Makes About 1 1/2 cups filling for 4 to 6 tacos)

12 oz fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped into 1/2 -inch pieces
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 or 2 fresh green chiles (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño), stemmed, seeded & finely chopped
2/3 cup chicken stock or water (I used mushroom stock)
1/2 small lime, juiced
1 Tbsp lard, bacon drippings or vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
1 large ripe tomato, roasted or boiled, cored, peeled and roughly chopped or 3/4 of a 15-ounce can tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped (I used 4 cloves)
1 1/2 Tbsp epazote, chopped (optional) (I used 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano + 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro)
salt, about 1/2 tsp (depending on the saltiness of the broth)

(I added corn tortillas, sliced avocado, extra cilantro and lime juice to serve)

Place the mushrooms, onion, chile, broth or water, lime juice and lard or other fat in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to fry in the fat. (Note: I added the dried oregano and onions to the pan and let them cook for about 5 minutes in the coconut oil before adding the rest of the ingredients.) 

While the mushrooms are cooking, puree the tomato with the garlic in a blender or food processor. When the mushrooms begin to fry, add the tomato mixture and optional epazote (I added the fresh cilantro) and cook until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt (usually 1/2 teaspoon, depending on the saltiness of the broth) and scrap into a serving bowl. Serve with tortillas on the side for making tacos.


Notes/Results: I was really happy with the flavor of these tacos and how well they satisfied. Sometimes mushrooms can lack flavor--especially white mushrooms--which I used here because they were cheaper. I think the extra garlic, plus the oregano and cilantro really enhanced the flavor when you don't have epazote available. Since I wanted to make these vegan, I used avocado to get that creamy factor that cheese would bring. However, if you aren't concerned with them being vegan, I think they would be incredible garnished with some Cotija or goat cheese. Bayless notes that this dish works well as a side dish--just skip the tortillas. I also think it would be great over rice. These tacos go together pretty quickly and easily, making them good for a weeknight meal. I would make them again.


Because it's always fun (and hunger-inducing) to go back and savor food memories, here are some favorite dishes I have cooked with Rick Bayless. These are the recipes I made again or thought of long after they were finished. 

Chipotle Cream Shrimp Tacos (Camarones Enchipotlados) from RickBayless.com. (Some of the best shrimp tacos I have ever had or made!)


 
Classic Mexican Rice Pudding with Cinnamon and Dried Fruit (Arroz con Leche Clásico) from Mexico One Plate at a Time. (I am a rice pudding lover and this version with its Mexican raw sugar syrup, orange and dried fruit was fabulous. I used brown rice which gave it a great chewiness.)



Zucchini with Roasted Peppers, Corn, and (Cashew) Cream from Authentic Mexican. (One of those deceptive dishes that I thought would be decent but turned out to be delicious. I used cashew cream to make it dairy-free and extra corn.)



(Opah & Ahi) Ceviche Salad with Avocado, Cilantro and Green Chile from Mexican Everyday. (I had to include a ceviche in the mix and this one is so creamy and flavorful, it was a great use for local fish.)



 Mexican-Style Sweet Roasted Garlic Soup (Sopa de Ajo Estilo Mexicano) from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen. (I cooked several soups with Rick Bayless and this one was a favorite for its creaminess and garlicky flavor. I made a vegan version replacing the eggs and cheese with cashew cream.)

 

Jamaica Flower Sangria with Cointreau (Sangria al Jamaica) from Fiesta at Rick's
(If you need a drink to wash down all of the above recipes, you can't go wrong with this sangria--it's a great balance of tart and sweet.)
 

There you have it! It was tough to just choose six recipes. You can see other Rick Bayless dishes I made by clicking on the 'Rick Bayless' label on my side bar.

 
You can find out what Rick Bayless dishes our participants made for this week's IHCC Monthly Featured Chef Event by checking out the picture links on the post.
 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Chipotle Cream Shrimp Tacos (Camarones Enchipotlados)


It's August's Mystery Box Madness Challenge at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week--where we find a recipe from the current IHCC chef (Jacques Pépin) or any of the other eleven former IHCC chefs that contains at least three of the ten MBM ingredients selected for that month.

August's Mystery Box Madness Ingredients:

Any Red Fruit  
(Apples, Berries, Plums, Tomatoes...)
Corn
Tortillas (Any kind)
Skirt or Flank Steak
Oregano
Heavy Cream
Goat Cheese
Pumpkin Seeds
Baby/Fingerling Potatoes 
Caramel or Cajeta

Having a crazy work week, it took me until Friday to get time to figure out what to make. I immediately turned to Rick Bayless as several of the ingredients lend themselves to Mexican cooking. I went to Chef Bayless's website where he so conveniently has an Essential Ingredients search tool on his recipe page. I clicked on Mexican Oregano and quickly zoned in on his Chipotle Cream Shrimp Tacos. Not only did I have 1/2 a bag of frozen wild shrimp in my freezer, the recipe used four of this month's MBM ingredients: Oregano, Heavy Cream, Corn Tortillas and Tomatoes (aka "any Red Fruit")


Chipotle Cream Shrimp Tacos (Camarones Enchipotlados)
Adapted from Mexico-One Plate at a Time-Season 8--via RickBayless.com
(Makes 12 Tacos--enough to serve 4)

3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 of a 14.5-oz can tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted), lightly drained
2 to 3 chipotle chiles en adobo, removed from their canning liquid, seeded if you wish and roughly chopped (I used 2 small chiles with seeds)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 cup Mexican crema, creme fraiche or heavy (whipping) cream
3/4 tsp (or more) fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
salt
1 1/4 lb medium-to-large shrimp, peeled and deveined, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 warm corn tortillas

(I added 2 tsp lime juice)

(I served the shrimp mixture with shredded romaine lettuce, sliced avocado, cilantro leaves and lime wedges)
 

Roast the unpeeled garlic in an ungreased small skillet over medium heat, turning from time to time, until completely soft and blackened in places, about 15 minutes; cool and peel. 

In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, tomatoes and chipotle chiles; blend to a smooth puree. In a medium (10-inch) skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the puree and stir until reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, 5 minutes or so. Stir in the cream, pepper and oregano, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer for several minutes for the flavors to come together. 

Taste and season with salt, usually 1/2 teaspoon. Add the shrimp and stir until they are just cooked through (just losing their translucency at the center), about 3 minutes. 

Serve immediately with warm tortillas.

Notes/Results: What a great recipe this turned out to be! Simple, creamy, and full of amazing flavor. I used two chipotle chiles en adobo because I like spice but not too much, and it was perfect for me--definite heat in every bite, without being overpowering. The sauce has a rich smoky, spice to it and I felt it needed a touch more acidity, so I squeezed in some fresh lime juice--which really brightened it up. I also served my tacos with lime wedges, as well as sliced avocado, shredded fresh romaine and cilantro. I think it not only looks prettier, it adds a nice contrast to the rich and creamy sauce. This is a pretty quick and easy recipe to make and I could see it being equally delicious over rice or even pasta, A lucky find thanks to the MBM Challenge--I will definitely make it again. ;-) 

And, if you did want to work a fifth MBM ingredient into the recipe, topping the shrimp tacos with crumbled goat cheese is pretty tasty too--as I discovered with the leftovers. ;-) 


You can see what mystery ingredients, recipes and chefs other participants chose for August's Mystery Box Madness Challenge by checking out the picture links on the post at the IHCC website.